COVID-19: Clifford Chance summer vacation scheme goes virtual

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New online offering to feature networking sessions, cooking and yoga classes too

Magic circler Clifford Chance has today announced its 2020 summer vacation scheme will go ahead, virtually, in response to the virus pandemic.

CC’s summer vac scheme was originally scheduled to run for two weeks from 29 June until 10 July 2020 at its Canary Wharf, London headquarters. The virtual version will now comprise three days of classroom-based online learning, running from 1-3 July 2020.

During these days the interns will take part in corporate and litigation, dispute resolution and risk management case studies. There will be “daily challenges” to enable students to complete work based on typical trainee tasks and real-life deals.

CC will use InsideSherpa to run the virtual summer vacation scheme. Use of the digital education platform in this way is understood to be an industry first.

In addition to training, and in keeping with the tradition of scheduling a number of socials during its scheme, the firm said there will be online networking sessions, with breakout rooms for virtual cooking and yoga classes. These sessions were designed based on the incoming summer schemers’ preferences when they were surveyed earlier this year.

The scheme will include an optional, two-day work shadowing placement in December this year. The firm will consider individuals for training contracts once this has been completed. Participants will receive the usual £450, paid in two instalments, in July and December, the firm confirmed.

Speaking to Legal Cheek, Aishling Morris, graduate recruitment specialist at Clifford Chance, said the decision to move the summer scheme online stemmed from the remote working policies brought by the government in recent weeks, and her team thinking ahead about how to curb the impact of the coronavirus on its student schemes.

Virtual student event: Understanding how a global law firm works – with White & Case on Thursday 23 April

“We realised that if we’re going to run the summer vacation scheme to the quality that we want then it has got to be done virtually. Even if we found ourselves back in the office a month before the scheme was due to start that wouldn’t give us enough time to plan it to the quality that we want,” she told us, adding:

“We’re excited to launch our classroom-based learning scheme. We’re hoping it will be an informative, engaging and upskilling experience. It will provide us with opportunities for personalisation: for example, we won’t be constrained by a lack of room, and can host as many sessions as we want. It also allows us to tailor sessions according to what the interns want to learn about, which is what we’d normally offer but can now do so on a more expansive scale.”

This comes as a number of spring vacation schemes are postponed in view of the virus pandemic. News of CC’s virtual vac scheme will come as a relief to students concerned about the status of their summer schemes.

Morris is hoping other law firms follow CC’s lead: “It’s a tough time for students with universities moving teaching and exams online. We should be moving in this direction as well — just because we’re stuck at home doesn’t mean we can’t continue to engage and interact with students.”

Virtual student event: Understanding how a global law firm works – with White & Case on Thursday 23 April



‘Virtual cooking and yoga’

Sounds tragic.



Why do people still apply to firms like CC? Brutal hours and below market pay for the work offered. Surely go mid-market or go big. The MC is doomed.



Definitely a comment from someone who doesn’t understand the differences between US, magic circle, silver circle, and beyond



You’re having a laugh if you think its easy to “go mid-market or go big”, people are grateful for whatever they can get



How else do you think people afford all the business class travel, Botox, LV handbags and hair extensions you see on Instagram???


Anon 2

100% agree with you however would note that the training contracts at MC firms tend to be structured better (i.e. more options to do client/international secondments) and the associates are more patient with training the trainees. Definitely worthwhile to move from a MC firm to a US firm as an associate.



So when will people know if they are offered TC? After 3 days in July or all the way in Dec?



Seems like it will be in December



Can any law student take part on these? Or do they have to be selected? (For the 1-3rd I’d July dates)


Turned Down Clifford Chance

It’s only for those who have secured a place on one of their summer schemes.





Turned Down Clifford Chance

No, it is only for those who have secured a place on one of their summer schemes.



This will be such a shitshow. A 3-day-long online vac scheme? An online cooking and yoga class? What a joke. I honestly feel sorry for anyone who was supposed to be doing their vac schemes this summer. After all the apps, tests, and rounds of interviews, they will be left with this.

I hope other US/MC firms don’t follow suit. Postpone the schemes to winter if you must but this is really not fair to all those students who went through the process and got places on the schemes



Yeah, imagine having the audacity to really try and put a programme together during a global pandemic so that you can still pay students over the Summer money they really need rather than postponing and limiting the number of people that can attend Winter.



Feels like BS tbh



Part of the reason why students undertake vac schemes rather than applying directly for a TC (especially with firms like CC who consider their insight day ‘work experience’ and encourage people to apply for a direct TC) is to get a ‘feel’ for the Firm.

I’m unsure how this ‘two way street’ assessment, as it is advertised, is supposed to happen through InsideSherpa. Although one may argue that the Firm’s decision to hold ‘virtual vac schemes’ should probably give enough of a hint on what’s to come.


I don’t know

What I don’t get why couldn’t they just postponed it and wait in June/July to see how corona fares up. This seems very impractical and trolly.



Is this a joke? Schemes won’t be going ahead in Summer anywhere. We won’t be back to normal until at least August/September.



IMO better an online vac scheme so they have something to put on their CV (and potentially a chance at a TC) than nothing at all… Rather a firm go through the effort of doing this for me than cancel altogether during unprecedented times.



Is it though? Nobody will take these online vac schemes seriously. You can’t compare 3 days through InsideSherpa with a traditional vac scheme.



Is it though? Nobody will take these online vac schemes seriously. You can’t compare 3 days through InsideSherpa with a traditional vac scheme.


Tosh detector

I’d be fuming. Chances are if you were successful to get on the vac scheme you would of had a decent chance just bagging the direct TC instead.

Main reason people tend to chose vac scheme over direct is for the in house experience- and quite frankly this 3 day experience looks crap. Absolutely tosh for the CV.


Shouldn’t you be revising for your online contract law test?

You don’t seem to understand what “in-house” means. Tosh detected.


Random passer-by

I stopped reading when Tosh detecter said ‘would of had’. Clear sign of a muppet.



Did this oh-so-inclusive firm think about students from disadvantaged backgrounds when coming up with the idea? I like how CC always present themselves as the most inclusive employer in the industry but when it comes to acting on it – oh well.

What about students who don’t have stable/any internet connection or computers at home? What about those who have to share crammed living space with 4 other siblings/relatives? I’m no social justice warrior but the firm should practise what it preaches.


Stop whining everyone

Very easy to find fault. What about students from disadvantaged backgrounds with good internet, of which there are many? CC is trying. Virtual vac schemes are better than no vac schemes. They may even offer something different. At times like this better to try new things rather than give up, as many on this depressing thread seem to be advocating.



LOL you ungrateful b*5t€rd$. If this is how firms making an effort at times like this are received, I pray for the future of the industry with you wannabe negative nancy lawyers. Deffo a shitty situation for those going through it but where its a lose lose it makes sense to go for the lesser of the two evils.


Rebekah Vardy

This is why we all need to get TC’s with Dechart


Harry Thotter

Call me out for being a prick, but isn’t this better than calling it off? Yes, distance yoga is a bit pungeant but at least they’re not totally binning everyone.



Storming idea from the boys over at CC.

Camming experience is always a positive, but seeing it demonstrated is a nailed on TC.

Might book in a few partner/vac schemer digital one to ones…



Having exit interviews in December seems quite unhelpful. If (and it’s a huge if) other firms run their schemes/offer direct TCs instead, people would presumably need to accept those by mid-September.

There’s no way someone will be stupid enough to reject a TC offer from another City firm because they MIGHT get a CC offer later on.



happy hunger games and may the odds be ever in your favour!


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