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updated on 10 January 2023
Looking for an ‘in’? Open days and insight schemes are invaluable opportunities to meet the people that work for the law firms you’re interested in. You’ll learn about life in the organisation, its culture, the work on offer and much more. Plus, if prepped well, it’s your chance to ace that initial interaction, which will set you up nicely for future encounters and could eventually lead to a training contract.
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Searching for relevant open days and insight schemes can often feel like diving into the deep end of a swimming pool for the first time, with no armbands. There are so many events on offer so it’s crucial to identify the ones that suit you and your aspirations – otherwise, you’ll feel a little helpless as you attempt to wade through the never-ending cycle of applications.
LawCareers.Net has put together a non-exhaustive list of opportunities happening over the autumn term and beyond.
You might already have an idea of the firms you want to target but if you’re still unsure conduct some initial research into the firm’s work areas, offices, values and culture to see whether you can see yourself starting your career there. Once you’ve created a shortlist, finding the right open day or insight scheme will become a lot easier.
For more on how to research a firm, read LCN’s advice.
Please note that some of the open days/insight schemes listed below have already been held or the deadlines have passed since we first put the list together. Take a look through at the ones still upcoming and keep an eye on LCN’s Events page, firms’ websites and social media for other legal careers events, including firm presentations for example.
The firm’s first-year programme ‘A&O First’ is open to students in the first year of a three-year course or the second year of a four-year course (undergraduate). Dates for the 2023 scheme haven’t been announced yet but keep an eye on the firm’s socials for more information. The application window for A&O First is between 9 January 2023 and 10 February 2023. The experience enables candidates to get involved in one-day workshops, receive support from trainee buddies and more.
Access Ashurst is a two-week programme held at the firm’s London office. It’s aimed at year 12 students who wanted to study law or are interested in a career in the legal profession.
Applications for Access Ashurst will close at midday on 16 January 2023.
Access Ashurst has been designed in line with PRIME’s criteria. Candidates eligible for the work experience include:
The full list of criteria can be found on Ashurst’s website.
Baker McKenzie has several open days on offer, including a:
The dates for these open days have now passed but keep an eye on LCN’s Events page, the firm’s LCN directory and the firm’s website in case any more open days are announced.
Bristows’ open days focus on intellectual property (IP), the firm’s key specialism. Students can apply to attend the following workshops:
The firm will be holding open days at its Bristol office on Tuesday 14 and Thursday 16 March 2023.
Virtual presentation evenings also took place on:
A ‘food for thought’ event on the new route to qualification, the Solicitors Qualifying Exam, will take place online on Thursday 23 March 2023.
Applications for the firm’s open days closed in November 2022, with three having taken place in December. The final one, which is virtual, will take place on Wednesday 11 January 2023.
If you’re interested in a career at this firm, make sure you regularly check its website for information on future open days.
Taking place on Wednesday 1 March 2023, Clarion Solicitors’ open day is a great way to gain insights into the firm and hear from partners and trainees.
DWF is hosting a solicitor apprenticeship open evening on:
You can register your interest for the following open days, with applications opening in September 2023:
Disputes open day These open days will take place in Autumn 2023.
Herbert Smith Freehills also runs workshops specifically for first-year students and second-year students on a four-year course. Applications for these workshops close on 31 January 2023. The first scheme will take place between 3 and 4 April 2023 and the second scheme will run from 17 to 18 April 2023.
Eligible for first-year law students and penultimate-year non-law students, HFW’s insight day will take place on Wednesday 22 March 2023. Applications close on 28 February 2023.
The firm hosts four open days over the course of the year. These are open to first-year or second-year law students, final-year students and graduates, and second-year non-law students. Its next open day for first-year law and second-year non-law students will take place on Wednesday 22 February 2023 (applications for this open day have already closed). Keep an eye on the firm’s website to see whether additional dates are released.
The magic circle firm runs a few insight programmes:
Keep your eye on the firm’s website for 2023 dates.
The firm runs a first-year insight scheme each year in the spring – applications for this scheme are open until 27 January 2023. This year’s scheme will run from Monday 3 April to Thursday 6 April 2023.
The firm usually runs its open days each year in December and January. These are open to all undergraduates and graduates and offer a full insight into life at the firm. Applications for open days usually open in November. The firm’s London open day took place on Thursday 5 January 2023 (the deadline for this has already passed).
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP
The firm’s one-day programme will take place on Wednesday 5 April 2023, with applications closing on 18 January 2023.
The firm’s ‘first steps’ week-long programme is open to first-year students and second-year students who are on a four-year course. Candidates can usually apply from February with the scheme taking place previously in July (check the firm’s website for information about the 2023 dates).
There are three insight schemes at Osborne Clarke, with one taking place in the firm’s London, Reading and Bristol offices. The dates for the 2023 scheme haven’t been released yet but the deadline for the schemes is Tuesday 28 February 2023.
Several insight evenings will be taking place across Shoosmiths’ various offices. The insight evening will be held on specific dates from December 2022 to March 2023 for candidates applying to the firm’s Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Thames Valley and Solent offices. The specific dates for these insight evenings are:
Please note, applications are now closed for these insight evenings. Check back soon to find out about the firm’s 2024 events and stay up to date with any upcoming events via the firm’s website.
The firm hosts first-year open days in its offices. These will take place on:
Applications for these open days have now closed but applications for the firm’s 2023 open days will open in October 2023.
The firm is hosting open days at its London office on:
The deadlines for these open days have now passed.
The firm hosts its open day in spring. Applications for the 2023 open day open on 1 November 2022 and close on 3 February 2023. The date for the open day is yet to be confirmed so check the firm’s websites for updates.
The firm’s open days usually take place in November with applications opening in September and closing at the end of October.
In 2022 the firm also ran two-day insight schemes which were open to first-year students (law or non-law). Check the firm’s website for updated information on when the 2023 schemes will take place.
Once you’ve identified a few schemes that interest you, take a look at the application process. It might be the case that some are just open for registrations while others will require you to complete an application form.
'How to prepare for law firm insight days and presentations' offers fantastic advice to make sure you're well prepared!
Plus, whether this is your first time attending such events or you’ve been to a few now, LawCareers.Net has put together a useful guide to networking to help you find your feet at these types of event. It’s vital that you do some sort of preparation both before even applying and then again if your application is successful.
Research is key. If you’re given the chance to speak to trainees, associates or partners at a firm, it’s crucial that you’re prepared. How much do you know about:
There are so many other areas you can delve into but the above is a great starting point.
If you want some additional advice on researching firms, LCN has got your back. Head to our ‘Researching firms’ page for more and our newly-launched Application hub for all your application advice in one place!
Another aspect that might not have crossed your mind at this stage, is what you wear to these events. Virtual or in person it’s so important that you dress appropriately. First impressions are everything.
Unsure what to wear? Read LCN’s advice now. Interviews, open days, insight schemes, vacation schemes, training contracts – the same rules apply.
As we said, this isn’t an exhaustive list and many firms will be announcing dates for their open days and insight schemes in the coming months, so stay tuned to ensure you don’t miss out!
Olivia Partridge is the content manager at LawCareers.Net.