Vacation schemes

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Vacation scheme programme

We offer vacation schemes in our Basingstoke, Birmingham, Cambridge, Guildford, London, Oxford and Reading offices. You will spend time working in one of the firm’s practice areas in either business services, dispute resolution, private individuals or real estate. Throughout the week you will gain hands-on experience, enabling you to develop an understanding of our work and culture.

There will be opportunities to be involved in real assignments, whether this be drafting documents, attending client and team meetings, conducting research or sometimes even attending court hearings and arbitrations. You will be allocated a trainee buddy  and senior mentor who will be on hand to support and guide you throughout your time with us.

During your week at the firm, you can also expect:

  • introductory sessions on our practice areas;
  • a team building session with your fellow vacation scheme participants;
  • the chance to meet with our CEO to learn more about the firm’s vision and strategic objectives;
  • a meeting with members of our PennFuture committee, a group that aims to bring together junior lawyers from each of our offices; and
  • networking and social opportunities with colleagues across the firm. 

We run one spring and two summer vacation schemes each year. There are ten places available on each scheme across all our locations. The dates for 2024 are as follows:

Spring scheme: Monday 8 April - Friday 12 April 2024

Summer scheme one: Monday 10 June - Friday 14 June 2024

Summer scheme two: Monday 24 June - Friday 28 June 2024

Recruitment process

Applications for our vacation scheme programme must be submitted online by 3 January 2024. Click here for a list of our graduate events taking place this year including a session on application top tips!

Successful applicants will be invited to an online assessment centre between January and March. Our assessment centres are made up of three timed exercises: a written assessment, an interview with an associate at the firm and a role play exercise. More details on these will be given to you at invitation stage. You will also have an opportunity to meet virtually with some of our trainees to ask them any questions you may have about the firm. 

We aim to let successful candidates know the outcome within two weeks of the assessment centre. Before you join us, our early careers team will arrange a call with you to provide some tips on how best to prepare for your vacation scheme. 

A large proportion of our training contract positions are recruited through the vacation scheme, so if this is your end goal, the scheme is a good route to take. You will automatically be considered for our 2026 trainee solicitor programme when applying for the vacation scheme. During the course of the week, you will be assessed to determine whether you are invited to a final round training contract interview which will take place following your vacation scheme.

If you require individual arrangements or adjustments at any stage of the recruitment process, please contact the early careers team at

What are we looking for?

The vacation scheme is open to candidates who are planning to take up a training contract in two years’ time.

We are looking for dedicated, diverse candidates with a strong academic record and commercial awareness.  

Eligibility criteria:

  • penultimate year or final year law undergraduates, final year non-law undergraduates or post-graduates and career changers
  • no minimum A-level grade requirements  
  • having, or being on track for a 2:1 degree in any discipline
  • a commitment to a career in law
  • being a great team player
  • exceptional communication skills

We understand that extenuating circumstances can occur during studies and therefore if you do not meet these criteria and feel that your grades are not a true indicator of your abilities, please include some context within your application and this will be considered.

To reward you for your efforts, successful applicants will receive a salary and lunch vouchers for the week. 

How to apply

The recruitment timetable is as follows:

  • Applications open: apply here
  • Applications close: 3 January 2024
  • Assessment centres: January 2024 - March 2024
  • Vacation scheme: We offer candidates a one week placement during the spring or summer. The dates of our 2024 vacation schemes are as follows:
    • Spring scheme: Monday 8 April - Friday 12 April 2024
    • Summer scheme one: Monday 10 June - Friday 14 June 2024
    • Summer scheme two: Monday 24 June - Friday 28 June 2024

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP