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Training Contract Deadlines 2023

by Nirali Kothari
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Below is a listing of upcoming deadlines for training contracts law training contracts starting in 2024. Although most firms accept direct training contract applications some firms strictly hire trainee solicitors from their vacation schemes. Our article reflects both situations.

We recommend you apply as early as possible once applications open to firms that recruit on a rolling basis since these firms look at applications and begin inviting candidates for interview before their deadline has passed. Last but not the least, deadlines occasionally change at the last minute and while we endeavour to keep the information on this page as up to date as possible, please remember to keep checking the relevant firms’ websites to keep abreast of all up to date deadlines.

 

Training Contract Deadlines 

Firm Name Deadline to apply Training Contract Start Date Application Link
  • Addleshaw Goddard
31 July 2022 2024 https://graduates.addleshawgoddard.com/apply/
  • Brabners LLP
30 June 2022 2024 https://www.brabners.com/join-us/trainee-solicitors
  • Burges Salmon
23 June 2022 2024 https://www.burges-salmon.com/careers/trainee-solicitors/application-timelines
  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
31 July 2022 2024 https://legalrecruit-eu.cgsh.com/EUselfapply/viRecruitSelfApply/ReDefault.aspx?Tag=7b6f8a57-ad0a-49de-930c-71612ac4ce66
  • Dentons
30 June 2022 2024 https://challengers.dentons.com/uk-trainees/opportunities/training-contracts/
  • DWF
24 June 2022 2024 https://dwfgroup.com/en/careers/graduate-recruitment/trainee-solicitor-programme
  • Eversheds Sutherland
26 June 2022 2024 https://www.eversheds-sutherland.com/global/en/where/europe/uk/overview/careers/graduates/apply.page
  • Farrer & Co LLP
15 July 2022 2024 https://www.farrer.co.uk/join-us/train-with-us/
  • Forsters
13 June 2022 2024 https://www.forsters.co.uk/graduate-recruitment/how-to-apply
  • HFW
31 July 2022 2024 http://www.training-contracts.com/Grad-Rec-Home
  • Hogan Lovells
31 July 2022 (law students) 2024  https://graduates.hoganlovells.com/opportunities/training-contract
  • K&L Gates LLP
31 July 2022 2024 https://www.klgates.com/uk-trainee-solicitor
  • Kingsley Napley
15 May 2022 2023 & 2024 https://www.kingsleynapley.co.uk/careers/why-train-at-kingsley-napley/apply
  • Macfarlanes LLP
25 July 2022 2024 https://www.macfarlanes.com/join-us/trainee-solicitors/apply/
  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
8 July 2022 2024 https://www.morganlewis.com/careers/students-trainees-judicial-clerks
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
11 July 2022 2024  https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en-gb/careers/graduates/apply
  • Pinsent Masons
20 May 2022  2024 https://www.pinsentmasons.com/careers/graduate/training-contracts/england
  • Stephenson Harwood
31 July 2022  2024 https://www.shlegal-futuretalent.com/applying/london
  • TLT LLP
31 May 2022 2024 https://www.tltsolicitors.com/careers/trainees/
  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP
31 July 2022  2024 https://ukrecruiting.weil.com/training-contract
  • White & Case LLP
15 July 2022 2024 https://www.whitecase.com/careers/locations/uk/students/our-offer/training-contracts

 

Now, since we have made a note of the deadlines let us get started with the application process. Below are some useful tips and pointers on how to secure a training contract thereby assisting you to turn your dream of becoming a trainee solicitor into achievable steps.

 

Tips on how to secure a Training Contract

Attending events

Engaging with law firms through events is a great way to gain a unique insight into their culture, learn more about their opportunities, interact with their current trainees and partners, and ask questions to their graduate recruitment team. Many firms run insight days, open days and networking events which are free to attend. Some may require you to complete a short application question before offering you a place, so these events can also be competitive. Attending events demonstrates that you have a keen interest in law and that you have taken the initiative to further your understanding of the legal profession. These events can also be included as work experience on your CV or on your application form.

Networking

Whilst the phrase ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know is no longer a given rule in the legal profession, building a professional network is still a prerequisite. Look out for networking events organised by local law firms and business organisations and sign up to attend those. You can also join your University’s law society or local legal community and get involved in events and activities they are hosting in your area. Think about how to network online as well as offline. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and that you have a professional photo. LinkedIn can be an excellent place to research potential firms and engage with their social media posts, blogs and employee updates. You can even add people you have met and had an insightful conversation with during a networking event as well as in case you find someone interesting and with a background similar to yourself, you can reach out to them through LinkedIn as well for a short chat or coffee.

Gaining work experience

Gaining legal work experience can help to build your understanding of the role of a trainee solicitor from a practical perspective. Paralegal roles, law firm internships, virtual internships, vacation schemes, pro bono work and legal volunteering are some examples of useful legal work experience. Particularly, vacation schemes are important as they are one or two-week placements conducted by law firms with the view of a training contract assessment and offer on completion.

However, do not discount other relevant work experiences such as customer service roles in businesses or similar commercial environments as these also help in demonstrating transferable skills that may be used as a trainee solicitor such as speaking to customers, working under pressure and working within a team. 

Developing commercial awareness 

Commercial awareness is most effectively shown by the ability to discuss legal, economic and geopolitical issues about a firm’s clients. Developing your commercial awareness is essential as this is an important skill that law firms expect their trainee solicitors to possess. It’s important to be able to show that you have a good understanding of how a law firm works as a business and how the wider market and economy will impact them and their clients.

You need to have specific examples in your armoury and use talking points to act as a springboard for a well-informed, engaging and intelligent discussion. Time will need to be set aside to equip yourself with the requisite understanding, knowledge and insight of the legal sector and the commercial developments that present challenges and opportunities for businesses. Some useful resources for developing commercial awareness include signing up to law newsletters, google alerts for certain law firms and specific topics, legal podcasts and newspapers such as the Financial Times and The Guardian.

Research your target firms

Make sure you know your target firm(s), the clients they work with, their partners and their focus areas of expertise. You should conduct research into various aspects of the firm, including its recent deals, training structure and geographical reach. Read recent news stories and social media posts about the firm and its competitors as well. Being able to show that you have conducted some thorough research and therefore have a decent understanding of the firm and its operations will stand you in good stead.

Be yourself

I do not think this can be stressed enough. Firms want to get to know the real you, so it is important to stay genuine. This applies to all stages of the training contract process be it applications, interviews or the vacation scheme. Avoid using flowery language and instead, make sure your answers demonstrate your unique strengths and the individuality of experiences and achievements you may have. It is important that you sell yourself as a candidate, rather than selling the idea of the ‘perfect’ trainee since partners buy into your personality and you as a potential future investment for the firm. 

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Nirali graduated with a Distinction upon studying the full-time Legal Practice Course (LPC) at BPP University. She is currently working as an in-house Legal Advisor for a company in the Middle East.
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