My experiences of vacation work as a law student

2014-12-10 07:48

Before I begin I feel the need to emphasize the importance of getting involved in vacation work during your holiday periods, whether you are a law student or even an accounting student, spending time at a potential employer would really assist you greatly.  Vacation work is necessary to improve your employability. Doing a vacation programme with a large firm or government organisation gives you the opportunity to develop new skills and demonstrate your potential to the firm. These programmes can also form part of the selection process for training contracts.

The opportunity to learn valuable interpersonal skills will be useful in any career; nevertheless vacation work has many pros to it like the chance to get to grips with day-to-day working life, development of people management skills, a healthier bank balance and increased organisational skills.

Vacation work at this law firm was exceptional. The programme lasted for a period of about eight days and each day was a new adventure. This firm prides itself on quality over quantity which I completely advocate for, I strongly believe in the concept of having two people working on a project and providing the same level of service and quality than that of a team of eight people somewhere else.

On the first day we met the incoming chairperson of the firm, he was a man of few words on the day but what he did say packed a real punch. At the end of his talk we all agreed on a few points, mainly that the thirteen of us given the opportunity to perform at that vacation programme were the cream of the crop, that we all have the ability to become great and most importantly that there is an avenue to secure that potential.

David Hertz defined the culture of the firm and explained to us in detail the excellence of the people walking through the doors of the firm, he said that a person entering the firm will need to be intelligent, hardworking, ambitious, have a personality, be unique but most importantly have that passion for law. This gentleman inspired me greatly. Confidence is everything and David has all of that, he expects high quality work and performance from everyone around him but that’s just because he expects the same from himself on a daily basis.

I really love the culture of the firm; the open door policy has a lot more pros than cons. After eight days at the firm I felt like I was a part of the family. We had a really busy programme which included talks from almost every department as well as trips to the Constitutional Court. I was assigned to one of the best directors at the firm, Jennifer Smit is simply amazing. Her knowledge of the law and application of it is really on point. Innocentia Moele was her associate and someone I really enjoyed speaking to. The firm really has a pool of highly skilled individuals with the ability to engage with each other to reach the goals of the firm.

I have met extremely prominent people at the firm that have instilled confidence in me and my abilities. The firm is the perfect example of quality and excellence with people like Bernard Holtz who I can safely say is the closest I have seen to a real life Harvey Specter; Antimo Osato , an ex KTV kid who is doing big things with his life and Nomfundo Mkatshwa who is just the best thing since sliced bread.

I would like to thank one of South Africa’s premier law firms for hosting us in such a wonderful manner, I would like to thank the HR department, marketing department, the cleaning staff, the security company and every CA, associate and director.

Most importantly I want to thank Bernard, David, Jennifer, Innocentia and Nomfundo for being such a positive influence on me and my future career.

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