Rather than simply telling you about life at BLP, we want to introduce you to recent trainees and mentors at BLP so you can read about what BLP is like through the their eyes.
Qualifying in March 2019
"I never imagined I would be running projects independently in the first seat of my training contract, but that is exactly what has happened. My first six months has been incredibly interesting, giving me a broad range of experience and huge amounts of interaction with clients. The trickiest part of it all? So far I have found that to be working with foreign counsel, from The Bahamas to Hong Kong. Partly because it involves different jurisdictions and you have to be really on top of things to produce all the different documents your client needs. Added to that is the complexity of managing work smoothly across the multiple time zones – someone, somewhere is always going to have to stay up late or get up early in order to beat the clock."
Qualifying in March 2018
Degree: Hispanic Studies with English
"We were recently working on a high-profile corporate real estate transaction involving a Hong Kong client looking to acquire a landmark building in the City. I quickly found myself corresponding with the client, negotiating documents with the sellers’ lawyers and leading update calls with the wider legal advisory team on the buyer and seller side. The night before exchange, I was working with the team to get documents agreed and signed to ensure that we could get on a call with the client and the sellers’ lawyers at 10am the next morning to confirm that exchange has occurred. After the call, the Senior Associate I was working with was very quick to recognise my work, thanking me for my time and efforts for getting the deal over the line. That, together with the client’s excitement and praise of the team’s dedication and efforts, made all of the work completely worth it."
Qualifying in March 2018
Degree: Modern History
“It was my first seat and I was swimming in the deep end. Although only four months into my time in our Corporate Finance practice, I found myself part of a team negotiating an £150m deal for an International food manufacturing group. I was there, in the room with BLP Partners and Associates, with clients from both sides and lawyers from other firms. The negotiations were fraught, and went on for an unremitting 30 hours.
The level of exposure I had was astonishing – myself and my counterpart, a lawyer from another firm who was two years’ qualified, were both making amends, turning documents, drafting minutes and arranging signing formalities; I was seeing the decisions that were driving those tasks play out live in the negotiation room. The whole experience was incredibly rewarding and I was extremely grateful for it.”
Qualified in September 2017
"By my second seat, I was making key decisions on challenging cases. One client
had been in a litigation dispute for years. We decided to lodge winding-up proceedings against the other side. Deadlines were tight and procedures had to be followed. Crucially, I had to obtain a certificate of compliance. That meant preparing vital documents and advertising the petition. The final deadline before the hearing was fast
approaching, however we got the certificate and achieved our goal. It was especially challenging as I’d been working on other non-contentious cases
and business development matters at the same time – but I had the support of the Partners and Associates throughout. Along with my six-month secondment to
London, the experience really stood out. It helped me to develop the all-round skills you need as a lawyer."
Qualifying in September 2018
"Possibly the most challenging and exciting period I have experienced to date was this January, about four months into my training contract. As the only trainee in the Hong Kong Asset Finance team at the time, I was working on many transactions. That in itself was nothing unusual, as trainees are always involved in the groundwork of transactions. But this was an exceptional two-weeks where, over the course of 10 days, I personally closed eight transactions. I think this level of involvement for a trainee is in stark contrast to what people would expect. It shows that BLP has placed its confidence in me and is willing to give responsibility to its trainees from the beginning of their legal career."
Qualified in March 2016
" It was the night before Christmas Eve, a point at which many people had already set off for the holidays. Whilst on secondment in our Hong Kong office, I had been lucky enough to be left in charge of completing a deal worth over US$100m, for a client who was looking to purchase a fleet of aircraft. The deadline was less than 24 hours away when an issue emerged. If the deal wasn’t closed as planned, our client would start incurring interest on an aircraft he did not yet own.
The pressure was immense. I worked overnight, across time zones, liaising with various parties in Singapore, Beijing, London, Ireland and Spain to come up with a solution. We managed to get the deal across the line on schedule and the client was full of thanks."
"Treat everyone (no matter their position) in a way in which you would like to be treated yourself."
"Be focused, driven and set realistic goals. Believe in yourself and never give up!"
“This is a people business so engage with colleagues and clients, always be alert to opportunities both for yourself and the firm, and although we work hard we want to do so in a respectful and enjoyable environment”
"If you are given a self-contained piece of work try and follow up what happened so that you can understand the context."
"There is no such thing as a stupid question - it is far better to ask than to go down the wrong path."
"Keep an open mind and be bright and enthusiastic."
"Make sure you are properly briefed, and don't be afraid to ask if you don't know something."
"Enthusiasm goes a long way, remaining positive and being curious - asking yourself is this the best I can do?"
“Take pride in your work product. From your first day in the office, your output will be making a difference to our clients’ business.”
"Whatever happens try and be positive in outlook and attitude. Do not recite law - give advice, that is what clients pay for."
“The more you push yourself outside your comfort zone, the wider that comfort zone will become.”
“No-one knows everything: be good at what you do know and have the courage to learn and ask questions about the rest”.
We participate in a wider number of events at universities from law fairs to workshops. Follow the below link to see about law fairs and events at your university.
We put compiled a list of FAQs that we hope you find useful.
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) and then complete an online aptitude test. During the application form you will be asked to answer questions regarding your motivations to be a solicitor, why you wish to work at BLP and questions that demonstrate your commercial awareness.
If you are successful at this stage, we will then invite you to an assessment centre. These days normally run from 9.30am until 2pm and could include a drafting exercise, a role play or interview with one of our assessors and a team-based negotiation exercise. 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 go to website and select the “Practice Test for Verbal Analysis” option.
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.
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.
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.
How many times can I apply to BLP 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 www.sra.org.uk 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 email@example.com. When contacting us please provide details of the format you require.
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 BLP 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 at BLP 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?
BLP's international business has doubled in the last 5 years and as a result foreign languages are highly sought after.
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:
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 at BLP, 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.
Does BLP have a preferred LPC provider?
Future BLP 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 at BLP?
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 BLP future trainees will follow the same courses.
Does BLP have a preferred GDL provider?
We request that our future trainees complete the GDL course at any University of Law branch.
Do BLP pay for someone to study the GDL and/or LPC?
BLP 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.
Does BLP offer an 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 at BLP?
Please contact our graduate recruitment team, on +44(0)20 3400 1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. When contacting us please provide details of your adjustment needs.
For any queries regarding the recruitment process in our Asia offices, please email email@example.com.
What efforts will BLP 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.