Government Legal Department: Vacation Schemes

Ever thought about combining your legal career with working in government? The Government Legal Department has their own version of a vacation scheme, so we sat down with them to get the lowdown on how to get involved.

  • Last updated Aug 30, 2018 5:58:13 PM
  • by Rameen Naylor-Ghobadian, Lawyer (and Diversity Summer Scheme), Government Legal Department
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Image courtesy of the GLD

Do any government legal departments run a vacation placement scheme?

The GLD offers a small number of vacation placements through their Diversity Summer Scheme each year. The current scheme, which the Government Legal Department delivers in conjunction with legal teams across central government, was launched in 2016.

The Government Legal Department, which is the largest provider of legal services to government, previously ran its own diversity scheme for a number of years. The new scheme aims to provide work experience to undergraduates or graduates from diverse backgrounds currently under-represented across the legal profession.

How is the Diversity Summer Scheme structured?

The placements all take place during one week in early July in central London.

They give participants an opportunity to gain an insight into the challenging and unique legal work undertaken by government lawyers.

Over the course of the placement participants will:

•    take part in a series of interactive workshops designed to give them an understanding of the department's work, including the opportunity to work on mock Bills

•    hear from senior government lawyers about the interaction between law and politics

•    work alongside government lawyers and legal trainees

What is the application process?

The GLD works with the following organisations to allocate the available places on the Diversity Summer Scheme:

  • Aspiring Solicitors

  • BLD Foundation

  • Law Society Diversity Access Scheme

  • Social Mobility Foundation

  • The Windsor Fellowship

These organisations use their own processes to identify suitable candidates.

Is the Diversity Summer Scheme used to assess suitability for your Legal Trainee Scheme?

No. The application processes for the Diversity Summer Scheme and the annual Legal Trainee Scheme are separate.  

The application process for the 2019 Legal Trainee Scheme will open in early July. 60+ legal trainee positions (training contracts and pupillages) will be available, largely for those looking to start their training in September 2021. There are also likely to be a number of positions available for those in a position to start their training earlier.

To be notified when the legal trainee application process opens, you can add your details to the Legal Trainee Scheme mailing list online at www.gov.uk/gls.

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