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Training Contract

We pride ourselves on providing a learning experience that is genuinely distinctive. What defines that experience? Above all, we have an enduring commitment to the development of trainees because they are intrinsic to what we do and the future of our firm. It means your training contract at Macfarlanes will combine hands-on experience with a first class education programme. 

During the two-year training contract you'll be working on real cases, doing real work for real clients from day one. As a trainee you will complete four six-month seats in different practice areas, including a compulsory corporate and M&A seat. You will have the opportunity to submit your seat preferences and we will do our best to ensure you get to work in the seats that most interest you. In each seat, you will share a room with a partner or senior solicitor who personally supervises and supports you in your work.


Once you begin your training contract you will follow an intensive schedule of seminars and lectures – these will mostly be presented by partners or senior solicitors from within the firm. The programme is ‘front-loaded’ to develop your knowledge and skills from the start. In some practice areas you may even be asked to contribute to a seminar or to update the team on recent developments in a particular area of law.

Feedback & Mentoring

Each of your seats will feature a mid-seat and end-of-seat review. This is an opportunity to help gauge your progress. You will be allocated a partner mentor who is personally responsible for you for the duration of your training contract. These mechanisms are there to ensure that you get the best and most appropriate experience during your first years. What may surprise you at the outset is how quickly you will become part of the team and how quickly people at all levels in the firm will know your name and value your contribution.

Who we’re looking for?

At Macfarlanes, we don’t have any preconceptions about who you are or where you’re from. We want people who are academically strong, with determination and drive. However, we aren’t looking for any particular educational background. For us, it’s your potential that really counts. 

We’ll want to see that you have resilience, determination and exceptional communication skills. You must be confident when it comes to giving advice and making decisions. Most of all, we are looking for people who will relish the chance to work alongside some of the world’s most successful and ambitious businesses and individuals. 

We expect you to have a 2:1 degree or above – that could be in law or in another subject. 

Application Process

Our application form is online. We review applications on a rolling basis so the sooner you apply, the sooner we can process your application. The form itself is simple and is designed to give you every opportunity to impress us. 

Successful training contract applicants will be invited to attend one of our assessment days, taking part in a partner interview, a written exercise, a group exercise and an in-tray exercise.

The assessment process for all our programmes is intentionally demanding – we set high standards in everything – but it is also enjoyable and stimulating. We keep our recruitment procedures under constant review to ensure that they are meritocratic but also that there are no elements that stand in the way of the recruitment of candidates from a wide range of universities and backgrounds.


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