Nate Alcala

Name: Nata Alcala
Course: LLB Law
Year of Study: 3
Graduation Year: 2023

What work experience did you do?

I completed a vacation scheme internship at Slaughter and May, a commercial law firm.

What was it that inspired you to look for work experience and why did you choose to do work experience in this area?

I aspire to be a commercial solicitor in the UK. To do that, you must be offered a training contract to train at a firm before you can qualify as a solicitor. Nearly all law firms offer a vacation scheme that you can do where you will really learn what it is like to be a lawyer, and to say that you have legal work experience is amazing for applications.

Give a brief snapshot of your role:

  • Attend events organised by graduate recruitment to learn more about the specific firm and what each individual practice area does
  • Complete work set by my supervisor – I sat in Finance so I did work on facility agreements, bonds, and client research
  • Organise meetings with lawyers – I spent lots of my time emailing trainees, associates, and partners to have a chat and learn more about the career

How did the Bursary award support you in gaining experience?

It enabled me to not have to worry about transport costs, which helped me relax on the scheme and perform better.

What were the most enjoyable aspects of your role?

Completing the work was very enjoyable – just seeing the scale of what kind of clients a commercial lawyer works for and the projects they do was amazing to do it for myself.

What were the challenges and did you have any worries or concerns before your work experience and if so how were they dealt with and overcome?

My main concern was whether I would be able to ace the final interview to be offered a training contract, and I dealt with these anxieties by practicing a lot and getting advice from trainees.

What specific or transferable skills did you develop through the work experience?

My attention to detail was greatly improved as one of my main tasks was going through pages of contracts to find typos and amend them.

I also developed the soft skills you need to be a lawyer – being able to work in a team and talk to people is a crucial skill.

Did the work experience give you any insights and have these influenced your career pathway?

This internship has cemented by desire to be a commercial lawyer, as doing a vacation scheme is probably the closest you can get to trialing a career as a solicitor.

Do you have any words of wisdom for future students looking to gain work experience?

Don’t be too disheartened if you are applying for a role and get rejected – graduate roles like these are hugely competitive with thousands of applicants each year.