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Law firm open days and insight schemes 2022-23

updated on 30 August 2022

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.

Don’t forget to check LCN’s Events page, firms’ websites and social media for other legal careers events.

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.

Allen & Overy LLP

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.

Ashurst LLP

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 open on 1 October 2022 and 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:

  • those who grew up in a household where no parent or guardian went to university;
  • those who attended a state-funded, non-fee paying school or college from when they were 11 years old; or
  • those who are currently or have previously been a full-time or part-time carer.

The full list of criteria can be found on Ashurst’s website.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has several open days on offer:

  • General open day via Zoom, Thursday 6 October 2022
  • Non-law open day in person, Tuesday 11 October 2022
  • Black lawyers and allies open day, Monday 17 October 2022 

Keep an eye on LCN’s Events page, the firm’s LCN directory and its website in case any more open days are announced.

Bristows LLP

Bristows’ open days focus on intellectual property (IP), the firm’s key specialism. Students can apply to attend the following workshops:

Burges Salmon LLP

The firm will be holding open days at its Bristol office on Tuesday 14 and Thursday 16 March 2023 (applications for this open day are closed).

Virtual presentation evenings are taking place on:

  • Wednesday 23 November 2022 (Bristol office);
  • Monday 28 November 2022 (virtual); and
  • Wednesday 30 November 2022 (Edinburgh office).

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Applications for the firm’s open days will open in October 2022. The open days are due to take place in November and December 2022.

DWF Group Plc

Applications for DWF’s open days (dates to be confirmed) will open in Autumn 2022.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Students can apply to the following open days:

  • Social mobility foundation open day on Thursday 22 September 2022
  • MyPlus Students’ Club open day on Tuesday 18 October 2022
  • LGBTQ+ open day on Thursday 27 October 2022
  • Innovation open day on Tuesday 8 November 2022
  • IP, cyber and technology open day on Wednesday 16 November 2022
  • Disputes open day on Thursday 24 November 2022

Applications for these open days open in September 2022.

Latham & Watkins

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. The dates for its 2023 open days have not yet been released.

Linklaters

The magic circle firm runs a few insight programmes:

  • Pathfinder is a two-day hybrid programme that enables candidates to have contact with the firm’s trainees, associates and recruitment team across six months. This programme is open to first-year undergraduates.
  • Get Ahead is aimed at penultimate year students and beyond who are interested in a career in commercial law. The series offers candidates from Back and other underrepresented ethnic minority backgrounds a head start in their vacation scheme and training contract applications, with access to live, focused webinars and a trainee buddy.
  • Going Forward gives candidates who meet the firm’s specific criteria (eg, have been granted refugee status or are in the process of claiming asylum) an insight into commercial law. Again, candidates will have access to live, focused webinars and a trainee buddy.

The 2023 dates are yet to be announced.

Macfarlanes

The firm usually runs a first-year insight scheme each year in the spring (date to be confirmed).

Mayer Brown International LLP

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.

Norton Rose Fulbright

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 (the 2023 dates are yet to be confirmed).

Osborne Clarke LLP

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 last year’s applications opened in October.

Shoosmiths

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:

  • Monday 5 December 2022 (in person, Manchester);
  • Tuesday 6 December 2022 (in person, Leeds); 
  • Thursday 12 January 2023 (in person, Milton Keynes); 
  • Thursday 26 January 2023 (in person, London); 
  • Wednesday 8 February 2023 (in person, Thames Valley);
  • Thursday 9 February 2023 (in person, Solent);
  • Tuesday 7 March 2023 (online); 
  • Thursday 23 March 2023 (in person, Edinburgh (for Glasgow and Edinburgh)); and
  • Tuesday 28 March 2023 (in person, Birmingham (for Nottingham and Birmingham)).

Applications will open in September 2022 and close on 31 October 2022. 

Slaughter and May

The firm hosts first-year open days in its offices. These will take place on:

  • Tuesday 4 April 2023;
  • Wednesday 12 April 2023; and
  • Wednesday 19 April 2023.

Applications will open on Monday 3 October 2022 and will close on Friday 16 December 2022.

Stephenson Harwood LLP

The firm is hosting open days at its London office on:

  • Wednesday 23 November 2022;
  • Wednesday 7 December 2022;
  • Wednesday 18 January 2023; and
  • Wednesday 15 March 2023.

Vinson & Elkins RLLP

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.

White & Case LLP

The firm’s open days usually take place in November with applications opening in September and closing at the start of November. Check the firm’s website for updated information.

In 2022 the firm also ran two-day insight schemes which were open to first-year students (law or non-law). Information on when these schemes will take place in 2023 is yet to be announced.

What next?

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:

  • the practice areas the firm specialises in;
  • where its offices are located;
  • recent cases the firm has worked on;
  • the firm’s main competitors; or
  • the firm’s main clients?

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!

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.