Freshfields shifts application deadline for conversion students

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is bringing forward its training contract application deadline for non-law students after seeing a surge in applications.

The firm normally accepts applications from final-year non-law students until 31 July, but has moved the deadline to 31 May. The firm will continue to accept applications from law students until the end of July for positions starting in February 2012 and August 2012.

The firm also confirmed that the number of trainees it plans to hire will remain unchanged at 90.

Freshfields acting head of graduate recruitment Ben Staveley said: “We’ve already enjoyed a strong flow of high-quality applications for our 2012 training contracts from non-law students. We need to make sure we don’t unbalance our intakes by leaving no room in them for law students, and we don’t want to manage numbers by deferring training contracts as some firms have done.”

The firm does not have a set quota for trainees with non-law backgrounds, with most of its recruits graduating with law degrees.

Freshfields is the first major firm to bring its application deadline forward during the 2009-10 recruitment season.

This time last year several firms had either moved deadlines forward or cancelled their graduate recruitment programmes altogether

Slaughter and May, which accepts training contract applications on a rolling basis, announced last March that it had to stop taking applications from non-law students earlier than usual after being inundated.