updated on 01 September 2020
Commercial law firm Kennedys has launched a virtual work experience programme, which will enable aspiring lawyers globally to gain experience at one of the world’s leading law firms.
With 2,180 students already signed up, the four-module programme offers “real-life” work experience. Participants will complete tasks to gain legal analytical skills, develop legal knowledge of the insurance industry and learn critical legal communication, research and drafting skills.
Committed to improving access to the law and with a reputation for innovation, Kennedys has increased the number of students who can gain valuable experience through its new virtual programme, as face-to-face experience is normally available to only 120 students.
The firm’s HR Director Caroline Wilson said: “In this new world we are now working in, this programme is a fantastic way to open up access to everyone and move on from the traditional on-site work experience. Students often feel under pressure to buy traditional office clothes which they might not be able to afford or perhaps have to travel long distances to come into the office, which can be overwhelming.
“Instead, students from any school, college or university can undertake real-life tasks that our junior lawyers complete.”
All students and graduates from a law or non-law background can apply and no prior legal experience is required.
Successful applicants will interact with clients and colleagues via the platform in a way that imitates real-life work experience. They will be asked to prepare a witness statement (liability), prepare a PowerPoint presentation for a client pitch (insurance), leave a voicemail for a client (healthcare) and undertake a legal research exercise on force majeure (commercial). Students will then be able to compare their answers to a model answer before receiving a completion certificate at the end of the programme.
Managing Partner Suzanne Liversidge said: “I am passionate about the diversity and inclusion agenda and this programme underscores our commitment to drive that forward. We want to make Kennedys accessible to as many people as possible.
“This year has presented many challenges and it became apparent early on that one of them would be running our work experience programme. We could have chosen to not run one this year, but we felt it was important to find a way to ensure that we still provided a programme but via an innovative and different way. Moving from a traditional workplace experience model to an entirely virtual programme provides anyone, anywhere, access to this excellent learning opportunity. All you need is Wi-Fi and we will welcome you into Kennedys for the day.”