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In 2017, we launched our ‘Vacation Scheme’ – it’s a two-week summer work experience programme designed for legal graduates to showcase their ability, commerciality and potential. The calibre of students who’ve taken part in our schemes has been extremely impressive and many have started permanent Litigation Executive roles once they’ve completed their legal studies.    

Simply recruiting great talent, though, isn’t enough!  To make sure our people and their talent are nurtured and supported to achieve their potential, we developed a structured onboarding process.  Whether they come to us through the Vacation Scheme or from traditional or non-traditional routes, all our new starters start their legal career in the HF Academy, managed by Senior Associate, Jeanette Hines.

The bespoke HF Academy training is designed around key competencies which our new starters achieve and demonstrate before they officially graduate from the Academy to work on files and, alongside their colleagues, provide an outstanding service to our clients. 

What is HF Academy?

Put simply, it’s a structured programme of face-to-face and online sessions, teaching theory-based law in practice, with practical exercises to test what students have learnt and reviews of both the tasks and progress of the individual throughout their academy journey.

We understand that people learn at different paces and sometimes in different ways. HF Academy is flexible in the types of training offered and the time it can take, to cater for each person’s individual needs. 

Face to face sessions:

Face-to-face training is integral to HF Academy – it gives every new starter the opportunity to connect and network with each other as well as enhancing their problem-solving skills. 

During the pandemic, of course, we adapted this approach to comply with government guidelines, and moved to interactive sessions on Teams.

Theoretical / practical exercises

Understanding the legal framework and how to apply the law in practice is the foundation of HF Academy, stressing the importance of completing something correctly as well as the knowledge of how and why.  

All theory-based training is followed up with a practical exercise, allowing our academy learners to demonstrate their understanding of the task at hand. Getting a holistic overview of the court process and how cases are determined at trial is one of the main objectives of HF Academy along with fine-tuning organisation, prioritisation, and time management skills.