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Training Contract Applications

Whether you’re applying for a training contracts or law apprenticeships, your apprenticeship or training contract applications will need to be well-written and professional. This page will guide you through all aspects of training contract applications and law apprenticeship applications. Given the distinct similarities between the two application processes, they are dealt with simultaneously on this page.

Training Contract Deadlines

Training contract applications / law apprenticeship applications are a reflection of you, your professionalism and your commitment to law. Unless you have completed work experience, attended an open day or taken part in a vacation scheme at your preferred law firm, your training contract application /law apprenticeship application is likely to be your first exposure to individual firms.

Subsequently, it is vital to complete applications to the best of your ability. Your application creates that all-important first impression – a crucial stage of the apprenticeship / training contract application process. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your written communication skills and showcase your ability to articulate yourself in a clear, concise and engaging manner.

Depending on the law firm you are applying to, your training contract application / law apprenticeship application will involve either:

Training Contract Applications: Case Study

Visit our Case Study: Training Contract Application Timeline page for more detail on training contract applications at Baker & McKenzie, a top London law firm.

Top Tips for Completing Law Apprenticeship / Training Contract Application Forms

You will usually be required to submit law apprenticeship / training contract  application forms online. Occasionally, you may be required to complete applications by hand.

To maximise your chances of success during the law apprenticeship / training contract application process, take note of the following top tips:

Training Contract Deadlines

More Top Application Tips From Top Law Firms

We caught up with the graduate recruitment teams at Freshfields, Taylor Vinters and and Herbert Smith Freehills and  future trainee and trainees at Freshfields and Simmons & Simmons, who shared their top tips for securing a training contract. Note that these tips can also be employed if you are applying for law apprenticeships. Click on the links to find out more!

Freshfields Graduate Recruitment – Top Tips

Eloise Rennie (Freshfields Trainee) – Top Application Tips and More!

Herbert Smith Freehills Training Contract Advice

Simmons & Simmons – Top Tips

Taylor Vinters: Top Training Contract Tips

What type of firm should you apply to? Take the quiz!

How to Draft a CV for a Training Contract /Law Apprenticeship

Some law firms prefer to receive training contract applications / applications for apprenticeships in law by way of a CV and covering letter.

As part of a law firm’s law apprenticeship / training contract applications guidance, it may specifically state how you should format your CV and the information you should include. If, however, there is no such guidance, we would suggest using one of the more traditional CV formats, for example:

Personal details

Include your name, correspondence address, email address and telephone number.

Personal statement

This should be roughly a paragraph long and written in the third person. It is essentially your opportunity to sell yourself and positively articulate (based on your skill set, work and non-work experiences and personal qualities) why you are the best candidate for the job.

Education and associated grades

List your most recent academic grades first (along with details of the relevant academic institutions) and work backwards.

Work experience

Again, start with your most recent work experience and work backwards. For each placement, ensure you include the following detail:


Include, as a minimum, detail of any IT skills and foreign languages spoken.


Include details of relevant prizes, awards, scholarships and any other notable achievements, whether they be academic, sporting or otherwise.

Extra-curricular activities

You may wish to include detail of any hobbies and interests that you have.


Include details of two referees. Health warning – ensure you have consent from your referees before you add them to your CV! It is a good idea, if possible, to provide one academic and one non-academic reference.

Top Tips for Completing CVs for Training Contracts / Law Apprenticeships

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How to Draft a Covering Letter for a Training Contract / Law Apprenticeship

In addition to completing:

A law firm may require you to attach or enclose a covering letter to supplement and reinforce your law apprenticeship / training contract application. Initial impact is key with this letter as it will almost certainly be the first part of your application that any graduate recruitment team will turn to.

Covering letters can take many forms, but we would suggest using one of the more traditional formats when targeting law firms, including:

Top Tips for Completing Covering Letters for Law 

Training Contract and Vacation Scheme Conference

Receive firsthand advice on applying for training contracts and vacation schemes at our conference – and tickets are free!

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