Exclusive: For sixth-form students and up
Hogan Lovells is offering students a fast-track path to training contract assessment days with the launch of its new virtual academy, Legal Cheek can reveal.
The ‘HL BaSE Legal Learning Hub’ is open to sixth-form students right through to those holding training contract offers at the firm, and aims to help improve their commercial awareness and understanding of the inner workings of a global law firm.
Of note to our readers is that the free online training programme offers up the opportunity to fast-track the selection process for insight scheme places, as well as vacation scheme and training contact assessment days.
It offers four stages, bronze, silver, gold and platinum, which are split into bitesize modules to give participants control over when and how they work. They don’t necessarily need to be completed in order but are open to individuals at different stages of their legal career.
The bronze scheme is open to all students — school leavers through to uni grads — to learn what it’s like to be a trainee solicitor. They’ll navigate a typical trainee seat rotation, including an international secondment, follow the progress of a deal, and complete a series of five trainee-level tasks. Students receive a certificate following completion of the six-hour virtual internship which has been created in conjunction with Forage, a digital education provider formerly known as InsideSherpa.
The silver scheme is targeted at first-year students looking to gain insights into a career in commercial law. They’ll take on trainee-level client work and tackle legal case studies and skills-based workshops. They also secure an automatic place on the firm’s first-year insight scheme.
The gold scheme is for second year students onwards, looking to secure a vacation scheme or training contract. They’ll learn how to navigate the two-year training contract, alongside developing business writing skills. Importantly, those who complete this scheme will secure an automatic place on a vacation scheme or training contract assessment day, and be given tips on how to ace a case study interview.
The platinum scheme is reserved for Hogan Lovells’ training contract offer holders, who’ll get to grips with seat planning and the secondment process at the firm, the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE), which is nearing roll-out, as well as network with other future joiners.
The bronze scheme launched in late September, and has already received over 600 registrations. The silver and gold tiers are due to launch in late November. The selection process for these two schemes involves an application form and online critical thinking test.
Hogan Lovells graduate recruitment partner, Raj Panasar, told Legal Cheek the training academy was born out of a number of social causes the firm cares deeply about, such as improving access to the profession and social mobility, both of which have come under the spotlight in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and limited office work experience opportunities.
Panasar, a corporate solicitor of 25 years, said:
“At a time of intense disruption, and as we all adjust to this distanced new ‘normal’, we are excited to harness technology to deliver this unique package of virtual training programmes. They provide students with a much welcomed continuity as they progress through the early stages of a career in law.”
Hogan Lovells shifted a host of graduate recruitment activity online in light of COVID-19 and the lockdown, including assessment days and insight schemes. The Legal Learning Hub is the latest addition to its offering. It builds on its Business and Social Enterprise training programme, ‘HL BaSE’, which launched in 2015, to equip trainees and junior lawyers with the business skills to advise clients.
In April the firm decided to cancel its 2020 summer vacation schemes and make training contract offers early in response to the pandemic. The candidates that didn’t receive offers were instead transferred to its upcoming winter vacation scheme.
Other City law firms have rolled out virtual internships in recent months. Linklaters last month extended its virtual internship to sixth-form students, while fellow magic circler Clifford Chance launched a year-round global virtual work experience programme earlier this year.