How do I apply for a vacation placement or training contract?
All applications must be made online using the 'Apply' section of the graduate website. Candidates who undertake a vacation scheme will automatically be considered for a training contract and so are not required to make a separate training contract application.
What are your application deadlines?
We are currently recruiting for training contracts in England beginning in September 2015 or March 2016. To apply for a training contract you must complete an online application and submit it by 31 July 2013. The application deadline for Scottish training contracts to start in September 2014 is 5 October 2012.
The deadline for English and Scottish vacation placement applications is 31 January 2013. This is in order to be considered for a vacation placement taking place in Summer 2013. We do not currently offer Winter or Easter vacation placements.
Applications for Belfast based Training Contracts commencing in 2013 should be made by 28 February 2013. Assessment centres will take place during March.
I am completing a Law degree – does it matter what modules I choose to study?
Pinsent Masons does not stipulate that you need to have studied particular modules as part of your undergraduate studies, however, we would expect that students who are keen to pursue a career in commercial law will have taken the opportunity to further their knowledge in this area through choosing relevant modules, when the opportunity has arisen.
I am completing a Law degree with a year abroad – when can I apply for vacation placements?
You can apply from your second year onwards in the same way that other students are able to. Many students prefer to undertake a vacation placement before undertaking their year abroad.
I am completing a non-Law degree with a year abroad – when can I apply for vacation placements?
If you are applying to one of our English offices you can apply from your penultimate year onwards, but not in the second year of a four-year course (even if you will be spending a year abroad as part of your studies). As a non-law student you will still be competing against candidates from a Law background, including those currently studying towards the GDL and LPC.
When will I know the outcome of my application?
You will receive an automated email acknowledgement of your application once it has been successfully submitted. We do not start screening applications until the application deadline so you will not hear back from us prior to this. We aim to confirm the allocation of vacation placement places by the end of February and the awarding of training contracts on 1 September (following either a vacation placement or assessment centre).
How many applications do you receive?
On average we receive about 1000 applications for vacation placements and an additional 750 applications for training contracts. We typically interview between 10-15% of applicants. Application numbers vary across each office with London receiving a disproportionately high number of applications.
Do you offer feedback on applications?
Given the number of applications we receive, we do not offer individual feedback to those applicants who are unsuccessful at the application screening stage. In order to help you maximise your chances of success we recommend you read our application advice document and familiarise yourself with our competency framework.
I do not meet your minimum academic requirement, can I still apply?
Law is an intellectually demanding career and we are looking to recruit candidates with strong academic results to date. If you have extenuating circumstances that have impacted negatively on your results then we are willing to take this into account. Please detail these on your application to us. The remainder of your application will need to be very strong in order to be successful.
I don't have A-level qualifications, but I gained other equivalent qualifications abroad – will you still consider my application?
Yes, please specify your grades and, where possible, please include the grading scale applied to the qualifications to allow us to assess you performance to date.
Is it advantageous to complete a Masters degree eg LLM before applying?
The vast majority of our trainees have not undertaken any post-graduate study other than the GDL and/or LPC. While a Masters level qualification may enhance your subject-matter knowledge in a given area we do not feel it will necessarily enhance the skills required to be a successful trainee solicitor.
Do I need previous legal work experience to apply?
Candidates applying for a vacation placement are not required to have previous legal work experience, however, we would encourage you to attend law fairs, campus events and open days as these will help you develop your understanding of the legal sector and also demonstrate a commitment to a career in law.
Candidates applying directly for a training contract need to show evidence of previous legal work experience, ideally in a commercial law environment or an in-house legal team. This could be obtained through either a formal vacation placement programme or through your own initiative. The experience does not need to be extensive (two weeks would be sufficient) but you need to be able to demonstrate through the assessment process that you have first-hand knowledge of what it would be like to work in a commercial law firm.
What if I need a work permit?
It is difficult for us to sponsor overseas nationals, as we must justify why we are recruiting from overseas rather than Europe. We do accept applications from non-EU nationals, but please ensure you are clear about what (if any) sponsorship you will require in order to be able to work in the UK on a permanent, full-time basis.
If I previously applied to Pinsent Masons and was unsuccessful, can I re-apply?
Yes, you will need to complete a new online application in order to be considered. It is very important that you consider why your initial application was unsuccessful before you reapply. In the past candidates who have reapplied have been successful with their second application but the majority are not. In many cases this is because their application does not show any significant improvement from their initial application. Please note if you were unsuccessful in securing a training contract following a vacation placement at the firm you cannot reapply for another vacation placement. Instead you should apply directly for a training contract.