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Shoosmiths first firm to cancel 2020 summer vacation scheme amid COVID-19 disruption

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Exclusive: Candidates will still be considered for training contracts

Shoosmiths has cancelled its summer vacation scheme in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The national firm was due to run forty, week-long placements across its offices in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Reading and Solent in June 2020.

Shoosmiths confirmed to Legal Cheek it informed candidates yesterday that its summer vacation placement has been cancelled.

It is understood to be the first law firm to cancel its summer vac scheme due to the COVID-19 disruption.

“In line with the government’s recent advice, we now need to consider stronger measures to protect our employees, candidates and community, with the likelihood of this outbreak continuing into the summer. So, we have now made the difficult decision to cancel our summer vacation placement due to take place in June,” a spokesperson for the firm said, adding:

“We’re sorry candidates won’t be able to experience face-to-face time with Shoosmiths, but we will be arranging alternative ways to engage with our people including more #ShoosmithsLIVE videos and Q&As.”

Shoosmiths stressed to students who submitted a vacation placement application in this year’s round that they will still be considered for training contracts. The firm is closely monitoring the situation but expects there to be “some changes or postponement to our assessment process”.

“We are not closing the doors; we are still very keen to recruit across many areas of the business,” the spokesperson continued. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to grow our junior talent and will continue to use our social media platforms to speak to candidates every day. We’re still very interested to hear from you and we are committed to recruiting and onboarding the talent we still need.”

Earlier this month the firm cancelled all upcoming face-to-face events, including a number of open days, insight evenings and university visits.

The 2020 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Vacation schemes are open to students and graduates from across the UK and overseas to experience life at a firm, and often have a number of social activities scheduled for the week(s).

Prime Minister Boris Johnson enforced strict social distancing measures on Monday. The public are encouraged to avoid “non-essential” contact and work from home where possible to curb the spread of the novel virus.

In recent weeks we’ve seen a number of law firms heed government advice and postpone their spring vacation schemes. The majority were due to run from Monday (30 March) until early to mid-April. A total of 18 law firms have taken this action so far.

View a list of law firm schemes postponed due to COVID-19 so far. This page will be updated as we receive new information.

Has your scheme been affected by the coronavirus? Let us know at tips@legalcheek.com

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