updated on 10 November 2020
This is an autumn term unlike any other, but students shouldn't miss out on the opportunity to apply for virtual vacation schemes at leading law firms over the next few weeks.
Making time to submit a few focused, tailored applications this term could take you a big step forward in your journey to becoming a lawyer. Seventeen law firms have deadlines for winter, spring and summer vacation scheme places between November and 1 January:
Use LawCareers.Net’s vacation scheme and work placement deadlines section to see all the upcoming deadlines together. Non-law students should definitely be applying this term, as some winter vacation schemes are aimed specifically at non-lawyers.
All winter and spring vacation schemes are almost certain to be virtual, while it's still too early for many law firms to confirm whether summer 2021 vacation schemes will be virtual or in-person. Either way, all legal work experience is highly valuable; a vacation scheme is a chance to find out whether you will like working at a firm and establish the connection that could lead to a training contract.
Winter vacation schemes usually take place in January and February. And as many recruiters will tell you, these placements are often the best route to a training contract because firms view them as a way to assess candidates more naturally than through a single interview or assessment centre. Some firms even recruit exclusively through their vacation schemes.
Even if you don’t manage to secure a place on a vacation scheme this time, the experience of going through the application process should improve future applications. Practice and rejections are part of the process. If you get to an assessment centre or interview but don’t receive an offer, the lessons you learn from it and the feedback you will likely receive from the firm’s recruiters can be used to give you an even better chance next time – and you will already have proved that you are good enough to land an interview.
Start work on a few applications this month. For advice on application writing, read LawCareers.Net's comprehensive guide to making vacation scheme and training contract applications.