Virtual Experience: Linklaters Launches a Virtual Reality Internship

virtual reality internshipIn a UK first, Linklaters’ new ‘virtual internship’ looks to allow students to replicate the real work of interns during the highly competitive vacation scheme.

The platform is called ‘Inside Sherpa’ and is for UK university students from any degree. It would take roughly six hours to complete and the tasks are wide-ranging, involving creating pitches and creating email updates

While the ‘interns’ won’t be paid, or their work assessed by Linklaters’ employees or partners, they will receive video instructions from partners and self-mark the work they have done.

This is the first UK company to engage in such a platform. As such, the move may make the firm more attractive to those who believe their background prevents them from applying to a City law firm, or more generally, due to the forwarding thinking nature of the firm.

Linklaters believes this platform is most useful for those who believe they cannot access or apply to City law firms.

Fionnghuala Griggs, a graduate recruitment partner at Linklaters, 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”.

While this ‘virtual internship’ may provide a key look into what an intern may do, the lack of variety of tasks may mean this opportunity doesn’t fulfill its potential. Furthermore, it would by no means be a substitute for an actual vacation scheme, though it may help demystify what those schemes entail. This e-learning platform has already been trialed in Australia by Linklaters and was “extremely successful”, therefore its roll out in the UK has been met with excitement.

It will also be interesting to see if any other firms also launch their own ‘virtual internship’, or something similar. At the time of writing, KPMG have launched a similar platform which promises to ‘take the mystery out of big data and learn what it’s like to produce business results with the KPMG data analytics team’. In the highly competitive legal world where ‘any experience is good experience’, it looks a highly innovative and useful venture for all involved.

Written by Steve McCann
In-House Counsel

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