As Vinson & Elkins wraps up the first of its online programmes
Pinsent Masons is offering a virtual summer vacation scheme in view of the virus pandemic.
The firm was due to run its summer vacation placement across its network of UK offices between June and July 2020.
Head of early talent at Pinsent Masons, Deborah McCormack, told Legal Cheek: “During these unprecedented times, we believe it’s critical that we adapt our approach to our early talent schemes and, importantly, continue to offer the opportunity to intern at the firm.”
With this in mind, the firm is partnering with digital education platform InsideSherpa and a number of its lawyers and staff to design a virtual learning experience.
Incoming summer schemers will take part in online modules the firm says will help build legal and soft skills, develop an understanding of the firm and its culture, and provide a flavour of the type of projects and cases its future lawyers could be advising on. They will be supervised by qualified lawyers and assigned trainee buddies who will support them with their tasks and provide feedback.
Meanwhile, Vinson & Elkins has just wrapped up the first of its virtual vacation schemes.
The US firm was due to run 30 one-week summer placements between June and September 2020 in its London office.
Andrew Nealon, partner and training principal, said: “Due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and the subsequent move to a remote working policy for our London office, we launched a hybrid virtual vacation scheme and interview process with a smaller number of participants that commenced on 30 March.”
Nealon added: “Our annual vacation scheme is a critical part of our recruiting efforts so we felt it was important to continue with the program, albeit with some appropriate modifications in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Students on the virtual V&E scheme took part in various assignments and were partnered with mentors from its current crop of trainees. A number of virtual meetings with V&E partners and associates were arranged to further students’ exposure to the firm. They also attended webinars on the firm’s different practice areas and its diversity and inclusion programme.
Following the end of the scheme, the firm says it will conduct a panel interview via video-link with each of the candidates. “We anticipate making training contract offers to those who are successful in the process,” Nealon concluded.