Vacation Scheme Essentials

Vacation Scheme Essentials

Next month brings with it deadlines for dozens of the 2015 summer vacation schemes. Before finalising your applications, allow our Experts to expand on the purpose and nature of these schemes.

"Vacation schemes are an unrivalled chance for aspiring solicitors to immerse themselves in the culture and workings of a law firm, both in and beyond the office. The opportunity to receive guidance from a variety of experienced practitioners whilst contributing towards the firm’s work for its clients is an exciting notion. Firms appreciate that the everyday work of a practicing commercial solicitor is very different to academia, whether you study law or not.

"Vacation schemes are a vital part of our trainee recruitment process. They allow us to assess you in a work environment and crucially how you fit within the firm’s culture. If you are successful in your application, you will be spending a lot of time with us and we need to be confident that you will fit in well.

"The short answer is ‘anything’.  You certainly won’t be photocopying, but you should expect to do a range of tasks which will give you a real insight into what trainee solicitors and associates do.  Expect to be given research tasks, attend internal meetings, sit in on conference calls with clients and, if you’re lucky, you may also attend face-to-face client meetings or go to court.

"At Shearman & Sterling we try to make our vacation schemes as representative of a training contract as possible. This means you'll be doing real work for real clients and quite possibly have direct contact with them! This isn't as scary as it sounds as you're supported closely by an associate supervisor, trainee mentor and participant buddy who you can share all your experiences with.

"For Bond Dickinson, it doesn’t. Our vacation scheme forms an integral part of our recruitment process for training contracts and, as such, it's an application for both. Other firms may differ in their approach but regardless of this fact, you should be putting the same time and effort into your vacation scheme application as you do for the training contract.