During a time of global pandemic, many vacation schemes, work experience placements, and interviews are being transformed to virtual sessions, rather than just cancelling them altogether. Although this can be disappointing for those who had visions of getting dressed up in a suit, coffee in hand on a morning commute, and spending a week learning the inner workings of a commercial law firm, there are some things to be gained from virtual vacation schemes etc.
- Widened diversity access
Some law firms are now making their online schemes accessible to all. From full vacation schemes where you follow the day to day of a lawyer, to virtual modules on drafting letters of advice, legal documents, and what commercial law looks like in practice. This is extremely helpful for those who would not usually be able to access vacation schemes due to work or personal commitments, but now do have the time, therefore widening diversity access. This could be a really positive step for firms, and although nothing beats hands on personal experience, an online opportunity like this could be used in future to spike young lawyers’ interest, and also break down the barriers for those who can’t commit to a formal vacation scheme due to their circumstances.
2. Access to different types of work
Online vacation schemes or work experience modules can give you access to different types of work and things that you may not usually see. I have often been on work experience where the person I’ve shadowed has wanted to show me something exciting, and although interesting and great experience, isn’t something that I’d see in my day to day work in practice. However, online modules set up by firms involve skills that will be extremely useful to you in your role as a future trainee solicitor, or paralegal.
3. Opportunity to gain experience with firms that you would not usually.
Many law firms are now offering some form of online work experience or vacation scheme- quite a few of them with no application process, and free to take part in. For me, this is an excellent time to undertake some learning within a firm that you hadn’t previously considered for a Training Contract at, and get a flavour of the way that they work and what type of work they do. This could be a really positive experience, and open your eyes to a firm that you were completely unaware of!