We offer Training Contracts in our London, Cheltenham and Guildford offices.
There are some recent changes to the way Solicitors qualify and we have given a lot of thought as to how we can continue to support you throughout your training contract. Our preference is for candidates to undertake the Solicitors Qualifying Exam going forward, however our Training Contract will also support those who have already commenced or completed the LPC. Please note, we will only sponsor the SQE going forward.
Both pathways are designed to give you the best possible training with the firm and encourage you to develop the key legal and business skills to enable you to become a successful lawyer.
Will I follow the new or old qualification route?
I have started or completed the LPC –
If you have already started or completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at point of offer, you will be able to qualify under the existing route:
- Completed law degree / Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and started / completed LPC already.
- 2-year ‘Recognised Period of Training’, also referred to as a Training Contract.
You will not need to sit the SQE exams or accrue ‘Qualifying Work Experience’ as outlined in the new route to qualification.
I have not started or completed the LPC –
If you haven’t started or completed the LPC at point of offer, you’ll undertake the new SQE route:
- Post-Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) – for non-law students. See further details below.
- SQE LLM – Solicitor’s Qualifying Exam preparation courses and exams – you’ll do both SQE 1 and SQE 2 as well as our SQE Plus programme which will contribute towards a Masters in Legal Practice (LLM). See further details below.
- 2 years of ‘Qualifying Work Experience’ with the firm.
Non law students – Post-Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDL)
We have partnered with The University of Law to provide all of our post-graduate courses.
If you have not studied a law degree, we will sponsor you to complete your Post-Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDL). This will replace the previous version of the GDL course. This 9-month programme will cover all the foundation subjects covered in a law degree and will begin to prepare you for the SQE exams.
We appreciate that full time study isn’t feasible for everyone so we also offer a 20-month part time option which we would be happy to discuss on a case by case basis to accommodate your circumstances. Following that discussion, if you prefer to study part time, you’ll be able to choose the approach that works best for you from a range of weekend, evening and online options.
If you have already started or completed the old version of the GDL, we will accept this form of the course.
Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) Courses and Exams
Once you’ve completed your law degree or PGDL, we will then sponsor you to study for and undertake the SQE. You’ll undertake the SQE preparation course with The University of Law and sit exams as below:
- SQE 1 Preparation Course – September to January
- SQE 1 Exam – January
- SQE 2 Preparation Course – February to April
- SQE 2 Exam – April
- SQE Plus programme – May to July
Our programme with The University of Law includes the SQE Plus Programme – you’ll chose modules from our CRS Elective Modules list to study in more detail. This will prepare you well for practice at the firm by focusing on our areas of specialism, alongside developing practical legal skills. The SQE 1, SQE 2 and SQE Plus programme combines together so you’ll be studying for a Masters in Legal Practice (LLM).
Keeping in touch with you
As we recruit two years in advance, the Early Talent team will be here to support you before you start and throughout your training contract. We keep in regular contact and organise Early Talent events throughout the year for our current and future trainees which provides a great opportunity to network and get to know those you will be working with. By the time you join us, you’ll recognise a few familiar and friendly faces, and it will already feel like home!
Your Training Contract
While at the firm, both routes will consist of 4 x 6-month seats, giving you the opportunity to experience a range of different practice areas and engage in high level work with both private and commercial clients. We provide a practical learning environment for Trainees where emphasis is given to early responsibility and supervised client contact.
We actively encourage our Trainees to go on either a client or international secondment. These opportunities help you build a wider skillset and see things from a client’s perspective, or enhance your international outlook by gaining exposure to work in a different jurisdiction. Secondments vary depending on business need, but our current client secondments include a private equity fund manager, a commercial bank, and an in-house commercial team for one of our large construction clients. Our international secondment opportunities include Private Client in our Swiss offices, or a mixture of practice areas in our Hong Kong, Dubai or Paris offices.
We also encourage you to get involved beyond the day to day work through our Responsible Business activities, whether that’s through our pro-bono practice, volunteering with our CRS Foundation, or getting involved in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. You can find out more in our Responsible Business reports on our website.
Throughout the Training Contract there are regular catch ups and reviews between Trainees and supervisors to support your development and ensure you are continuing to receive a broad range of quality work.
Your legal training will also be supplemented by our CRS Business School which has specific development programmes for each stage of your career, including the Ignite programme which is designed for Trainees to build professional and commercial skills.
Furthermore, as part of our Sports and Social Committee offering, you could get involved with a range of additional activities from Football or Netball to Yoga or Tennis. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, it doesn’t matter – its about connecting with your colleagues and taking part.