We want our Trainee Associates to develop into the Herbert Smith Freehills Partners of the future and we aim to retain as many of our Trainee Associates as possible on qualification. To ensure our Trainee Associates are given the best opportunities to develop the skills they need to become a successful lawyer, we have created the Trainee Associate Programme. Through our Business Skills Academy, Trainee Associates will be equipped with the business knowledge, skills and mindset they need to work on the biggest matters and deals with our clients across the globe.

Brilliant lawyers come from all backgrounds which is why we welcome applications from all degrees and take a roughly equal split of law and non-law students. Whatever your experience, you’ll work with some of the world’s best lawyers, on some of our biggest projects.

Salary

Starting salary
£50k
Second year salary
£55k
Upon qualification up to
£107k

EDUCATION

The route to qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales is changing with the introduction of the SQE. This has given us the unique opportunity to partner with BPP University Law School to create the market-leading City Consortium Solicitor Training Programme. The programme will:

  • Provide you with the optimum preparation to pass the new SQE assessments
  • Equip you with the knowledge, technical and interpersonal skills you’ll need for your career at our firm

You’ll be supported throughout by BPP’s expert tutors and their state-of-the-art EdTech, including:

  • A personalised adaptive learning platform
  • Simulated SQE assessment practice with thousands of multiple-choice questions
  • A virtual law firm to enhance your digital, commercial and legal skills

Seats

We are one of the few firms who allow you to select your seat preferences ahead of each rotation, allowing you to tailor your Trainee Associate Programme as your interests develop. Understanding our clients' needs is at the heart of what we do and developing sector knowledge is crucial to this. With this in mind, you are able to select seats focused on a specific sector which will enable you to qualify with enhanced sector knowledge.

Our Trainee Associate Programme offers four six-month seats. We offer seats in dispute resolution, corporate, finance, competition, regulation and trade, intellectual property, employment, pensions and incentives and tax. For those interested in technology within the legal sector, we offer Legal Technology and Innovation seats and a seat in our Digital Law Group. Social Responsibility is central to our values which is why we also offer a seat in ESG as well as pro bono secondments to the in-house legal teams of charities and NGOs.

SECONDMENTS

Over 84% of our Trainee Associates go on either international or client secondment. Our international secondments offer you a chance to spend six months experiencing life in a different country and developing your global network. We offer the highest number of client secondment opportunities in the city because we want our Trainee Associates to develop a client-focused outlook and build client relationship skills early on in their career with us.

The Trainee Business Development Committee (TBDC)

The TBDC is a trainee-run initiative made up of members from across the different trainee intakes. It creates and delivers opportunities for Trainee Associates to network with clients and start growing their business development skills early in their careers. The TBDC runs exciting events, links Trainee Associates to client relationship teams and provides internal training sessions. The committee is important as it enables you to be involved in shaping our future.

Trainee Business Development Committee
Trainee Business Development Committee
Trainee Business Development Committee

Pro bono and responsible business

All Trainee Associates are encouraged to make the most of the many opportunities we provide for pro bono work. This includes the Whitechapel Legal Advice Clinic (WLAC) which is our largest pro bono programme in London. All Trainee Associates are automatically enrolled onto the programme and provided with full training to provide advice on employment, debt, housing and consumer law matters. We also represent clients at employment tribunals and County Court, which offers Trainee Associates excellent advocacy experience. Trainee Associates are also able to volunteer for the AIRE (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) Centre and Connect Legal Advice Clinic.

Find out more here

Support

You’ll be supervised by, and share an office with a Senior Associate or a Partner who’s committed to supporting your personal and professional development. They'll provide you with regular feedback throughout your seat and extensive on-the-job support. We’ll also give you a partner mentor who will be able to provide advice and guidance on how to get the best out of your Trainee Associate Programme. We have a dedicated Trainee HR team who will meet with you regularly. We’re committed to creating an inclusive workplace and providing the support and resources required for you to perform at your best. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with the graduate recruitment team at: Graduates.UK@HSF.com.

Qualification

We have a dedicated Qualification Committee whose aim is to ensure we retain as many Trainee Associates as possible and they are there to help guide you through the qualification process.

Our retention rates have been consistently high over the last five years averaging 83%.

Benefits

Whether you have already completed law school or are yet to begin, we will pay your fees

Whether you have already completed law school or are yet to begin, we will pay your fees

Financial support on the SQE

To support you during your SQE studies in London, the firm will provide you with a non-repayable grant on the SQE.

£10,000 grant on the PGDL in London

To support you during your PGDL studies in London, the firm will provide you with a grant of £10,000.

£9,000 grant on the PGDL outside of London

To support you during your PGDL studies outside of London, the firm will provide you with a grant of £9,000.

Social and sports clubs

You'll have the opportunity to get involved with the sports and social committee who organise events and sports activities throughout the year.

25 days’ annual leave

Enjoy 25 days' of paid annual leave with the ability to buy or sell up to five days.

Subsidised gym membership

You can take advantage of 50% off Virgin Active gym membership and the Broadgate Virgin Active club is just next door to the office

Private medical insurance

Private medical insurance

Interest-free season ticket loan

Interest-free season ticket loan

Corporate GP service

Corporate GP service

Travel insurance

Travel insurance

Cycle to work scheme

Cycle to work scheme

Gadget insurance

Gadget insurance

Permanent Health Insurance

Permanent Health Insurance

Subsidised staff restaurant and café

Subsidised staff restaurant and café

Confidential employee assistance programme

Providing free and confidential counselling to staff and their immediate family.

Pension contributions

Pension contributions

Dental insurance

Dental insurance

Life assurance and critical illness cover

Life assurance and critical illness cover

Access to a mortgage broker

Access to a mortgage broker

Eye tests

Eye tests

Corporate discounts

Corporate discounts

Any Questions?

You can view a selection of frequently asked questions about life at the firm and our range of opportunities via the button below.