In-House Training Contract
Are you currently weighing up your training contract options and where to apply? This page aims to help with this process by introducing the slightly less well-known route to solicitor qualification – the in-house training contract. This means completing a training contract in an in-house legal department at a larger commercial organisation.
Read our In-House Solicitor Case Study
What is an In-House Training Contract?
There’s no denying it, in-house training contract opportunities are certainty much harder to come by compared with opportunities available in more traditional law firm settings. That being said, it is not beyond the realms of possibility to secure an in-house training contract. Depending on the type of organisation you ultimately want to work for and the type of individual you are, it could certainly be a route worth exploring.
In-house training contracts tend to be offered by larger commercial organisations, which have sufficiently large in-house legal teams to support training opportunities.
Working in-house essentially means that the organisation employing you is your ‘client’. Day to day, you will be involved in advising that organisation on many aspects of law which will, to a large extent, be dictated by the nature of the work undertaken by the organisation and the industry in which it operates. Given the commercial setting in which in-house trainee solicitors are based, commercial awareness and business acumen are key!
Organisations Offering In-House Training Contracts
Many large organisations offer in-house training contracts, but unlike training contracts offered by law firms (which tend to be year on year) in-house legal teams will only usually offer training opportunities as and when they see fit. As such, the same in-house training opportunities may not exist from one year to the next.
One organisation that does more often than not offer in-house training contracts is the government. The government has a massive legal service more commonly known as the Government Legal Service (GLS), which offers a variety of in-house training contract opportunities within both:
- the Government Legal Department; and
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
To find out more, visit GLS training contract.
Another organisation which tends to have regular in-house training contract opportunities is the BBC. As a trainee solicitor at the BBC, you will complete seats in the Intellectual Property Department, BBC Worldwide, Rights and Business Affairs plus one further seat in private practice. Find out more on BBC Training Contract Opportunities.
British Telecoms (BT)
Finally, BT is another good example of an organisation that frequently offers in-house training contract opportunities. BT’s in-house legal team supports BT’s business ‘in everything from contract bids and large commercial transactions with global customers to competition and regulatory law, data protection and privacy, corporate transactions, employment tribunals and litigation.’ As a trainee solicitor at BT, you would therefore be exposed to a variety of work. Find out more on BT Training Contract.
In-House Training Contract vs Law Firm Training Contract – What are the Main Differences?
There are a number of differences as between the two different types of training contract which are as follows:
- In-house training contracts are much harder to come by – there is certainly greater scope to secure a training contract in private practice.
- It is a well known fact that the work-life balance in-house is arguably better than in private practice. This does not mean you will never burn the midnight oil as an in-house trainee solicitor, it just might happen less frequently!
- In some cases ‘seat’ choices may be more limited in-house and dictated to a large extent by the type or business the given the organisation is involved in. There is arguably greater variety and flexibility in private practice.
- Remuneration as you progress through the ranks is likely to be reduced in-house, which arguably links back to the work life balance point above… You make your choices!
Read our In-House Solicitor Case Study
- Unlike private practice where you will be working for a variety of different clients, in-house, you tend to work for just one client… your employer!