London offices of US giants follow magic circle in bringing forward vac scheme application deadlines

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By Alex Aldridge on

Deadlines for London offices of Shearman & Sterling, Latham & Watkins and Sullivan & Cromwell are next week — joining handful of other firms


The race to bag the best students has hotted up further as three London offices of top US firms have followed the magic circle in bringing forward their vacation scheme application deadlines.

Shearman & Sterling and Sullivan & Cromwell — which will take on, respectively, 17 and six London trainees in this recruitment round — have this year moved their vac scheme application deadlines from 31 January to next Friday, 16 January. (Although note in S&C’s case that it is possible to submit up until 30 January, even if the firm’s website states: “We encourage candidates to submit their applications on or before Friday 16 January 2015”).

Meanwhile, Latham & Watkins — which will hire 20 London trainees in 2015 — has moved its deadline from the 31st to the 12th (next Monday). English firm Olswang has also moved its deadline ahead from the end of the month to 15 January.

The news comes in the wake of Allen & Overy‘s decision to bring forward its vac scheme application deadline to — slightly bizarrely — midnight on New Year’s Eve. Slaughter and May and Clifford Chance also nudged their deadlines a few days earlier to close yesterday.

Traditionally City law firms have set 31 January as the deadline for vacation scheme applications, and most still adhere to this convention. But the number breaking rank to set their cut-off dates earlier has been creeping forward each year as the top outfits battle to get their hands on a pool of elite candidates who typically receive multiple offers.

Other firms with deadlines next week — which remain unchanged from last year — include Skadden (Monday 12 January), Weil Gotshal (Tuesday 13 January), Burges Salmon (Wednesday 14 January), Ashurst (Thursday 15 January), Herbert Smith Freehills (Friday 15 January), Mischon de Reya (Thursday 15 January), Nabarro (Thursday 15 January), Osborne Clarke (Thursday 15 January), Hogan Lovells (Friday 16 January), Kirkland & Ellis (Friday 16 January) and Jones Day (Friday 16 January).

For all the vac scheme application deadlines of the top 60 law firms, check out the Legal Cheek firm profiles accessible through the Most List.