Reed Smith Vacation Scheme Application
Please explain why you are interested in undertaking work experience at Reed Smith.
I am interested in undertaking work experience at Reed Smith because I am attracted by its strong international network of 27 offices across the world. This international network will present me with challenging international work and give me an opportunity to work with professionals from different countries. I feel that this will make my work experience very exciting and expose me to challenging work and new perspectives. I find the firm’s focus on commercial disputes to be especially appealing because it will present me with a chance to undertake dynamic work and work with the best litigation lawyers in the industry, which will make for a great learning environment and allow me to develop into a well-rounded lawyer.
I find the firm’s relatively small trainee intake and its entrepreneurial culture to be especially appealing because it will offer me with an opportunity to work closely with market-leading lawyers and allow me to exhibit my creativity to unprecedented and complex issues as well as play an active role on the matters that I work on. I feel that the closely-knit environment as well as Reed Smith’s friendly culture will offer me excellent exposure to legal cases and give me a platform to learn directly from leading solicitors.
Another aspect that appeals to me is Reed Smith’s overseas secondment programme, which will allow me to gain first-hand experience in understanding legal issues across multiple jurisdictions and to build new contacts in various locations, ultimately to the benefit of my future clients.
Who are Reed Smith’s main competitors and how does Reed Smith differentiate itself from the firms you name?
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Reed Smith’s main competitors are Baker & McKenzie LLP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Clifford Chance LLP and Mayer Brown. Reed Smith differentiates itself from these firms through its extensive network of 27 offices and its dedicated business teams across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States. This global network of offices, along with Reed Smith’s dedicated business teams allows Reed Smith to deal with complex multi-national matters by bringing technical knowledge of the local markets coupled with solid experience in working with a prestigious client base. This international presence also allows Reed Smith to acquire local clients from countries in which it has offices, which allows it to increase its cash flow and reputation as the leader across multiple industry sectors. Reed Smith’s entrepreneurial and open culture has been at the forefront at attracting and retaining talented lawyers and professionals which allows it to maintain a leading position in dispute resolution and corporate practice areas. Reed Smith has an extremely prestigious and loyal client base which allows the firm to retain a good size of the legal market share as well as attract new clients. Reed Smith is a leader in commercial disputes and corporate practice areas to which it has dedicated large teams of some of the best litigation and corporate lawyers in the industry. This allows Reed Smith to deliver innovative solutions to some of the most complex international problems and at the same time add value to its clients’ cases.
Why have you chosen law over another career? (250 words)
I have chosen law over other careers because law will present me with an opportunity to work with a diverse number of clients from multiple industry sectors. This will present me with the challenge of exploring different commercial markets and learning how businesses operate in those markets. I will then be required to apply my commercial experience and problem-solving skills to devise cutting-edge solutions to unprecedented problems. Given the international nature of law and commerce, a career in law will present me with an opportunity to travel to different countries and work in international teams which will enable me to forge contacts with professionals and clients from other countries which will make for an exciting and professionally rewarding environment that will allow me to develop as a person and as a professional. I have considered a career as a barrister before but I feel that it will not present me with enough client focused work and will have less of a teamwork element. I have also considered becoming a professional rower given my successful career in rowing, but I feel that this career will not present me with enough intellectual challenges and will be comparatively solitary in nature. A career in law will allow me to work on both legal and commercial matters at the same time which subsequently will offer quality and varied work on a daily basis.
What are your main activities or interests outside of your study or work-life?
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Outside of work, I greatly enjoy playing [sport] and rowing. Last year, I was chosen to join the University’s [sport] team, which I feel is an important achievement given that I only started to play [sport] six months ago. I believe this successfully outlines my determination to learn and succeed, especially when faced with new challenges. I regularly take part in charitable initiatives and was involved with Shelter, a charity that helps homeless people.
I have rowed in the UK, Cyprus and [country] at both club and national level. I strongly feel that rowing has taught me the importance of persistence, discipline and tolerance, and has supported my social and academic development. As a student at the University of Southampton, I co-founded the [language] Society to teach and promote [language] language and culture amongst students. This entailed giving lessons to students who were keen to learn [language] as a foreign language, making presentations about [language] history and culture on international student days, and organising ‘meet and greets’ for incoming students, promoting their swift integration into campus life.
I actively organise field trips for myself and my friends as a way of learning about local values, culture and geographical landscape. Recently these have included trips to the Lake District and Bath. I have demonstrated my strong organisational skills by planning and leading these fun excursions.
A prospective new client is looking for a law firm to act for them in a cross-border dispute. How would you position the firm and what elements or features of the firm would you highlight in order to try and win their business? (250 words)
Firstly, I would highlight that Reed Smith is a truly global law firm with offices in 27 countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and United States. I would bring to a prospective client’s attention that professionals from these offices have a good knowledge of the local markets, their nuances and jurisdictions which will allow Reed Smith to collectively solve every international facet of the client’s problem to the highest degree and overall, deliver a cutting-edge solution and add value to the client’s cross-border dispute. I would highlight to the client that Reed Smith’s core expertise is in commercial dispute and that it has over 1,100 litigation lawyers worldwide. I would also mention some of Reed Smith’s most prestigious clients such as Chevron in order to demonstrate to the prospective client that Reed Smith is trusted by some of the biggest and prestigious clients in the industry for its leading expertise in the commercial disputes sector. I would mention to the prospective client that Reed Smith has an entrepreneurial culture which allows its solicitors to demonstrate initiative and apply creativity to legal and commercial problems to deliver innovative solutions, especially in areas where there are no precedents. I would then show the prospective client a list of all the awards won by Reed Smith for excellence across multiple legal fields in order to demonstrate that Reed Smith is best at what it does.