International Legal Development Programme

About the programme
Join our International Legal Development Programme (ILDP) as an LLB/law graduate and be part of a global team doing cutting-edge work for international clients.
Additional information
At Herbert Smith Freehills, we are always looking for talented law graduates to join our Alternative Legal Services (ALT) team in Johannesburg. The ILDP will offer you the opportunity to work as a Legal Analyst, gaining experience as part of our global law firm.

The ILDP is an 18-month programme that will offer legal graduates the opportunity to gain employment and work experience through a structured learning and development programme.

Training will use a blended approach, including on-the-job learning, classroom based training, e-Learning and individual study.

Throughout the programme, you will gain exposure to complex matters for global clients and become familiar with market-leading technology and innovative processes.

This unique opportunity will provide you with valuable experience and a stronger CV, therefore increasing your prospects of securing a Candidate Attorney position, or another role in the legal sector, in the future.
The Role and Your Commitment
Legal Analysts are part of our ALT team, working closely with Managers, Senior Lawyers, Lawyers and Trainees across our international network.

Key responsibilities:
  • Conducting document review, due dilligence and other fee‑earning work
  • Providing general support to the ALT Management team in the Johannesburg office
  • Maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of relevant areas of law to the ALT practice
  • Ensuring compliance with financial disciplines on matters

As participants of the ILDP, Legal Analysts will also be expected to:

  • Attend, participate in and complete all learning and development modules
  • Apply the learning in their day-to-day roles
  • Complete and keep up to date their personal learning log
  • Support the performance and effectiveness of colleagues joining the programme as part of further cohorts by transferring knowledge and skills
Eligibility We can only accept applicants onto the programme who are eligible to work in South Africa, both at the time of applying and for the duration of the course. Additionally, we are unable to accept applications if you have previously completed Articles - please seek out a qualified role instead.
What we look for Great lawyers come from a diversity of backgrounds and hold all different identities, perspectives and beliefs. We welcome anyone to apply who can meet the following criteria:
  • You must hold a Law graduate (LLB or equivalent) and/or a post-graduate (LLM or equivalent) qualification, or expect to obtain this before the programme starts
  • Ability to review, analyse and organise documentary and factual evidence
  • Great attention to detail and a desire to produce consistently excellent work
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Aptitude for learning (and proficiency in) the use of software and IT applications - you’ll be using software tools intelligently to navigate large databases and document management systems

ALT global competencies

During the selection process, you’ll be judged against our ‘global competencies’ - the skills that Legal Analysts need to perform at their best.
Personal leadership
This competency includes professional integrity, resilience, and evidence of self-development
Technical capability Legal ability and knowledge results in high quality work and successful outcomes for clients
Contributes to the team and firm
You’ll naturally build your network, contribute to the firm and display great communication and teamwork
Improves client experience
You’ll understands the client context and go above and beyond to help 


In exchange for your skills and knowledge, your personal and professional development will be well looked after.
15 days annual leave
Medical aid
International work experience
Life assurance and disability benefit
Technical skills development
Structured learning & development programme
Soft skills development
Pro bono experience

How to apply

The ILDP is a prestigious and first of its kind programme in the South African market. Before applying, please ensure that you’ve thoroughly researched HSF and our work, and determined whether this is the right pathway for you.
Step 1
Online application
To give your application the best chance, please tell us about your academic credentials, any skills gained from extracurricular activities and work experience, and why you’re motivated to become a Herbert Smith Freehills lawyer. 

Applications for our 2024 programme are now closed.
Step 2
​​​​​​​Technical test
If invited to the next stage, you’ll be asked to sit a technical test, designed to judge your legal knowledge and ability to work within the Alternative Legal Services team.
Step 3
Assessment centre
A small group of shortlisted candidates will be invited to the assessment centre. There, you’ll undergo a case study discussion as part of a group exercise, and a competency interview, where you’ll discuss your reasons for applying and why you’d be an asset to our team.