My Virtual Internship: Part 1

Every Law student wants legal work experience. The harsh reality is that not everyone will be able to gain such an opportunity… especially at the Magic Circle firms.

Most large commercial firms offer some kind of work experience or vacation scheme to budding students. However, we all know that only a microscopic percentage of students actually manage to bag a place on these schemes. Unfortunately, this leaves a lot of intelligent and capable students on the sidelines, feeling like they are not competent enough to make it into the legal world. Linklaters has decided to change this.

The Magic Circle firm has created a free virtual internship powered by InsideSherpa – the first of its kind in the legal world. The aim of the internship is to allow UK university students to live a day in the life of a magic circle lawyer (minus the pay, of course).

Why should you take part?

Having completed plenty of research on the thrills of M&A, I was relatively confident in my knowledge of the commercial world and how transactions worked. I was mistaken. This internship took my knowledge to the next level. Whilst you may know how an acquisition works, it is only until you become involved in one that you truly understand the mechanics of a commercial deal.

Now let me tell you something, it is not easy. Linklaters has definitely set the bar high and understandably so. However, this is what makes the internship such a great opportunity to learn more about commercial law and the firm itself.

Giving it a go:

Here is what the homepage looks like.

The virtual internship is structured around a scenario concerning a client transaction. The scenario is split into seven bitesize modules. You are not required to complete the modules chronologically, but it is advised that you should. The homepage has a module overview, which you can look at in further detail.

Module 1:

The first task sets out the scenario. You are then required to create three slides demonstrating:

  • Why Linklaters should be chosen to assist with the transaction (this includes setting out Linklaters’ previous experience of acting for financial technology firms);
  • Which key Linklaters’ partners should act on this matter.
  • How Linklaters has taken steps towards increasing diversity and fostering a high-performing culture.

Slide 1:

This slide is asking you to provide examples on the firm’s previous experience of working in this specific area of the law. This sounds easy at first glance, but it is not. Your aim is not only to inform, but to persuade. Being able to point out who Linklaters has previously worked with is not enough. You need to be able to not only clearly state the firm’s previous experience, but demonstrate the effect that the firm had on the client and the outcome of the situation.

This requires research, research…and even more research.

Slide 2:

This slide is the perfect opportunity for you to take a closer look at the firm – and more importantly, its people. Whilst most students aiming for Magic Circle firms know which deals the firm has assisted on, not many students would be able to provide names of those who actually took part in the transaction. This slide allows you to look at the firm under a microscope, and get to know some of the people that you may be working with in the future.

Slide 3:

Diversity is currently a buzzword in the legal sphere. Magic Circle firms are increasing moving away from the archaic stereotypes of what a law firm used to be, and they want to make this clear to potential clients and employees. Linklaters has not only supported several major diversity initiatives (such as the First 100 Years), but they have also created their own.

Once you have submitted a genuine attempt at the task, you will be able to unlock a model answer. This is incredibly useful as you are allowed to compare your work and change your slides according to new information that you have discovered.

NOTE: I will be writing a mini blog-series commenting on my experience with each module of the Virtual Internship. I will be writing an honest review of my experience and therefore, all opinions are my own.

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