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Deloitte scraps summer legal internships — offers interns £500 instead

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Big Four player to run voluntary four-week virtual mentorship programme, as more law firms cancel vacation schemes in view of COVID-19

Deloitte has cancelled its summer internship scheme, including those due to take place in its legal division, in view of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and is instead offering interns a £500 goodwill payment.

The Big Four firm confirmed this week that as an alternative to the summer vacation scheme it will offer would-be interns a voluntary virtual mentorship programme instead. The £500 sum will be paid to all students, even if they choose to opt out of the virtual scheme, a spokesperson said.

Legal Cheek understands around 350 students were due to take part in the summer scheme, which includes placements in the accountancy giant’s in-house legal team in London, as well as its audit, financial advisory, cyber, regulation, actuarial, real estate, operations, tax and technology divisions. The spokesperson added in a statement that “the health and safety of our people and candidates is our priority”.

The virtual programme will last four weeks and students will be allocated a mentor for the duration of the programme. Each week students will have a schedule of events centred around a theme and there will be online skills sessions, live chats and wellbeing sessions, the spokesperson added.

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Elsewhere, a further three UK law firms have confirmed the cancellation of their 2020 summer vacation schemes.

Browne Jacobson, BDB Pitmans and Forsters were all due to run student work experience programmes in June and July this year but have scrapped them in light of the coronavirus lockdown.

Browne Jacobson confirmed to Legal Cheek the cancellation of its two-week summer vacation scheme (22 June to 3 July 2020) “after very careful consideration and in light of these unprecedented times”. The spokesperson added:

“We have instead invited everyone that was expecting to take part in the scheme to apply for a traineeship at the firm and we are delighted that everyone has accepted.”

The national firm typically offers up to 12 places on its summer scheme which takes place across its five offices in London, Birmingham, Exeter, Manchester and Nottingham.

BDB Pitman’s two-week summer placement scheme has also been cancelled. Eighteen students were due to take part in the scheme across the firm’s London and Reading offices.

Andrew Smith, managing partner, BDB Pitmans, said: “Regrettably due to these extraordinary times, we have had to cancel our summer vacation scheme. We will be staying in touch with those due to be on the scheme and will be encouraging training contract applications.”

Forsters told us it had regrettably decided to cancel its summer vacations schemes. The firm was due to run two schemes for up to seven students in each.

View a list of law firm schemes postponed or cancelled 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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