Training Contracts

Lasting two years, Training Contracts here at Baker McKenzie give you the opportunity to experience four of our key practice areas for six months each (known as seats). Our seat rotation policy ensures you experience different areas of law, including contentious law. Corporate work is at the heart of our firm, so all Trainees are required to complete six months in a transactional seat.

All Training Contracts start with a two-week induction programme. We’re strong believers in exposing Trainees to live work right from the start. So after your induction, you should have everything you need to start making a positive contribution to the firm. Throughout your Training Contract, you’ll be able to call on the personal and professional support of both our Graduate Recruitment & Development and Learning & Development teams.

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE)

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has announced that the SQE, a new route to qualification, will come into effect from 2021. We’ll continue to offer training contracts through the current route up to 2021. This means that, as things currently stand, anyone due to start a training contract with us before 2024 will not be affected by the changes.

However, as we learn more from the SRA about the new SQE requirements, we’ll provide updates on how the changes will impact on our process. We’ll also continue to liaise with our course providers to maintain comprehensive training, and financial support.

We recommend all future lawyers keep updated on the changes through https://www.sra.org.uk/

What you'll do

During each seat, you’ll get department-specific training and be assigned a supervisor who’ll mentor you and provide you with your daily workload which, while it will vary from department to department, will almost certainly entail:

  • Researching for client pitches or projects
  • Liaising directly with clients
  • Writing articles and blog posts
  • Sitting-in on client meetings
  • Preparing agreements, deeds, contracts and other legal documents

Every department has a Trainee Partner who will be responsible for overseeing your progress and ensuring you continuously develop appropriate skills and experience.

Midway through each seat, there’ll be an informal review of your progress and development. At the end of each seat, a more formal evaluation will see a Trainee Partner feedback on your progress. As you grow in experience, you’ll take on more and more responsibility.

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Secondments
All Trainee Solicitors have the opportunity to apply for a three-six month secondment to one of our international offices, or to one of our clients’ in-house legal teams for six months.

Qualification
At the start of your final seat, there will be a briefing session with the Graduate Recruitment & Development team which will outline the qualification process. It’s followed by a one-to-one meeting with the Training Principal who will discuss your preferences and provide guidance. Our current Newly Qualified starting salary is £90,000 plus a £5,000 sign on bonus.

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