Vacation schemes

It’s no holiday, but it is a great introduction to life with us

40 graduates. 2 weeks. 1 unique opportunity

Vacation Scheme Dates

  • Spring Vacation Scheme: 16 April – 26 April 2024 (deadline – 15 January 2024)

Applications open 7th September 2023.

Our vacation schemes are the perfect way to gain an insight into life at Shearman & Sterling. The scheme will see you experience two diverse practice groups (one each week), with your personal preferences catered to. The scheme aims to mirror the Training Contract in that everyone will experience at least one of our core transactional groups (M&A, Finance and Project Development & Finance) as well as being allocated a mentor and supervisor to provide advice and support, answer any questions and most importantly – provide you with some work!


Participants on our scheme will quickly become an integral part of our small teams. You will work alongside the trainees, not shadowing but really getting involved with typical trainee tasks such as research, proofreading, drafting emails and memos, attending client calls and meetings and discussing issues with team members.

Participants on the schemes will experience an induction on the first day, getting you up to speed with our IT systems and some practical top tips as well as getting to know each other – helping you to build your legal network from day one!

As well as getting to grips with the work a trainee may be exposed to, you’ll get a great insight into the social life of the firm. This includes team building exercises, lunches and dinners to chat to people in a less formal setting and interactive events to get you relaxed and ready for the challenge of the fortnight. The scheme also provides a range of talks and sessions to ensure you get a feel for the full-service capability of Shearman & Sterling and can make an informed decision on your future career.

Previous participants have enjoyed the chance to get to know the firm from the inside (warts and all!), allowing you a real look at what life would be like here and starting to think about whether you can imagine yourself at the firm. This should very much be a two-way process and is great preparation for what life as a trainee will entail.

The Recruitment Process

The recruitment process for our vacation schemes is straightforward, involving an online application and an interview.

The interview will be with a member of the HR team and a lawyer; it will cover your motivations for applying, your commercial awareness and your competencies for the role. We are looking for a positive attitude, energy & ambition, real business interest and a specific interest in Shearman & Sterling. The best candidates have researched the firm and industry well, concisely but comprehensively describe their experiences and achievements, and are not afraid to show their individual personality.

We value diversity and welcome applications from all ages, nationalities and backgrounds – we do not limit our vacation schemes to undergraduates but do ask that you apply two years in advance, as we are currently recruiting for trainees who will commence with the firm in August 2026.


Training Contract Assessment

Not only are the schemes a great way to experience life at Shearman & Sterling but many of those on the schemes go on to successfully gain a place on our training contract.

All participants will automatically be assessed for a training contract during the vacation scheme. The assessments cover the four elements from our assessment centres: a written exercise, case study discussion, group exercise and partner interview. These are all fair to both law and non-law students and cannot be prepared for in advance. After the scheme you’ll receive comprehensive feedback and have a great experience to include in future applications and your C.V.

Read more about our recruitment process.

Apply now

Shearman & Sterling Vacation Scheme