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Should I mention other firms on vacation scheme applications?

updated on 09 January 2024

Dear Oracle

I'm busy completing applications for spring and summer vacation schemes before the big deadline on 31 January. Can I list placements at other firms that I've got lined up in my applications?

The Oracle replies

Reading time: two minutes

It’s great to hear that you’re getting ahead of the game by applying for spring and summer placements – many law firms have set their vacation scheme application deadlines in January, with 31 January 2024 the big deadline shared by dozens of firms. That said, there are lots of deadlines throughout January so make sure you check LCN’s deadlines page to avoid missing any.

In answer to the question, you should definitely include details of forthcoming placements and vacation schemes as long as your place is confirmed. Firms completely understand that candidates are finding out what suits them and will be impressed, not put off, if you have other placements already on your CV – even if they’re at rival firms. Remember that it’s not just candidates who are competing for places – the firms are competing over you and evidence of additional legal work experience is just further proof that you’re an attractive candidate.

Any and all legal work experience will be a valuable addition to your CV, while you could also find links between the firms you’re currently applying to and those you're doing work experience at. For example, do they have a similar practice? Do they have similar clients? Are they competitors? Briefly mention the broad area of work that you’re pursuing (and make sure the firm to which you apply also does the same work) so that you can prove your interest in a particular field.

You may also know that vacation schemes usually fill up well before the application deadline – recruiters get so many applications that it makes much more sense to look at them as they come in, rather than wait for the deadline to start the reviewing process. Some firms even interview before the deadline. The advice is normally to get your applications in as soon as possible.

This can be tricky if you have work placements lined up that you want to include in your application. Rather than wait until you've done the placement before submitting your form, bear in mind that most online application forms allow you to add extra information after submission – but only up until the deadline. You should therefore be able to submit your form in advance and then add more details of work placements later on, once you've completed it.

For more advice on making vacation scheme applications, see LCN’s practical guide to online application forms and our tips on writing the perfect cover letter, cv or application form.