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Vacation placements - England

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The perfect introduction to Pinsent Masons

We design, structure and develop the placement programme to give you an experience which is practical and enjoyable whilst authentically reflecting the Trainee Solicitor experience.


We make business work better for people

Retention rates

We are proud to retain 100% of our trainees

Comprehensive Training

We deliver core and complementary training

The value of a placement


For many people, a Vacation Placement presents the first opportunity to work in a professional organisation and environment. We make sure that first step is an easy one with a day one induction. You’ll be welcomed to the firm and encouraged to make the most of every opportunity.

You’ll experience what it’s like to be part of the Pinsent Masons team and get the chance to make a great first impression. You’ll also get the opportunity to develop transferable professional skills, building your confidence along the way. It’s also a great opportunity to get a feel for the social scene, make friends and start building a useful network of contacts for the rest of your career.


Structure and dates


The placements in our English offices will run from Monday 26 June - Friday 7 July.

Our in-house placements are full time i.e. 35 hours per week and may not be suitable for candidates with restricted work permits.  We don’t offer ad hoc placements or work experience opportunities, so you must make sure you’re available for the full placement during the above dates.

For those individuals not able to join our in-house placements for some reason, our virtual placements offer a more flexible alternative. This development supports our commitment to widening access to the legal profession and we strongly encourage you to visit our open-access Virtual Work Experience Programme if you are unable to participate in our in-house Vacation Placement.

If you want to find out more about the placements before applying, why not come and meet us at one of our events?



We believe placements should be paid as, while you are with us, you will be making a valuable contribution to our business. We also recognise that undertaking placements can mean incurring costs for travel and accommodation. That is why we pay our Vacation Placement students a competitive rate of pay while at the firm.

Our 2023 Vacation Placement salaries are yet to be confirmed but for our last in-house placement during summer 2022 they were:

  • English regional offices: £400 per week
  • London office: £450 per week


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If you don’t meet the above criteria but there are mitigating circumstances that explain why you’ve failed to meet the minimum academic requirements, there’s an opportunity for you to include this information in your application.


Vacation placement to training contract


If you gain a placement, it’s because we already see you as a potential Trainee. And during the time you spend with us, we’ll do our best to give you every chance to prove us right. That’s why Vacation Placement students don’t need to make a separate application for our Training Contract programme. In our eyes you’re already in the running. During your placement we’ll provide you with the opportunity to develop your knowledge, skills and confidence. We’ll gather feedback from your practice group which, together with the results of your assessments, will help us determine the outcome of your application. It's your first opportunity to take the law into your own hands. Make the most of it!


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A focus on detail

With a conscientious approach, you’ll have the ability to read and absorb large amounts of reference material and spot errors quickly. You’ll be a stickler for detail when it comes to your own writing too, ensuring it’s always clear and accurate.

An interest in business

An interest in business

We’re a commercial law firm, so you’ll have a genuine interest in how business works. That means keeping up-to-date with the latest business issues, as well as appreciating how legal expertise can support and steer commercial organisations.

Intellectual capability

Intellectual capability

You’ve the intellectual curiosity to explore new approaches and ask others’ opinions. With an analytical approach, you think things through and weigh up the implications, but also have the capacity to think on your feet to find solutions.



You’ll be approachable, outgoing and confident engaging with people from different backgrounds and experiences to your own. Whether you’re communicating with colleagues or clients, you’ll understand the need to adapt your message to suit your audience.

Personal drive

Personal drive

You’ll need to combine a real desire to be the best with the energy, ambition and enthusiasm to go the extra mile to succeed. With a can-do attitude, you’re always open to learning from your experience, so you can be even better next time.

Personal  responsibility

Personal responsibility

You understand that taking responsibility for your successes and acknowledging when things go wrong will help you to constantly improve and achieve your career aims. By knowing your strengths and weaknesses, you give others confidence in your abilities.


Positive impact

With the self-assurance to voice your own opinions and defend your point of view when you need to, you’ll be a convincing and persuasive communicator. But you’ll also have the self-awareness to ask for help when you need it.



You understand priorities and monitor your progress towards set objectives. By being well-organised and planning and managing your work efficiently, you make sure you always deliver quality work on time.

Our recruitment process

We’ve designed our application process to ensure you’ll know the outcome in no more than three months after the application deadline. The below shows a typical recruitment and selection process. You’ll be given full details of the process in relation to your own recruitment as appropriate.

    • Do I have to apply for a Training Contract as well as a Vacation Placement?

      If we offer you a Vacation Placement programme, we’ll automatically consider you for a Training Contract at the firm and your placement will include Training Contract assessments. If you don’t gain a Vacation Placement, you’ll need to wait until the following year to apply for either a Vacation Placement or Training Contract.

    • How long does the Vacation Placement last?

      The programme runs over a two-week period in the English and Belfast offices, and over three weeks in the Scottish offices. Each office typically has two intakes of Vacation Placement students, starting in June and July.

    • Is the Vacation Placement programme paid?

      Yes, in 2019 Vacation Placement students were paid £375 per week in London, £325 per week in the English regional offices, £350 in Scotland and £350 in Northern Ireland. Salaries are reviewed annually.

    • Do you get to choose which practice group you sit in?

      We’ll ask you to tell us your top three practice group preferences and we’ll do our best to place you in one of them. However, from time to time, it may be difficult to achieve this due to commercial reasons.

    • Can I take a Vacation Placement in my first year at university?

      No, we don’t offer Vacation Placements to first year students unless you’re on the accelerated (two-year) LLB or equivalent. If you’re a first-year student, we’d encourage you to develop your legal knowledge by attending campus events and insight evenings or through gaining some commercial experience.

    • Do you offer Vacation Placements in your overseas offices?

      Our Hong Kong office offers a Vacation Placement, but this is only available if you’re looking to train and qualify in Hong Kong. Although we don’t offer Vacation Placements in any of our other international offices, we do offer a work-shadow placement scheme in Dubai.

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