Vacation schemes – what are they all about?


12th October 2016 | 11:23

A vacation scheme can make a big difference to your future career in law. They are part of a wider recruitment process and give you work experience at a law firm.

Vacation schemes bring huge benefits. They provide valuable insight into what it is like to be a trainee, what a firm is like and what skills make a great lawyer.

No amount of one-to-one interviews can prepare you for what life at a law firm holds. But a vacation scheme can. It is an exciting opportunity to learn and experience through real work and responsibilities. It can also be a chance to make life-long friendships.

How do you qualify for a vacation scheme?

Different firms offer different types of placements and they set standards in line with their training contract qualification requirements. Visit their graduate websites to find out what it takes to get a place at the firm of your choice.

Does the firm meet your aspirations?

The law firm should be a good fit for you. Consider if it meets your career aspirations and has a culture you can relate to. The best way to do that is to go to careers service events, attend law fairs and talk to representatives. Events and fairs are an excellent opportunity to network. If you like the firm and you like the representative, that is a good sign.

Look for a scheme that will give you a tangible experience. Even if you do not receive an offer at the end of the scheme, the experience you will gain is invaluable. It will show other firms how dedicated you are to learning about law.

Do you want a range of activities?

The more real experiences you have, the better prepared you will be. Consider whether the scheme offers valuable workshops, eye-opening presentations, experience of the day-to-day work of trainees, client meetings, or group presentations and helps you start your all-important network of contacts in the industry.

What about the CMS Academy?

Do you want to immerse yourself in modern law and experience life in a global elite firm? Then look at the CMS Academy Programme and all it has to offer. The CMS Academy is our next generation vacation scheme. The combination of one-week innovative training on the business of law and a two-week internship, it offers a unique launch pad for your career in law. You will gain real experience in a commercial environment and the skills you need to succeed as a trainee at our modern law firm.

Find out more about the CMS Academy