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Birmingham giant Wragge & Co has enraged students after deciding to move its summer vacation schemes from June and July to September.
The firm pushed back all three of its schemes so that they did not clash with its redundancy consultation. But the move resulted in 30 per cent of students dropping out of the programme as they were scheduled to take place after 1 September, the date on which most of the larger law firms traditionally make their training contract offers to penultimate year law students.
One student told Lawyer2B.com: “Some of us just didn’t see any point in doing a vacation scheme after most firms had already started to make training contract offers.”
Despite this Wragges is still planning to go ahead with assessment days for training contracts but at later dates than it had originally hoped for. The firm is also planning to run summer vacation schemes next year.
The firm’s graduate recruitment adviser Michelle Bridge said: “Unfortunately, once the firm began its redundancy consultation it became clear that the process would coincide with our scheduled vacation schemes. We didn’t think it was fair either to the students attending those schemes or to our people to proceed. So we apologised to the students and re-arranged our vacation schemes for September. Many said they understood and appreciated our approach.”
Wragges’ vacation scheme programme is the latest to fall prey to the economic downturn. As reported by Lawyer2B.com yesterday (23 September) Edwin Coe has decided to cancel is Autumn vacation scheme because of, it claims, a lack of interest from students (see story).
Meanwhile, Eversheds and Field Fisher Waterhouse took the axe to the their summer vacation schemes and put their graduate recruitment programmes on hold after asking some of their future trainee solicitors to defer their start dates. And in Eversheds case the vacation schemes were cancelled just weeks before they were due to start.