The recruitment process
The recruitment process at BLM consists of an online application made up of short format questions and some essay format questions. These help to establish what you know about the firm and why you consider yourself a good fit for BLM. After this, you are invited to do an online critical thinking test, which, if successful, leads to an invite to the assessment centre.
The assessment centre itself was made less daunting by the help you can receive from the graduate recruitment team. They make it clear that the day is about finding out who you are, what your strengths are and whether you’re a good fit for BLM. The day also features some downtime where you can ask questions of the current trainees and garner useful tips for the upcoming day.
My vacation scheme experience
Throughout the BLM vacation scheme your preferences are listened to and pretty much everyone on the scheme was given the chance to do a seat in the departments they wanted.
You are also paired with a trainee buddy, who works in your chosen department. Your buddy is there to help you and answer all your questions, no matter how stupid these may seem at the time. The grad team also check in on you during the week so the level of support you can expect to receive from them, and your buddy is fantastic.
I was in the London risk market seat for my first week and in property for my second. One of the best things about the scheme is that you start working right away. Whilst I thought this would be daunting, the level of support from your buddy really calms your nerves.
I was taken to meetings off-site and got to assist in court proceedings during my first week. Whilst the second week involved more time in the office it was by no means less exciting. I cannot stress enough that the work you are given really helps inform your decision of whether BLM is the firm for you, and vice versa.
My fellow ‘vac schemers’ and I quickly bonded and when not being treated by our departments to lunch, we often socialised together. There is a real close knit ‘in it together’ feeling between the vac schemers and the fact that you are told you are not in competition for places with your peers really helps relax and bond you as a team.
My time in the London office also showed me how social life could be at BLM and that your colleagues quickly become friends. The existing trainees made sure we all had a good time and always encouraged us to attend events with them. Whilst not compulsory, nearly everyone on my scheme went to the socials and as you can imagine, it really helped with getting to know everyone.
BLM tells you as soon as they know whether you were successful or not on the scheme. 80% of the people in my scheme were successful and we really had bonded as friends by the end. We are all in touch regularly and I cannot wait to get started!
Since the vacation scheme…
I had already completed the LPC by the time I began my vac scheme so I was keen to get started as soon as possible. Luckily, the graduate recruitment team made sure this was not a problem. I was sent openings in the London office, almost immediately after I expressed my desire to start ASAP, and have since joined the property team as a paralegal until the commencement of my training contract.
It was such a nice feeling walking back into the office where I already knew a lot of the faces and where I will ultimately end up doing my training contract. Also, nearly everyone remembered me which is testament to how involved you can get when on the vac scheme.
I can’t wait to start as a trainee at BLM and know the grad team will assist me in any way possible. I currently sit in property where I did my second week on the vac scheme. Something tells me I will be back in the team at some point in the future.
Overall, I would really recommend the BLM vac scheme, it gives you the chance to get to know the firm and for them to get to know you. Crucially for me however, you are not just a spare part and you are not treated like you are there for work experience. You are an active member of the team and expected to work like one, it really is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the office and a chance to show off what you can really do!
Written by Tom Papa, paralegal at BLM