Legal Training Contracts

Expert advice on obtaining Legal Training Contracts

Law Training Contracts

Competition for legal training contracts & vacation schemes is at an all-time high.

Applications that are clear, focused, and memorable are more critical than ever, as is performing in the many tests and assessment centres that follow.

It is essential to have a clear game plan and to be as prepared as possible. Our consultants have worked with applicants for several years and understand what it takes to succeed in the application process. We can walk you through each step of the application cycle – from written stage, to tests and interviews, to assessment centres – , using our significant experience to make it as stress-free as possible.

All of our tutors are either former practising lawyers or current offer holders – including with U.S, Magic Circle, and Silver Circle firms – and many of our candidates have received training contracts at top City firms and elsewhere.

To speak with us, don’t hesitate to get in touch online or phone 0207 060 4494.

Advice for Legal Training Contracts UK

Training Packages

We provide several services to assist with applying for a training contract or vacation scheme, including one-on-one application evaluations, interview preparation and commercial awareness courses. These services are offered independently, allowing you to pick and choose what works best for you.

Primary Stage

Initially, we review your written applications line by line with you and explain our feedback so you understand our recommendations. These sessions can be in person, online, or by telephone.

Secondary Stage

If your application is successful, the second stage focuses on assessment centre preparation. Sessions are available for a range of exercises, including interviews, tests, group exercises etc.

Speak to an education expert today…


To qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales, you must complete a two-year training period known as a “Training Contract,” during which they perform various professional duties and gain an understanding of the work of a solicitor.

Contracts for training can be completed at a law firm or a large organisation with an in-house legal department.
Anyone interested in completing a Training Contract must first complete a qualifying law degree and the Legal Practice Course (LPC), or a non-law degree, a conversion course such as the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), and then the LPC.

Trainees will typically complete their Training Contract in a variety of different “seats” in order to gain a broad level of immersion across various areas of practice.

A seat is merely the amount of time spent in a legal department. In most cases, trainee solicitors sit in four six-month seats over the course of their two-year training.

All trainees must receive a mix of litigation and non-litigation seats, according to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Firms may offer a greater number of seats over a shorter period of time in some cases. Seats will be assigned based on the nature and specialisations of work at each law firm or in-house department.

In rare cases, more than one seat can be spent on secondment

A Training Contract Secondment is when a seat is spent working with a law firm’s client, either locally or internationally. Secondments can sometimes be spent in a law firm’s overseas office in the case of larger law firms.

A secondment is intended to provide a trainee solicitor with a better understanding of the working culture and needs of the law firm’s clients, as well as the culture of overseas offices.

The goal of Training Contracts is to help students put theoretical knowledge into practice. Tasks will vary depending on the seat, but typically include: 

  1. carrying out research
  2. attending meetings and writing attendance notes
  3. drafting legal correspondence
  4. reviewing and negotiating legal contracts and other documents
  5. attending court 
  6. general administrative tasks. 

A Vacation Scheme is a period of work experience that most companies offer to current students during the summer. Schemes typically last 1-3 weeks and provide students with an overview of the legal profession and the day-to-day work involved.

Many law firms use vacation schemes as a starting point for Training Contract applications. A Vacation Scheme may end with an assessment for a Training Contract in some cases.

The demand for Training Contracts far outnumbers the supply of students. There are approximately 30,000 potential applicants across the country for 5,000 – 6,000 Training Contracts per year; a chance of approximately 18.5 per cent. This figure is closer to 5% at the most prestigious international firms.

High standards are anticipated. In most cases, this entails a minimum of a 2:1 degree, As and Bs at A-Level, relevant work experience or vacation schemes, and a high level of commercial awareness, depending on the firm.

The application process is multi-layered and involves some or all of the following:

  1. Detailed written application
  2. Psychometric tests
  3. Verbal and numerical reasoning tests
  4. HR interviews
  5. Assessment Centres (involving commercial problem exercises, presentations, group exercises, negotiating exercises etc)
  6. Partner interviews

Expert Tuition Legal Training provides one-to-one guidance at all stages of the Training Contract and Vacation Scheme application process including written applications, test and assessment centre preparation. 

Expert Tuition Legal Training also provides access to a range of online materials – including commercial awareness resources – designed to make the application process clearer and easier to navigate.