COVID-19: Last of the magic fivesome to reveal student summer plans
Linklaters has today announced that its 2020 summer vacation scheme will switch to a two-week virtual format in view of the COVID-19 lockdown, and that students will receive an extra week’s pay to compensate for the programme’s shorter length.
The magic circle firm was due to run two summer schemes of four-week periods each at its City of London headquarters. It will now run three schemes each lasting a fortnight which will run from the end of June into August, as originally planned. Participants will be remunerated the usual weekly £450 sum and receive a bonus week’s income to make up for the change in programme length.
A spokesperson from the firm confirmed that students due to join its spring vacation scheme when the lockdown began earlier this year have been offered a place on one of the three virtual summer schemes.
Vacation schemes are work placements open to students and graduates from across the UK and overseas to experience life at a law firm. They often result in an interview for a training contract at the firm. Linklaters said that following completion of the virtual scheme all participants will be offered the opportunity to interview for a training contract.
Links has become the fifth and final member of the magic circle to reveal its student vac scheme plans in light of the current set of circumstances. Last month Clifford Chance announced that its 2020 summer vacation scheme will move online. Later that month Freshfields confirmed it had switched its summer scheme to a virtual format. We reported last week that Slaughter and May and Allen & Overy‘s summer vacation schemes will be delivered remotely.
Alison Wilson, graduate recruitment partner at Linklaters, said: “We appreciate how important work experience is to students pursuing a career in law. It gives them the exposure to the way legal firms work in a way that they can’t get from the classroom. It also offers them useful insights into how we work with our clients so that they can decide if a career in law is for them.”
“We have adapted all of the same content they would have received in our London office to be included in the new virtual vacation scheme which we hope gives students the opportunity to learn about life at a law firm while ensuring they still receive three weeks’ pay over the holidays.”
Interns will get a choice of seat preference during the virtual experience and receive insights into the firm’s different practice areas. They will take part in skills-based tasks such as legal drafting, project work and group pitch exercises. There will be sessions with partners, including senior partner Charlie Jacobs, and managing partner, Gideon Moore, as well as Q&A talks with current trainees who will also buddy up with students to offer advice and support.
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 virtual coffee meet-ups, a health and wellbeing event and other group social events.
Elsewhere, Sidley Austin said its London summer vacation schemes will continue ahead, remotely, in view of the virus pandemic. The virtual experience will be shorter in length (one week instead of two weeks) but participants will be remunerated the original amount that was communicated to them (i.e. two weeks’ pay). The firm pays its vac schemers £500 per week.
“We are pleased to share that our summer vacation schemes will have a duration of one week and be virtual this year,” said Patrick Harrison, partner at Sidley Austin. “Participants will be paid for a full two weeks, which is the typical duration of our programme, and be considered for training contracts in the usual way.”
Sidley previously postponed its spring vac scheme in March, confirming then that the scheme will take place during the summer.
View a list of law firm schemes that have gone virtual 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 firstname.lastname@example.org