Applications for the programme, which takes place in April, have risen by 53 per cent from last year’s levels.
The unique scheme is designed to form a pathway to a graduate traineeship with Newcastle-headquartered Watson Burton providing opportunity for graduates to showcase more than just their academic achievements. Successful candidates spend time in several different legal departments, including corporate, employment, real estate, construction, commercial litigation and professions and insurance.
Students are given the opportunity to undertake work similar to that which they would encounter as a trainee solicitor. The scheme also helps students to learn more about the working environment of a major law firm.
After taking part in the vacation scheme, successful candidates can be offered a training contract with Watson Burton, following additional assessment.
Claire Pringle, human resources officer at Watson Burton, said: “We are witnessing increasing demand for training opportunities at the firm and an upsurge in applications from high calibre candidates from a range of universities.
“The vacation scheme is the first step on the ladder to a rewarding legal career with Watson Burton and is proving highly popular. The scheme allows graduates to demonstrate their people skills and positive attitudes, both of which are essential in the delivery of client-centric legal services. Many of our graduate trainees have become leading experts in their fields of law, and have progressed with Watson Burton to senior positions. Indeed, several partners at Watson Burton started their careers here as graduate trainees.”
Chris Graham, partner and training principal at Watson Burton, said: “It’s fantastic to see that so many law students are being attracted to the training opportunities we offer here at Watson Burton. We offer close support and mentoring to trainees and help them to build their confidence and capabilities. They are given the opportunity to work closely with senior staff on cases and this greatly helps to enhance their understanding of the legal and wider business landscapes.”
Watson Burton recently awarded training contracts to five new graduates, who are now undertaking a two-year programme, during which time they will work across Watson Burton’s key practice areas.
The graduate training programme covers four six month rotations across Watson Burton’s national groups and each trainee will be supported by an experienced mentor.
Watson Burton has offices in Leeds and London as well as the North East. It delivers commercial legal services nationwide. Its core practice areas are corporate, employment, real estate, construction and dispute resolution.