We view you as the partners of the future, so it goes without saying that your development is incredibly important to us.

Our full service practice and extensive work for international clients means you’ll enjoy a varied training contract across contentious and non-contentious departments.

As well as getting exposure to a huge breadth of work, you’ll be supported to grow your career and reach your goals with flexible training and development plans. Individually designed, these plans will allow you to gain experience in all areas and help you find what's best for you and your career.

Your career journey

We will help you find what's right for you and we will support you throughout your career with us. We provide flexible training and development, designed to give you experience in all areas and help you find out what's best for you and your career.

At university

Get to know Herbert Smith Freehills in your first year by attending one of our first-year workshops.Get to know Herbert Smith Freehills in your first year by attending one of our first-year workshops.


Our vacation schemes are a great way to find out what life at Herbert Smith Freehills is really like.

You may also decide to apply to us directly for a training contract. It's entirely up to you.


The PCLL will help you understand and develop the fundamental legal and practical skills you will need to build a career at Herbert Smith Freehills.

At present, we recommend that you complete the PCLL at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong, or University of Hong Kong.

We’ll support you by paying your exam and course fees and giving you a maintenance grant of HK$5,000 per month while you’re studying. 

At Herbert Smith Freehills

The initial period of your training contract will include an induction programme. This programme is designed to ease your transition from student to trainee and includes a number of presentations, workshops and training sessions. To support your on-the-job training, we’ll also offer you a range of courses including influencing skills, time management, presentation skills, personal impact skill, e-learning contract and remedies.


Whatever your career plan, we’ll help make it a reality.

We will continue to give you training and development that are tailored to your needs and objectives. Plus we’ll offer you further opportunities for international and client secondments.


As an associate, you’ll benefit from ongoing training and development, along with further opportunities for international or client secondments. Courses range from presentation skills to people management and motivation. Plus, you’ll be supported in fine-tuning your business development, client interviewing and client contact skills. Specific training is provided for each practice area, including formal and informal knowledge sharing and language training according to individual needs.

All our lawyers attend a further development centre after they’ve been qualified for two years. Key areas here include personal development, people management, organisation skills/delegation skills, managing finance skills, business development and client relationship skills.


All new partners attend a tailored induction to support them in their transition to partnership. We continually develop our partners’ people, business and practice management skills as well as their leadership and business development skills.


While most of our trainees want to be partners, we also offer ‘of counsel’ and PSC (professional support consultant) roles as alternative career paths.


Becoming a brilliant lawyer takes a lot of work. And while you’re focussing on your PCLL, we’ll focus on making sure you’ve got all the support you need to succeed. We’ll pay your course fee plus give you a maintenance grant and be on hand to offer any help and advice you need. We’ll ensure you get excellent practical training during your PCLL and we’ll be there if you need advice about moving to Hong Kong. 

You will be assigned a trainee buddy before you officially join. Once you start, as well as continued support from our dedicated HR team, a partner mentor will advise you throughout your training contract. 

We know that understanding how you're doing is key to your development. That's why we make sure you get regular feedback from the people you work with as you progress through your seats. In addition you'll have formal mid and end-of-seat performance reviews.

Make a difference

Some of our most rewarding work comes from the individuals, NGOs and developing country governments who make up our pro bono clients.

Working with these diverse groups offers you the chance to develop your professional knowledge and make a positive impact on issues close to your heart and ours.

Find out more

Your application

Get an understanding of what it takes to make a great first impression and take the first step to a rewarding career with us.