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The next Government Legal Profession (GLP) legal trainee scheme will launch on Wednesday 26 April 2023 (midday). The closing date will be 17 May 2023 (midday).
Around 80 legal trainee positions (training solicitor and pupil barrister places) are available for a September 2024 and September 2025 start.
Please see the GLP website for full details and to apply – www.gov.uk/glp.
The application process is designed to assess the key skills, behaviours and motivation required for the role. It typically involves online ability tests e.g. a situational judgement test, verbal reasoning test, critical reasoning test and a video interview.
There is also a half-day assessment centre, which will take place during August. The assessment centre typically comprises of a written exercise and interview.
We are a Disability Confident employer. Reasonable adjustments are available at any stage of the recruitment process.
How to applywww.gov.uk
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Government Legal Recruitment Team
Method of applicationOnline Application Form
Method of assessment
- Assessment centre
- Panel interview
- Psychometric testing
- Video interview
- Written exercise
Government lawyers provide a range of legal services to a wide range of government organisations, including central Whitehall departments.
They undertake high quality legal work and have the opportunity to move around and work in different areas of law and practice, and work within different departments, throughout their careers. For those who choose to specialise in a particular area of law or practice, there are opportunities to do so. Other benefits include a good work life balance; flexible-working opportunities; and access to high quality training and development programmes.
Types of work
Whether the government is creating new laws, buying goods and services, investigating mergers which could restrict competition, setting the annual budget and collecting the right amount of tax, employing people, fighting organised crime or defending its decisions in court, it needs significant levels of legal advice on a whole range of complex issues. To carry out this work, the government needs its own lawyers, who understand its business, to provide legal services to a wide client base – including a range of central government departments and other government bodies.
Providing legal advice to the government is an important element of the work. Government lawyers work alongside ministers and officials as they seek to turn government objectives into policy and law and enforce regulation. Their work is determined by the business in which their departmental clients are engaged.
The legal work is interesting, intellectually challenging, varied and often unique. The opportunity to be involved in creating and implementing new legislation is simply not available elsewhere. Our litigation lawyers represent the government in the highest courts – with more cases at the Supreme Court each year than any other organisation! The outcome of cases can have wide implications for government policy and even raise questions of constitutional importance.
The legal trainee scheme
A number of government departments recruit legal trainees, each year, via the Government Legal Profession legal trainee scheme. Recruitment is usually two years in advance. However, a number of places are also available for those looking to start their training sooner.
The departments which typically offer legal trainee places through the LTS are the:
Our legal teams are based around the country, with regional offices, for example, in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, and Manchester.
The majority of the trainee positions are based in London. However, HMRC also offers a number of trainee solicitor places based in Bristol and Manchester. And GLD also offers a small number of trainee solicitor places based in Leeds.
GLD's commercial law trainee scheme offers the opportunity to complete all your training in commercial law. The opportunities are within the Government Legal Department’s Commercial Law Group and the Department for Transport (i.e. the Department for Transport Legal Advisers commercial teams).
If you reach the final stage of the recruitment process, you will be given an opportunity to express a preference for joining one of these departments. If you are successful, your legal training will be the responsibility of that department.
Departments hope to offer those recruited as legal trainees a permanent qualified lawyer position on successful completion of the training period, although this can never be guaranteed.
Who should apply
Government departments are looking to recruit talented people from diverse backgrounds who can demonstrate excellent analytical ability, teamworking and communication skills. Since government lawyers have the opportunity to work in different areas of law and practice throughout their careers, rather than specialise in a particular area, they are also looking for people who can apply their legal skills flexibly and for evidence of innovative thinking. And because the work is often high profile and can have a significant and positive impact upon the lives of millions across the country, the lawyers they recruit will be motivated about public service.
Diversity summer scheme
The diversity summer scheme is delivered virtually, over a week, and is targetted at undergraduates or graduates from diverse backgrounds which are currently under-represented across the legal profession.
The diversity summer scheme has previously worked in partnership with the following organisations.
Bridging the Bar
Black Lawyers Circle
Law Society Diversity Access Scheme
Social Mobility Foundation
The available places on the scheme are all allocated through our partner organisations.
The diversity summer scheme is an entirely separate scheme from the annual legal trainee scheme.
The training period (whether you are looking to qualify as a solicitor or barrister) will be for two years. Departments do not take into account previous training completed elsewhere.
Whilst the broad structure of the training may be similar to what you will find elsewhere, the nature of the work is likely to be very different. You will be given early responsibility and will undertake real work for real clients from an early stage.
You will experience a range of interesting and challenging legal work – and may have the opportunity to participate in the legislative process itself.
Training contract structure
The nature of your training will vary according to the department you have been recruited to.
As part of your training you will be given a broad range of experience in government legal work.
If you have a particular interest in commercial law, you may wish to consider applying for the trainee positions available on GLD’s Commercial Law scheme.
The structure of the training period may vary between departments (ie GLD and HMRC).
During the pupillage period (first 12 months) your time will be split between your department and a set of external barristers’ chambers.
Government departments use the services of external counsel for much of their court-based advocacy work. This means that legal trainees get the opportunity to work with and learn from experienced panel counsel who are leading experts in their respective fields. Barristers working within government departments may have the opportunity to conduct cases in tribunals and courts but this cannot be guaranteed and the extent of such advocacy opportunities will vary between departments and teams. Candidates wishing to focus principally on an advocacy career should bear this in mind.
From 2023 onwards we will be offering the SQE route.
The SQE route on offer through the 2023 Legal Trainee Scheme is for those who have yet to complete SQE1 and/or SQE2 and who will be ready to start the two-year programme of qualifying work experience (QWE) in September 2025.
Successful candidates will need to complete an SQE1 and/or SQE2 prep course under the arrangements put in place by the relevant department.
We are looking to recruit high quality trainees from a wide range of backgrounds.
Please see GLP website for details of the sponsorship available for the LPC/BTC/SQE.
Salaries and sponsorship will vary according to department.
- General Commercial
- Corporate & Commercial
- General Practice
Administrative & public law
Public law comprises several interlinking practice areas that concern relationships between people, government and other public bodies.
Agriculture & rural issues
It is unsurprising that some of the country's strongest agricultural law practices are to be found in rural regions.
Aviation lawyers provide commercial, regulatory and insurance advice and litigation services to the world's airlines, manufacturers and financiers.
Charities lawyers advising the not-for-profit and social enterprise sector cover a vast area of legal ground, from wills and trusts to commercial and real estate law.
Civil liberties & human rights
Sponsored by Hodge Jones & Allen. Human rights law broadly refers to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Human Rights Act 1998.
Sponsored by Bolt Burdon Kemp LLP. Clinical or medical negligence lawyers advise in relation to instances of injury or death arising from incorrect or sub-standard medical treatment or diagnosis.
Commercial property/real estate
Sponsored by Mills & Reeve LLP. Commercial property lawyers work on a wide range of transactions including offices, retail developments and infrastructure projects.
Company & commercial
Sponsored by Gowling WLG (UK) LLP. Commercial lawyers focus on trade, from commercial agreements about supply, manufacture and distribution to identifying the best routes to market.
Competition & EU law
Sponsored by Ashurst LLP. Competition and regulatory work includes merger control, regulatory and court proceedings, issues arising from sector-specific regulation and utility procurement issues.
Corporate finance/mergers & acquisitions
Sponsored by Baker McKenzie. Corporate finance lawyers advise companies on all aspects of the buying and selling of whole businesses or business assets.
Corporate tax involves involves advising clients on the tax risks associated with acquiring, selling or restructuring assets.
Criminal solicitors advise and appear in court on behalf of both accused persons and the prosecution.
Employment, pensions & incentives
Sponsored by Lewis Silkin. Employment lawyers work across all areas of employment law, including handling discrimination complaints, staff restructuring and whistleblowing issues.
Energy & natural resources
Sponsored by Norton Rose Fulbright. The energy sector is an important part of the legal landscape and is making more headlines than ever before.
Sponsored by Osborne Clarke LLP. Issues such as biodiversity loss, climate change, the demand for global sustainability and the need for alternative energy sources make environmental laws more important than ever.
Family lawyers deal with diverse issues including marriage, civil partnerships, cohabitation, separation, divorce, financial claims and pre and post-nuptial agreements.
Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, the covid-19 pandemic and various financial scandals, there is always lots going on in this area.
Immigration lawyers deal with all legal matters relating to immigration and nationality.
Restructuring and insolvency lawyers are necessary when a company, individual or other organisation is in financial difficulties.
Sponsored by Bristows LLP. Intellectual property is an umbrella term for a variety of different rights which protect intellectual creations, such as inventions, brands, designs, and literary and artistic works.
Media & entertainment
Among the different types of client in this area are performers, managers and agents, artists, theatres, broadcasters and publishers.
Sponsored by Kennedys. Personal injury law falls under the law of tort and involves civil claims brought to obtain compensation for injuries.
Sponsored by Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. Private client solicitors looks after the affairs of individual clients and trustees, managing all aspects of their personal wealth.
Professional negligence occurs when a professional fails to carry out their responsibilities to the required standard, or they breach a duty of care.
Shipping & trade
Sponsored by Watson Farley & Williams LLP. Contentious shipping law involves contractual issues such as bill of lading and charterparty disputes while non-contentious work includes ship finance and commercial agreements.
|Training programme applications:
- Aspiring Solicitors
- Black Lawyers’ Directory
- Social Mobility Foundation