Insight weeks at the Law Society

The Law Society of Scotland offers four insight weeks each year in the months of February, June, August and October.

Our insight week programme is based in our offices in Edinburgh and is designed for school pupils or LLB/Diploma students/graduates. The programme is unpaid and lasts for one week, Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 4.30pm. 

During the week, you will visit a number of different departments, including (where possible) Access to Justice, Education and Training, Law Reform and Professional Support. To give you an insight into a typical week on placement at the Law Society, please see our Sample week document, or read about most recent placement student's experience in their blog at the bottom of this page.

Application process and closing dates

There are two closing dates for applications - 23 June and 15 December each year.

You must complete our application form in full. The selection process will be based on the application forms only, no supporting evidence is required. Once your application is submitted, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt. You will be notified within 14 days of the closing date if you are to be offered a placement. If you have been unsuccessful, you will be notified within 21 days of the closing date.

We receive a lot of applications each year, so before you apply you need to think carefully about why you are applying and be able to demonstrate a keen interest in the placement. We are looking for you to show why you are keen to spend a week working within the Law Society of Scotland.

You will be offered a placement with specific dates so it is important you are able to attend on those dates. The placement is based in Edinburgh and it is important you can attend in Edinburgh throughout the week of the placement.

To apply for a work placement with the Law Society of Scotland, please complete our application form and return it to the HR Department, Atria One, 144 Morrison Street, Edinburgh EH3 8EX or by email. If you require more information on our placements, please contact the HR department directly on 0131 476 8172.

What is the insight week really like?

Here's Steven Haig's review, who spent a week with us in February 2017.

Steven Haig Image 

My name is Steven Haig and I’m a real life sixth year student looking to soon study Law and International Relations at university, with the very broad career intentions of working in human development and solving societal issues. So in February, looking for an insight into the legal sector, I dived into working with the Law Society of Scotland for a week. Having only heard of the Law Society from searching for work experience on google, it was an eye-opening experience when I arrived there on that first Monday morning. As such, I thought I’d give you an idea of the experience my eyes were opened to.

The first thing that struck me as I began to learn about the work of the Society was its diversity. Actually wait, that’s not true, the first thing that struck me was the fact that there’s a ping pong table in the kitchen, but that’s another matter entirely. Nevertheless the diversity of work carried out in the Society was still a significant surprise as I began my week, and more importantly, this diversity ensured an interesting week lay ahead.

A breakdown of the week's work

So after a warm welcome from human resources, I found myself in the financial compliance department, being asked “what do you know about money laundering?” Fortunately, this questioning lead, not to my arrest, but instead to a fascinating discussion regarding the prevalence of money laundering on an international scale ($1.5 trillion per annum – see, I did learn some things) and its associated repercussions, as well as how the Law Society works to combat this serious area of crime here in Scotland.

Next up, I joined the newly established research department. With them I learned of the importance of legal research in informing and influencing policy in the Society itself, but also in government and other public bodies which listen to the professional expertise of the Society. This influence is part of the Society’s admirable mission to create a fairer and more just society by promoting the legal interests of both the legal profession and the general public.

This leads me on nicely to my work with the policy department. There I attended multiple meetings and learned a fundamental truth: policy involves a lot of discussion. Not that that’s a bad thing, the discussions provided some of the most interesting points of the week as I learned about current issues in legal policy, legislative review and access to justice. And of course, I just had to spend some time with the international department (given my personal interests); the chance to gain a legal perspective on Brexit was too good to miss.

Taking a break from legal issues, I also spent a day with the communications department. This involved speaking with specialists in internal and external communications, as well as public relations. This was then followed by working in the Education, Training and Qualifications department, where I was introduced to the wide range of work that the Society does to ensure the quality of legal education, and the importance of the accessibility of this education.

Top tasks

Importantly for me, during my time in each of these departments the work I did was of genuine use to the professionals I was working alongside. For example, I conducted a range of research; from investigating the credibility of a so-called Ukrainian law Society to assessing the potential opportunities and risks of an increase in the popularity of online legal support. I was also involved in summarising judgements regarding financial crime cases, working on a survey used to assess the risk of law firms being used for money laundering as well as drafting a press release for the Society. One of my favourite tasks however was being shown an extensive (and confidential) research report regarding a legal issue of immediate importance, and being asked to summarise this concoction of complex data in a simple PowerPoint for the staff of the Society. Through this active engagement in genuinely important work on behalf of the Society, I learned a great deal about a myriad of legal issues, as well as making my own contribution, however minimal, to help solve these issues. And that, as well as the extensive knowledge I’ve acquired throughout the week, has definitely been the most valuable part of the experience.

My advice

So if you aren’t convinced already, I really would recommend this week of work insight to anyone in the senior phase of secondary education thinking of studying law, or those already studying law at university. It is a great opportunity to learn of the many nuances of the legal sector, as well as meeting the fantastic employees of the Society, thus being able to build a useful base of contacts. Not to mention the fact that, throughout the week, you’ll be sure to have some fun; there is a ping pong table after all.