An overview of our most frequently asked questions
- When am I able to apply for a Training Contract?
We recruit two years in advance, so our Training Contract opportunities are open to all graduates, all final-year non-law degree students and all penultimate-year law degree students. Our applications are due to open on the 31st October 2023 for our 2026 cohort.
- When will I hear back on my application?
As applications are not reviewed on a rolling basis, all applications will need to be reviewed before any updates will be communicated. Candidates should not expect to hear back until all applications have been reviewed, which is due to be the end of March.
- I don’t have any legal experience; can I still apply for a Training Contract?
Yes! We appreciate that legal experience can be very hard to come by. We believe everyone should have equal access to legal work experience and so we have partnered with PRIME to develop a Virtual Legal Work Experience Programme. Anyone can do it – there are no restrictions or even an application process. It’s been designed to provide an insight into what a career in law might look like, building legal skills and gaining an understanding of what it means to be a lawyer.
When reviewing applications, we’re looking for candidates who show real potential, assessing applicants on their transferrable skills rather than their legal knowledge.
- I don’t have a degree; can I still apply for a Training Contract?
You must have completed a degree before you are able to start your Training Contact. If you’re interested in qualifying as a solicitor but have not yet started a degree, take a look at our apprentice opportunities here.
- I didn’t study law at a Russell Group university; will this affect my application
No. Our trainees come from a variety of backgrounds and just over half (around 60%) of our trainees studied law at university.
Our applications are marked blindly which means our reviewers will not have information about which university you went to. Applicants will not be scored better just for having attended Oxbridge or a Russell Group university. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds.
- Do you have any minimum/average grade requirements?
When we recruit, our focus is simply on finding the best candidate for the role - regardless of their background. We are looking for genuine passion and interest within our specialist sectors. We want someone who is enthusiastic and motivated, possesses strong communication skills and is a team player who works for the benefit of all.
We do not have minimum grade requirements for either degree classification or A levels. On average, our trainees have achieved AAB at A level and a 2.1 in their degree, but these are not requirements for us.
- I don’t have any “impressive” extracurricular activities; will this affect my application?
Absolutely not. We want to know about you and your involvement in any activities that demonstrate the skills we are looking for. It doesn’t matter what those examples are, we’re solely focused on the skills you have gained. For example, improving your communication skills whilst volunteering in a local charity shop is equally as impressive as doing so whilst volunteering for a NGO in Africa.
- What if I can’t make it to one of your events?
Don't worry if you can't make it to one of our events, there are plenty of other ways for you to learn more about our firm. Although it’s a great way to find about us, your (non) attendance will not have a direct impact on your application.
- If I’m successful in securing a Training Contract, will I study the LPC or SQE?
From our 2025 training contract cohort onwards, our preference is that you will study the SQE route. However, at Lewis Silkin, we don't exclude candidates based on whether they have completed the LPC or SQE, or if they have or if they have not yet studied a PGDL, LPC, or SQE at all. If you are offered a training contract with us, we will discuss your individual circumstances with you.
Whichever route you would prefer, we recommend all future lawyers keep up-to-date on the changes through https://www.sra.org.uk/ .
- Do you have a preferred provider for the PGDL or SQE?
If you have already completed your courses, we do not mind where you studied. We ask all our sponsored students to attend BPP, although the location is up to you.
- Are there specific electives I should study at law school?
We do not specify which electives you should study however we do ask that you consider the areas we work in before you choose your electives.
- Do you offer financial assistance for studying the PGDL and/or SQE studies
All GDL, LPC and/or SQE fees are reimbursed (or sponsored if you're yet to complete your studies), and you'll be awarded an £8,000 maintenance grant whilst studying the GDL/LPC/SQE. For more information on our benefits, please see more here.
- I’m interested in paralegal opportunities; how can I apply for a role?
We advertise all our paralegal vacancies on our website. You can check for any suitable opportunities and sign up to receive alerts about new opportunities here.
- Does my previous work experience count as Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) at the firm, and if so, does this shorten the length of my training contract?
At Lewis Silkin, we require all trainees to complete the entire two-year training contract, composed of 4 seat rotations. This wouldn't include experience from elsewhere.
Applications for our London, Cardiff, and Belfast 2026 Training Contracts open on 31st October. Apply here. Applications will close on the 31st January 2024.