Filling The Gap – The Leeds Gap Students’ Experiences of Life Outside The Office
It’s been a very exciting few months for us all. Obviously our experiences differ quite a lot in terms of departmental work – from trips to court to visiting the Leeds Arena, which is currently under construction; Christmas parties and various trips to the London office. One uniting feature of our experiences has been the long-awaited and eagerly anticipated installation of the new hot water taps. You’re probably wondering why a tap is mentioned in a social post but this is no ordinary tap. This magical tap has ensured free tea and coffee for all and has led to the introduction of biscuit committees and afternoon tea breaks. Ingenious. Along with the open office floor plan, this does add to the genuinely approachable nature of Pinsent Masons.Another social skill vital for this career path and one you will fortunately be exposed to quite early on, is networking. It’s fair to say that for those unpractised in this art, it can be an uncomfortable experience but only at first. We’ve all attended networking events, for example Property View and Law Reviews organised by the firm, which have provided the opportunity to engage with big clients. The likes of PriceWaterhouseCoopers and KPMG regularly hold events, as do many other local companies, thus furthering the firm’s relationship with them. Once you’ve gotten into the patter of engaging with your counterparts on not just business or ‘high brow’ topics but on a social level, the experience becomes a lot more enjoyable and valuable. It not only benefits our exposure to great heavyweights in their particular fields but it compliments and enhances the legal knowledge gained over the last 8 months. It’s also nice to be entrusted to not damage the firm’s impressive reputation!We could not get away with writing a social blog post without the mention of our renowned Trainee socials. You start your rite of passage into the firm with the infamous karaoke initiation. Unfortunately, a few of us Gappies were struck down with deadly illnesses beforehand, leaving us unable to partake in this joyous event – rest assured however, that Alex, Caitlin and Razzaq did us proud with a fantastic rendition of Gloria Gaynor’s classic anthem “I Will Survive”. Video evidence, though we’re told it exists, is yet to be unearthed. Other socials and nights out are standard procedure as a junior member of staff and much welcomed after a particularly hard week’s graft!There are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the ‘extra-curricular’ activities that Pinsent Masons offer. Whether you’re editing articles for the firm-wide online social magazine OnePM; engaging in pro-bono work with Amicus, a charity that provides assistance to the legal defence teams for those facing execution in the US; or attending value forums and discussing the merits of introducing the ‘Golden Cone’ (as the name suggests – being presented a cone that is golden, for outstanding contribution. We kid you not.), you’re getting involved. If you’re into sports you can even represent the firm in their football, netball and squash teams against other firms in the area. All these and many more have created a rounded experience for us Gappies and aided our transition into the grown-up working world.