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Training Contract/Graduate Apprenticeship - 2026 - Paris Smith

Training Contract/Graduate Apprenticeship - 2026 - Paris Smith

companyParis Smith LLP
PublishedPublished: Published 1 week ago
Full time
Role CommencementWithin 2 years
SRA QWE competencesApplying critical thinking and analysis (SRA competences A5) | Applying legal principles (SRA competences A4) | Clear Oral and Written Communication (SRA competences C1) | Client centred advisory work (SRA competences B3) | Client relationships (SRA competences C2) | Learning from practice and other people (SRA competences A2) | Legal Drafting (SRA competences B4) | Legal Research (SRA competences B2) | Negotiation (SRA competences B6) | Opportunity to gain feedback from effective supervision (SRA competences A3) | Project/case management (SRA competences B7) | Technical legal practice (SRA competences B1) | Understanding the business and compliance environment of the organisation (SRA competences D2) | Written and Oral Advocacy (SRA competences B5) | Self-management (SRA competences D1) | Working in professionally regulated environment (SRA competences A1) | Professional workplace relationships (SRA competences C3)

Deadline 5pm on 6 June 2024


We currently recruit 5 or 6 trainee solicitors each year and have 4 vacation placement opportunities.

We welcome applications from students who have taken a non-law degree as well as those who have studied law with a strong academic background and at least a 2.1 honours degree.

We are proud, in most years, that we have a 100% retention rate.

We usually recruit trainees up to two years ahead of the starting date for their training contract, as we recognise that many candidates look for the security of having a training contract in place before committing to their post graduate legal courses. We sometimes recruit within a shorter time period, for example if it is decided that the firm can accommodate extra trainees. We suggest that your application states the year in which you are applying to start a training contract, but if appropriate also states that you could join us earlier.

We are currently flexible about whether candidates wish to qualify by studying a legal practice course, studying independently to pass SQE1 and SQE2 or wish to take a graduate apprenticeship whilst working at the Firm. If you are successful in our selection process, we will discuss your study with you and decide which is the best route for you.

The deadline for training applications in 2024 (for 2026 training contracts) is 5pm on the 6 June 2024.

We aim to send invitations to those candidates who have been selected to our assessment day by 14 June 2024. Our assessment day will be held in a morning or afternoon session and will consist of an introduction to the firm, a group exercise and a short written exercise. Candidates who are successful following our assessment day will be invited back for interview. Our assessment day will be held on 3 July and interviews will typically be around two weeks after the assessment day.

In considering applications we take account of academic achievements and the standard of degree likely to be obtained but also a genuine desire for a career in the profession and an interest in working and living locally. We place great importance on good interpersonal skills in the context of both the workplace and client care.

We are looking for trainees who combine intellectual ability with practical common sense. Our aim is to continue to recruit trainees who upon qualification will wish to continue as valued members of the firm.

One of our former trainees, Lucy Andrews, has written a blog “3 top tips to surviving your first seat as a trainee solicitor” that you may find a useful read.


The training given at Paris Smith LLP is highly regarded by the SRA’s assessors.

Our trainee solicitors spend 6 months in 4 seats from corporate, commercial and finance; commercial property and planning; conveyancing; employment; family; tax trusts and wills; and dispute resolution. This is flexible and is tailored as far as possible to each individual trainee. The training principal supervises the trainees and they are encouraged to give regular feedback as to training. The firm as a whole operates an open door policy and trainees and work experience students often comment on our informal, friendly and approachable culture at all levels of the firm.

As soon as a trainee joins us they are considered a full member of the firm. Trainees are involved in client matters as fully as possible and are expected to undertake work under supervision assuming increasing responsibility as training progresses. We aim to ensure that trainees learn to apply their knowledge on a practical basis.

Our trainees are given wide experience including meeting clients, dealing with Counsel, technical experts and other lawyers, attending court, drafting and research. At Paris Smith LLP we ensure that our trainees have access to an extensive library and on-line research facilities in the same way as all other lawyers. Trainees are entitled to study leave for examinations when undergoing the ongoing training required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority during a training contract.


Paris Smith LLP is committed to paying its trainees a competitive salary and a contribution of £7000 towards the LPC/SQE or will pay for the fees for a graduate apprenticeship if you are studying whilst you work.


For training contracts the selection process comprises of three stages: application and CV; assessment day; and interview. If you have been successful at the application stage, you will be invited to an assessment day. If you have been successful at the assessment day, you will be invited to attend an interview with two partners of the firm.

Required degree level

  • Law degree/GDL/CILEX level 6 or equivalent
  • Non-law degree