A founding member of PRIME, Herbert Smith Freehills has provided work experience placements to 80 students since 2012.
Collaboration, one of the firm’s core values, is key to the success of these placements. Partnership with clients provides the students with the opportunity to meet in-house lawyers and to increase their commercial awareness during a packed week of work shadowing, mentoring and the development of team work, presentation and interview skills.
In November 2013, HSF PRIME students visited RBS for an afternoon of ‘demystifying the banking sector’, networking and a tour. Bursting with questions, students seized the chance to find out why lawyers would choose to work in-house and how it was different from private practice. They were also able to speak to employees in non-legal roles and find out about how the lawyers assisted them with their responsibilities.
The RBS visit was also a hook on which to base that week’s team project. On Friday afternoon, 15 students presented to Mark Rigotti (HSF Managing Partner, Clients and Industries) and, Bernadette Meier, Senior Legal Counsel, RBS (and Herbert Smith alumni) about issues affecting the banking sector.
The visit earlier in the week had them well prepared and the students delivered excellent presentations on topics such as bankers’ bonuses and the ethical, social and financial risks of investing in a diamond mine.
Bernadette Meier at RBS commented “It was a real pleasure to take part and a great opportunity for us to build on our own social mobility initiatives by supporting the excellent work experience programme HSF had put together… I thoroughly enjoyed the session and was so impressed with the students. They were so polite and organised, and delivered excellent presentations.”
No stranger to PRIME, RBS has delivered two successful weeks of its own work experience program in London and Edinburgh (First Step), which form part of the bank’s wider social mobility initiatives. HSF was delighted to be part of First Step and host the RBS students for an afternoon in summer 2013.
“I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed every moment I spent at Herbert Smith Freehills… you made my first insight into law incredible.” PRIME student, Herbert Smith Freehillls, November 2013