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Vac Schemes 2011: Because when you're a lawyer it's never too early!

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    (Original post by trey)
    I'm actually third year non-law, so it shouldn't be a problem. There are just some firms like CMS that I keep hearing have Christmas vacation schemes, but I can't find it on their website
    Oh I see, sorry, I misinterpreted and/or misread your posts. I know they used to run a scheme, but perhaps it has now been cancelled because of the recession?

    Best way to find out is either a) ring HR quickly - only takes a moment, or b) start the form and see what date options it gives you to apply for. Often you have to tick a box saying whether you want Christmas, Easter, or Summer (if these are actually options).
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    Posted this on the 2010 thread just, but apologies, it belongs here:

    Hi guys,

    I've got a VS at Freshfields for next summer (applied last year, deferred for a year as I'm on a year abroad). The $64million question thus, is do I mention it on my applications to other firms? I can see positives/negatives in both arguments for and against, so was wondering if there is any sort of consensus amongst you lot out there!?

    Cheers
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    (Original post by hopscotch)
    my piece of advice for anyone willing to really secure a VS interview is twofold: 1) find some contacts within the firm (like trainees etc.) 2) try to relate to the firm in terms of personality features etc.

    Needless to say, do attend law fairs and open evening organised by firms at your university - you will establish beneficial contacts and can talk with HR - and those people are more likely to pick you for an interview, if you impress/approach them even before your application form reach their desks! I can say that nothing compares with approaching HR team/even trainees directly.
    Hopscotch, how do you turn those contacts into interviews though? I met a couple of nice guys from one particular firm at a law fair last year, had a decent email conversation with them. But when it comes this year to applying for that firm's VS, I'm not quite sure if I can really 'name-drop'. Any tips?
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    I've got a VS at Freshfields for next summer (applied last year, deferred for a year as I'm on a year abroad). The $64million question thus, is do I mention it on my applications to other firms?
    Hell yes. Chalks has posted previously that arguably the greatest benefit of VS is their signalling value. They tell competitor firms that you have impressed them as a very promising candidate through a rigorous selection process. It's the point where you are transformed from hunter to hunted: even in this market the top firms are competing for the best candidates and you are more likely to secure interviews.

    the only downside would be if you were applying to firms that are not directly competitive e.g. if you have a VS with MC why are applying to a regional or niche firm?

    But when it comes this year to applying for that firm's VS, I'm not quite sure if I can really 'name-drop'
    Don't be shy - citing individuals you have met can help you explain why that firm's culture particularly appeals to you (because chances are they do similar work to other firms).

    Good luck, I'm sure you'll be fine if you tweak your concerns to confident modesty
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    I guess I'll have to re-strike up the conversation with said contacts then!
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    I'm applying for Slaughter and May too. In a cover letter I would normally go into why I am interested in law, and particularly corporate/commercial law, and why I am applying to that firm in particular, but on their website they advise you to keep the cover letter brief... Do they really mean -brief- brief? As in, yo, gabbyroslin here, check out my CV?

    They say:
    A lengthy covering letter is not necessary. It should include details of the scheme you are applying for and anything else you consider relevant, eg an explanation of any gaps in your CV or extenuating circumstances relating to examination results.
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    (Original post by gabbyroslin)
    I'm applying for Slaughter and May too. In a cover letter I would normally go into why I am interested in law, and particularly corporate/commercial law, and why I am applying to that firm in particular, but on their website they advise you to keep the cover letter brief... Do they really mean -brief- brief? As in, yo, gabbyroslin here, check out my CV?

    They say:
    I wouln't keep it brief simply because they do not interview and therefore all they have to go on is a covering letter, CV and academics so if you go in to why you are interested in corporate law they may make you stand out better.

    I applied and got rejected from Slaughter and May Christmas Vacation Scheme, my covering letter was quite short and just did what they asked for - think I should have written a longer one regardless of what they say on their website - it may have been other aspects of my application though
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    I don't think S&M care about the covering letter very much, and their interview invitations are mostly back on academics (read: getting a first). My interviewers didn't even have a copy of my covering letter.
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    (Original post by The West Wing)
    I don't think S&M care about the covering letter very much, and their interview invitations are mostly back on academics (read: getting a first). My interviewers didn't even have a copy of my covering letter.
    So would you say that applying to S&M with a (high) 2:1 in my first year exams is a lost cause? They're not high on my list of firms to apply to, but I'm still considering my options.
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    (Original post by icysquall)
    So would you say that applying to S&M with a (high) 2:1 in my first year exams is a lost cause? They're not high on my list of firms to apply to, but I'm still considering my options.
    I would still apply! They have one of the easiest forms (CV+covering letter). They love Oxbridge (48% of their trainees did their first degree there) so you probably have a decent chance.
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    (Original post by icysquall)
    So would you say that applying to S&M with a (high) 2:1 in my first year exams is a lost cause? They're not high on my list of firms to apply to, but I'm still considering my options.
    No

    Obviously a first helps but you certainly don't need one even at S&M, esp. when u consider that people tend to get worse marks in 1st year than in other years
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
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    (Original post by The West Wing)
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    Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely keep the option open (even if only so that I can say I have an S&M vac scheme, which I find highly amusing. Yes, I have the sense of humour of a 12 year old.)
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    Since we're all on the topic of S&M, what are people's views on applying to them for Easter scheme as a penultimate year law student? They are not on my top list of firms to apply to, but I still would like to see what the firm is really like for myself, but at the same time I would like to keep my summer open for other VS's (assuming I get any, of course!). Do you think that, as they do not interview for the Easter scheme, I wouldn't have a chance without a 1st (I got a high 2.1 in my first year exams)?
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    (Original post by eve_22)
    Since we're all on the topic of S&M, what are people's views on applying to them for Easter scheme as a penultimate year law student? They are not on my top list of firms to apply to, but I still would like to see what the firm is really like for myself, but at the same time I would like to keep my summer open for other VS's (assuming I get any, of course!). Do you think that, as they do not interview for the Easter scheme, I wouldn't have a chance without a 1st (I got a high 2.1 in my first year exams)?
    Definitely apply! I reckon the Easter ones are less competitive generally because people want to keep the time free for exam prep. At least that's what I did.
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    (Original post by The West Wing)
    Definitely apply! I reckon the Easter ones are less competitive generally because people want to keep the time free for exam prep. At least that's what I did.
    That's great to know, thanks. I want to do a maximum of 2 VS's in the summer, as all my exams are at the end of my final year, so I will have lots of serious studying to do

    By the way, congrats on your Freshfields TC. A friend at college also accepted one this year I am also looking to apply; they're a really great firm!
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    (Original post by eve_22)
    That's great to know, thanks. I want to do a maximum of 2 VS's in the summer, as all my exams are at the end of my final year, so I will have lots of serious studying to do

    By the way, congrats on your Freshfields TC. A friend at college also accepted one this year I am also looking to apply; they're a really great firm!
    Is it normal to study for your final exams over Summer? I would just forget everything by the time term starts!
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    (Original post by The West Wing)
    Is it normal to study for your final exams over Summer? I would just forget everything by the time term starts!
    Well, during the summer before their final exams, people usually tend to go over the modules they have already completed and make sure their notes and etc. are ready for revision. Obviously, reading through things to make sure that the hardcore revision is done by the time you get to the final two months or so before the Finals, is also a good thing to do. Given that exams are sat around mid-May (9 exams over 2 weeks) and that in our third year we still need to complete the final compulsory module plus two further options, it is quite wise to study over the summer.
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    Is the 'general' date when the application process opens 1st October ?
    Or it varies from firm to firm and it's necessary to check with each of them ?
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    (Original post by Yoko88)
    Is the 'general' date when the application process opens 1st October ?
    Or it varies from firm to firm and it's necessary to check with each of them ?
    No, 1st October isn't a general date. In fact, most firms have different dates when they choose to open their apps for VS's, so you must check with each firm individually. A quick look at their GR website should tell you the exact dates for each firm.
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    (Original post by trey)

    I applied and got rejected from Slaughter and May Christmas Vacation Scheme, my covering letter was quite short and just did what they asked for - think I should have written a longer one regardless of what they say on their website - it may have been other aspects of my application though
    Do you by any chance remember how long they took to get back to you after you applied?

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