About Womble Bond Dickinson
Womble Bond Dickinson is a progressive and forward thinking firm, with a strong regional heritage through longstanding connections within the communities in which we operate. We are a top 20 law firm by revenue with more than 420 partners and 1,000 lawyers across eight offices in the UK and 19 offices in the US. This ensures that we’re always close to our clients’ needs while bringing a transatlantic perspective and extended jurisdictional reach.
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) advises in excess of 40 FTSE 350 companies, many of the largest businesses in the country, government organisations, wealthy individuals and over 100 rural landowners; including National Trust and English Heritage.
With a focus on twelve key sectors (Public, Government and Third Sector; Technology, Healthcare; Insurance, Manufacturing; Real Estate; Retail and Consumer; Transport, Logistics & Infrastructure; Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences; Technology and Private Wealth).
Our clients include Nissan, HSBC, Grainger, Bellway, Sainsbury’s, New Look, Atom Bank, HS2 and Five Guys. Whether we’re working with a FTSE 100 business, a government organisation or a privately managed company, our approach is to build productive, trusting long-term relationships.
We always put ourselves in our clients’ shoes and ask the right questions so that we can really understand and anticipate their needs. That’s why we look for trainees who take the time to listen and who want to work for a firm where integrity and reliability matter every bit as much as insight and legal expertise.
We take our commitment to being a Responsible Business very seriously and care about the impact of our actions on our people, our local community and the environment.
Building sustainable relationships through partnerships with charities, community projects and our own initiatives and networks, we are determined to play a strong role in creating better places to live, work and do business.
We want our actions to have real social value impact, and so focus our activity on social mobility, BAME and LGBTQ+ communities. Hoping to give empowerment and unlock potential with Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship.
Main areas of work
At Womble Bond Dickinson we look for intellectually able, motivated and enthusiastic graduates from any discipline or background. Our trainees come from diverse backgrounds and bring a range of experience – and that’s important to us.
Successful applicants will understand the need to provide practical, commercial advice, show diversity of thought and share the firm’s commitment to self-development, teamwork and its desire to provide clients with services that match their highest expectations.
Our training contract forms part of our early talent pipeline. Trainees at Womble Bond Dickinson will have an opportunity to spend six months in four Business Groups, gaining a real breadth of experience.
This is your training contract and it's up to you to make the most of it, but along the way we offer fantastic opportunities to develop your legal career in a growing firm.
Our supervisors are trained and fully supported on an ongoing basis. You'll have access to high quality work and senior client contact. We regularly second trainees to our most high profile clients.
We're looking for people across seven of our UK offices. There is no typical Womble Bond Dickinson trainee - our trainees come from varied backgrounds and bring a range of different experience, and that's very important to us.
What all of our people do share is an enthusiasm for law and a passion for our business. Beyond that we look for our trainees to have a strong academic background, although this is not the only criteria we use when shortlisting applications.
It's as important to us that candidates can demonstrate honesty, drive and motivation, good communication skills, resilience, adaptability, diversity of thought and commercial sense.
When and how to apply
The first stage of the recruitment process is an online application, focusing on academics, life history and a personal statement. We also ask all applicants to complete a series of exercises which highlight your inherent traits.
Successful applicants will then be invited to complete an online pre-recorded video interview. Which is an opportunity to tell us more about you, we want to get to know you as an individual.
The next step will be to attend an assessment day in the location of your choice (preferably the location in which you wish to train). This consists of a number of exercises designed to assess the core behaviors. You'll also meet with trainees, partners and other people from around the business. This is an opportunity for you to get to know us.
We are looking for potential not the finished article.
Dates and deadlines
- Training contract applications open: 1 October 2021
- Training contract deadline, 2024 start: Please visit website
- Vacation scheme applications open: 1 October 2021
- Vacation scheme 2022 deadline: Please visit website
We run one-week long summer work placements which forms part of the recruitment process, and also acts as an application for a training contract. During the week you’ll get involved with the business as a whole as well as learn more about the firm's culture, the people who work in the business and get a feel for the work of a junior lawyer. Applications open in October 2021 and we encourage early applications.
The first stage is an online application form which assesses the core behaviours we look for: honesty, drive and motivation, good communication skills, resilience, adaptability, diversity of thought and commercial sense.
- First-year salary: Bristol - £36,000; Southampton - £32,000; Leeds - £28,000; London - £42,000; Newcastle - £28,000; Plymouth - £32,000; Scotland - £28,000
- Second-year salary: Bristol - £38,000; Southampton - £34,000; Leeds - £30,000; London - £44,000; Newcastle - £30,000; Plymouth - £34,000; Scotland - £30,000
- Post qualification salary: Competitive (benchmarked annually)
Childcare vouchers, dental, subsidised gym, healthcare, pension, PMI as part of flexible benefits package. Other flexible benefits include travel loan schemes, discounted car parking schemes, carbon offsetting, eye care, employee assistance programme, Cycle to Work scheme, buy and sell holidays, charity giving plus many more.
Diversity access schemes Pathways to Law, PRIME, internal BAME and LGBTQ+ networks, disability confident, Stonewall
In September 2014 we launched the first of our apprenticeship programmes. We recognised the importance of creating alternative routes into the profession for those who wanted to get their first foot on the career ladder sooner rather than later. We also wanted to develop our own home grown talent to ensure a continued pipeline of paralegals and future lawyers.
Our well established Paralegal Apprenticeship runs over two years. You'll work within our paralegal team, giving you access to a wide range of clients and types of work. Our legal apprenticeship offers school leavers and those who choose not to go to University the opportunity to gain formal legal qualifications and a role in the profession through paid, on-the-job training as an apprentice paralegal.
Our legal apprenticeship scheme has been hugely successful. We're proud to have been recognised as a Top 100 Apprenticeship. For more information about the programme please take a look at our website.
The legal profession has continued to embrace apprenticeships as an alternative route to law and 2016 saw the launch of the first solicitor apprenticeship programme. This is a 6 year programme taking you through from A-Level to qualification as a solicitor, without the need to attend university full-time.
We recognise that university life isn't for everyone, and we wanted to create an opportunity for those who thought a career in law might not be attainable.
Our solicitor apprenticeship launched in Newcastle, September 2017, with three apprentices. Since then we have recruited a further three apprentices in Newcastle, four in Southampton and two into Bristol.
There are some great careers available within a law firm; our business couldn't operate without the highly talented support teams who provide expert advice in HR, IT, Business Development, Facilities Management, Finance to name a few. We have launched apprenticeship in HR, IT, Facilities Management and Secretarial Services.
Womble Bond Dickinson is fully committed to opening up new routes to our profession, ensuring our people all benefit from the fantastic development opportunities available to them, and apprenticeships are just one more way for us to do that.