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Vacation Schemes – Free Guide to Law Vacation Schemes

If you want to become a solicitor, doing a vacation scheme is a great way to show recruiters that you’re committed to a legal career. It will also give you a taste of what working at a law firm might be like before you start applying for training contracts. 

We’ve got all the latest vacation scheme deadlines listed in our deadlines section.

See Vacation Scheme Deadlines

What is a Vacation Scheme?

A vacation scheme is a way of gaining invaluable work experience at a law firm. Schemes commonly last between one and four weeks and give you an opportunity to:

Want to know more about vacation schemes? Find out more from Raj Karia, Head of Corporate, M&A, Securities, MEA at Norton Rose Fulbright in the video below.

What Do Law Vacation Schemes Involve?

Work-Based TasksDuring your vacation scheme, you will be expected to perform tasks that a trainee solicitor would. You will be supervised, supported and ultimately assessed by one of the firm’s partners or associate solicitors, assisting on a variety of deals and/or cases. You will also have an opportunity to work alongside and observe current trainees.

Day-to-day vacation scheme tasks may include:

  1. Group Exercises 

Some law firms like to set group tasks, projects and exercises to simulate a scenario a solicitor would face, for example, a mock negotiation. They’re great chances to demonstrate the following to your law firm:

Visit our What Makes a Good Lawyer? page to find out more about the core skills law firms will be looking for you to demonstrate during law vacation schemes. Ensure that you show these core skills to the best of your ability to give yourself the best opportunity to shine. 

  1. Socialising 

Law firms tend to embrace socialising and networking amongst fellow vacation scheme students and the law firm’s employees by organising social events. These could include lunches, dinners and drinks out. Use these events to connect with as many people as possible and broaden your network.

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Law Vacation Scheme Benefits


Your salary will depend on the law firm and the location of your vacation scheme. It could range from merely covering travel expenses to a weekly salary of up to £500. Take a look at our deadlines calendar for specific law firm salaries.

When to Apply

You should apply in the penultimate year of your undergraduate degree.  

See Vacation Scheme Deadlines

Other Options

If you do not manage to secure a vacation placement, there are plenty of other work experience opportunities available. Options include:

See Vacation Scheme Deadlines

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