Pinsent Masons offers virtual summer vacation scheme

By on

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.

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

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.

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



“We anticipate making training contract offers to those who are successful in the process”

How exactly can you be successful in an online program?

Also, it is unfair to those that do not have a strong internet connection or access to a laptop/desktop computer with a webcam at home or live in cramped living spaces at home.


Jez Corbyn

Brothers! Sisters!

The NHS is underfunded!

Law firms will need to be taxed more so that salaries can rise! Nurses and doctors need better pensions and working conditions!

A 30% pay rise for all essential NHS key workers!




Chad Chadington

Pinsents are still hiring trainees? Presumably for human sacrifices as their PEP drops to five figures.



How do you fairly decide who to hand out training contract offers to based on an online program??


Greg Gregory grigz

Firms should all adopt the same approach Hogan Lovells has. To offer as many TCs as they can to those with vac schemes and the remaining candidates to be put in the next vacation scheme during winter


Vinny and Elikinson

V&E need to diversify their bloody offering before worrying about TC’s. Oil sector is doomed.



Is this a common opinion within the legal industry?



Is this a common opinion in the legal industry? What’s the outlook for V&E if they don’t diversify?


Deal boots

They are diversifying, and increasingly going into project dev/financings of renewables/clean energy. Oil will still be around for a fair while in any event though, so they’ll be ok.


Truth Serum

Also the industry is called ‘oil and gas’. The gas part will become more and more important, and V&E are heavily involved in that too.


Deal boots

Your point being? Yes, they’re active in hydrocarbons (i.e. oil, gas, LNG), but as all energy-focused firms these days, they’re rapidly hiring up fee earners with experience and capacity in renewable energy, especially offshore wind and solar.



It’s all mad


Donkey Kong

What firms do you think will be following Vinson route?



Simply unfair. After months of interviews and tests, these students will be left with second-tier work experience. Second-tier work experience that not all will be able to fully participate in.

Hogan Lovells got it right.


House of Life.

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.


Postgrad waiting for a break

Everyone forgets the poor direct training contract applicants who are desperately trying to secure training contracts alongside full time jobs and who already have vacation schemes under their belt and just need the final puzzle piece to fall into place! As if it’s not hard enough for us lol



As someone who relies on my physical presence and stature to make an impression on people, I would hate to be assessed on virtual schemes. I lift 5x a week and am 6 foot 2 in height. These attributes contribute to the positive impression I have on people but they wouldn’t be conveyed on video.


Kirkland NQ

Doing a Skype call in a lambo is the answer bro. Ultimate flex to “accidentally” touch the gas pedal and let those 690 horses loose when the other side is holding up the smashing of a PE deal.


Comments are closed.

Related Stories