At what stage am I eligible to apply for a Vacation Scheme or Training Contract?

We recruit two years in advance so you can apply for a training contract from the second (or penultimate if you are studying a four year course) year of a qualifying law degree or the final year of a non-law degree. A training contract interview will be offered at the end of the Vacation Scheme so the same rules apply. We run open days that are designed to give an overview of the firm and the application process, meaning you will be well prepared to submit an application when the time comes. Find out more about our open days.

What is Burges Salmon’s approach to the SQE?

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) is the new route to qualification which was introduced in September 2021. This will replace the need to complete the GDL and LPC. We will sponsor future trainees who are due to join us in 2024 and beyond to complete the GDL equivalent Post Graduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) and the SQE Plus preparation course with the University of Law.

What if I have already completed the LPC prior to applying for a training contract?

If you are offered a training contract you will be required to sit the SQE2 exams but will be exempt from sitting SQE1.

I don't have any legal work experience; can I still apply for a vacation scheme or training contract?

Committing to a career in law is a big decision so we ideally want to see that you have undertaken some legal work experience to confirm that it really is something you would like to pursue. If you haven't been able to complete work experience but have managed to carefully research what a law career involves in another way, we would still be happy to hear from you. You do not have to have any legal work experience to apply for a vacation scheme.

I didn't get a 2:1 at degree level; can I still apply for a training contract?

We don't pre-screen application forms using academic results; we read each form in full. If you have not achieved a 2:1 (or above) degree then please add any mitigating circumstances in the 'further information' box on the application form and we will still consider your application. We receive a high number of application forms and most candidates have achieved a 2:1 degree. So it is very important that you are able to demonstrate that you have the additional skills needed to succeed as a commercial solicitor.

I have a Scots Law degree; can I apply for a training contract in England and Wales?

If you have completed a Scots Law degree you will need to pass the SQE exams in order to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. You will therefore be able to apply following the same route as a student studying a qualifying law degree in England and Wales. As a Scots Law degree is four years in duration you will be able to apply for a training contract from your third year.

How can I make my application form stand out?

The best applications we receive are well written and free from grammatical and spelling mistakes. They are well researched and demonstrate a good understanding about the firm and what it takes to succeed as a commercial solicitor.

What proportion of law and non-law graduates do you hire?

We do not set a quota of how many law and non-law students we recruit; we are simply looking for the best people. Normally we recruit a 50:50 split.

I graduated a few years ago; can I still apply?

We recruit trainee solicitors from many different backgrounds. Many are still at undergraduate level when we recruit them but many have already graduated and are completing their GDL or LPC (from 2021 PDGL or SQE). Others decide to join us as a career change at a later stage. We are interested in hearing from anyone who can demonstrate the necessary skills and behaviours.

How many people do you recruit from your vacation scheme compared with the training contract application process?

We don't have a set quota on how many candidates we take from each process. However, on average we take around 60 per cent of our trainee solicitors from the vacation scheme.

Do you offer work experience?

Apart from the vacation scheme there are no work experience opportunities available for university students and graduates. School and college students in Years 10-12 are able to apply for a place on our Bright Sparks work experience programme.

If I was not successful in obtaining a place on the vacation scheme, can I still apply for a training contract?

As competition is high and we receive a large volume of applications each year, we ask that candidates only apply for one process that leads to a training contract for that recruitment cycle. You are only able to apply to one of the following per year: our winter vacation scheme, our spring/summer vacation scheme or our training contract.

Do you provide feedback for unsuccessful candidates?

If you were unsuccessful at the application form stage of the process then unfortunately we are not able to offer any feedback. The sheer number of applications we receive would make this an impossible task. However, if you attended an assessment centre or interview we would be happy to provide feedback.

Do you sponsor visas for international candidates?

Yes, we offer sponsorship for international candidates who require a visa. We are committed to supporting a diverse workforce, and we welcome applicants from around the world. However, please note that visa sponsorship is available only for candidates who have successfully secured an employment opportunity with our firm. Unfortunately, we cannot sponsor visas for work experience placements.

If your question is not answered here, please get in touch with Penny Bowring.

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