As the UK's leading full-service law firm, we believe we have something genuinely different to offer our trainee solicitors.
As a full-service law firm, we have a wide range of seats available for you to train in. You'll undertake three or four seats over two years, giving you a breadth of experience across our seven client service areas:
- Commercial Advisory & Disputes
- Complex Personal Injury
- Corporate & Finance
- Court of Protection & Public Law
- Family Law
- Private Client Services
Your training contract journey begins as soon as you accept your offer. You'll receive a welcome pack inviting you to future trainee events where you'll meet your buddy and get to know your fellow trainees. Whether you're still studying or working before you begin, you’ll feel a part of the Irwin Mitchell team.
If successful, you'll attend a two-week induction before you start your first seat. It’s a great way to get to know the firm and your fellow trainees. With 50 training contracts spread across 11 locations, you’ll have a strong support network of other trainees, but still have room to grow and make your mark.
As a trainee solicitor, no two days are ever the same. One day you may be drafting witness statements, while the next you may be attending court hearings and instructing barristers and experts on case-critical information. There are also opportunities to get involved in business development projects, networking events and our community programmes.
Our dedicated Early Careers team will ensure that your training contract journey is a positive experience from start to finish. That's why we have consistently high retention rates year after year.
Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE)
We’re beginning the transition to the SQE from 2024. The SQE is the new assessment for all aspiring solicitors in England and Wales, introduced in September 2021. Your training contract duration and structure will differ dependent on the qualifications you have attained at the point of receiving a training contract offer with us:
Non-Law undergraduate, Completed GDL, Law Graduate:
Many of our lawyers come from a non-legal background, so we welcome applications from all graduates and undergraduates. If you are a non-law graduate we’ll provide funding for you to complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) plus a maintenance grant of £4,500 if you haven't started these courses when offered a training contract. Following completion of your PGDL you will then join the business and begin your journey as a Trainee Solicitor at the firm. You will undertake your studies for the SQE alongside your training at the firm, taking one day per week out of the business for your SQE studies. We will pay your tuition and examination fees to support you in passing the SQE. You will also complete the 'SQE Plus', which is an additional 4-month course in areas of law not examined under the SQE.
As part of your training you will complete three 6-month seats in different practice areas of the business, then return to one of these areas for your fourth seat. Usually, the fourth seat is the area of the business that you will qualify into. During your third seat, you will undertake SQE 1. Your fourth seat will be a slightly longer seat and you will have time out in that seat to complete SQE 2 and SQE Plus.
Throughout the programme you will receive a trainee salary whilst completing your SQE studies. You will also benefit from qualifying as a Solicitor quicker, as this programme will take 27 months up to qualification, instead of the previous route of 36 months (1 year for you to complete your LPC and then a 2 year training contract).
Completing or Completed LPC:
We’ll continue to accept applications from anyone who's completing or already completed their LPC, as there's a grace period of up to 10 years in which you can follow the old route. If you've passed or are in the process of completing the Legal Practice Course (LPC) when we offer you a training contract you'll join us to complete a 2 year training contract. As part of your training contract you’ll complete three 6-month seats in different practice areas of the business, then you'll return to one of these areas for your fourth seat. Usually the fourth seat is the area of the business that you'll qualify into.
From the academic year of 2024/25, all candidates will undertake the SQE and we’ll no longer offer funding for the LPC.
What Are The Entry Requirements?
We're passionate about finding the right individuals to join Irwin Mitchell. We value you for who you are and what you bring.
Whichever area of law you're interested in, we’re looking for trainee solicitors who are committed to their role, their team, and their clients. Many of our lawyers come from a non-legal background, so we welcome applications from all graduates and undergraduates. We are committed to diversity so we don’t focus on specific universities – our current 108 trainee solicitors studied at over 50 different universities.
If you don’t have a degree and are interested in becoming a solicitor, see our Solicitor Apprenticeship opportunities.
What To Expect When You Apply
We don't have any Solicitor apprenticeships available at the moment. Sign up for email updates and we'll keep you posted about future opportunities.
As we begin our transition to the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) our approach to trainee recruitment is also changing. The new approach enables us to offer training contracts to start in the year of recruitment (the following year for non-law students needing to complete the PGDL).
As a result of this transition, for the past year and the next two years, we are making training contract offers for 2024. As a result of this we have already filled all 2024 vacancies for Cambridge, Sheffield & Southampton.
Find out more about our recruitment process