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If you like what you’ve read and would like to join an award-winning international law firm that thrives on talent, please click below to apply for an opportunity with us;

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner work on a rolling recruitment basis so we encourage applicants to submit an application early, if you leave applying for the role on the date of the deadline your application maybe overlooked. Typically we open for applications from September - January for our Vacation Schemes (this includes the opportunity to interview for a Training Contract) and September - July for our Training Contracts.

Lastly, good luck from all of us, whatever stage you are at in your studies and/or application process.

Application Process

The application process for vacation schemes and training contracts is outlined below:

  1. Online application form - includes your personal details, academics, work experience and some competency based questions
    Verbal reasoning test - once you have submitted your application, you will have 5 days to complete the verbal reasoning test. 
  2. Assessment centre - includes a drafting exercise, interview and negotiation exercise
  3. Vacation scheme - 1-2 weeks in duration and includes a department allocation; department workshops; interview skills workshop; Partner lunch and social events
  4. Partner interview - 1 hour interview with two Partners
  5. Training contract offer - Congratulations!  Successful candidates will typically have 4 weeks to accept our offer

We are committed to making all stages of our recruitment process accessible to candidates with disabilities or long-term health conditions. If you consider yourself to have a disability or a long-term health condition, please feel able to be open about this at any point during the recruitment process and our graduate recruitment team will work with you to establish the most suitable adjustments at each stage of the recruitment process.

Our online application form includes a section which allows you to advise us of any extenuating circumstances that are relevant for us to consider when reviewing your application form. We also use Rare Contextual Recruitment System when screening applications to increase greater diversity of backgrounds at entry level.

If you’d like to discuss anything with a member of the team further, feel free to email: or call: +44(0)20 3400 1000

Frequently Asked Questions

We put compiled a list of FAQs that we hope you find useful.

The Application Process - Vacation Scheme & Training Contracts

What is the assessment process for training contract/vacation scheme applications?
The process for training contract and vacation scheme applications is the same. We ask that you submit an online application form (please go to our Apply section to access this form). You are then sent a link to complete an online aptitude test, you have 5 days to complete this so please look out for the link. During the application form you will be asked to answer questions regarding your career motivation, why you have the skills to be a good solicitor, why you wish to work here and questions that demonstrate your commercial awareness and robustness.

If you are successful at this stage, we will then invite you to an assessment centre. These days normally run from 9.30am until 2.30pm and will include a drafting exercise, a business style roleplay with one of our assessors and a team-based negotiation exercise assessed by Partners. The exercises are designed to assess the key competencies needed to be a trainee solicitor, regardless of your background, and you will be assessed by trained HR staff, associates or Partners.

If you are successful at the assessment centre and are applying for a vacation scheme, we will then offer you a place on one of our schemes. During the scheme you will have the opportunity to have a final round training contract interview. If you applying for a training contract directly and are successful at the assessment centre stage, we will then invite you back in to our office for a final round training contract interview.

I would like to practice the online aptitude test ahead of completing the real test - is this possible?
Yes. Once you complete your online application form, you will be sent an automatic email which includes the link to the online aptitude test. When you click the link you will be asked if you wish to try the example questions first.

Please note: If you wish to try the practice questions, but then do not want to proceed to the real test, please make sure you click "Abort" and do not just close the browser. If you close the browser, you will not be able to go back into the test. If you would like to try some more practice questions, please click on the following link:  The test you need to click is the online verbal reasoning test.

How many training contract vacancies do you have?
In London we are currently recruiting for our 2020 trainee solicitor intakes and are looking to recruit approximately 40 trainees in total. We can occasionally bring forward your start date depending on your circumstances and business need.

In Hong Kong we will be offering training contracts commencing in 2020.

In Manchester we will be offering training contracts commencing in 2019/20.

I have a 2.2 and/or lower than 340 UCAS points.  Is it worth my time applying?
We are proud to be using the Rare Contextual Recruitment System for this recruitment year. This system has enabled us to embed social mobility measures and educational data into our recruitment process. This means we will better understand your achievements, particularly if you narrowly fall short of the stated criteria.

We do accept applications from candidates who fall short of the academic criteria and are sympathetic to those that have mitigating circumstances.

Do you favour applications from any particular universities?
No, we welcome applications from graduates of any discipline and from any university. Our current trainee population studied at 31 different universities.

If my vacation scheme application is unsuccessful, can I apply for a training contract? 
If your vacation scheme application is unsuccessful we will not reconsider you for a training contract in the same year; however this does not restrict you from reapplying the following recruitment season. The recruitment season opens in September.

What do I do if I am unsuccessful during the application process?
If you are unsuccessful during the application process and wish to reapply you can do so in the next recruitment season. In the meantime, we encourage you to spend some time strengthening your application and acting on any feedback provided. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we are unable to offer feedback at application stage, however if you have attended an assessment centre with us, please request feedback and we will find a time for a 15 minute feedback call.

How many times can I apply for a vacation scheme and/or training contract?
We allow candidates to submit two applications to us for a vacation scheme or a training contract. As mentioned above, these must be in separate recruitment seasons. You can apply twice for a vacation scheme or twice for a training contract or one application for each. 

What should I do if I am already qualified in another country?
If you are already qualified in another country you may be able to take the QLTS in order to be able to practise in the UK. Please refer to the Solicitors Regulation Authority's website at to find out more.

I require the application form in an alternative format, what do I do?
Please contact our graduate recruitment team, on +44(0)20 3400 1000 or When contacting us please provide details of the format you require.

Training Contract

What is the induction like when I start my training contract?
The induction programme is held during the two weeks before you start your first seat; you will be trained in using the firm’s IT systems and library resources, develop your understanding of the firm, the different practice areas, support services and the trainee role through a variety of presentations and workshops. Our trainees are recruited with the view that they are the future of the firm, therefore you will also take part in a bespoke 3-day career development course which will not only help you make a quick transition to trainee solicitor, but will also endow you with the necessary skills and know-how for your legal career.

What other training will I receive during my training contract?
During each seat you will attend trainee-specific technical training sessions designed and led by our own know-how and fee-earning lawyers. In addition, you will be expected to complete the Practice Skills Course as required by the Solicitor's Regulation Authority. The course is made up of a series of modules carefully selected by our Learning and Development team to provide you with relevant, practical skills that serve the firm's practice areas, and in turn, you.

What other support is available to me during my training contract?
Throughout the period leading up to the start of your training contract and also throughout your two year training the graduate recruitment team are always on hand to assist in any way. In addition you will receive day-to-day support from your supervisor, who you will most likely share an office with. Furthermore all trainees are allocated a Partner mentor who will help advise you settle into the firm, advise you on your seat choices and guide you through the qualification process. 

How do you organise the Professional Skills Course?
The PSC is organised and run in-house by our own training team supported by external trainers and is ongoing throughout the training contract.

When will I choose my seats, and can I choose the ones I want?
Halfway into each seat we encourage you to meet with your Partner Mentor to discuss your training contract to date, and going forward. This conversation will prepare you for our one-on-one meeting with a member of the firm's Graduate Recruitment and Development team where you discuss your seat preferences and which seats might be best suited to help you reach your career ambitions. We always ask for trainee seat preferences and we endeavor to meet these; on average 85% of our trainees will receive their first or second preference each seat. You should expect to complete a seat in both real estate and corporate finance and, in line with the Solicitor's Regulation Authority's requirements, undertake contentious work. This can be satisfied either by doing a litigation seat or a non-litigation seat with contentious aspects.

Are there any opportunities for secondments or working abroad whilst I am training?
We also offer secondment opportunities to our Abu Dhabi, Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong, Moscow and Singapore offices. There may be occasions during your time in the London office where you may get the chance to travel internationally to meet or work with our clients. In addition, we regularly send trainees to our clients on secondments within the UK.  

What opportunities are there to use language skills?
Our international business has doubled in the last 5 years and as a result foreign languages are highly sought after.

The Application Process - Apprenticeships

What are the minimum qualifications needed to apply?
You must have a minimum of 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at Grade C or above including English and Maths, and  240 UCAS points (or equivalent) excluding General Studies.

What is the recruitment process?
If your application meets our criteria, you will be invited to have a short telephone interview with the recruitment team at BPP who are managing the initial recruitment stages on our behalf. If you perform well at this stage, you will be invited to an Assessment Centre at our offices in central Manchester.

Assessment Centres for our roles are scheduled to be held on the following dates:

  • Monday 22 May
  • Friday 26 May
  • Wednesday 31 May
  • Monday 5 June

Our Assessment Centres typically comprise of a number of exercises which will include a group exercise, written exercises and a formal interview.  You will also get the opportunity to chat to some of our current Legal Apprentices on a more informal basis.


Who are we looking for?
We are looking for candidates who are enthusiastic and motivated about commencing their career in law. Individuals with great communication and organisational skills as well as the ability to work to tight deadlines and as part of an ever-growing team will thrive in our firm.

Where will I be working?
As a Legal Apprentice, you will be embedded into one of our fee-earning teams who provide quality transactional support on a wide range of some of BLP’s most important client matters. In Manchester we work closely with our London colleagues in an innovative and client-focused way and our legal teams adopt new ways of working in a cutting edge manner.

What will I be doing?
Reporting to a Senior Associate or Team Leader, you’ll provide first-class legal support on top-quality legal work and will have the opportunity to build some great legal experience for some of the best known business brands in the world.
You’ll be supporting our Associates and Paralegals on a wide range of transactions for Real Estate, Corporate Finance, Commercial, Banking and other practice groups. You may be conducting document reviews or contributing to the development of legal processes or other continuous improvement activities. You’ll spend four days a week in the office focusing on your on-the-job learning.

When will I be studying?
You will have regular weekly teaching either remotely through BPP’s Online Classroom Live technology or through face-to-face sessions with tutors. We provide one day a week of paid study time in order to ensure that you can focus plenty of time on your learning and we would expect that you will also be committed to spending some of your own time studying.

What qualification will I receive?
You will be studying for the Paralegal Apprenticeship and can achieve the academic award of a Level 4 Certificate of Higher Education (Legal Services) awarded by BPP University. If you successfully complete your Paralegal Apprenticeship and the Certificate of Higher Education, and choose to continue with the Solicitor Apprenticeship, you will gain an exemption from year 1 of the Solicitor Apprenticeship on the proviso that you have chosen Contract Law as an elective module.

What will my starting salary be?
On commencement of the apprenticeship with us, your starting salary will be £15,500. You will also receive a suite of competitive benefits.


Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) & Legal Practice Course (LPC)

Do we have a preferred LPC provider?
Future trainees follow our firm-specific LPC (the "LLM+") at the University of Law, Moorgate.

I have already completed the LPC at another institution - will this affect my chances of obtaining a training contract?
Not at all, plenty of candidates apply for training contracts having already completed the LPC.

Do I have any choice over the electives I do on the LLM+?
The second semester is tailored and electives will focus on our core areas of corporate, finance, real estate, litigation and tax. All our future trainees will follow the same courses.

Do we have a preferred GDL provider?
We request that our future trainees complete the GDL course at any University of Law branch.

Do we pay for someone to study the GDL and/or LPC?
BCLP meet all fees associated with both the GDL and LPC if you have not started or completed your studies when being offered and accepting a training contract. We do not pay course fees retrospectively.

Do we offer a maintenance grant?
We offer a maintenance grant of £7,200 per annum for both the GDL and LPC years.


Who do I contact if I need assistance during the recruitment process or if attending an event?

Please contact our graduate recruitment team, on +44(0)20 3400 1000 or When contacting us please provide details of your adjustment needs. 

For any queries regarding the recruitment process in our Asia offices, please email

What efforts will the firm make to keep in contact with me during my studies?
All future trainees are allocated a trainee “buddy” who along with the graduate recruitment team is available to answer any queries you may have before starting your training contract. You will also be invited to any firmwide events, trainee committee socials and asked if you would like to join one of our many societies or sports teams. You will be updated on any news and developments at the firm via email.

Is it possible to defer my start date for 6/9 months?
We assess each request on an individual basis. Please contact the graduate recruitment team to discuss at

What are the current trainee and NQ salaries?
First year trainees have a salary of £40,000 increasing to £45,000 in their second year. Upon qualification the salary increases to £70,000. 

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