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Law firm open days and insight schemes 2020-21

updated on 22 September 2020

Attending a virtual open day or insight scheme is a valuable opportunity to meet a law firm’s people, learn about life in the organisation and establish the first connection that could eventually lead to a training contract. Although the coronavirus pandemic makes in-person events impossible for the autumn term, there is still plenty going on that students should be aware of.

Here is an overview of open days and insight schemes to apply for over the autumn and beyond. This list is extensive but not comprehensive, so be sure to check the LCN Diary and firms’ websites and social media for opportunities. Start by investigating the firm’s profile on LawCareers.Net to introduce yourself to its business, work areas, offices and so on, then if your interest has been sparked, head to its recruitment site to find out more and apply.

Ashurst

Ahead with Ashurst is a week-long programme for first-year law students or second-year law students on a four-year course. The scheme will run over 12-16 April 2021.

Applications are open from 5 October – 8 January.

Baker McKenzie

General open days have already taken place over Zoom this month, with the following online events upcoming:

  • General open day, Thursday 24 September 2020
  • Non-law open day, Monday 19 October 2020 (application deadline 1 October)
  • Black lawyers and allies open day, Tuesday 20 October 2020 (application deadline 1 October)
  • Opportunity open day (social mobility), Tuesday 27 October 2020 (application deadline 1 October)
  • LGBT+ and allies open day, Monday 23 November 2020 (application deadline 1 November)
  • Women+ open day, Thursday 26 November 2020 (application deadline 1 November)
  • Employability open day (mental wellbeing and disability), Monday 30 November 2020 (application deadline 1 November)
  • First year open day, Thursday 3 December 2020 (application deadline 1 November)

Bristows

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

  • IP workshop, Wednesday 18 November 2020 (application deadline 1 November)
  • IP workshop, Thursday 26 November 2020 (application deadline 1 November)
  • IP workshop for scientists and engineers, Wednesday 2 December 2020 (application deadline 1 November)
  • IP workshop for first-year students, Wednesday 31 March 2021 (application deadline 28 February)

To be eligible to attend one of the general IP workshops, students must be in the second, penultimate or final year of an undergraduate degree (any subject). The IP workshop for scientists and engineers is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate science and engineering degrees.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP)

BCLP open days are taking place on:

  • Thursday 3 December 2020 (application deadline 10 November)
  • Thursday 25 February 2021 (application deadline 31 January)

The firm is also hosting its Manchester Apprenticeship Open Day on 11 February 2021 (apply by 31 January).

Burges Salmon

Virtual presentation evenings are taking place on:

  • Tuesday 17 November 2020
  • Wednesday 25 November 2020
  • Monday 30 November 2020

Applications open on 1 October (application deadline 16 November).

Clifford Chance

The magic circle firm hosts ACCEPT, a one-day conference where LGBT+ students interested in a career in law network and discuss relevant issues with senior role models in the profession.

The event takes place on Wednesday 25 November 2020 (application deadline 11 November).

Clyde & Co

The firm’s London and Manchester insight days are taking place virtually over Zoom on the following dates:

  • 9 October 2020 (London)
  • 20 November 2020 (Manchester)
  • 27 November 2020 (London)
  • 28 May 2020 (London)
  • 19 February 2021 (London)
  • 12 March 2021 (London)
  • 19 March 2021 (Manchester)
  • 23 July 2021 (London)
  • 6 August 2021 (London)

Applications open in October and are accepted on a rolling basis.

Debevoise & Plimpton

Open days will take place in 2021, with students who attend having the opportunity to secure a place on the firm’s spring and/or summer vacation schemes.

Applications are open 1 October 2020 – 3 January 2021.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Students can apply to the following open days:

  • LGBT+ open day, Monday 12 October 2020 (application deadline 27 September)
  • MyPlus Students’ Club open day, Tuesday 20 October 2020 (application deadline 2 October)
  • Innovation open day, Wednesday 11 November 2020 (application deadline 11 October)
  • IP, cyber and technology open day, Wednesday 18 November 2020 (application deadline 25 October)
  • Disputes open day, Wednesday 25 November 2020 (application deadline 11 October)

Linklaters

The magic circle is running ‘pathfinder’, a two-day insight programme for first-year students or those in the second year of a four-year course. Events take place on 15-16 March 2021 and 14-15 April 2021.

Applications are open 5 January – 8 February.

Macfarlanes

The firm is running a first-year insight day (date to be confirmed). Applications open on 1 October 2020 and close on 28 February 2021.

Mayer Brown International

Details of Mayer Brown’s 2021 open days will be available on 1 November 2020, when applications open. The application deadline is 31 January 2021.

Norton Rose Fulbright

First-year undergraduates and those in the second year of a four-year course can apply for the firm’s ‘first step’ programme. Applications are open from 4 January to 14 February 2021. Telephone interviews will be held in March 2021 and successful candidates will attend the programme from 19 to 23 July 2021.

Osborne Clarke

The firm is running two-day insight schemes for first-year law and second-year non-law students, involving hands-on work experience.

The schemes will take place over the Easter 2021 holidays. Applications open on 1 October 2020 and close on 28 February 2021.

Shearman & Sterling

Open days at Shearman & Sterling are taking place on the following Wednesdays:

  • 21 October 2020 (online event – application deadline 11 October)
  • 2 December 2020 (application deadline 22 November 2020)
  • 6 January 2021 (application deadline 20 December 2020)

Each open day includes an overview of the firm and its place in the legal market; an introduction to core trainee practice areas – M&A, finance and project development & finance; a panel Q&A session with trainees; an interactive workshop with the graduate recruitment team; and networking with partners, associates, trainees and graduate recruitment.

Shoosmiths

Insight evenings will be taking place in 2021. Applications are open 1 September – 30 November 2020.

Slaughter and May

The firm is running open days for first-year students (law and non-law) on:

  • Tuesday 30 March 2021
  • Wednesday 7 April 2021
  • Wednesday 14 April 2021

Applications open on 1 October 2020 and close on 18 December 2020. These open days may take place virtually (to be confirmed).

Stephenson Harwood

Virtual insight days take place on the following dates:

  • Thursday 26 November 2020
  • Wednesday 9 December 2020

Open days at the firm’s office are planned for:

  • Wednesday 20 January 2021
  • Wednesday 17 March 2021

Vinson & Elkins

Applications for Vinson & Elkins’ 2021 Spring open day are open between 1 November 2020 – 5 February 2021. Open day date to be confirmed.

Watson Farley & Williams

The firm's open day will take place in December 2020. Applications opened on 1 October. 

Weil Gotshal & Manges

The firm is hosting an insight day on Thursday 12 November 2020 (application deadline 1 November).

White & Case

White & Case’s open day takes place on Wednesday 11 November 2020. Applications open on 1 October (deadline 1 November).

Josh Richman is the senior editorial manager at LawCareers.Net.