Which firms take most and fewest trainees from vac schemes?

More trainees than ever are recruited through vacation schemes, exclusive research by Lawyer 2B has revealed.

The proportion of trainee intakes made up of students who vac schemed with the same firm has risen steadily from 32 per cent in 2013, to 35 per cent in 2014 and 40 per cent for those due to begin in 2015.

Vac schemes

In total, 60 firms provided data. Lawyer 2B excluded any firms which did not provide data for all three years, along with those that take fewer than ten trainees annually to avoid skewing the data sets.

Of those firms which recruited fewer than ten trainees a year, six took 100 per cent of their 2015 intake from vacations schemes: Gibson Dunn, O’Melveny & Myers, Skadden, Sullivan & Cromwell, Taylor Walton and Vinson & Elkins.

Of the firms with larger intakes, those which took the largest proportion of their 2013, 2014 and 2015 trainee intakes from their vacation schemes were Nabarro (98 per cent overall), King & Wood Mallesons (80 per cent), Bevan Brittan (78 per cent), Mills & Reeve (74 per cent) and TLT (73 per cent).

Nabarro has a longstanding policy of trying to take 100 per cent of its trainee intake from its vacation scheme, a policy also adopted by Mishcon de Reya this October. Mishcon took 45 per cent of its 2014 intake from its vacation scheme pool but did not provide data for previous years.

At the other end of the scale, Withers and Shoosmiths took one-third of their trainees from their vacation schemes over the last three years while Hogan Lovells took 32 per cent. However, over half of the latter’s 2015 trainee intake is comprised of former vac schemers, up from 24 per cent in 2014. The firm now runs three vacaction placements per year, as opposed to just a summer scheme three years ago.

Slaughter and May has recruited 29 per cent of its trainees from its vacation scheme over the last three years, while Weightmans had the lowest proportion of any firm that provided information, taking just 17 per cent of its trainee intake from its scheme.

Further information on the number of trainees recruited from vac schemes, including data on firms with smaller intakes, can be found in Lawyer 2B’s A-Z of firms.

Percentage recruited from vacation scheme in… 2013 2014 2015 Three-year average
Ashurst 30 48 48 42.0
Baker & McKenzie 53 53 30 45.3
Berwin Leighton Paisner 43 46 79 56.0
Bevan Brittan 63 100 71 78.0
Bird & Bird 71 68 75 71.3
Burges Salmon 60 60 60 60.0
Clyde & Co 45 50 65 53.3
DLA Piper 59 62 72 64.3
Farrer & Co 60 20 70 50.0
Hill Dickinson 63 50 45 52.7
Hogan Lovells 21 24 53 32.7
Holman Fenwick Willan 42 33 57 44.0
Irwin Mitchell 69 68 35 57.3
King & Wood Mallesons 82 84 78 81.3
Kirkland & Ellis 60 60 80 66.7
Linklaters 44 66 52 54.0
Mayer Brown 75 70 65 70.0
Mills & Reeve 75 60 88 74.3
Nabarro 100 96 100 98.7
Pinsent Masons 70 70 70 70.0
RPC 47 48 35 43.3
Shearman & Sterling 62 50 36 49.3
Shoosmiths 40 25 35 33.3
Sidley Austin 30 45 45 40.0
Slaughter and May 23 42 22 29.0
Taylor Wessing 50 80 71 67.0
TLT 60 80 80 73.3
Travers Smith 47 30 41 39.3
Trowers & Hamlins 56 56 63 58.3
Walker Morris 65 70 45 60.0
Ward Hadaway 50 50 50 50.0
Watson Farley & Williams 53 64 68 61.7
Weightmans 18 15 18 17.0
Weil Gotshal & Manges 45 65 67 59.0
White & Case 62 71 73 68.7
Withers 30 40 30 33.3

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