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Where firms recruit from (Vacation Scheme vs Direct TC applications) 2022-2023

James Carrabino

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Staff member
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Junior Lawyer 11
Oct 12, 2021
666
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Hi everyone!

I hope that this can be useful in planning out where you will apply for vacation schemes and where you will apply directly for training contracts. You can decide when to apply to each firm by looking at my compilation of law firm deadlines as well as my thread about which firms recruit on a rolling or non-rolling basis.

Refer to the below list in conjunction with an excellent thread by @Adrian_S about which firms allow you to apply twice in the same recruitment cycle - once for the vacation scheme and then, if unsuccessful, again for a direct training contract. With these firms you have nothing to lose by first applying to the vacation scheme, even if they do take large numbers via the direct TC route!

I have separated firms into four categories which are largely accurate based on knowledge accumulated across TCLA, Chambers Student and other legal articles, but cannot be said to be hard and fast for all of the firms on here. Please do comment if you have any additional information about how many direct TC offers firms make - including both firms already on the list and those that are not :)

Thank you!

50%-100% from direct TC applications

Allen & Overy
Bristows
Brown Rudnick
Clifford Chance
Farrer & Co
Freshfields
Fried Frank
Greenberg Traurig
Hill Dickinson
Howard Kennedy
Ince
K & L Gates
Lewis Silkin
Macfarlanes
Norton Rose Fulbright
Paul Hastings
Shoosmiths
Slaughter and May
Stephenson Harwood

Mostly from Vacation Scheme but with a consistently healthy direct TC intake

It can be misleading to say that a firm recruits predominantly from its vacation scheme when it has a strong direct TC intake every year. In fact, an applicant's chances of obtaining a training contract through that route can be very similar given the lower application numbers or the applicant's individual strengths/preferences. These are firms where direct TC routes are certainly a viable route for all candidates (percentages aside). The firms may recruit predominantly from their vacation schemes (or their stats may change from year to year) but they have at a minimum made more than one direct TC offer every year in recent years – it is definitely worth submitting a direct TC app to these firms and the application will be almost certainly be read and considered seriously for a TC.

Addleshaw Goddard
Ashurst
Baker McKenzie
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
Charles Russell Speechlys
Curtis
Dentons
DWF
Fieldfisher
Forsters
Goodwin Procter
HFW
Hogan Lovells
Irwin Mitchell
Latham & Watkins
Linklaters
Mayer Brown
Mills & Reeve
Morgan Lewis
Orrick
Pennington Manches Cooper
Pinsent Masons
Trowers & Hamlins
Watson Farley & Williams
Wedlake Bell
White & Case
Withers

From Vacation Scheme in the first instance

These are firms which recruit primarily from their vacation schemes. Direct TC routes technically exist at all of these firms but they are often only used by the firms when they do not find whom they are looking for on their vacation schemes, or when individuals have special circumstances preventing them from completing a vacation scheme. These firms sometimes explicitly advise candidates without special circumstances to apply for their vacation scheme in the first instance.

Akin Gump
Arnold & Porter
Bird & Bird
Burges Salmon
Cleary Gottlieb
Covington & Burling
Eversheds Sutherland
Gibson Dunn
Kirkland & Ellis (they have historically advertised a direct TC route, but during the previous two years they have cancelled their vacation schemes and awarded direct training contracts solely from their vacation scheme interviews)
Osborne Clarke
Sullivan & Cromwell
Travers Smith
Vinson & Elkins
Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Womble Bond Dickinson (there is only one option which is to apply for their placement scheme - after the AC they offer candidates who cannot complete the placement scheme a chance to complete a direct TC interview day instead)

Only from Vacation Scheme

Clyde & Co
CMS
Davis Polk
Debevoise & Plimpton
Dechert
DLA Piper
Gowling WLG
Herbert Smith Freehills
Jones Day
Katten
Kennedys
Milbank
Mishcon de Reya
Reed Smith
Ropes & Gray
Shearman & Sterling
Sidley Austin
Simmons & Simmons
Skadden
Squire Patton Boggs
Taylor Vinters
Taylor Wessing
Willkie Farr & Gallagher
Winston & Strawn
 
Last edited:

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
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Aug 1, 2019
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For those looking at the 50-100% category, and trying to work out how high or low that percentage may be, my advice would be to do the following calculation:

(Number of vacation scheme places x 0.8) x 0.8 = Number of training contracts filled by vacation schemers.

The 0.8 is based on not everyone getting a vac scheme offer. The second 0.8 is based on not everyone accepting the offer.

For instance, Freshfields have 60 vac scheme places for 80 training contracts:

(60 x 0.8) x 0.8 = 38.4 (let’s round up to 39)

Means it is closer to 50% of TC places filled by vac schemers.
 

aakriti_3377

Standard Member
Gold Member
Premium Member
Jul 22, 2022
7
5
Hi everyone!

I hope that this can be useful in planning out where you will apply for vacation schemes and where you will apply directly for training contracts. You can decide when to apply to each firm by looking at my compilation of law firm deadlines as well as my thread about which firms recruit on a rolling or non-rolling basis.

Refer to the below list in conjunction with an excellent thread by @Adrian_S about which firms allow you to apply twice in the same recruitment cycle - once for the vacation scheme and then, if unsuccessful, again for a direct training contract. With these firms you have nothing to lose by first applying to the vacation scheme, even if they do take large numbers via the direct TC route!

I have separated firms into four categories which are largely accurate based on knowledge accumulated across TCLA, Chambers Student and other legal articles, but cannot be said to be hard and fast for all of the firms on here. Please do comment if you have any additional information about how many direct TC offers firms make - including both firms already on the list and those that are not :)

Thank you!

50%-100% from direct TC applications

Allen & Overy
Bristows
Brown Rudnick
Clifford Chance
Farrer & Co
Freshfields
Fried Frank
Greenberg Traurig
Hill Dickinson
Howard Kennedy
Ince
K & L Gates
Lewis Silkin
Macfarlanes
Norton Rose Fulbright
Paul Hastings
Shoosmiths
Slaughter and May
Stephenson Harwood

Mostly from Vacation Scheme but with a consistently healthy direct TC intake

It can be misleading to say that a firm recruits predominantly from its vacation scheme when it has a strong direct TC intake every year. In fact, an applicant's chances of obtaining a training contract through that route can be very similar given the lower application numbers or the applicant's individual strengths/preferences. These are firms where direct TC routes are certainly a viable route for all candidates (percentages aside). The firms may recruit predominantly from their vacation schemes (or their stats may change from year to year) but they have at a minimum made more than one direct TC offer every year in recent years – it is definitely worth submitting a direct TC app to these firms and the application will be almost certainly be read and considered seriously for a TC.

Addleshaw Goddard
Ashurst
Baker McKenzie
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
Charles Russell Speechlys
Curtis
Dentons
DWF
Fieldfisher
Forsters
Goodwin Procter
HFW
Hogan Lovells
Irwin Mitchell
Latham & Watkins
Linklaters
Mayer Brown
Mills & Reeve
Morgan Lewis
Orrick
Pennington Manches Cooper
Pinsent Masons
Trowers & Hamlins
Watson Farley & Williams
Wedlake Bell
White & Case
Withers

From Vacation Scheme in the first instance

These are firms which recruit primarily from their vacation schemes. Direct TC routes technically exist at all of these firms but they are often only used by the firms when they do not find whom they are looking for on their vacation schemes, or when individuals have special circumstances preventing them from completing a vacation scheme. These firms sometimes explicitly advise candidates without special circumstances to apply for their vacation scheme in the first instance.

Akin Gump
Arnold & Porter
Bird & Bird
Burges Salmon
Cleary Gottlieb
Covington & Burling
Eversheds Sutherland
Gibson Dunn
Kirkland & Ellis (they have historically advertised a direct TC route, but during the previous two years they have cancelled their vacation schemes and awarded direct training contracts solely from their vacation scheme interviews)
Osborne Clarke
Sullivan & Cromwell
Travers Smith
Vinson & Elkins
Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Womble Bond Dickinson (there is only one option which is to apply for their placement scheme - after the AC they offer candidates who cannot complete the placement scheme a chance to complete a direct TC interview day instead)

Only from Vacation Scheme

Clyde & Co
CMS
Davis Polk
Debevoise & Plimpton
Dechert
DLA Piper
Gowling WLG
Herbert Smith Freehills
Jones Day
Katten
Kennedys
Milbank
Mishcon de Reya
Reed Smith
Ropes & Gray
Shearman & Sterling
Sidley Austin
Simmons & Simmons
Skadden
Squire Patton Boggs
Taylor Vinters
Taylor Wessing
Willkie Farr & Gallagher
Winston & Strawn
Thank you for the information, James! With respect to the Kirkland and Ellis direct TC route from vacation scheme interviews, does this mean the vacation scheme is not being held at all anymore?
 

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