Following the success of last year’s Intern:NE Programme by St Chad’s College at Durham University, Swinburne Maddison LLP have continued to provide support by inviting student Evie Oliver to join the firm for a two-week internship.
The internship scheme aims to open the eyes of the University’s students to the wide range of fantastic commercial opportunities on offer here in the North East.
Evie, who has just completed the second year of her Law degree, talks about her time with us.
What attracted you to gaining experience in a law firm?
Law is ultimately the career I want to pursue. Studying it at university has helped me to realise it is definitely the profession I want to go into, however I am still deciding which area I would like to specialise in. This is one of the main reasons I sought work experience – to experience new areas of law and to find out if I enjoy them.
Did you have any pre-conceived ideas of what working in a law firm might be like?
Personally, I thought it would be a very busy, impersonal atmosphere with solicitors too weighed down by the workload to talk to anyone.
Has your time at Swinburne Maddison altered that view?
Definitely. From spending time here, I can see that even though everyone is often very busy, they always make time to have a chat or offer help if a fellow colleague is unsure about something. Furthermore, from sitting in on client meetings, I can tell that the solicitors actually care about what happens to their clients and will always advise them in accordance with the client’s best interests.
Which department have you most enjoyed and why?
After having the opportunity to experience each of the departments, the one I enjoyed most was dispute resolution. I think there is such a great range of work in that department and the team was very friendly and welcoming.
What did you think of the office environment at Swinburne Maddison?
The open-plan design and open door policy makes it a really welcoming and relaxed space. There is also clearly a strong work ethic in the office as well so it is a very productive environment.
Following your internship with us, do you think a legal career is for you?
Yes, I think it has really solidified my decision as even working in areas I had previously avoided has been really interesting. It has been a very eye-opening experience.
Would you encourage other students to get involved in the Intern: NE programme?
Of course! It is a really great opportunity to gain experience and to discover the career opportunities in the North East. It is also very conveniently located which makes it a more enjoyable experience as it is in familiar settings.