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Training contract application deadlines

Don't miss this year's training contract deadlines

Use our handy list of training contract deadlines to plan your applications. Warning: many commercial law firms have scrapped the traditional 31 July deadline, and now use winter and spring deadlines for training contracts starting in 2019.
Many commercial firms start sending out invites to assessment centres and interviews before their training contract deadline so it’s worth being organised.

Most commercial law firms recruit their trainee solicitors two years in advance. That means that aspiring trainee solicitors planning to start their training contracts or ‘period of recognised training’ in 2019 need to apply in 2017.

Those on a law degree need to plan ahead and submit polished online applications at the end of your second year. If successful, the upside is you’ll go into your final year with a graduate job all lined up plus, in some cases, sponsorship from your law firm for the legal practice course or LPC

Of course, 50% of trainees come from a non-law background and complete the graduate diploma in law (or GDL) conversion course before starting the LPC. Most of these law firms accept training contract applications from final-year, non-law undergraduates by this key date too, but it varies from firm to firm so do check the online profiles below. Some firms, such as Hogan Lovells, have January deadlines for non-law students.

The rules around when in the year law firms can recruit trainees and offer training contracts were relaxed in 2015. As a result, not all firms use the previously popular 31 July deadline. When putting together the list below, we noticed that 30% of TARGETjobs Law's advertisers have moved their training contract deadlines away from 31 July to earlier in the year; some as early as January 2017: Clifford Chance wants all training contract applications in by 3 January 2017; Taylor Wessing uses a 30 April 2017 deadline for all its applications.

It’s worth noting that smaller, niche and high street firms tend to recruit closer to trainees' start dates.

Applying well before the deadline is recommended

Word of warning: many commercial firms start sending out invites to assessment centres and interviews before their training contract deadline so it’s worth being organised, checking firms' websites for more details and submitting your application well before the deadline if you can. Most firms with July deadlines open their online applications on 1 April 2017 or 1 June 2017.

Training contract deadlines

30 October 2016

03 January 2017

13 January 2017

15 January 2017

31 January 2017

01 April 2017

28 April 2017

30 April 2017

01 June 2017

16 June 2017

30 June 2017

02 July 2017

07 July 2017

14 July 2017

16 July 2017

17 July 2017

31 July 2017

See the following law firms' websites for details of training contract deadlines