No plans to offer solicitor apprenticeships
Magic circle player Linklaters today confirmed that sixth-formers will now be able to take advantage of its virtual internship programme.
The original scheme launched last summer and sees students gain an insight into life as a City lawyer through a variety of interactive tasks and video content. Until now, the virtual programme was only open to university students.
Linklaters says the expansion of the programme comes at a time when aspiring lawyers are being cut off from vital work experience opportunities due to COVID-19 restrictions in relation to office work.
The tweaked programme sees participants rotate through the firm’s key practice areas: corporate, banking and dispute resolution, with an additional opportunity to gain insight into the work done within the firm’s pro bono team.
They will complete a number of tasks including advising a client on insolvency issues, identifying key arguments to be used in a dispute resolution case, and helping the Linklaters team with the early stages of an M&A transaction.
Asked whether it had plans to offer participants a route into the profession via a solicitor apprenticeship, a spokesperson for the firm told Legal Cheek: “The platform is designed to be a safe space for students to find out more about the world of commercial law. We are therefore not using the platform to assess students or as a selection tool for formal work experience.”
The scheme, open to all 16 to 18 year-olds, has been created in-conjunction with digital education provider Forage, formerly known as InsideSherpa.
Fionnghuala Griggs, trainee recruitment partner at Linklaters, said: “We are passionate about increasing access to the City to students of all backgrounds and enabling young people to learn more about what it means to be a commercial lawyer. We want to offer this free experience to young people from anywhere in the country to inspire students, regardless of their background, school, or location, that a career in law is open to them.”
“We recognise that now, more than ever during these challenging times, it’s vital we find ways to keep the doors open to giving young people experience that can help them learn more about commercial law and the opportunities it offers, make informed choices about their future and get on the career ladder.”
Linklaters revealed its existing virtual internship aimed at university students attracted over 18,000 sign-ups during lockdown. This ran separately to the firm’s summer vacation scheme programme which moved online in response to the pandemic.