The traditional training contract deadline of 31 July has now been scrapped by some law firms so you should keep an eye on the deadlines set by each firm you want to apply to. We’ve put together the following list of deadlines to help you get your applications organised.* This covers deadlines for training contracts starting in 2020. You can also find and apply for training contracts at a number of law firms on Simply Law Jobs.
The training contract is the vocational stage of qualifying to become a solicitor and essential for becoming fully qualified. As a general rule, you will need to complete and submit your training contract applications in your second year if you are taking a law degree. Non-law students are usually expected to apply in their final year of university. Individual firms may have different requirements, so it’s important that students check each firm’s website well in advance.
Before you apply for any training contracts it is important to consider the type of law you want to specialise in and the practice areas that each firm covers. As the competition for places is so fierce, you might be tempted to apply for as many contracts as possible, however, it is important that the firms you apply for are right for you. The application process itself usually involves interviews and tests at assessment centres and the contract itself will be two years. Make sure you do the research beforehand and only apply for the firms that will benefit your career the most. For example, if you want to specialise in family law, the City firms which largely practice commercial law probably aren’t for you.
It is also important not to leave your applications to the last minute as many firms start sending out invitations for interviews before their deadlines. You may find that all the spaces have already been filled if you don’t send your application off until the deadline date. Although the application process is so competitive and can be time-consuming, it is well worth being organised and getting your applications in early. If you’re successful, you’ll be able to go into your final year or GDL with a job lined up and you may even get sponsorship from your firm for your LPC.
*While we regularly check these dates, law firms may change their deadlines at any time. Many firms stop taking applications before the stated deadlines as and when they have filled their available training contracts. Always check these details with each firm as we cannot take any responsibility for inaccuracies.