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Frequently Asked Questions

Will you consider me if I haven’t studied law?

Yes, we welcome applications from both law and non-law graduates/undergraduates.

Do you have any minimum academic requirements?

Yes, we expect successful applicants to have a minimum AAB at A-Level (or equivalent qualification) and to have obtained, or be on course for, a 2:1 degree classification for their undergraduate course (unless there are extenuating circumstances).

When can I apply?

Our online application is available from December each year; the closing dates are 31 January for the Summer Placement Scheme and 31 July for Training Contracts in each year.

Do I need to complete a Summer Placement Scheme to be considered for a training contract?

No, but some relevant legal work experience is helpful.

How many trainee solicitors do you recruit each year?

The number we recruit each year varies. For 2015 we have recruited 19 trainees in London, 4 in Guildford, and 2 in Cheltenham.

Do you insist I take the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)/Legal Practice Course (LPC) at a particular institution?

Our preferred supplier is the University of Law. We prefer our trainees to attend here so they can be with fellow future trainees and also to ensure there is continuity when trainees progress from the GDL to the LPC.

Will you pay my law school fees?

Yes. Please see the section on benefits for further details.

Will you contribute to my living expenses whilst I am at law school?

Yes. Please see the section on ‘Benefits’ for further details.

I have dyslexia - can I still be a lawyer?

Yes, there are a number of software and training options available that we can provide, and have provided, to assist an individual who has dyslexia. There are also other occasions where we have made adjustments to assist individuals who have sight, hearing or physical disabilities, and adjustments have been made to the systems we use or additional equipment provided, depending on the individual’s circumstances.

Will I have the opportunity to do a secondment?

Yes, you may get the chance to spend three or six months within the legal department of a client or at another Charles Russell Speechlys office, either of which may be overseas.

Are any of the seats compulsory?

We encourage our trainees to complete a well-rounded training contract, and as part of this, trainees are required to complete a contentious seat.

During my training, will I work for one partner in each seat or with a variety of partners?

In order to experience a mix of work and supervisory styles, you will work with a range of partners and solicitors in each seat.

How will I be assessed during my training contract?

Each seat will see you allocated a partner or solicitor to oversee your on-the-job training and supervise you day-to-day. This supervisor is then responsible for your mid- and end-of seat performance reviews.

What should I expect to be paid on qualification?

As of September 2015, newly qualified solicitors were paid: London £61,000; Guildford £47,000; Cheltenham £41,000. These figures are reviewed every year.

What kind of formal training will I receive as a trainee solicitor?

All trainee solicitors must complete the Professional Skills Course (PSC) during their training contract and the PSC comprises two sections: Core and Electives. In addition to the PSC, you will attend a general induction to the firm, equipping you with the basic skills you need for the first day in your seat. You will also receive specific induction training in each seat so our trainees can develop the legal, technical knowledge they will need.

Are there sporting or social events?

There is a sports and social committee which has trainee solicitor representatives. This committee organise a number of social events throughout the year, and there are sports teams for softball, tennis, rugby, football, cricket, golf, yoga, hockey and netball.

Will I have the opportunity to get involved in volunteering schemes?

Yes, there are many opportunities for trainee solicitors to participate in volunteering schemes through our corporate social responsibility programme.