Training contracts

Start as a trainee, qualify as an associate – and discover all kinds of firsts along the way.  Your training contract is the biggest step in your graduate legal career, and it’s packed with achievements, from first seats to first deals to first secondment abroad.

Over the course of two years, you’ll take on four different seats:  six-month rotations that expose you to a range of our sectors and practice areas. You’ll do three in our core areas – banking, corporate and disputes – and one on secondment, either to a client or to one of our global offices.

Salary

Requirements

Our training contracts are open to:

  • Finalists and graduates of all degree disciplines
  • Penultimate-year law students

Either way, you’ll have or be predicted at least a 2:1 (or equivalent) in any discipline, and have achieved at least AAB (or equivalent) at A-level.

Deadlines

Applications are open 1 October 2017 - 15 July 2018

Finalists and graduates should apply between October and March.

Penultimate-year law students should apply after receiving their second-year grades.

Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)

Never studied law before? Then the first step of your training contract is the Graduate Diploma in Law, or the GDL. If you’re successful in applying for your training contract, we’ll pay for you to study the GDL for 12 months at BPP University. All your fees are fully covered, and we’ll even give you an £8000 maintenance grant.

At this well-respected law school, you’ll cover all the basics you need to know about the English legal system. Taught by academics and legal professionals, you’ll learn alongside your cohort, as well as with students from other major UK law firms.

You can study for the GDL in a city of your choice, with branches in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. Wherever you choose though, we’ll keep in touch with you with networking events and training days.

 

For more information on the SRA changes, please the SQE holding statements – Law and Non-law.

Note: Because of decisions made this year by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the route to qualification (GDL, LPC and training contract) will change soon, probably in 2020. With this switch happening at every firm in England and Wales, flexibility will be key for you, but our support and your prospects won’t change.

 

On the first day of the GDL, I met another girl going to Norton Rose Fulbright, and we ended up in the same group, then we travelled together after the GDL, came back to do the LPC together, and then started at the firm together. All the way through, and she was literally the first person I met on the first day.


– Claudia Culley, second-seat trainee

After opening a locker packed with textbooks, it was nice to meet my cohort and see some familiar faces. People you’d done your vacation scheme with and everyone you’d met at the pre-LPC day. You get to know everyone fairly well that way.


– Joe Bamford, fourth-seat trainee

Your first seat

Time to get started for real. Once you’ve finished your law school qualification(s), you’ll come to the firm to start your training contract in earnest.

That starts with an induction: two and a half weeks that prepares you for life at a law firm, from soft skills training to how to use the library.

Next, you’ll start your first seat – likely in banking, disputes or corporate. You’ll be launched into the work of your sector, cutting your teeth on legal research, document drafting and more. You might even be let loose on an on-going deal.  

 

Going on secondment

Progress is for everyone at our firm – and that means you don’t have to compete for a secondment. It’s a milestone we think everyone should have, so we encourage every trainee to do at least one of their four seats either on client secondment or in one of our international offices.

It’s a leap into the unknown of course, but one you won’t make alone. We’ll follow your progress throughout the six months, and if you’re going abroad, we’ll arrange any language lessons you need, as well as flights, accommodation, insurance, and an expenses grant.

 

Let’s discover Hong Kong

Third-seat trainee Sophia Maudslay explores Hong Kong on secondment. We spoke to her while she was there to get the inside track on the city, on hiking in the islands, and why dragon boat racing is well worth a go.

Explore with Sophia

Support and development

You’re working on live projects. Going abroad. Taking responsibility for your own clients. It all sounds like a lot to take in - and it is, make no mistake. But you won’t have to go through it alone. Here’s just some of the ways we’ll support you:

  • Trainee buddy
  • Partner mentor
  • Seat-specific practice area training
  • Day-to-day associate support
  • Trainee development team

 

The first time I met my partner mentor, Kirsty, was quite early on, when we met up to see how things were going. Not just how I was finding the work but where I was staying, if I was making friends, how I was settling into things.

The first time I met my partner mentor, Kirsty, was quite early on, when we met up to see how things were going. Not just how I was finding the work but where I was staying, if I was making friends, how I was settling into things.


Nishant Singh, first-seat trainee

My first meeting with my partner mentor was like going for tea at my grandparents’ house. He was incredibly calm and avuncular, dispensing wisdom I really needed. It felt like having a family member in the office.

My first meeting with my partner mentor was like going for tea at my grandparents’ house. He was incredibly calm and avuncular, dispensing wisdom I really needed. It felt like having a family member in the office.


Jonathan Hawkins, first-seat trainee

Our goal really is to show our trainees that partners are totally approachable. We’re just like any other person working in the firm.

Our goal really is to show our trainees that partners are totally approachable. We’re just like any other person working in the firm.


Kirsty Hick, insurance partner

The trainees are treated with respect and full support from the associates and partners. It’s calm yet busy, monitored yet autonomous, and always personable.

The trainees are treated with respect and full support from the associates and partners. It’s calm yet busy, monitored yet autonomous, and always personable.


Ilian Petrov, second-seat trainee.

Supporting others

From your first seat onwards, you won’t just be part of the work we do for our clients. You’ll also do your first pro-bono work at law centres in Tower Hamlets and Croydon, providing advice and legal aid to those most in need. 

“Working at Croydon Law Centre for the first time is memorable for all of us. It’s humbling to help people often going through incredibly difficult issues, around their homes and livelihoods, and to feel like you can properly make a difference in their lives with the skills and training you have.”

– Joe Bamford, fourth-seat trainee

Supporting the wider world

As well as your pro-bono work, now’s also the time to start getting involved in our corporate responsibility work. Below is just a sample of what we do, but you can find out more here.

Barretstown

Supporting charity providing therapy and play for seriously ill children

Together for sport

Volunteering with sporting charities for disadvantaged and disabled children

Schools

Classroom volunteering through the Southwark Education Business Alliance

Helping Hands Club

Teaching life skills in Southwark for those with learning and physical disabilities

Breast Cancer Care

Annual legal sector cycling challenge, raising funds for breast cancer patients

Action for Children
Annual sleep-out in Potters Fields Park to raise funds for homeless children

Qualification and beyond

Your career is an on-going story of firsts and new achievements – and that doesn’t stop at the end of your training contract. First day as an associate. Senior associate. Partner. There’s all that to look forward to, and a whole firm full of support to help you achieve it. Our ongoing formal training includes:

  • International academies
  • Executive coaching
  • Bespoke in-house learning and development sessions
  • Support to research new business initiatives
  • Supervising partners

Time to get started

That’s it. Everything you need to know about our training contracts - who can do them, what’s involved, what you’ll achieve. If you’re ready to take the first step, it’s time to apply.

Apply now

Explore our opportunities