Field Fisher Waterhouse has started a wholesale review of its graduate recruitment programme, which could result in the firm drastically reducing the number of trainee solicitors it hires per year.
As part of the review, students who have applied to Field Fisher for a vacation placement have been left out in the cold after the firm’s radical decision to cancel both its Easter and summer schemes.
The firm is even looking at cancelling its recruitment programme, although one source said that this action would be an “absolute last resort.”
Trainees who are due to join Field Fisher later this year have not yet been asked to defer their training contracts although this is also being looked at as part of the review.
The firm has also cancelled its open days.
Matthew Lohn, the partner responsible for graduate recruitment at the firm, said: “We can confirm that we’ll not be running an Easter or summer vacation scheme this year.
“We’re currently undertaking a review of our whole graduate recruitment system and are putting the scheme on hold until our graduate committee have finished their analysis.”
The firm usually runs two schemes for 60 students, one in April lasting for a week, with a further two during the summer. Students would have been paid an allowance of 250 per week.
Although Field Fisher is accepting training contract applications students are being urged to keep an eye on the firm’s graduate recruitment website for further updates on the review. A timescale for the review has not been set although the firm is hoping to provide more detail in April.
Field Fisher’s graduate recruitment manager left the firm late last year.