Andrew Lister

  • University: Cambridge
  • Degree subject: Archaeology and Anthroplogy
  • Easter Vacation Scheme 2011

I studied Archaeology and Anthropology at uni and had worked in Publishing since then, so embarking on a career in law was a bit of a change. Although, I had decided law was for me I had no experience of life as a city solicitor and I wanted to learn more about the different practice areas and get a feel for BLP as a place to work. Completing a vac scheme seemed like the best way of doing this.

The application process was thorough but surprisingly enjoyable at times and the HR team were always on hand to answer questions and put us all at ease. I particularly appreciated their efforts to accommodate the difficulties that I experience with my stammer which can make interviews, negotiation exercises and role-plays a bit of a challenge.

Happily, I was given a place on the Easter scheme and spent a week in the Planning and Environment department. One thing that really stood out for me during the week was that despite my non-legal background, members of the department involved me in their work wherever they could and took time to explain it to me. Not only did this give me a much better understanding of the kind of work they do but it was good to feel I was making some sort of contribution.

Along with the departmental work we each had a short research project to complete and there were daily talks from other departments to help us to gain experience of the firm as a whole. Of course, no vac scheme would be complete without the socials and even though it was only a week we managed to pack in two evenings of drinks and a CSR event that tested our culinary skills.

It was a busy week and I felt I worked hard but it was also a lot of fun and a great chance to learn. However, perhaps most importantly the vac scheme gave me a chance to get a feel for BLP and find out if it was the right firm for me.  I was genuinely impressed by the ethos of the firm and the friendliness and enthusiasm of the people I met and I’m looking forward to starting in 2013.