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Slaughter and May to launch virtual insight programme that is open to anyone

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No prior legal knowledge or experience required

Anyone, even those without prior legal knowledge or experience, will soon be able to experience life as a magic circle trainee with Slaughter and May’s new virtual programme.

The firm’s ‘Virtual Insight Programme’, which launches next week, on Forage, a digital education provider formerly known as InsideSherpa, will see users complete five tasks that simulate the “multi-specialist” work of a Slaughters trainee. To demonstrate that trainees often work on more than one matter at once, four of these tasks follow the story of a fictional takeover while the fifth focuses on a separate transaction.

The tasks will include a commercial awareness multiple-choice questionnaire; responding to a request for proposal (RfP) by preparing part of a pitch document; creating a decision tree for a client to use to develop an app based on the Bribery Act 2010; checking a draft Heads of Terms (the document which sets out the terms of a commercial transaction agreed in principle during negotiations) for sense, spelling, punctuation and grammar; and drafting an attendance note after listening to a short client call with multiple attendees.

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The programme — which is open to anyone and requires no prior legal knowledge or experience — allows participants to gain a greater understanding into what a trainee does day-to-day and how a law firm, like Slaughter and May, operates. Once completed, participants receive a certificate and can include the programme on their CV.

A spokesperson from Slaughter and May said:

“We’re delighted that we will be launching our Virtual Insight Programme with Forage next week. The programme has been specially designed to provide an insight into what lawyers do on a day-to-day basis. The programme requires no prior legal knowledge and is open to everyone. It is a great opportunity for individuals to discover if a career in law, and at Slaughter and May, is right for them.”

The firm isn’t the first magic circle member to offer virtual work experience to the masses. Last year, Clifford Chance launched a year-round global virtual work experience programme, open to all university students from the UK, EMEA, the Americas and Asia Pacific, while Linklaters extended its online internship to sixth-formers. Allen & Overy is reportedly considering launching a similar programme.

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18 Comments

Joe

No thanks

(15)(5)

Andrew F

doesnt make sense how Slaughters is still considered MC

(40)(11)

:3

i’m a final year student and i’m genuinely confused how people think Slaughters shouldn’t part of the MC when their PEP is higher than all the other MC firms and they dominate with loads of big ticket M&A work? Can someone explain what people mean?

(5)(10)

Real Magic Circle

Their business structure is very different from the other 4.

No big global office network with a focus on referrals to and from partner firms instead, seemingly minimal focus on things like tech innovation, “multi specialist approach” (whatever that means).

They’re more like a more upscale Travers Smith or Macfarlanes than the other 4 MC firm.

(6)(0)

anonymous

This is particularly important for state school children, so they can get an insight into the legal profession.

(33)(5)

Concerned student

Really fail to understand the point of these when even the firms that launch it themselves don’t recognise it as real work experience?

(18)(2)

Realist

1. PR value. Firms can assert that they are ‘reaching out’ to under-served parts of the population, doing their bit for social justice, etc.

2. Wake-up call. It might actually helpfully dissuade some of the more naïve students from pursuing a legal career. It’s not glamorous, it’s hours stuck behind a computer working for corporates and oligarchs. The attrition rate for associates at 2 PQE who jump ship because law wasn’t what they hoped is remarkable – and expensive for law firms.

3. Cost. It’s cheap – why not do it?

(29)(0)

Links

Wake up call is important.

Naive kids need to realise it’s not like Suits.

(11)(0)

Anon

I wouldn’t say that these are pointless. I actually found the virtual internship I completed really challenging.

Agree with wake up call point but as someone who completed one of these internships and who also went to a state school, I’d like to say that I probably wouldn’t have looked at the MC firms if I hadn’t done it.

I now have a TC offer and briefly discussed the internship during the interview…

I can’t speak for the quality of all of them though.

(6)(0)

Got a quid have you love?

Appreciate these things ultimately lead to weapons putting “Future Virtual Internship Attendee @ Slaughters” on LI, but it’s a good thing they’re doing here. If you can’t get a vac scheme and you aren’t well connected this might be the only WE you can get. Massively important in deciding whether this is the right career.

(28)(0)

Annoyed

TO ANY NAIVE PEOPLE READING THIS ARTICLE:

DO NOT MAKE THIS OUT TO BE A REAL INTERNSHIP ON LINKEDIN IT IS CRINGE AF

(23)(2)

Harvey

Prepare for the LinkedIn law student clout chasers who add this to their list of work experience and announce it to all their connections.

”I am immensely delighted, excited, overjoyed, happy and proud to announce that I have been accepted into and just completed the Slaughter and May virtual insight programme which is basically like doing the vac scheme and some even compare it to the training contract despite the fact that it was available to anyone and everyone and I signed up to it voluntarily but still if anyone wants any tips or advice on how to get to this point successfully please message me!! It is great to be able to share this success with others and help other people get this far. Anyways, back to the vac scheme and TC hunt!!”

(52)(1)

Annoyed

Even worse than putting “Insight evening” or “networking lunch” as a literal job title…..

(2)(1)

BeltAnonBag

Seems great.

1. No need to go to the cesspit that is the Barbican.
2. No need to spend time with Rory, Harry and Rupert in the office at Slaughters.

(2)(13)

Tarquin

Hey! Rory and Harry are nice guys. Don’t know about Rupert though.

(3)(8)

Anon

It is true that your name is a class indicator. People with upper and middle class names such as Emma, Rupert and Charles, way outnumber in the law those with lower class names such as Lloyd, Ryan, Kevin and Hannah. The legal profession needs to do far more to open its doors to those from non-upper and middle class backgrounds. Sending a task-force to state schools, and actively recruiting people with non-upper and middle class names, are good starts.

(18)(2)

Anonymous

Students thinking about completing these internships – please don’t listen to some of these comments.

Many of the student’s discrediting these internships have likely completed them themselves but will discourage you from doing so. Think about why that might be.

While not as personal as face to face internships, these internships will certainly up skill you and being able to speak about completing these in your TC applications and interviews is absolutely beneficial.

(8)(6)

TikTok LLB

Nobody is particularly dicking on the scheme. Plus – some of us qualified in a pre-legal influencer era.

(1)(1)

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