Apply to become a Candidate Legal Practitioner (formerly, candidate attorney) at Herbert Smith Freehills, a leading international law firm with a market leading profile and growing office in South Africa.
Candidate Legal Practitioner Overview
As a leading international law firm, each year Herbert Smith Freehills looks for high performing law students to undertake their practical vocational training with the firm when they graduate. We seek to appoint students who show a real affinity for the law, talent and a desire to be part of and contribute to a firm that is a global leader in commercial legal excellence. Diverse interests and experiences, a commitment to the core values of the legal profession and a desire to be part of a global team are all essential attributes.
During your two years of articles, you will rotate through at least three different practice groups, having the opportunity to acquire new skills and take your legal knowledge much further.
You will work daily with partners, leading experts in our fields of practice, along with the host of rising stars who support them. Your work will include collaboration and interaction with colleagues in our offices around the world.
The firm provides in-house learning opportunities, both local and global, through regular presentations and webinars as well as regular feedback to our junior lawyers on their performance goals and progress. We support our trainees in their attendance at Practical Legal Training and preparation for the attorneys admission exams.
Our working environments in Johannesburg and around the world befit a leading global law firm. Access to technology, world-class internal professional support resources and knowledge-management vaults are just some of the enabling tools we provide to ensure that our clients receive the best service and advice from our lawyers.
Our culture is one of respect and inclusion. We care for our people and want them to enjoy balanced lifestyles that maximize professional potential. We place emphasis on community service contributions and fostering healthy camaraderie amongst our people. We provide a nurturing and empowering environment, and one that recognises the importance of employee wellness.
If you have a good to excellent academic record, a desire to part of a leading global law firm steeped in history that will provide you with the opportunity to enjoy a career at the cutting edge of commercial law, and share our values, then HSF may be the firm for you.
"The CA programme has been a great stepping stone in my legal journey. I have been afforded an opportunity to learn and also be guided by lawyers of high calibre. The programme does not only provide you with legal growth, HSF has a sincere interest in the well-being and personal growth of their employees. HSF is an employer of choice and I am honoured to be associated with such a vibrant and diverse Firm."
Sibahle Dladla, Candidate Legal Practitioner, HSF South Africa
"The past 6 months at HSF have been enlightening, to say the least. I have been exposed to a world of knowledge thanks to HSF's international service offering. I have been a part of the corporate team where I was able to use the skills I learnt at university to assist my team in drafting pertinent international commercial agreements. I have also been working in the mining team which has exposed me to a vast wealth of knowledge of the mineral regulatory regimes all over the world, and which has also instilled in me a conscious effort to always consider the environmental, social and governance aspects of a deal. In terms of the people and culture at the firm, I really enjoy the open-door policy which is implemented. As a result of this, I am able to work with people from across all levels and I engage on a daily basis with senior associates (as mentors) and the partners within my practice groups. I am really enjoying the practical training which is given to me on a daily basis as I engage with my colleagues. I feel part of a great network of people who are always available for a quick call or message to assist me whenever I feel unsure of a specific mandate. The culture at the firm is friendly, open and I feel that it is a community network driven by the common goal to succeed and do our best for our clients."
Giorgia Silvaggi, Candidate Legal Practitioner, HSF South Africa
"HSF is an incredible place to do articles. The firm culture is collegial, welcoming and every door is open. The calibre of work I have been exposed to is amazing, with international clients and fast-paced deals. The different practice areas of the firm allow for specialization. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a better firm to do articles at in South Africa."
William Lotter, Candidate Legal Practitioner, HSF South Africa
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a trainee at HSF, which is verging on two years now. Despite the difficult circumstances faced due to the pandemic, the firm has managed to make us feel extremely taken care of and like a priority. My favourite aspect about working for HSF is getting that “big firm” experience and international exposure, while working at a physically small firm (for now!) – getting to work closely with partners and other senior stakeholders."
Lauren Paxton, Candidate Legal Practitioner, HSF South Africa
How to apply
Complete a few questions and attach your CV and academic transcripts.
Applications for articles commencing in January 2024 are now closed. Our recruitment campaign for articles commencing January 2025 is expected to commence in early 2023 – please check back regularly for more information.
Interview with Graduate Recruitment panel
The interview will explore your personality, situational judgement, suitability for the role generally and may include legal questions.
Shortlisted candidates complete external assessments
The standard background screening process is applicable to successful candidates who have been offered a position.