Magic circle firm Linklaters is to offer virtual work experience for A-level students, after 18,000 undergraduates enrolled on its digital internship during lockdown.

The programme, which will be available to all 16- to 18-year-olds, is designed to boost diversity at a time when students are being cut off from work experience due to lockdown restrictions. The firm said teenagers will complete a number of tasks during the ‘internship’, including advising a client on insolvency issues, identifying key arguments in a dispute resolution case, and helping the Linklaters team with the early stages of an M&A transaction.

The firm said it is the first scheme aimed specifically at school leavers and will consist of a variety of video and interactive content.

Fionnghuala Griggs, trainee recruitment partner, said: ‘We are passionate about increasing access to the City to students of all backgrounds and enabling young people to learn more about what it means to be a commercial lawyer. We want to offer this free experience to young people from anywhere in the country to inspire students, regardless of their background, school, or location, that a career in law is open to them.’

Linklaters was ahead of the curve when it rolled out a 'virtual reality internship' for university students in August 2019. The programme, which is not selective and is not limited to law students, takes about six hours to complete and is also designed to widen access to the legal profession. Some 18,000 university students have enrolled on the course during the pandemic.