Magic circle firm Linklaters is inviting university students to complete an 'online internship' which the firm says replicates the work interns would do on a real-life vacation scheme.

The programme, which is not selective and not limited to law students, takes about six hours to complete and is designed to widen access to the legal profession. 

Students will perform fictional tasks such as recording voicemails for clients, creating email updates and putting together pitch presentation slides. Linklaters employees will not look at or assess their work, however, and 'interns' will not be paid. Self-marking options will be available. 

Graduate recruitment partner Fionnghuala Griggs said: ‘We know that a simple lack of awareness of what life is like at firms like Linklaters is often one of the biggest barriers preventing otherwise strong candidates from applying to join.

‘We hope this new virtual platform will give students a taste of what it’s really like to experience the day to day work of a city firm and inspire them to find out more.’

The announcement follows news that 10 firms have pledged to double the number of applicants from schools which do not produce many solicitors in the next three years.