Law solicitors

Sector menu

Training contract application deadlines

Don't miss this year's training contract deadlines

Many commercial law firms recruit two years in advance so use our handy list of 2017/2018 training contract deadlines to plan your applications. Some firms have scrapped the traditional 31 July deadline, and now use winter and spring deadlines for training contracts starting in 2020.

Training contract deadlines in December 2017



Training contract deadlines in January and February 2018






Training contract deadlines in April and May 2018



Training contract deadlines in June and July 2018












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

Aspiring trainee solicitors planning to start their training contracts or ‘period of recognised training’ in 2020 need to apply in winter 2017 or during 2018.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 above. As you can see above, some firms, such as Hogan Lovells, have January deadlines for non-law students and graduates.

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 above, 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 December 2017 or January 2018: Clifford Chance wants all training contract applications in by 3 January 2018; Bird & Bird and Taylor Wessing use a 30 April 2018 deadline for all their 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.