- Legal Apprentices
Your first step onto the legal career ladder should inspire you to climb higher.
At Bevan Brittan we are known for our first-class training contracts that provide new lawyers with the skills and the support that sets them up for a successful legal career.
Our trainee solicitors get a tailored training and development programme that gives them early exposure to real work for real clients and this careful management of the learning process allows confidence to grow alongside experience.
Training contracts are provided across our four offices in London, Leeds, Birmingham, and Bristol.
All the information you need about our training contract opportunities can be found in our Trainee Brochure
Applications for our 2020 training contract are now open. See below for how to apply.
If you have any queries, please contact our HR department by emailing email@example.com.
Training Contract Structure
We offer training contracts each year with an intake in September. Your two year training contract with Bevan Brittan will be made up of four six month seats offering you the opportunity to gain experience across our practice areas. We also offer the opportunity to undertake a part-time training contract, and a part-time study training contract.
We offer trainee seats across all of our departments; Clinical Risk, Commercial & Infrastructure, Litigation, Advisory & Regulatory, Employment and Property.
From the outset you will be given real responsibility. The emphasis is on getting stuck in, learning and enjoying yourself. You’ll be taking part in client meetings, doing your fair share of research and drafting and attending court hearings from the off. Inevitably there will also be routine tasks to complete like photocopying or proof-reading, but this will help you to understand what goes into shaping deals and managing matters.
Supervision & Support
We believe it is crucial that our trainees have access to an extensive support network. For each seat you will be supervised by an experienced lawyer. You will also have a trainee buddy (usually a second year trainee) and there is a dedicated member of the HR team who is always available to answer any questions or generally offer advice. This support is further bolstered by each trainee having a dedicated mentor (a more experienced solicitor) to provide advice and guidance.
We hold regular trainee meetings where trainee related matters and initiatives are discussed, and trainee experiences are shared.
Not all work...
Here at Bevan Brittan we work hard to promote regular sports and social events. There is a Social Committee in each office which our trainees are welcome (and encouraged) to join. There are also various firm sports teams including netball and football.
The firm’s corporate responsibility strategy means that we are heavily involved in various pro bono, volunteering and fundraising activities throughout the year.
For more information about the firm's active Corporate Responsibility and Diversity programme, please refer to our Diversity & Inclusion page.
We run a two week vacation scheme during the summer in each of our offices. During the placement you will spend a week in two different departments enabling you to gain first hand experience of two different practice areas, getting a real taste of what life at Bevan Brittan is like.
You’ll be given real work to do and formal feedback on how you’ve done by each member of staff you work for. In addition to this there will be the opportunity to meet current trainees and network with people across the firm to find out more about the work and culture at Bevan Brittan.
Our vacation placement scheme provides an invaluable taste of life here at Bevan Brittan. Don't just take our word for it. In 2015 we won the award for "Best Work Placement Scheme – Regional Firm" at the 2015 LawCareers.Net Training and Recruitment Awards.
We strongly recommend you apply to participate in our vacation scheme if you are considering applying for a training contract with us. There is the opportunity to participate in assessment activities during the placement, and historically, strong feedback from the vacation placement has led to individuals being offered training contracts with the Firm.
Our vacation scheme will take place from 18th June to 29th June 2018.
The deadline for 2018 Vacation Placement applications is 28th February 2018.
- Competitive starting salary (including London weighting where appropriate)
- 25 days annual paid holiday
- The option to purchase up to 1 week additional holiday
- Additional unpaid qualification leave which trainees can take at the end of their training contract
- Full funding for GDL and LPC course where appropriate (unfortunately we are unable to offer retrospective reimbursement)
- A £5,000 maintenance bursary for candidates who are still studying full time
- Pension with 5% employee contribution
- Private medical insurance
- Permanent health insurance/income protection
- A range of voluntary benefits including season ticket loans, childcare vouchers and Cyclescheme
- An on-site gym in our Bristol office
How To Apply
Our training contract opportunities are open to penultimate and final year law students, final year non-law students, graduates and those considering a change in career.
As a professional national law firm, we are looking for strong academic achievement from applicants. A 2:1 at degree level is our expectation but the degree does not have to be in law. We recognise that not everyone has a degree so we also welcome applicants who can demonstrate at least three years relevant, strong, commercial experience.
To apply for a training contract and/or vacation scheme you will need to complete an online application form. Application forms for our 2020 training contract opportunities are now live. To access the form please click here.
The deadline for Vacation Scheme applications is 28 February 2018 and the deadline for our Training Contract applications is 30 June 2018.
Trainee Application Form Feedback
General Application Feedback
Perhaps the most basic, yet important, feedback we can provide is to reiterate the need for applicants to produce grammatically flawless application forms. Many responses we receive contain excellent content, but are let down by poor grammar and typing mistakes. So please, check your application before you press send, and then check it again!
The use of appropriate language is also important. Many applicants use complicated language that is not easy to read or comprehend. Often, a clear and simple structure is far more effective in getting your point across and it makes it easier for the assessor to read and consider your responses.
The strongest candidates used different examples throughout the application form. We want to see candidates who are able to draw experience from a variety of sources including academic, work and hobbies. Please remember to answer the question that's being asked, rather than applying a generic response used for other questions.
Finally, we cannot stress enough the need to do your research thoroughly. We want applicants who are passionate about the type of work that we do and fully understand our firm and its practice areas. Generic responses, often copied from other application forms, are quite easy to spot and rarely make it through our sifting process.
Education and Qualifications
At the beginning of the application process we expressly state our minimum academic requirements. We recognise the length of time it takes for applications to be completed, however unfortunately we cannot consider completed applications if they do not meet the minimum academic requirements or other recognised criteria. With that in mind, please do let us know of any clear mitigating circumstances, or if you have three years' relevant commercial work experience.
Why have you applied to Bevan Brittan?
A significant number of applicants wrote a generic response to this question. A number of responses outlined how the individual wanted to be a commercial lawyer without really referencing what it was specifically about Bevan Brittan that had attracted them. Many applicants also directly copied information from our website showing a lack of thorough research into the firm and its practice areas. The strongest responses included references to specific clients or specific cases the firm had contributed to, and also alluded to a number of different factors as to why they would like to work with the firm.
Describe a recent news article or story you have read or heard about, tell us your opinion of it and why it interested you.
This year, candidates described a variety of news stories, with responses about Brexit being the most common. Stronger, standout candidates chose to write about less obvious news stories that were relevant to the work we do or the markets we operate in. Excellent responses were able to provide a good synopsis of the article and a good understanding of the wider issues surrounding it. They were also able to explain why they had chosen that article and conclude with their position on the story. Weaker responses struggled to describe the key points of the news article succinctly, making it difficult for the assessor to understand.
Give an example of when you have had to manage conflicting deadlines in the past and how you went about this.
For this question, we received many similar responses focusing on university essay deadlines. Standout candidates were able to provide impressive examples of situations where they were managing conflicting deadlines from a variety of sources. They demonstrated how they used all resources at their disposal to ensure they met deadlines.
Describe a problem that you had to solve and how you went about solving it.
Generally, candidates were able to provide solid examples for a time they have had to solve a problem. Poorer responses focused on the problem itself, failing to elaborate on the steps the individual had taken to solve the problem. Other weak responses made it difficult to tell whether the problem had actually been resolved. Good responses demonstrated how the individual had solved a problem using a variety of different skills, utilising an example different to those used in other questions.
Describe a situation in which you have worked under pressure.
The majority of applicants were able to describe in detail a situation where they have worked under pressure. Weaker responses were too descriptive of the situation with stronger responses explaining methods employed to cope with the pressure and the outcome of these actions.
The current economic climate is having a significant impact on the Public Sector. Discuss what challenges and opportunities this presents for Bevan Brittan.
From this question, we were easily able to identify those candidates who had thoroughly done their research and those who hadn't. Stronger candidates were able to discuss what commercial challenges and opportunities the firm will face through a clear understanding of our markets, the clients we work with and the types of work we do. An appreciation of current political dialogue was also evident in many strong answers, with excellent responses including specific case studies to demonstrate their understanding of how this is shaping the economic environment for many of our clients. The strongest responses were able to anticipate and specify both challenges and opportunities for work that this could present to the firm.
Bevan Brittan provides practical, high quality and commercially relevant legal advice to public, private and third sector organisations. Our experience includes working with clients across central and local government, NHS commissioning and provider organisations, 60 housing associations and over 100 private sector companies.
We recognise that there is more than one route to a career in law, and we are committed to supporting people who have the ambition and aptitude to qualify in law without having studied at university.
In 2015 we launched the Bevan Brittan Advanced Apprenticeship in Legal Services. It’s a way of giving people valuable hands-on experience of legal work while studying for their Paralegal Level 3 qualification. You will work with us while completing your studies and you’ll be able to do real legal work, alongside some of our most experienced lawyers. The majority of our apprentices have then gone on to study for their Level 6 Chartered Legal Executive Apprenticeship or their Level 7 Solicitor Apprenticeship.
How does it work?
Where you'll work
We have a number of apprentices at each of our offices.
Who you'll work with
For four days a week, our legal apprentices work alongside experienced lawyers assisting them with their matters. Don’t worry, you won't be thrown in at the deep end, we will provide you with an extensive induction programme designed to give you all the skills and knowledge you will need for when you start.
Our legal apprentices are allocated a supervisor to provide them with quality day-to-day training and opportunities to develop their legal skills. They are on hand to give guidance, advice and feedback on performance.
In addition to your supervisor, an assessor from CILEx Law School will contact you on a weekly basis to support you in your progress towards the CILEx qualification. You will also be allocated an apprentice buddy and have a dedicated member of the HR team responsible for apprentices. All are available to answer any questions or generally offer advice.
What you'll be doing
Once in your department, you will receive on the job training to learn the practical skills and gain the relevant knowledge to become a competent paralegal. You will need to collect a portfolio of evidence for assessment, and you will also spend one day per week studying for your examinations.
Exact roles and responsibilities will depend on the department you join, but the type of tasks you can expect to carry out include:-
- Drafting basic correspondence to clients
- Carrying out legal research
- Assisting your supervisor with case files
- Drafting contracts, leases and other legal documents
- Arranging and Attending conferences with counsel
- Attending court hearings when appropriate
- Drafting letters of instruction
- Collating and creating bundles
- Attending departmental training sessions
How long the apprenticeship is for
The programme will last for two years.
Upon qualification you could continue working within Bevan Brittan as a paralegal, or move into another role determined by the skills and abilities you have shown during the previous two years.
If you show exceptional potential, we will offer you the opportunity to be considered to undertake the Solicitor or Chartered Legal Executive Apprenticeship pathway and qualify as a Solicitor or Legal Executive. Three of our 2015 Paralegal Apprentices are currently studying for their higher level apprenticeship – hear what they have to say about their experience here
Salary and benefits
Our apprentices earn a competitive salary from day one. We also offer an extensive rewards and benefits package, including the below:
- 25 days annual paid holiday
- Full funding for CILEx registration and examination fees
- Pension with 5% employer contribution
- Private medical insurance
- A range of voluntary benefits including season ticket loans, childcare vouchers and Cyclescheme
- An on-site gym in our Bristol office
Why an apprenticeship?
Why did you choose an apprenticeship instead of university?
"The opportunity of being able to work towards becoming a competent paralegal through the completion of an apprenticeship with a leading law firm greatly appealed to me. The apprenticeship provides me a hands-on learning experience allowing me to gain a wide ranging and varied skills set through being mentored and supported by a team of solicitors. I will gain a recognised Level 3 paralegal qualification which will aid me in to my progression to eventually qualifying as a solicitor, whilst at the same time earning a salary and being debt free from university!" Aimee Haden, Second Year Apprentice
What do you enjoy most about the apprenticeship?
"What do I enjoy most? Where do I start? The apprenticeship has lived up to everything and more that I was expecting! I love working in the Clinical Negligence department because it is the area of Law that keeps me interested the most. There is always something new and not all cases are the same, so you never know what to expect. The part I enjoy most is having the opportunity to go to Court hearings and Conferences and following cases as they progress through the litigation timeline. My initial thought about the role was that I would be more of an admin role doing the photocopying, scanning e.c.t. but it is far from that! I have been getting so much more involved in cases and feel like my role is taken seriously and I get to draft documents that a lot of Trainee Solicitors would be expected to do." Samantha Ross, First Year Apprentice
What is it like working in law?
"Working in law is very rewarding as your hard work does not go unrecognised. I have many important responsibilities such as keeping abreast of recent case law that will have a pertinent effect upon the professional roles of the lawyers I work with as well as our clients. I am often asked to carry out the following tasks in my role:
- draft legal documents and advices;
- analyse initial records and provide a summary to the fee earner inclusive of the risks and main issues that arise;
- research the law and apply it to case specific questions;
- liaise with other legal professionals (such as court officers and other parties);
- attend legal meetings; and
- to take part in training opportunities and business development tasks.
My colleagues are very supportive and I am constantly learning new things every day." Laura Pearce, Second Year Apprentice
How do you find balancing work and study?
"The balance between work and study is extremely generous. We are entitled to one day's study leave a week where you can focus solely on studying for CILEx. So far, the balance is fine and I am managing my work and study time very well in preparation for my first exam. I always know that if I wasn't coping with the balance, I have a supportive team who can ensure I keep on top of all my work/studying and the firm is a pleasure to work for." Samantha Ross, First Year Apprentice
What are we looking for?
We are looking for bright people with plenty of energy, who can think logically and clearly. You'll also need:
- Academics: As a professional national law firm, we are looking for strong academic achievement from applicants. ABB at A-Level and A*- C's at GCSE is our expectation but you do not have to have studied A level law.
- Ability to work and relate well with others: we are proud of our collegiate approach so an ability to work within a team is essential
- Attention to detail: our work can involve complex information so we are looking for people who have a good eye for detail
- Drive and a willingness to take responsibility: it's important to be well-motivated so you meet challenges with resilience and overcome hurdles
- Passion for excellence: we want to see people with a can-do attitude, who are passionate about what they do, how they do it and who they do it for
- Reliable: we require people who can be trusted to be on time and complete work allocated to them
What is the Easter Vacation Scheme?
We run a one week vacation scheme during the Easter holiday in a number of our offices. During the placement you will spend each day in a different department enabling you to gain first-hand experience of our practice areas, getting a real taste of what life at Bevan Brittan is like.
You’ll be given real work to do and formal feedback on how you’ve done by each member of staff you work for. In addition to this there will be the opportunity to meet current apprentices to find out more about the legal apprenticeship at Bevan Brittan.
We strongly recommend you apply to participate in our vacation scheme if you are considering applying for a legal apprenticeship with us. There is the opportunity to participate in assessment activities during the placement, and strong feedback from the vacation placement could lead to individuals being offered legal apprenticeships with the Firm.
To apply for the Easter vacation scheme you will need to complete an online application form. To access the form, please click here.
How to Apply
To apply for a legal apprenticeship starting in September 2018, or to attend our Easter Vacation Scheme, you will need to complete an online application form.
To access the form, please click here.
The deadline for the Easter Vacation Scheme applications is 31 January 2018.
The deadline for Apprentice applications is 31 May 2018.
If you have any queries regarding the application process you can contact a member of our HR team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.