What we offer

£44k starting salary and comprehensive benefits package
90% of trainees go on client or international secondments
We work on some of the legal world’s biggest cases
We’re leaders in inclusion with seven diversity networks

What we look for

You don’t need to have studied law to apply: we recruit from all disciplines. In fact, around half of our trainees didn't study law as an undergraduate degree.

We’re looking for a unique combination of skills and potential. That means more than a great academic record; it takes confidence, empathy, diligence, drive, and an international mind-set.

How to apply

Step one

Application form

This is your opportunity to tell us about your academic credentials, the skills you’ve gained from extra-curricular activities and work experience, and why you have the motivation and potential to become a great Herbert Smith Freehills lawyer

Completing the form

We ask you to complete the following information in our form:

  • Academic achievements and grades (A-level onwards)
  • Work experience history
  • Three written questions (each up to a maximum of 300 words):
    • Introduce us to a topic you know about and explain why it interests you.
    • Explain why you are interested in pursuing a career at Herbert Smith Freehills and what skills, qualities and attributes you would bring to the role.
    • Tell us about a project you have recently worked on or a challenge you have faced as part of a team.  Describe your role, the outcome and what you learned.

Before you start, think about the skills needed and how to show them.

  • Look for the specified criteria. This is particularly true for academic requirements. If you don’t meet them, think about whether you should be applying. If you finished your studies some time ago, your academics may be less relevant than your subsequent work experience.
  • You will need to give us a breakdown of all of your A levels (or equivalent), undergraduate module results and any postgraduate results, including from Law School. We are looking for consistent 2:1s but we will always take mitigating circumstances into account.
  • If you did not study in the UK, please input your grades and, to help us contextualise your achievements, tell us a bit about the grading system in the ‘further information’ section. We receive many applications from all over the world and have familiarity with many overseas qualifications. If we don't know, we can find out from our network.
  • When telling us about your extra-curricular activities and work experience, please use a narrative form, rather than a list of bullet points. For each activity or role, give us a few examples of how you were involved, the skills you gained and think about why this could be relevant to your application to us.
  • Where we have a word limit, make sure you are concise and sensible about what you include.
  • You do not need to have legal work experience to get an interview for a vacation scheme. We recommend that, when describing your legal and non-legal work experience, you tell us about the skills you gained that are relevant to a career in law with us.
  • If you have attended law fairs, open days or met us at an event, let us know. Taking the time to meet us helps to show your motivation.
  • Don’t talk about your skills in a list. It is much better to use your experiences to highlight the skills you have learnt and how they are relevant to a career in law.
  • Check your spelling and grammar. Ask someone else to read over your form.
  • Keep a copy of your form. If you’re invited to an assessment day, you’ll need a good knowledge of the examples on your form as you may be questioned about them. Also, make a note of any reference number, just in case you have to follow it up later.
  • Remember the purpose of the application form is to highlight your breadth of skills and suitability for the position at our firm. Make sure you make the most of every part of the form: the narrative section is just as important as your academic record. We are looking for well-rounded individuals.
Step two

Online test

The online test comprises of three types of question: situational-judgment, verbal reasoning and personality / behavioural questions. The SJT questions are bespoke to Herbert Smith Freehills and are reflective of the types of scenario trainees can expect to experience if they were to join the firm. The blended nature of the test is designed to enable applicants to demonstrate their problem-solving and verbal reasoning skills, as well as their approach to scenarios relevant to the work at the firm.

The test takes approximately 30 – 35 minutes, although there is no strict time limit so candidates may complete the assessment at their own speed. The completion time is, however, recorded and will be taken into account during scoring.

If you usually receive extra time or adjustments when taking online tests or during exams please email Francesca Evans at [email protected] so that we can adjust your test time accordingly.

Take a practice test

Step three

Assessment day

Our assessment centre comprises three elements, designed to showcase your potential as a future lawyer.

CASE STUDY INTERVIEW

Engage with a real case study and present your thoughts to a partner.

SCENARIO-BASED INTERVIEW

Think on your feet when presented with a real-life commercial scenario.

COMPETENCY INTERVIEW

Discuss your motivations and show you have the key skills required.

Preparing for the assessment day

Before you attend, we recommend you do the following.

  • Thoroughly review your application. Be comfortable with what you have written and be prepared to answer questions about it.
  • Think about the types of questions you may be asked. Make sure that whatever you decide to talk about in the interview, you know the subject well and can talk clearly and intelligently about it.
  • Research our firm and think about why you are particularly interested in joining us. Find out what major deals/matters we have been involved in and ask yourself why working on these matters appeals to you.
  • Be prepared to talk about why you are particularly interested in a career in commercial law. How have you come to make this decision?
  • Gain as much exposure as possible to our people. You can do this by attending our presentations, workshops, informal networking sessions or any other events that we run either at your university or in our offices.
  • Attend mock interview sessions at your university.
  • Interviews are a two-way process: you should want to find out about us as well. Think about what you would like to know about us. At the end of each interview, there will be time for you to ask questions.

Register interest

Key dates

Take a look at the key application dates.

First year workshops

Get to know us over two days at the firm.

APPLICATIONS OPEN

1 January – 15 February 2019

WORKSHOP DATES

1-2 and 15-16 April 2019

Campus ambassadors

Represent our firm and build your network.

APPLICATIONS OPEN

1 January – 15 February 2019

Vacation schemes

Immerse yourself in our work and interview for a training contract at the end of the scheme.

Winter (finalists and graduates)

APPLICATION DATES

17 September – 15 October 2018

SCHEME DATES

3-14 December 2018 (assessment centres from end-October to mid-November)

Spring and summer (penultimate year students, finalists and graduates):

APPLICATIONS OPEN

12 November 2018 – 4 January 2019

SCHEME DATES

1-12 April 2019 (spring), 17 June – 5 July 2019 (summer, scheme 1), 8-26 July 2019 (summer, scheme 2)

Open days

Build in-depth knowledge at our open days.

Disputes Open Day

APPLICATIONS OPEN

17 September – 15 October 2018

OPEN DAY DATE

14 November 2018

IP Open Day

APPLICATIONS OPEN

17 September – 9 November 2018

OPEN DAY DATE

7 December 2018

Apply online

If you’re ready to apply to our firm, you can begin the process here. We recommend that you carefully read through all of our advice and content before doing so: this will give you the best chance of making your application successful.