Students work as trainees for two years in our Moscow office, completing 6-month seats in each of our key practice areas: corporate, tax, finance and dispute resolution. This rotation between practices stems directly from our English roots, and we follow the English approach to the development of our staff.

As a trainee, you’ll have two assigned supervisors – a partner and a senior associate. You’ll be involved in real legal work and given the opportunity to work on your legal English language skills.

Possessing a higher education degree in law or work experience in other firms won’t impact on the period you’ll work as a trainee – all the students we hire must work for two years before being promoted to associate. The decision on your progression to an associate position is then taken by the partners.

“The first word that comes to mind is ‘intensive’. Each trainee is assigned to a senior associate and a partner in the practice where he or she undergoes training. The senior associate and partner act as mentors. Day-to-day training consists of assignments given by the associates, with follow-up reviews and feedback. The training doesn’t just come down to administrative or secretarial functions. Quite on the contrary, there is a great degree of involvement in the projects carried out by the associates of the firm. This gives us a chance to gain first-hand experience in seeing how the law works in practice. It is equally important that, as a trainee, you will have some sort of ‘insurance coverage’ with the guidance and support of more experienced colleagues. This provides an opportunity to see the responsibility assumed by associates of the firm when advising or representing clients in real-life situations. It’s very interesting to see how the product created by the trainee undergoes changes as it’s reviewed by senior associates and partners, and to see the end product circulated to the client."

- Yana Ivanova, associate on her Herbert Smith Freehills' training


We have a legal competence framework for trainees and graduates that defines the areas of performance and behaviour most strongly linked to personal, team and firm success.

We know that understanding how you're doing is key to your specialist development. That's why we make sure you get regular feedback from the people you work with as you progress through your trainee seats, as well as formal end-of-seat performance reviews for everyone.

As anyone else in the firm, you’ll be expected to complete both soft skills and technical skills training as a trainee, in line with the firm’s learning and development programme, which can be achieved by attending workshops, seminars or eLearning.

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