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How will the coronavirus affect my vacation scheme and training contract?
By now, you are likely aware of the health pandemic known as COVID-19 (the “Coronavirus”) and the devastating impact it is having on businesses and countries around the world.
Like many law firms, Howes Percival is doing everything it can to adhere to the government’s health guidelines, and limit the spread of the Coronavirus. As a result, all of our offices are closed until further notice, and all staff members are working remotely.
In light of this unprecedented situation, many of you may understandably be worried about how the Coronavirus will affect our summer vacation scheme and graduate recruitment. Therefore, I will do my best to address your concerns below.
Firstly, for the time being, we do not intend to cancel our summer vacation scheme. However, please note that this is contingent on how the COVID-19 situation develops over the next few weeks. Although we sincerely hope that things will have improved by the time our vacation scheme is scheduled to start (i.e. in June/July), we are unsure how long the existing lockdown and social distancing measures will last. Therefore, there is a possibility that we might not be able to run our summer vacation scheme. If this occurs, we will endeavour to inform you as soon as possible.
Similarly, for the moment, we do not intend to cancel our 2022 Training Contract recruitment and will continue accepting application until 30 June.
Secondly, if you are a student or future trainee whose Legal Practice Course (LPC) exams have been disrupted as a result of the Coronavirus, you may be able to write your exams online. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) recently announced that they have relaxed their current assessment requirements for all parts of the LPC and will consider applications from LPC providers for online or remote proctoring of assessments. On this basis, I recommend that you talk to your LPC provider to find out about their assessment arrangements.
Lastly, do not worry if you are unable to complete the LPC before the start of your training contract. The SRA has confirmed that trainees are permitted to start their training contract before they have completed the LPC. For more information on this and the SRA’s recent announcement, visit Coronavirus update – Education and Training Q&A.
Despite these reassurances, I know some of you will be worried and anxious about the future, but I urge you to remain positive. This situation will surely pass and things will return to normal.
In the meantime, use this extended period at home to learn a new skill, read the pile of unread books on your desk, practise your cooking skills, reconnect with friends and family, etc. I also encourage you to take advantage of the numerous free courses that are being offered online and learn a new skill.
I sincerely hope that you and your families stay safe and healthy.