Bond Dickinson has become the latest firm to move its training contract and vacation scheme deadlines following changes to the graduate recruitment code.
Previously, the national firm had a training contract deadline of 31 July, and a vacation scheme deadline of 31 January.
For 2016, however, it has moved both to 29 February.
It follows the likes of Allen & Overy and Taylor Wessing in moving its deadline dates.
A spokesperson for Bond Dickinson said: “Our thinking behind the decision was to shorten the process for the candidates. We see people over Easter during the vacation schemes, but we still interview people in August. That’s a long time for people who interviewed in spring to wait to find out if they’ve got an offer.”
“Obviously we will still adhere to the Code and not force anyone to accept offers before the agreed date of 15 September. We understand that students should be able to get to know a variety of firms and it shouldn’t be a case of them feeling pressured to accept the first offer they get.”
The spate of deadline date changes was first sparked by the SRA announcing that it was withdrawing from the Graduate Recruitment Code, which previously stated that training contracts could not be offered before 1 September of an undergraduate’s final year. At the time, it sparked outrage from various quarters of the profession.
However, a revised code was drawn up. The new version says that training contract offers will be able to be made from the beginning of a student’s penultimate year – so the second year of a three-year degree or the third year of a four-year course. However, as is the case currently, students are not obliged to accept, and firms are not allowed to pressure students into accepting, training contracts before 15 September of their final year.