2018 Training Contract

A career without limits

Ambitious and entrepreneurial graduates are rewarded at Reed Smith with a training programme that is supportive, challenging and exciting, offering unparalleled client and international secondments. Our unique culture, which allows trainees to turn passions into careers, is one of the reasons our lawyers remain with us for such a long time, moving seats, jobs roles and even countries, but sticking with the firm.  First year trainee salary is £40,000, second year salary £44,000.

We are a global law firm with more than 1,800 lawyers in offices throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States. Unusually, we operate as one global partnership, rather than separate country-specific partnerships, which is why we’re so good at collaborating across borders to support our clients.  As a leading adviser to industries including financial services, energy and natural resources, entertainment and media, real estate and shipping, our lawyers work with some of the most innovative organisations in the world – from multi-billion dollar Silicon Valley giants to national banks. We have even represented some of the biggest pop stars on the planet.

A unique place to grow

We offer stimulating work in an informative, challenging and busy environment where your contribution counts from the year before you join, with our unique LLM Commercial Legal Practice programme, through to the end of your training contract. With four seats over two years, you choose the practice or industry group areas you would like to experience, as well as benefiting from a client or international secondment. Our intake per year is 25, meaning that at any given time, we will have 50 trainees in total.

LLM Commercial Legal Practice: we were the first in the sector to develop a new version of the LPC that fully integrates legal and business learning and leads to a unique Master’s qualification. This bespoke programme not only allows you to study commercial and legal aspects in parallel, but also gives you an unrivalled opportunity to apply your business learning based at a client in the summer term of the programme.

Where you’ll be based as a trainee: our London office, based in The Broadgate Tower, is now the largest in the firm. This state-of-the-art building provides an exceptional workspace and 360-degree views from our cafeteria on the 31st floor.

Your trainee induction: our training programme starts with a detailed 2.5-week induction course to discover how the firm works, build some vital practical skills and begin to complete core modules of your Professional Skills Course (PSC).

Your peers: the first relationships you’ll form at Reed Smith will be with your fellow trainees, who will help you develop and prosper throughout your training contract. As part of the process, you’ll also link up with a ‘buddy’ – a more experienced trainee solicitor who will provide guidance and support to help you through your first six months (and often beyond). In addition, we offer mentoring support in each practice group from a junior associate, for those conversations about qualification or more advanced topics.

More training if you are hungry for it – and developing your own skills: in addition to training to introduce you to our practice areas, you will attend on-going training on updates and developments with the partners and associates. We are also keen to allow you to develop your own coaching and mentoring skills, so encourage our trainee cohorts to mentor those more junior to them on the LLM Commercial Legal Practice.

And then you move into your first seat: while classroom learning is important, your practical legal training and experience is where you really learn how to be a lawyer. During each seat, you will get regular feedback from your supervisor to help you gauge your progress, including a mid-seat and end-of-seat appraisal.

Qualifications and Skills

We are looking for candidates who are on target for or have achieved a 2.1 or above at degree level (or the equivalent). This can be in any discipline. We are also looking for you to demonstrate that you have the skills and behaviours which would expect from our trainees and these are as follows:

Legal Skills

  • Practice Skills and Knowledge - learns the basics
  • Research and Analysis - approaches research and analysis logically
  • Written and Oral Communication Skills - communicates clearly and concisely; is a good listener


  • Developing Self and Others - actively makes use of opportunities to further own development
  • Teamwork and Collaboration - works co-operatively with colleagues

Business Skills

  • Leadership - understands Reed Smith's strategy, values and policies
  • Matter and Financial Management - manages own time commercially


  • Client Relationships - seeks to understand and meet client needs
  • Business Development - builds knowledge of the firm's capabilities and establishes relationships

When and how to apply

Applications for vacancies in 2018 open on 1st November 2017 and will need to be made via our on-line application form. The closing date for applications is 12th March 2018. 

To apply please complete the online form via the 'Apply online' button.

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