Trainee Recruitment - Robots need not apply

Trainee Recruitment - FAQs

View our frequently asked questions from trainees

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 October each year; the closing date is 31 January for the Vacation Scheme and Training Contracts in each year.

Do I need to complete a placement scheme to be considered for a training contract?

No, we recruit from both the placement scheme and direct training contract route. A placement scheme is useful if you also want to gain some legal work experience as part of your application process but isn’t required. 

How many trainee solicitors do you recruit each year?

The number we recruit each year varies but we rough look for 15 trainees in London, 6 in Guildford, and 5 in Cheltenham.

Do you accept the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) / Legal Practice Course (LPC)?

Yes we will accept the GDL and LPC if you have already started / completed your course. 

If you have only undertaken the GDL, you will then need to complete the SQE exams.  If you have already started / completed the LPC, you will not be required to complete the SQE exams.

Do you insist I take the Post Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDip) / SQE preparation courses 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 PGDip to the SQE. 

We no longer offer to sponsor for the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or Legal Practice Course (LPC) as we are moving onto the new SQE route, but if you have already completed the GDL or LPC then we have no preference over where you completed these, it will not affect your application.

Will you pay my law school fees?

Yes. We provide sponsorship for PGDL and SQE LLM courses with our chosen provider, the University of Law, alongside covering the cost of the SQE exams with Kaplan.

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

Yes. During your period of study, we will provide you with a maintenance grant of £8,000 if you are studying in London and £6,500 if you are studying outside of London.

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, but this is only available to those based in the London office. Our secondments may involve spending 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 kind of formal training will I receive as a trainee solicitor?

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. We also have a programme of skills training sessions available through our Charles Russell Speechlys Business School that we encourage trainees to attend.

For those undertaking the LPC route, trainee solicitors must complete the Professional Skills Course (PSC) during their training contract and the PSC comprises two sections: Core and Electives.

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.

Everyone has a volunteering allowance of 21 hours per year, which can be used in support of our firm-led initiatives (with the Foundation charity partners, local community partners or our social mobility programmes) or to give your time to a cause that you are already connected with. We also have a range of Pro Bono projects that rely on trainee support.

Do you offer visa sponsorship for international candidates?

Yes we welcome applications from international candidates and look to support with visa sponsorship.


  • Legal 500 - International secondments winner
  • Legal 500 - Quality of work winner
  • Legal 500 - Featured Firm
  • Chambers Student 2023
  • AAL Awards 2022 - Best Vacation scheme
  • AAL Awards 2022 - Best First Year Opportunities
  • AAL Awards 2022 - Most Sustainable Recruitment Campaign
  • AAL Awards 2022 - Best Access to Lawyers

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