How do I apply for a virtual vacation scheme?
With in-office legal work experience unavailable as the professional world adapts to the current health circumstances, many placements are now being carried out online. As part of your legal training, it’s important to keep updated on vacation schemes, even if they are currently being delivered in a virtual format. You’ll know that it’s important to gain some practical experience of the legal sector in order to get a foot in the door before you apply for a training contract later on.
How is the application process different?
As many virtual vacation schemes have only recently been established, there are no set application forms or platforms that you can use for the time being. In many cases, those who have had schemes cancelled as a result of the pandemic will have had places offered on the virtual placement or deferred.
Nevertheless, this will undoubtedly change as an increasing number of firms set up schemes that are delivered remotely and the profession in general adapts to the demands of working within social distancing. We could very well see future vacation schemes being delivered online with restrictions still in place. That said, it’s always worth sending in an application to schemes, even if you weren’t originally set to take on work experience at that particular firm.
Where can I apply?
Generally, you can find offers of legal virtual work experience on individual firms’ websites, whether that be the five firms from the Magic Circle or other beyond that. Most will prompt you to contact their graduate recruitment team to enquire about potential online opportunities to gain work experience.
It’s undoubtedly worth contacting them to see if there are any spaces left, or to inquire about any upcoming opportunities ahead of the next round of vacation scheme placements, which will likely be delivered in virtual format as well as firms adapt to the current situation.
Many virtual vacation scheme opportunities, can also be found on AllAboutLaw's vacation scheme job listings.
Alternatively, the application process might consist of a simple free registration process in the case of schemes delivered via online learning platforms. Although these virtual programmes are open to all, completing them will still boost your chances of getting a training contract with the law firm in the future.
Will virtual work experience help my career?
Yes! Showing that you’ve been proactive during the lockdown period and taken the initiative to further your career prospects is a great way to make yourself stand out when you go on to apply for trainee schemes after graduation. Even if you’re not on a full placement within your desired firm, it’s still worth checking out if there are any online courses you can sign up to in order to get an early insight into the industry.
Virtual Vacation Schemes