A&O follows Clifford Chance, Freshfields and Slaughters with virtual vacation scheme

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Mayer Brown, White & Case and Travers Smith summer internships also move online

Allen & Overy has followed fellow magic circle firms Clifford Chance, Freshfields and Slaughter and May, with confirmation that its summer vacation scheme will go ahead this year, remotely.

“Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis our summer vacation scheme will take place virtually this year,” a A&O spokesperson said in a statement.

The scheme will now run for one week, from 22 to 26 June, instead of the usual two weeks in June and July at its City of London headquarters. Participants will be paid for the week, the spokesperson confirmed.

Whilst the programme is running virtually, the content and aim of the programme remains the same — to assess students for a training contract. “Students will have the opportunity to gain first hand exposure of a number of core areas of A&O, be able to engage with our diversity networks as well as gain insight into the world of legal tech,” the statement continued.

Last month Clifford Chance announced its 2020 summer vacation scheme will be delivered remotely. Later that month Freshfields confirmed it had switched its summer scheme to a virtual format. We reported this week that Slaughters had moved to a virtual summer vacation scheme.

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Meanwhile, Mayer Brown has announced it is to replace both its two-week spring and summer vacation schemes for this year with a one-week virtual programme to be held in July. Students will receive one week’s salary, totalling £275.

In a statement, Stuart Pickford, training principal at Mayer Brown, said: “Against the backdrop of the ongoing challenges of the current crisis, we are pleased to confirm that our spring and summer 2020 vacation scheme students will be invited to take part in the firm’s virtual programme, to be held in July.”

Pickford continued: “We know how much participants value the experience that they gain from our schemes and we are working on a variety of tailored digital sessions for the virtual programme that will provide engaging insights into what it is like to be a trainee at Mayer Brown.”

Following completion of the virtual scheme candidates will be considered for training contracts, a spokesperson confirmed.

The update follows our previous report that Mayer Brown had postponed its 2020 spring vacation scheme until later in the year.

White & Case confirmed it is running a virtual summer vacation scheme, currently scheduled to go ahead in June, as originally planned.

Twenty-four participants will engage in live presentations with Q&A, training sessions, work assignments and opportunities to network with partners and associates, a spokesperson from the firm told Legal Cheek. They will be assessed for training contracts and paid the usual £500 per week.

White & Case partner, Inigo Esteve, who leads the firm’s solicitor trainee programme in London, said: “We are determined to continue offering students an opportunity to engage with White & Case and gain a valuable insight into life in a global law firm.”

He added: “The virtual format overcomes the challenge of the coronavirus and supports the career ambitions of participants at a time when social distancing prevents the scheme going ahead in-person.”

Travers Smith has also confirmed it will run a remote summer vacation scheme this year, with the aim of replicating a “normal” scheme as much as possible. The firm typically runs three summer vacation schemes from its London headquarters each year.

“Even though the Travers Smith student vacation scheme cannot progress in its original format, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the firm believes it is of vital importance to continue with the programme and provide students with an opportunity to gain an insight into the firm, its values and business as a whole,” a statement from the firm read.

The scheme will be optional and lasting one week, instead of the usual two weeks. However, participants will be paid as if they were attending the full two weeks.

The statement concluded: “We intend that students who wish to proceed with their application after the scheme will be invited back to the firm for an interview later in the summer.”

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Good on them. But just remember, ‘fun’ grandma was quite likely to have been quite the slag when she was younger.

Summer vac scheme holder

What about SPB? Also going virtual???

SPB vacation scheme Student

What about SPB? Any news ? Is it true SPB have furloughed some partners ?

Lucia H

The whole real estate department heads in London have left. What is going on here?

secret admirer on 4th floor

Lucia Lucia, I dream of you, Lucia

Tommy Tank

*fap fap fap*


You can’t furlough partners, they’re self employed.

You could strip their partnership then furlough them, but even the gimps still marooned at SPB would find that too embarrassing and walk.


Stop trolling legal cheek with SPB. No one cares. Email them or call them, we don’t give af

Vac scheme offer holder

Did you get turned down by them hun? Lol poor you. Hope you like flipping burgers.


Lol, rather flip burgers than join SPB tbh

Vac scheme offer holder

Great, we don’t want you anyway!!

Grade A trolling

Whoever started this SPB vac schemer bantz thread, I salute you.


Does SPB offer trainees a seat in the staff canteen then?


It’s among the most oversubscribed seats at the firm. Every trainee wants to get a piece of the action, especially when there’s Wednesday katsu curry on the weekly menu. Top!


It’s only the most popular seat after the compulsory seat in the bathroom toilet stalls. Their best work happens there

SPB equity partner

Top bantz, 10/10.

Voice of Reason

The funny thing is… the SPB vac schemer wasn’t trolling at first. They were genuinely trying to find out if their vac scheme was still going ahead by asking strangers in the comments, which is rather desperate and silly.

But after they were called out on it, they’ve tried to make it out as if they were trolling all along so it looks less embarrassing on their behalf

Will H

I agree. They realised how stupid they looked trying to get vac scheme confirmation from random people in a comments section


What happens if your screen freezes?


What about those US firms that only do open days/direct TCs?


As an insider, I can report that Mayer Brown is forecasting a 31% drop in revenue for the year to April 2021 compared with financials for the previous 12 months. I expect there will be mass redundancies and a significant portion of the equity partnership will be axed.


Thanks Cally for your insightful insight. Very insightful.


Wonder when Linklaters will release plans for their Covid adjusted schemes


Mayer Browns management has struggled to convince the firms partnership that they have a credible plan that will enable the firm to navigate through the pandemic. Partners want a change at the top.

MB crew massif

What are you on about brah?


I, for one, see no reason to doubt that a majority of partners across 27 offices have openly expressed agreement with each other that the firm’s response to the pandemic warrants a change in management, before feeding that back to an anonymous poster on a UK legal gossip site.


People had ought to be careful what they say about Mayer Brown.

Ex Mayer Brown partner

They got me. If you know, you know.


Some of these posts are hysterical, but there’s some truth in the idea that Mayer Browns most senior management is heavily disliked by vast swathes of the firm.


Mayer Brown is run by an old boys club.


Some of these comments are unfair, Mayer Browns chairman is a thoroughly nice chap.


Shame about the managing partner


J is all about J

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