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Training Contracts

As the qualification process changes, we can continue to offer the best opportunities and support throughout your training contract.

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 old or new route to qualification?

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).
  • 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 GDL, we will accept this form of the course.

Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) Courses and Exams

Once you’ve completed your law degree or PGDip, 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).

If you have already completed the GDL or LPC then we have no preference over where you completed these and it will not affect your application.

Study fees

We will pay the full fees for the PGDL and SQE courses with our chosen provider, University of Law, plus the SQE exam costs with Kaplan. For each year that you study, we’ll provide you with a maintenance grant of £8,000 for those based in London or £6,500 for those outside of London.

Keeping in touch with you

As we recruit two years in advance, the Early Talent team will keep in regular contact with 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!

When you start

You will start your Training Contract in August/September with an induction week in the London office – you’ll receive talks and training from different business areas and get to know the rest of your cohort. From week 2, you’ll start working in your first designated practice area with support from our Knowledge Development Lawyers who will give you practice area specific training designed to get you started in your first seat.

Please note, if you are following the LPC route, you’ll undertake an external 2-week course to cover the core modules of the Professional Skills Course (PSC) modules prior to our internal induction week. You’ll then undertake PSC elective modules during your Training Contract.

Your Training Contract

For both the LPC and SQE routes, your two-year training contract is divided into four 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. Before each seat rotation you will be asked which areas you are interested in working in and we will try to accommodate your preferences as much as we can.

The different areas of law that trainees may experience during their training contract include:

Business Advisory and Transaction Services:
Construction, Real Estate and Disputes:
Dispute Resolution:
Private Client:

We also offer the opportunity to go on client secondments to high-profile clients in construction, corporate and commercial areas. These in-house secondments are an excellent way to truly understand the finer points of what clients really expect from their lawyers, and to gain an understanding of the issues our clients face.

For each seat you will be assigned a dedicated supervisor who will work with you to ensure that you continue to receive a broad range of quality work and that you are developing the required skills and knowledge as you progress through your seats. As well as on-going feedback you will have mid and end of seats reviews where you can formally discuss your development. You will also be allocated a mentor who will be there to support and guide you through your training contract.

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. 

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.

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 – it’s about connecting with your colleagues and taking part.

Benefits

We offer a range of benefits, which may include:

  • 25 days annual holiday
  • Private medical insurance
  • Income protection
  • Life assurance
  • Pension scheme
  • Employee assistance programme
  • Enhanced maternity/paternity/shared parental benefits
  • Virtual GP access
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Season ticket loan
  • Qualification leave
  • Dress for your day policy

Further details on our benefits can be found here.


Apply

We recruit trainee solicitors in the following offices:

Applications for our 2025 intake open on 1 October 2022 and close on 31 January 2023.

To apply, please submit an application form here.

A guide to training contracts

A selection of videos to help you through every step of the process. 

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