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Training contracts - Scotland

Applications are open


The best training experience possible

On our tailored programme, we give you the best training experience possible, with a full, balanced introduction to the legal profession.


We make business work better for people

Retention rates

We are proud to retain 100% of our trainees

Comprehensive Training

We deliver core and complementary training



Your training starts on day one at our Crown Place Headquarters, where you’ll have the chance to meet your fellow Trainees and begin to build a network of contacts across the firm.

Our residential Trainee Conference in your second week is when your intensive legal and skills training really starts. With a series of regulatory and skills training combined with a good number of social events, it gives you the chance to develop professionally whilst strengthening your bonds with your fellow Trainees.


Training and seat rotation

On our two-year training programme, you’ll enjoy the chance to build both the technical legal skills and complementary skills you need to become a newly-qualified Solicitor and business advisor.

Throughout the programme you’ll gain broad exposure to different areas of the firm by moving seat every six months. The training in each seat is ‘front loaded’ to enable you to quickly develop legal knowledge of each area and take on real responsibility. When you qualify, you’ll have a fully informed idea of which practice areas interest you and can take your career to the next level in your chosen specialism.

Our Graduate Development Team will support you throughout your Training Contract, from liaising with the wider business on seat allocation, to meeting with you regularly to offer personal or professional support and guidance.




During the second year of your Training Contract, you may have the chance to take a secondment with one of our clients or another of our UK offices.

A number of client organisations offer secondments to our trainees and each time you move seat, you’ll find different, exciting opportunities are available. For example, some of our trainees have had the chance to work at AXA, Google, Heathrow Airport and Royal London.


Our trainee salaries are subject to review on an annual basis. The salary rates at August 2022 are as follows:

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If you don’t meet the above criteria but there are mitigating circumstances that explain why you’ve failed to meet the minimum academic requirements, there’s an opportunity for you to include this information in your application.


Law school sponsorship


Applicants to our Scottish offices must undertake the Professional Education & Training (PEAT1) course prior to commencing their Training Contract.

As a firm we’re keen to recruit the most talented people, whilst ensuring fair access to the profession. That's why we cover the cost of postgraduate tuition for future Scottish trainees.

This means you will have your PEAT1 fees paid by the firm and you can study towards the qualification at the university of your choice. We’ll also provide you with a competitive maintenance grant.


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A focus on detail

With a conscientious approach, you’ll have the ability to read and absorb large amounts of reference material and spot errors quickly. You’ll be a stickler for detail when it comes to your own writing too, ensuring it’s always clear and accurate.

An interest in business

An interest in business

We’re a commercial law firm, so you’ll have a genuine interest in how business works. That means keeping up-to-date with the latest business issues, as well as appreciating how legal expertise can support and steer commercial organisations.



With the self-assurance to voice your own opinions and defend your point of view when you need to, you’ll be a convincing and persuasive communicator. But you’ll also have the self-awareness to ask for help when you need it.

Intellectual capability

Intellectual capability

You’ve the intellectual curiosity to explore new approaches and ask others’ opinions. With an analytical approach, you think things through and weigh up the implications, but also have the capacity to think on your feet to find solutions.



You’ll be approachable, outgoing and confident engaging with people from different backgrounds and experiences to your own. Whether you’re communicating with colleagues or clients, you’ll understand the need to adapt your message to suit your audience.

Personal drive

Personal drive

You’ll need to combine a real desire to be the best with the energy, ambition and enthusiasm to go the extra mile to succeed. With a can-do attitude, you’re always open to learning from your experience, so you can be even better next time.

Personal  responsibility

Personal responsibility

You understand that taking responsibility for your successes and acknowledging when things go wrong will help you to constantly improve and achieve your career aims. By knowing your strengths and weaknesses, you give others confidence in your abilities.



You understand priorities and monitor your progress towards set objectives. By being well-organised and planning and managing your work efficiently, you make sure you always deliver quality work on time.

Our recruitment process

We’ve designed our application process to ensure you’ll know the outcome in no more than three months after the application deadline. The below shows a typical recruitment and selection process. You’ll be given full details of the process in relation to your own recruitment as appropriate.

    Trainee retention

    Our investment in your training means we’ll do everything possible to continue your career with us after qualification. We carefully control the number of Trainees in the business to maximise retention.

    Resource planning ensures that you will be given the highest quality of work, which will stretch you further and allow you to quickly learn and develop. At the moment, we retain 80% of our Trainees.

    Newly-Qualified (NQ) selection process

    We run a fair and transparent NQ selection process. Our Graduate Development team work with the business to identify which roles are available and circulate a list. You’ll be able to apply for any relevant, available vacancies across the firm’s offices.

    The recruitment process is centrally managed and includes interviews and technical skills assessments. The outcomes will be based on your performance at assessment and throughout your training contract. This gives you every opportunity to further your career with a leading, well-respected firm in your chosen area of law.

    Continuous professional development

    After qualification, you can look forward to a variety of development opportunities that will enable you to become a specialist in your chosen area. With a wide range of courses available through the Pinsent Masons Academy, as well as in your practice area, you’ll have plenty of scope to develop your skills, add to your responsibilities and build a successful career.


    • How many training contracts each year

      Usually, we offer around 68 Training Contracts each year across the UK, although we review this regularly to make sure it reflects our business needs.

    • Do I need to take a vacation placement to be offered a training contract?

      No, we understand you could have other commitments that prevent you from doing a placement, so we also run assessment centres for direct applicants. Having said that, our Vacation Placement programme offers an ideal opportunity for you to understand the firm and vice versa.

    • Can i defer my offer

      Yes, if you want to defer your start date for 12 months. We look at these on a case-by-case basis, taking our business needs into account. If you want to defer, you should give us reasonable notice before your agreed start date by contacting us.

    • If I have previous legal experience, can it count towards my Training Contract?

      Our Training Contract gives you experience-based professional training over four six-month seats. This means you experience a variety of teams and gain a well-rounded view of our business. If you have extensive legal work experience, you can apply for ‘Time to Count’ and we’ll consider your case in line with SRA guidelines and the needs of the business.

    • Do I get to chose my seats?

      You can let us know which seat you’d prefer for each move and we’ll do our best to meet your request, in line with SRA guidelines and our business needs. At the moment, we don’t have any mandatory seats for Trainees in England and Scotland. In our Belfast office, you must spend time in Property, Corporate and Litigation.

    • Can I undertake seats in more than one location?

      Yes. In fact, we’re looking for people who are adaptable and flexible who can take opportunities across our business. If you’re one of the 10% of our trainees who take a seat in a different office, we’ll give you the support you need.

    • Do you offer client secondments?

      Yes, on average 15% of our trainees work on client secondment during their Training Contract. Once you’re in your second year, you can let us know if you’re interested in a secondment. We’ll offer places based on performance and future career aspirations.

    • What is your retention rate?

      We aim to retain as many Trainees as possible and at the moment our retention rate is over 80%. We can only offer the positions which have been identified as part of our NQ process. That’s why we encourage you to keep an open mind about the practice area and location you’d like to qualify in.

    • What if I've applied for a Vacation Placement and been unsuccessful?

      If you been unsuccessful in your application for a Vacation Placement, you cannot apply for a Training Contract within the same recruitment cycle. For example, if you applied for a 2021 Vacation Placement and were not successful, you would not be able to apply for a Training Contract commencing in 2023.

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