Norton Rose, Pinsents shrink summer vac schemes

Norton Rose has become the latest in a string of firms to scale back its summer vacation scheme.

The move follows the firm’s decision to offer some of its future trainee solicitors up to £10,000 to push back their start dates for up to 12 months as first reported on Lawyer2B.com last month (20 February).

Graduate recruitment manager Karen Potts admitted the decision to defer trainee start dates has caused the firm to rethink the size of its summer vacation scheme, which typically takes on 40 students.

“In relation to the economic climate and deferral scheme, we will be reducing our numbers to be cautious, to not be wasting students’ time or to raise their expectations. We have no exact figures just yet as the offers are still out with the candidates,” explained Potts.

Pinsent Masons has also admitted that it will be axing one of its summer placements but insisted the move is aimed at accommodating two new diversity programmes the firm has recently got involved with.

The firm usually runs three two-week summer vacation placements for up to 150 students but this year it will only be running two.

A spokesman for the firm said: “The two new [diversity] programmes mean we will have 11 students from the Legal Launch Pad programme and 24 from the Pathways to Law programme joining us for organised work placements.”

Hill Dickinson, however, is bucking the trend by almost doubling the size of its summer vacation schemes from an intake of 24 to 40 students.

Graduate recruitment advisor Emma McAvinchey said: “We’re still doing everything we can do to recruit the best trainees and I think increasing the numbers on our vacation schemes will put us in a good position to do that.”

Historically, Hill Dickinson has taken students on two separate week-long placements over the summer months but now it has added a further two schemes for its extra candidates.

In a separate move the firm is looking at paying its trainees a maintenance grant for the first time in a bid to support them through their post graduate studies.