Vacation Placements – England
The facts speak for themselves. A good 70% of our trainees regularly join us after experiencing the working environment first-hand over a summer placement. It’s by far the best way for you to get to know us, and for us get to know you.
We dedicate an enormous amount of time and energy to ensuring that the experience is as practical and true to the life of a trainee solicitor as possible. We also seek to ensure that the people who secure vacation placements are those who are most likely to make the most of the opportunities the experience presents – which is why we interview for every placement.
A placement offers you a structured programme of work-based learning, skills training and presentations, working alongside trainees and solicitors on live client matters. You’ll experience first-hand what it’s like to be part of the team, and get the chance to make a great first impression. It’s also a great time to get a feel for the social scene, make friends and start building a network of contacts that might come in very useful.
If you gain a placement, it’s because we’re already thinking of you as a potential trainee. And during the time you spend with us, we’ll do our best to give you every chance to prove us right. That’s why placement students don’t need to make a separate application for our training contract programme. If you’ve already gained a placement, in our eyes you’re already in the running.
Placements take place each summer, typically between the months of June and August. In our English offices placements last two weeks (but this varies across jurisdictions). The precise dates for our 2017 placements can be found below:
- Placement 1: Monday 19 June – Friday 30 June
- Placement 2: Monday 10 July – Friday 21 July
In order for you to undertake a placement and be considered for a training contract we need you to be available for the full duration of a placement. Unfortunately we are unable to offer placements outside the advertised dates and we do not offer ad hoc placements or work experience opportunities.
Making an Application
Vacation Placement Opportunities
From 1 November we will be inviting applications for Vacation Placements taking place in summer 2017. The closing date for applications will be midnight on Sunday 8th January 2017.
Applications for Vacation Placements are made using our online application system. Your application is your opportunity to take the first step in what could be a remarkable legal career. Please take your time, consider your answers and remember to double-check them for accuracy and spelling.
Minimum Entry Requirements
The minimum academic requirements that all our trainees are expected to meet or exceed are:
- 300+ UCAS points from your best three A-levels or equivalent
- attainment or prediction of a strong 2.1 in your undergraduate degree
- the appropriate post-graduate qualification i.e. attainment of a Commendation from the Legal Practice Course (LPC) (this is only applicable if you have started or completed the LPC when you undertake the Vacation Placement).
If you do not meet the above criteria but there are mitigating circumstances that explain why you have failed to meet the minimum academic requirements, please include this information in your application.
From Application to Assessment
After the deadline, all applications are screened to a pre-defined framework and we shortlist those candidates who best meet our core capabilities. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to log-on to our application system and book a place at one of our assessment centres. The assessment centre comprises a number of different elements:
- a psychometric test
- a behavioural/commercial interview with a Partner or Senior Associate
- the opportunity to spend time with some of our current trainees
After the assessment centres, candidates performance in all areas will be considered and those who have best demonstrated that they meet our core capabilities will be offered a Vacation Placement.
Vacation Placement to Training Contract
We hope that all candidates who undertake a Vacation Placement with us would ultimately like to join the firm as a Trainee Solicitor. As part of your Vacation Placement, you will therefore undertake the following assessments for a Training Contract:
- a further behavioural/commercial interview with a Partner or Senior Associate which focuses on your placement experience
- a business simulation exercise including a review meeting with a Senior Associate
- a presentation
The Practice Group you have spent time with throughout your placement will provide feedback on your performance, which will be taken into account together with the results from these assessments when deciding the final outcome of your application. Those who best demonstrate that they meet our core capabilities will receive an offer of a Training Contract.
Salary & Benefits
We believe internships should be paid, as while you are with us you will be making a valuable contribution to our business. We also recognise that undertaking placements can mean incurring costs for travel and accommodation. That is why we pay our Vacation Placement students a competitive rate of pay while at the firm. Our 2016 Vacation Placement salaries were:
English regional offices – £300 per week
London office – £350 per week
The Route to a Training Contract
All Vacation Placement students undertake a series of assessments over the course of their placement. This means by the end of the placement we can be confident in our decision as to whether or not you are likely to be a successful commercial lawyer at our firm. The experience should also allow you to understand whether Pinsent Masons is a good fit for your own unique qualities and ambitions.
Find Out More
From 1 November we will be inviting applications for vacation placements in Summer 2017. The deadline for applications is 6 January 2017.
We are also inviting interested applicants to meet us prior to submitting an application by attending one of our Office Insight Evenings or a campus event. Details of all upcoming events can be found in the Events section.
You can find out what former Vacation Placement students have said about their experience at RateMyPlacement.co.uk.
You may also wish to visit our Facebook page or follow our Trainees on Twitter @PMgrads where you can receive up-to-date news from the firm and find out more about developments across the legal sector.
If you have any other questions relating to this programme, take a look at the FAQs section of the website.