Vacation schemes

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Vacation scheme programme

We offer vacation scheme placements in our Basingstoke, Cambridge. Guildford, London, Oxford and Reading offices. Interns spend time in one of the firm’s practice areas in either business services, private wealth or real estate. You will be involved in real assignments, working alongside a trainee in the team to get a realistic view of what life is really like at Penningtons Manches Cooper. Activities regularly include drafting documents, attending client and team meetings, conducting research or sometimes even attending court. The majority of our offices are open plan so getting to know the wider teams will not be an issue. You will be given a senior mentor, and networking with others is strongly encouraged. Some sessions will be put on to facilitate this, but the more you put into the vacation scheme, the more you will get out of it.

A large proportion of our training contract positions are recruited through our vacation scheme, so if this is your end goal, applying for the scheme is a good route to take. Hear from some of our future trainees that came through the vacation scheme about their experiences here.

The dates of our 2021 vacation schemes are expected to be as follows:

Summer scheme one 14 - 18 June 2021

Summer scheme two 21 – 25 June 2021

Summer scheme three 28 June – 2 July 2021

Summer scheme four 5 - 9 July 2021

Recruitment process

Recruitment is conducted on a rolling basis. Applications must be submitted online and assessment centres typically start in December and are completed by March. Our assessment centres are made up of three exercises: a written assessment, a one on one interview and a simulation client interview.

Please note that due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is likely that for the 2021 vacation scheme all assessments will take place online.  

Upon completion of the scheme you will be asked to submit an application for the training contract. Those selected will undertake a Watson Glazer critical thinking test (online) and take part in an interview with a partner and member of HR, which will also incorporate a presentation based on a legal case study.

If you require any special assistance or adjustments during the recruitment process, please contact the early careers recruitment team at

What are we looking for?

The vacation scheme is open to those 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. You should be passionate about law, a great team player and have exceptional communication skills.

We welcome applications from all degree disciplines and from applicants at all stages of their careers. You’ll have, or be on track to have, a 2:1 degree or higher and a minimum of AAB at A-Level (or the equivalent if educated outside the UK). Please note that undergraduate applicants must be in their penultimate or final year of a law degree or their final year of a non-law degree.

How to apply

Please complete our application form here:

The recruitment timetable is as follows:

  • Applications open: 1 October 2020
  • Applications close: 31 January 2021 (applications are reviewed and candidates recruited on a rolling basis)
  • Assessments: December 2020 - April 2021
  • Offers: April 2021
  • Vacation scheme: We offer candidates a one week placement during the summer. The dates of our 2021 vacation schemes are expected to be as follows:
    • Summer scheme one 14 - 18 June 2021
    • Summer scheme two 21 - 25 June 2021 
    • Summer scheme three 28 June - 2 July 2021
    • Summer scheme four 5 - 9 July 2021

We strongly recommend that you apply for our placements as we often recruit trainees through these schemes.

Come and speak to us

This year we will be at the following virtual recruitment fairs, so please do come and see us if you have questions you would like answering or want to get a better feel for the firm.

Event name Date
BPP Cambridge – Recruiters Evening Event 14 October
BPP National Law Fair (all offices) 15 October
All About Law - Non Russell Group Universities 27 October
All About Law - Russell Group Universities 28 October
All About Law - Diversity 29 October
BPP Regional Law Fair (covering our Birmingham, Oxford and Cambridge offices) 9 November
Legal Cheek 10 November
BPP London and South Law Fair (covering our London, Basingstoke, Reading and Guildford offices) 12 November
BPP National Law Fair (all offices) 9 December

If you would like further information, please call Helen Lewis on 01256 407195. Alternatively, please e-mail

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.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP