If you want to become a solicitor, you will need to apply for training contracts in order to qualify. Training contracts are highly competitive.. This section provides a detailed guide to training contracts, tips and a step-by-step guide to securing a training contract.
This period of recognised training is regulated by the Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority (SRA). It’s supervised by the law firm or organisation’s experienced solicitors.
You can become a trainee solicitor after a qualifying law degree and the LPC. Or, if you did a non-law degree, after a conversion course, like the GDL.
A law training contract gives a trainee solicitor the opportunity to demonstrate to their firm of legal department and the SRA that you they the skills required to successfully practice law.
Legal trainees do this through completing different training contract seats and immersing themselves in the culture of the law firm.
Training Contracts Salary
A training contract salary can vary greatly depending on where in the UK you complete your solicitor training contract and the type of law firm you apply to.
Starting Law Trainee Salary (London)
Starting Law Trainee Salary (Outside London)
Recommended minimum salary
£35,000 - £48,000
£18,000 - £35,000
What Does a Trainee Solicitor do?
As a trainee solicitor, you will put all of your theoretical studies from university into practice.
You will get involved in work for a number of different clients.
Daily tasks may include:
Attending meetings with clients
Drafting emails and letters to clients
Drafting and negotiating legal documents and contracts
Preparing for and attending court proceedings
Administrative tasks such as proofreading documents
Want to know more about the kind of work you might complete on your training contract? Hear from a trainee solicitor in the banking department of Norton Rose Fulbright in the video below.
Law Training Contract Seats
Law training contract seats are periods of time that law trainees spend in specific legal departments. Rotating seats allows you to develop and build your legal work experience and practical training in a number of different practice areas of the law.
Depending on where you train, trainee solicitors will either complete four six-month training contract seats or a greater number of shorter seats. In smaller law firms and large organisations with legal teams, legal trainees may have fewer departments to rotate between.
The types of seats you can expect will vary from firm to firm depending on its law specialism. You will be placed in both contentious (those which involve disputes) and non-contentious seats.
In this video, Victoria, Trainee Development Manager at Norton Rose Fulbright, tells us about the seats at the law firm.
Training Contract Secondments
A training contract secondment is a period of training or seat that a trainee solicitor spends in-house in a client’s legal team. It could happen locally, nationally or overseas.
Larger legal firms tend to offer more opportunities to legal trainees for international training contract secondments. So if going on a secondment overseas is something important to you, you must bear this in mind while choosing the law firm for your training contract
An in-house law training contract is an alternative route to a career as a solicitor. This type of contract takes place at large commercial organisations such as BT and the BBC or the government and the Crown Prosecution Court which have their own legal teams.
Legal Interns usually spend time in an in-house legal department within a large company or organisation. Day to day, they are involved in a variety of tasks, including:
Drafting letters, emails, contracts and other legal documents
3. Get involved in Some Pro Bono Work
Pro bono is unpaid work undertaken by law students and practising lawyers. It aims to provide advice to members of the community who do not have the financial means to pay for legal advice.
Although pro bono work is unpaid, the satisfaction and experience you can gain from doing it is priceless.
This type of work also helps to build and develop your legal and communication skills because you will have to work with a large variety of people on many different legal matters. This makes you an impressive candidate when applying for a training contract.
You can get involved in pro bono work with a number of different organisations including: