During 2020 and 2021 many vacation schemes were cancelled, postponed or moved on-line.  Most have now moved back to in-office based schemes.   However, some firms kept their virtual schemes in 2022 and may continue to do so for economic and environmental reasons.  You should not dismiss such an opportunity if you see them taking place – they are still real VS’!.  There’s some great advice on the Law & Broader You Tube Channel here –    This also includes a free template to record your learning and skills development whilst on a VS.


Most large firms and many mid-size and regional firms offer vacation schemes.  A vacation scheme is a formal period of work experience with a law firm that offers Training Contracts.  The application process is rigorous as the firm IS looking for their future trainees.  It is crucial to know that they do not offer vacation schemes just for your benefit – it is essentially a period of assessment whereby they are finding out if you are a good ‘fit’ for the firm and you should be finding out if you like them/they ‘fit’ with them.

What will I do on a vac scheme?

What is a vac scheme? Read this feature if you don’t know yet what the vac scheme experience entails. Firms will expect you to know when you apply.

Activities may include

  • workshops to find out more about the firm
  • networking with other applicants and solicitors / partners at the firm
  • research tasks
  • planning and executing a group project
  • mock transactions
  • doing a project in the local community.

When to apply

Most vacation schemes are open to penultimate-year undergraduate students and above. However, if you are on a four-year course and spending your third year abroad most firms will take your application in your second year for a deferred place at the end of your third year.

The deadlines can be anywhere between October and March with 31st Dec and 31st Jan being very popular dates but you MUST check each scheme carefully for their deadline.   LawCareers.Net and AllAboutLaw list the opportunities and give the deadlines (see below links).

Where to find the schemes:

The following lists are pretty comprehensive:

Making applications

Will I be paid?

  • Yes – most firms will pay you for a VS and the amount varies from £200 at the lower end up to £450 ish!
  • Some firms will also pay separately for travel expenses and or put you up in hotel accomodation if you live too far away to travel in each day.
  • Most VS’ include social events and activities which are also paid for

How long will it last?

  • 2 weeks is the norm at city and national firms.  Very occasionally, there is an opportunity to extend the scheme with, say, a week in one of their overseas offices (all expenses paid).
  • 1 week is the norm at regional and smaller firms

How do I make a successful application?

See the advice on



  • Vacation Scheme – 4 Week Vacation Scheme Lawyer-Linguist With Possibility Of Extension To Another 2-Month Internship. This is one of a few firms in the UK to offer full training as a Scrivener Notary (a lawyer-linguist). Their work is both international and commercial in nature.

Vacation Schemes available:    2 (at least – last year the firm offered 3)

Duration:    4 weeks commencing mid-late June

Location:   London, SW1Y 4LR

Salary:    £315 per week + any expenses incurred to travel to appointments within working hours (but not daily travel to and from work)

DEADLINE: Thursday 31st March

For more information and instructions on how to apply, please click here