We offer four insight weeks each year in the months of February, June, August and October. The programme is unpaid and lasts for one week, Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 4.30pm. Insight weeks are based in our Edinburgh office.
Download our application form and join us to find out what we do as the professional body for Scottish solicitors.
Who can apply?
Our insight week programme is based in our offices in Edinburgh and is designed for school pupils or LLB/Diploma students/graduates.
We are looking for people who demonstrate a keen knowledge of and interest in what we do. We want you to show us how an insight week with us would benefit you in your career. We receive a lot of applications each year, so make sure you really think about how you can answer the questions fully and make yourself stand out.
You will be offered a placement with specific dates so it is important you are able to attend in Edinburgh on those dates. We will reimburse reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred throughout the course of the insight programme. This will include travel expenses (maximum of £12 per day) and lunch expenses (maximum of £5 per day).
Application process and closing dates
There are two closing dates for applications - 23 June and 15 December each year.
To apply, 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.
Return your application form to our HR Team at email@example.com or to 'HR team, Atria One, 144 Morrison Street, Edinburgh EH3 8EX'.
If you require more information on our insight weeks, please contact the HR team directly on 0131 476 8172.
What would I get up to on an insight week?
We tailor our insight week to the individual, but generally you will spend time with several different teams to gain a breadth of experience from across our organisation.
Read about our teams and case studies from past insight week students below to get a flavour for what the insight week is really like.
We want to make sure each of our insight week students gets the most out of working with us! Successful insight week applicants have ranged from being pupils at school, to undergraduate and postgraduate level students. For each successful applicant we will create a tailored timetable. Here are some examples of teams you could be working in and the type of work past insight week students have been involved in.
You could spend time learning about the different facets of our work in this area:
Access to Justice – Conduct research in the Legal Aid sector.
Law Reform – Prepare a research paper on key themes such as the impact of Brexit on legal services in Scotland; attend an evidence session in the Scottish Parliament.
Public Communications – Draft a response to a member of the public looking for a solicitor, or contribute to our social media channels for the day, including creating content for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Research – Get involved in putting together a piece of research that allows us to gather the views of the whole legal profession on a particular issue, which is essential for us to effectively represent our members.
Education, Training & Qualifications
Understand how we work to promote fair access to the legal profession, so anyone can become a solicitor who wants to. Help identify barriers to the legal profession for those at school or who are looking for a career change, or help us to gain intel on how we can better support law students and trainees as our future members.
Learn about all the ways in which we serve our members, including:
Events – Work with our CPD & Training team and find out what makes a great event for our members. You could research your own and come up with a proposed agenda.
Professional Practice – Part of our work is to guide our members with how to apply complex regulation to working scenarios. Our professional practice team runs a confidential advice service.
Engagement – Find out how we engage with and support our members in different ways who work in big-firm, high-street and in-house environments, or in England & Wales.
Learn how we ensure the legal profession complies on anti-money laundering legislation. It’s part of our work to make sure our members know what’s expected of them and also, that we regulate our members to assure the high standards of the legal profession.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'm a PhD in Law student in the University of Edinburgh in the field of International and European Tax Law. I have a law background lying in different jurisdictions, since I obtained my LLB from the University of Athens and my LLM from the University of Cambridge.
Being a lawyer studying in a Scottish university, I believe it is important to be aware of all the aspects of legal practice in Scotland and therefore, Ι was strongly interested to participate in the one-week- work placement offered by the Law Society of Scotland.
Overview of the week
After being warmly welcomed and given a comprehensive overview of the Law Society’s role and structure, I was introduced to all the different departments (Members Services, External Relations, Regulation, Finance & Operations, Education & Training) and their work, where I had the chance to gain information about the specific role of each department, ask questions about it and find out about projects currently dealt with. It is definitely impressive to realise the breadth of services provided by the Law Society of Scotland to both its members and to the public, but also to discover how it contributes to law review and reform.
More precisely, I spent the first half of the week in the Members Service (Professional Practice) Department, where I dealt with an issue currently researched by the department. The issue combines elements of Scots Property Law and Data Protection. Although I was not that familiar with the field, it was definitely a challenge for me to use legal and analytical skills for the purpose of contributing to the undertaken research. During the co-operation with this department, I had the opportunity to assist with research intended to answer queries of solicitors – members of the Society related to disclosure of data in Family law cases. I found this experience very interesting, because it offered a very good insight in the range and the type of questions that the members submit to the Law Society, as well as to the support that the Law Society provides to the members in response.
In the second part of my placement, I co-operated with the External Relations Department (Policy team) on a project concerning a consultation for a Proposal launched by a MSP about providing Equal Protection from Assault to Children. My assignment was to conduct research on the topic and articulate my own arguments and ideas to respond to the Proposal. For this purpose, various resources (legislation, previous work of the Law Society in the field, academic resources, journal articles) were used and several meetings of the Department were attended. This was a certainly challenging task which contributed not only to my familiarisation with the issue, but also to my thorough understanding of the way the Society issues recommendations for the purpose of revising and shaping the law.
Overall impression/evaluation of the experience
The whole week was undoubtedly an excellent and rewarding experience for me. Working in the Law Society of Scotland, even for such a short period, gave me the chance to gain a holistic perspective of the work conducted and the range of areas dealt with by the Society.
Engaging with challenging projects, investigating current issues in various areas of law –no matter whether within one’s area of expertise or not- while being supported by experienced professionals can only be considered as beneficial.
In my view, given the range of the areas the Law Society deals with, the placement can suit everyone’s interests and skills by offering either a practical perspective to those who lack professional experience or a comparative perspective to those having experience from foreign jurisdictions. I strongly believe that this placement is a great insight opportunity fostering a fruitful interaction with an innovative, influential organisation and therefore, I would highly recommend it.