Reed Smith: Law in the City, Work Experience and Mentoring Programmes

The Brokerage and Reed Smith LLP have been working together since 2014, to deliver workshops on Law in the City and to place young people on their work experience and mentoring schemes. This partnership was developed six years ago to place bright and determined, yet disadvantaged, A level students into the company, providing the opportunity to work at a global law firm and further understanding the inner workings of a prestigious law firm.

Reed Smith LLP is a global law firm with its largest office is in London with more than 350 lawyers serving international and domestic clients.

Law in the City was developed to introduce young people to the legal sector, to the associated career opportunities and provide a balanced and realistic insight into careers in the sector and the wider world of work. The programme caters for students studying for their GCSEs and who are approaching the stage in their education for picking their GCSE options and has curriculum links with History, Geography, Citizenship and English.

We also work with Reed Smith to place 10-12 young people on their work experience programme, held during the summer work experience period. On the work experience placement our young people are offered the opportunity to build skills such as: presenting, interviewing, influencing, resilience and negotiation. Over the last few years the work experience programme has been developed through partnership with SMBP (Social Mobility Business Partnership) extending the placement to two weeks. With SMBP, young people gain work experience at a variety of commercial companies across London (in the past this has included ITV, Aviva, Fremantle, Barclays Bank and Harlequins Rugby Club).

The Reed Smith Mentoring Programme provides a valuable opportunity for Reed Smith employees to use their skills and professional knowledge to support young people in their future career pathways. The Brokerage designs and delivers a six session programme for nine Reed Smith mentors with students in school Year 12. The programme begins with a launch event, includes one-to-one structured mentoring sessions and culminates in a graduation event where students present to a panel of judges and the winning student is awarded work experience placement with Reed Smith.

Our students, from the mentoring programme, had this to say:

“Colin was very helpful and particularly understanding and relatable. He helped me to improve my CV and my presentation. Also I learnt a lot from him things that I didn’t know before such as networking skills and how important first impressions can be in a professional environment.”

“My mentor is a kind mentor who was also supportive throughout the mentoring programme.”

Our partnership with Reed Smith has grown throughout the years and we have seen so many bright and wonderful young people enjoy their time working or interacting with Reed Smith. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Reed Smith continued to work with us. The Reed Smith 2020 Work Experience programme went ahead, despite many employers cancelling these opportunities for young people. Ten wonderful young people were able to secure a place on the programme. Carole Mehigan, Responsible Business Manager EMEA, delivered a webinar with The Brokerage on How to stay Motivated and Resilient during lockdown.

Carole also arranged for Terry Prempeh, a Trainee Solicitor on the Banking and Finance team to share the following on getting into a top law firm:

“The first hurdle is the application; the next is the interview and then the vacation scheme. As you jump through all these hurdles, the employer is weighing you up. Doing these open days, whether they are in person or as webinars, it’s good to get these experiences, and it also helps you write a better application, you’re giving yourself a fighting chance to stand out in the crowd.”