Training Contracts Legal Work Placements Careers Teams General Recruitment Process Training Contracts Can I defer my training contract start date? As a general principle, we do not defer training contract start dates. Do you accept applications from non-law graduates? We welcome applications from all kinds of graduates and undergraduates, not just those who have studied law. Does the firm have any preference regarding the institution that a candidate studies their GDL or LPC? We're currently partnered with the University of Law to deliver the GDL and LPC to our future trainees. All future trainees will study their GDL or their SQE at the University of Law, if they've not already started their course when they're offered a training contract. If you've already signed up to another provider, the Early Careers team can discuss this with you. Does the firm pay PGDL, LPC or SQE fees? We provide Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) plus a maintenance grant of £4,500 if you haven't started the course when offered a training contract. From the academic year of 2024/25 all candidates will undertake the SQE and we will no longer offer funding for the LPC. We don’t pay fees retrospectively. Back to the top How does the seat rotation work? During your training contract you will undertake three ‘training’ seats and one ‘qualification’ seat. The fourth and final seat will most likely be in the department that you, and we, expect you to qualify into. How many trainees do you seek to retain on qualification? Trainees are an investment for the future. Over the last five years we have consistently offered qualification roles to more than 80% of our trainees. How many training contract vacancies do you have? Each year we have approximately 45-50 vacancies across the 11 locations where we currently offer training contracts. These are: Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Chichester, Gatwick, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Southampton. If unsuccessful can I apply again next year? Yes, we are happy to receive applications from previous applicants. Back to the top Is it possible to choose which seats I do? We will discuss your preference with you and try to meet any requests. However, the exact number of seats available at any given time is driven by the needs of the business and our focus in placing trainees is on where there are likely to be roles on qualification. Is there an age limit for applications? Absolutely not! We encourage applications from graduates and undergraduates of all ages. My degree is not from an English institution, what should I do? Please refer to the Solicitors Regulation Authority where you will be able to find out more information about what steps you are required to take in order to qualify as an English solicitor. What are the firm's minimum academic requirements? We're looking for candidates who can demonstrate a range of skills. At Irwin Mitchell, we believe in the diversity of our business. It's because of this that we consider applications from candidates who may not have strong A-Levels or a 2:1 degree or above, but are still able to show exceptional skills and capabilities. Back to the top What is the closing date for training contract applications? The closing date for 2024 training contract only applications is 3rd January 2023. What skills do I need to apply? We look for creative thinkers, innovators and people with ambition, focus and determination. You will also need to be meticulous, with a good eye for detail and have the ability to build strong relationships with your colleagues and clients. When and where will the assessment centres take place? In 2020 we moved to a virtual assessment centres which means you can complete our assessment centre from the comfort of your own home. Assessment centres for both the Legal Work Placement and training contract only applicants will take place in February and March 2023. Legal Work Placements Do you offer Legal Work Placements? Yes, we run a Legal Work Placement programme every summer in each office, to give prospective trainees a really good insight into what it’s like to work here and life as a solicitor. If you are looking to join us, we would recommend that you undertake a work placement with us, as a high number of training contracts are offered through this route. How many places do you offer for the Legal Work Placement? There are approximately 60 placements available each year across the eleven offices where we currently offer Legal Work Placements and training contracts. What is the closing date for work placement applications? Applications for the 2023 Legal Work Placement will open on 1st November 2022 and close on 3rd January 2023. What skills do I need to apply? We look for creative thinkers, innovators and people with ambition, focus and determination. You will also need to be meticulous, with a good eye for detail and have the ability to build strong relationships with your colleagues and clients. Back to the top When does the Legal Work Placement run? We run two placements through June and July each year. We don't accommodate placements outside of these dates. Each placement usually lasts one week and during this you will get to experience a number of our client service areas. Can I apply for a training contract if I am unsuccessful in gaining a Legal Work Placement? No. When you apply for a Legal Work Placement, your application is also submitted for a training contract. These are both assessed in the same way, and we only permit candidates to apply once during one academic year. Who can apply for a Legal Work Placement? The Legal Work Placement is open to graduates, and undergraduates who are in at least their penultimate year of a law degree, or their final year of a non-law degree. Will I be paid during my work placement? You'll receive our Living Wage rate for the time you're with us. Careers Teams Do you offer work placements for school, college or sixth form students? Our work experience programme is only available to students who're in at least the second year of their degree and want to apply for a training contract with us. We don't have a structured programme for younger students and we can't accommodate requests for informal work experience. Almost all of our offices are now involved in local PRIME programmes. PRIME is a group of law firms who're committed to making sure more people from every walk of life can access the legal sector, making them aware of important opportunities. Through this scheme, we provide work experience to young people from less privileged backgrounds. For more information, please visit the PRIME website. Is there any information I can access to share with students about your opportunities? We hold a database for Careers Team & Societies where we will inform all interested parties of our events as we organise them and share any digital content with you for you to share with students. If you would like to be included on our database please contact email@example.com to let us know which email is best to send the information to. Will the firm sponsor our University society? Unfortunately due to high demand we can't sponsor individual university societies. However, each year we run a number of events including recruitment workshops which society members are welcome to join. We hold a database for Careers Team & Societies where we will inform all interested parties of our events as we organise them and share any digital content with you for you to share with students. If you would like to be included on our database please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know which email is best to send the information to. General Do we have a brochure to download? Yes, you can find our digital brochure here which contains all the content from our website. It also includes information on our DNA, quotes from current trainees, office case studies and more on what we can do for you professionally and personally. Does Irwin Mitchell organise social events? Yes, each office has regular social events, which often raise money for charity as well as giving you the chance to socialise with your colleagues. Does the firm do anything with local charities and the community? Lots - each office has excellent relationships with local charities and we give both time and money in support of nominated organisations. The Irwin Mitchell Charities Foundation is an independent registered charity that each year receives a lump sum donation from the partners and regular contributions from employees via the Give As You Earn scheme (GAYE). Each office also has a charity of the year that benefits from 12 months of our fundraising efforts. As a trainee you'll have the opportunity (and be encouraged) to get involved in the community and help local charities. How do I apply for paralegal opportunities? To apply for a paralegal position, or to see other career opportunities at Irwin Mitchell, you can view and apply for our current vacancies on the Irwin Mitchell website. Please note: we are unable to accept speculative CVs and covering letters. Back to the top Is the firm involved in pro bono work? Pro bono is a core part of our social responsibility programme with many of our lawyers getting involved in local law clinics and law schools around the country. We work closely with organisations such as LawWorks and Business in the Community to ensure that we play a part in meeting unmet legal need in the communities in which we live and work. Recruitment Process Can I update my email address once I have applied? Unfortunately not – you'll need to email us at email@example.com and we'll do this for you. Please avoid using your university email address if you're graduating this year or finishing your LPC, as it may be closed down before the recruitment process finishes. Can I submit a CV and covering letter? There's no need. Please just complete our online registration via our recruitment system. Can I update my email address once I've applied? Unfortunately not – you'll need to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do this for you. Please avoid using your school/university email address if you're finishing your studies this year, as it may be closed down before the recruitment process finishes. What should I do if I require reasonable adjustments for the recruitment process because of my disability? We're happy to accommodate any reasonable adjustments that you require due to a disability. Please email us to discuss in more detail.