Vacation Schemes: What is a Vacation Scheme or Summer Placement?

This month I have decided to take a closer look at Summer Vacation Schemes (placements) in the run up to summer. This series is aimed at university students or recent graduates who are looking for or are completing a summer vacation scheme or placement this summer.

This series will include

  • week 1: what is a vacation scheme?
  • week 2: Where to find a vacation scheme or summer placement?
  • week 3: how to make the most of your vacation scheme or placement.
  • week 4: vacation schemes, summer placements and career development

What is a Vacation Scheme?

A vacation scheme, summer internship or placement is a work placement that takes place during the summer months (June – August). They are aimed at students or recent graduates (although usually, anyone can apply). Law firms use vacation schemes as an extended interview for potential future trainees or to offer someone work experience/access to the profession (not because they need an extra pair of hands).

Most formal Vacation Schemes will be a week or two weeks in the summer. Placements can be anything from a few days to the full 12 weeks of summer. They can be part-time or full-time hours, they can be paid or voluntary. The reality is… employers structure placements to suit their needs.

A Vacation Scheme, summer internship or placement is different from a summer job. A summer job is usually about earning some extra money but a vacation scheme, summer internship or placement is about gaining experience and learning on the job and getting the job,

Why do a Vacation Scheme?

If you are seeking a training contract – doing a formal scheme is a must if your target firm offers such a scheme. If you target firms offer any sort of insight day or scheme you should definitely be applying – it shows commitment and helps you decide if the firm is right for you.

It is important to have a good mix of experiences on your C.V. and a vacation scheme or summer placement can give your C.V. that something extra. Whether a vacation scheme or placement is right and/or necessary for you to do will depend on:

  • the type of legal career you wish to pursue;
  • the relevant experience you have had to date;
  • the gaps on your C.V. that need filling;
  • the stage you are at in your life; and
  • the opportunities available to you this summer.

If you know the career you wish to pursue and need the opportunity to flesh out your C.V. with some relevant work experience then signing up for a summer internship should be a no brainer.

Don’t forget to grab a copy of our Ultimate Guide to Summer Internships and Vacation Schemes for FREE by signing up to our mailing list and getting all our fantastic worksheets to help you get your Vac Scheme (and make the most of it!).