Allen & Overy and Taylor Wessing have brought their training contract deadlines forward following changes to the graduate recruitment code, Lawyer 2B can reveal.
The old code stated that training contracts could not be offered before 1 September of an undergraduate’s final year. However, it was always voluntary and was thrown into question last March after the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) withdrew from it – a decision that led to angry reaction from the profession.
However, the other signatories – the Association of Graduate Recruiters, Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services and Junior Lawyers Division – decided to uphold and revise the Code in the wake of the SRA’s withdrawal.
The revised code says that from the current recruitment cycle, running from this September, 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, students are still not obliged to accept, and firms are not allowed to pressure students into accepting, training contracts before 15 September of their final year.
Most firms have stuck to the traditional 31 July deadline for training contract applications (though some firms always went with a different date), but a handful are now setting deadlines earlier following the changes to the code.
Allen & Overy graduate recruitment partner Claire Wright told Lawyer 2B: “We have made a number of changes to the way that we recruit this year, giving us the opportunity to refresh our recruitment offering in line with the changes that we have seen in the recruitment marketplace for trainee solicitors but also in response to, and to ensure our adherence with, the new revised Voluntary Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Trainee Solicitors.”
A spokesperson for Taylor Wessing’s graduate recruitment team told Lawyer 2B: “At Taylor Wessing we will be adhering to the new trainee recruitment code for the 2015/16 recruitment season as we believe in allowing students sufficient time to make the right career decisions. As acceptable by the new code, we have decided to bring forward our deadline to 30 April 2016.
”The rationale for this is change is that on an annual basis we recruit a relatively small selective intake of 24 and we hire approximately 70 per cent from our summer vacation scheme programme.
”The earlier deadline will mean we can focus on our candidate response times and delivering an all-round excellent candidate experience throughout our processes. We appreciate and highly value the time spent by our applicants completing an application and we wish to give candidates an outcome as soon as we are able. Through our new marketing campaign launched last week we will be communicating our key deadlines widely so all are aware of this change.”
Deadlines for 2018 training contracts
|Firm||Application deadline (law students)||Application deadline (non-law students)|
|Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|Allen & Overy||31/12/15||31/12/15|
|Berwin Leighton Paisner||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|Bircham Dyson Bell||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|Bird & Bird||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|Clyde & Co||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|Faegre Baker Daniels||15/07/16||15/07/16|
|Farrer & Co||29/07/16||29/07/16|
|Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer||31/07/16||06/01/16|
|Harbottle & Lewis||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|Herbert Smith Freehills||08/01/16||08/01/16|
|Holman Fenwick Willan||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|Ince & Co||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|King & Wood Mallesons||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|Kirkland & Ellis||15/07/16||15/07/16|
|Latham & Watkins||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|Mills & Reeve||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|Mishcon de Reya||15/01/16||15/01/16|
|Morrison & Foerster||31/12/15||31/12/15|
|Norton Rose Fulbright||15/07/16||15/07/16|
|Ropes & Gray||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|Shearman & Sterling||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|Simmons & Simmons||28/02/16||28/02/16|
|Slaughter and May||29/07/16||29/07/16|
|Stevens & Bolton||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|Trowers & Hamlins||01/08/16||01/08/16|
|Veale Wasbrough Vizards||30/06/16||30/06/16|
|Watson Farley & Williams||31/07/16||31/07/16|
|Weil Gotshal & Manges||31/07/16||31/07/16|
Source: Data provided by the firms to Lawyer 2B