Staying up-to-date with law vacation scheme deadlines is crucial because they offer excellent opportunities for aspiring solicitors to take the first steps into their careers. These short work placements are primarily aimed at penultimate-year university students, although some law firms also accept applications from final-year students and graduates.

Increase your chances by crafting an effective legal CV and cover letter.

What are Vacation Scheme Deadlines?

Vacation scheme deadlines are crucial for law students and graduates aiming to gain practical experience in a law firm and improve their prospects for a future training contract. A vacation scheme is a formal internship within the legal industry, typically offered by law firms to recruit their next cohort of trainee solicitors. These schemes allow candidates to get a real feel for the law firm’s environment and work while firms can assess the suitability of candidates for future employment. Looking to start your career in law? Take a look at our training contract deadlines calendar.

Law Vacation Scheme Deadlines and Law Firms Infographic

It’s important to note that many firms operate on a rolling basis for applications, meaning they might close the application process before the official deadline if they have already selected suitable candidates.

Certain law firms only hire trainee solicitors from their vacation schemes, while others may offer some of their training contracts to those who have completed work placements with them. Therefore, securing a spot on a work placement with these types of firms can increase your chances of obtaining a training contract.

Winter Vacation Scheme Deadlines 2024

As aspiring trainee solicitors gear up for the competitive world of legal careers, keeping track of vacation scheme deadlines is crucial. Particularly for the winter vacation schemes, the application process is typically less daunting and offers a strategic advantage. These schemes, often shorter and less competitive, open applications in October, with most deadlines falling in November. Staying ahead of these deadlines is key for those seeking valuable experience in prestigious law firms.

Learn all about Magic Circle law firms in our special guide.

Location of Winter Vacation Schemes Map

05/10/23 Linklaters
13/10/23 Norton Rose Fulbright
15/10/23 White & Case LLP
20/10/23 Covington & Burling LLP
23/10/23 Stephenson Harwood LLP
25/10/23 Simmons & Simmons LLP (London Winter)
27/10/23 Dechert LLP
31/10/23 Burges Salmon LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

01/12/23 Thrings, Taylor Wessing LLP

Spring Vacation Scheme Deadlines 2024

For aspiring solicitors aiming to enhance their legal expertise and career prospects, spring vacation scheme deadlines are pivotal. Unlike their winter counterparts, these schemes are often more competitive, reflecting the bustling spring season activity in law firms. Timely application submission is crucial, as these schemes offer a valuable opportunity for hands-on experience and a closer look into the workings of a legal practice. Keeping track of these deadlines ensures that candidates don’t miss out on these essential professional stepping stones. Spring vacation schemes typically have a longer application period, usually from October to January.

Top tip: your commercial awareness will play a big role in the application process.

Location of Spring Vacation Schemes Map

20/12/23 Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP
31/12/23 Kirkland & Ellis

Dechert LLP

02/01/24 Debevoise & Plimpton

Mayer Brown

03/01/24 Latham & Watkins
05/01/24 Farrer & Co


07/01/24 Milbank LLP
08/01/24 Reed Smith

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

11/01/24 Womble Bond Dickinson
12/01/24 Burges Salmon LLP
14/01/24 HFW

White & Case LLP


15/01/24 Baker McKenzie

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Osborne Clarke

Morrison Foerster


Shearman & Sterling

19/01/24 Clarion Solicitors

TWM Solicitors LLP

23/01/24 Stephenson Harwood LLP
31/01/24 Wilkin Chapman LLP

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Bates Wells

Mayer Brown

Ropes & Gray


01/02/24 Baker McKenzie

Taylor Wessing

29/02/24 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton – Spring Insight Day
31/03/24 White & Case – First-Year Insight Schemes

Summer Vacation Scheme Deadlines 2024

Summer vacation scheme deadlines mark a crucial time for trainee solicitors seeking to immerse themselves in the dynamic environment of a law firm during the busiest season. These schemes are highly sought after, offering in-depth exposure and critical networking opportunities within the legal field. Candidates must be vigilant about these application deadlines to secure a spot in these competitive programs, which are instrumental in shaping their future as solicitors. Summer schemes have a longer application window, usually from October to January or February.

Take a look at our comprehensive guides on how to answer why this firm and why study law application questions.

Location of Summer Vacation Schemes Map

02/01/24 Mills & Reeve

Irwin Mitchell

Debevoise & Plimpton

Mayer Brown

04/01/24 Addleshaw Goddard
05/01/24 Mishcon de Reya LLP

Farrer & Co


07/01/24 Akin, Cooley (UK) LLP

Milbank LLP

08/01/24 Birketts LLP

Reed Smith

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

10/01/24 TLT LLP
11/01/24 Forsters LLP
12/01/24 Burges Salmon LLP


DWF Group Plc

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Vinson & Elkins RLLP

14/01/24 Arnold & Porter LLP



Travers Smith LLP

White & Case LLP

15/01/24 Baker McKenzie

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Lanyon Bowdler LLP

Morrison Foerster (UK) LLP

Osborne Clarke


16/01/24 Gibson

Dunn & Crutcher UK LLP

Anthony Collins


18/01/24 Michelmores

Norton Rose Fulbright

19/01/24 Clarion Solicitors

Fladgate LLP

TWM Solicitors LLP

23/01/24 Stephenson Harwood LLP
26/01/24 Morgan Lewis & Bockius UK LLP

Muckle LLP

31/01/24 Baker McKenzie




Hill Dickinson

Jones Day

Mayer Brown

Ropes & Gray


Simmons & Simmons

Wedlake Bell

Wilkin Chapman LLP

16/02/24 Michelmores
18/02/24 Norton Rose Fulbright
23/02/24 Stephenson Harwood LLP
26/02/24 Bevan Brittan

Brabners LLP – Liverpool

Brabners LLP – Manchester

29/02/24 Paul Hastings – Summer Work Placement Scheme
31/03/24 Ashfords – Bristol Summer Scheme

Ashfords – Exeter Summer Scheme 

RWK Goodman – Summer Vacation Scheme

21/07/24 Leathes Prior

Frequently Asked Questions

There are several questions you want answers to. See below:

How long should you spend on a vacation scheme application?

You should spend between 4 and 6 hours per vacation scheme application. The time spent on a vacation scheme application can vary, but splitting the time between a few days is generally recommended. This allows for thorough research, thoughtful responses, and careful proofreading. Quality applications often require time to tailor your responses to the specific firm and scheme, demonstrating genuine interest and suitability.

Can you apply to vacation schemes in the final year?

Yes, final-year students can apply to vacation schemes. These schemes are not just for early-year students but also open to final-year undergraduates, graduates, and sometimes even postgraduates. It’s important to check each firm’s requirements as they may vary.

How long do vacation schemes last?

Vacation schemes last between one to two weeks. The duration can vary depending on the law firm and the specific scheme. Some firms may offer slightly longer schemes, but one or two weeks is the standard duration. ​​

Can I get a vacation scheme with a 2:2?

Yes, getting a vacation scheme with a 2:2 degree is possible, but it may be more challenging. Law firms often look for candidates with strong academic records. However, if you can demonstrate other strengths, such as relevant work experience, extracurricular activities, or skills pertinent to the legal profession, you can still be considered. It’s essential to focus on these aspects in your application.

Is it hard to get a vacation scheme?

Securing a vacation scheme can be competitive, as these opportunities are highly sought after. The difficulty depends on various factors such as the law firm’s prestige, the number of applicants, and the strength of your application. To increase your chances, ensure your application is well-crafted, tailored to the firm, and highlights your unique strengths and experiences. Don’t forget to search for advice on applying for vacation schemes to increase your chances of success.

Can you do a vacation scheme in 3rd year?

Yes, you can do a vacation scheme in your 3rd year of university. Many law firms encourage applications from penultimate and final-year students for vacation schemes. This can be an ideal time to gain practical experience and make connections in the legal field before graduating. Additionally, if you completed the LPC course, the PGDL course or the SQE prep course, you can still be eligible for numerous placements.

How do you impress on a vacation scheme?

To impress on a vacation scheme, demonstrate professionalism, eagerness to learn, and a proactive attitude. Engage actively in all activities, ask insightful questions, and build relationships with colleagues and mentors. Show your understanding of the firm’s work and contribute meaningfully to your assigned tasks. Networking and making a positive impression can also lead to future opportunities within the firm. ​​