Linklaters announces two-week virtual vacation scheme with three weeks’ pay

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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.”

She continued:

“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.

Find out more and reserve your place: The Legal Cheek UK Virtual Law Fair Series

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

Find out more and reserve your place: The Legal Cheek UK Virtual Law Fair Series


Shocked Sherlock

Surprised they managed to write an article on Linklaters without mentioning eve cornywell

EC Bodyguard

Wonder how the vac schemers will attempt to ‘accidentally’ hunt down and bump into Eve, now that it’s virtual.

Also surprised she didn’t get a mention here, sponsorship must be up for renewal.

Disgruntled Applicant

Having never been offered a vac scheme,probably because I went to Kent, I do feel that all firms should be opening these up to more students.

Yes they wouldn’t have done the assessment day but why not take a risk?


Rofl bro kent uni is shet af


Some of the best Kent Law graduates work at Macfarlanes so what’s your point


Plenty at magic circle and US firms too

Kirkland NQ

Someone’s got to fill up the copier paper I guess.

Gummy Bear

The range of university graduates working in the City is far broader than what some of these responses give credit for. That does include Kent graduates, some of whom are doing great work for the profession.

Truth be told, waving around your degree certificate can only get you so far. Hard work, brains, drive, discipline, courage and personability are far more useful attributes in life. Sadly, not everyone has these, regardless of their alma mater. That would be clear to anyone who’s spent some time in practice.

That is not to dismiss Disgruntled Applicant’s comment, as there appears to be a bias against non-Russell Group graduates on the paper sift. There are brilliant graduates from other universities who often don’t get a look in because firms are quite content with the Oxbridge/Russell Group status-quo. The Bar suffers from this affliction too.

In the meantime for budding applicants, I guess the trick is getting past that accursed paper sift, and that is where the networking and creativity comes into play. It’s not easy, but it can be done. Then, once you make it, don’t pull up the ladder behind you!

The Real Kirkland NQ

Fuck off imposter gimp.


Why would they do that? These firms aren’t charities. They rightly only care about their recruitment, and these schemes require management and resources and even more so if done remotely. I also highly doubt it’s because you went to Kent that you didn’t get an interview. You are likely deficient for another reason such as poor academics or dearth of interesting extra-curricular experiences. Or maybe you made a spelling mistake in your application?


Sometimes you might not be the ideal candidate on paper, or be at your very best at interview. I agree sometimes you find the best candidate when you do take a risk and give people that chance.


Fear not, I will be hosting the Vac Scheme through a series of motivational meet ups and virtual coffees.

Troy Evans

Generation Z Caffeine Cult?


Can I join you for the vac scheme. If you are hosting you must get to choose the invitees? I have never been to a vac scheme.


Does anyone know how to cure egg breath ?


Drink a jug of vinegar. Works every time. Let us know how you get on.

Vacs Scheme Offer Holder

Any news on SPB?? Less than a month to go!!

Disappointed. The article does not answer the main question – is Linklaters a top firm? Toppest of the top?

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