Government Legal Profession
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|Minimum qualification:||2.2 degree|
|Start salary:||Around £28,000|
Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Government Legal Profession.
Application details and method of selection
The application process will involve a number of online ability tests which are designed to assess essential skills required for the role (eg analytical ability, communication skills, team working skills).
The highest scoring applicants will be invited to an assessment centre (usually held in mid-August). The assessment centre will, typically, involve a written exercise and interview.
To ensure that you are notified as soon as the application process opens, you can add your contact details to the mailing list on our website.
Firm description and career prospects
Our lawyers and trainees provide legal services to the government of the day.
Whether the government is creating new legislation, buying goods and services, employing people protecting consumers, or defending its decisions in court, it needs significant levels of legal advice. To carry out this work, the government needs its own lawyers who understand its business.
We work as part of a wider team of policy makers and other professionals and have a unique role in helping the government to implement its policies and run public services.
The work is varied, complex, novel, politically sensitive and frequently in the public eye. The diversity of our work reflects the wide range of activities within government. These range across issues of national and international significance and across public and private law, embracing advisory and legislative work, litigation and a wealth of specialist areas.
It’s a terrific responsibility, which you could share.
Who should apply
In July 2019 we'll be recruiting highly-talented graduates and undergraduates from a diverse range of backgrounds to join us in 2021 (possibly earlier). You'll need to demonstrate that you'll relish the early exposure to the challenging legal work that we offer. Since our lawyers have the opportunity to work in different legal areas throughout their careers, rather than specialise in a single area of law, we will need evidence of excellent analytical skills, judgement and innovative thinking . And because our work has a significant and positive impact upon the lives of millions across the country, you must be passionate about the public service you'll provide.
Departments will pay your Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) fees in full provided you have not yet started the course. Where the course has begun, they will pay your fees for the remainder. They cannot make any retrospective payments to candidates who have successfully completed the course. There is no preference which law or bar school you attend. You can also expect to be provided with a grant of between £5,400-£7,600 for the vocational year.
If you have yet to start your Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), departments may be able to contribute towards your GDL fees. However, since this funding cannot be guaranteed, you will need to discuss this with the department making you an offer of a trainee position.
Diversity summer scheme
We offer a small number of places on our one-week diversity summer scheme every year. This scheme aims to provide work experience to undergraduates or graduates from diverse backgrounds which are currently under-represented across the legal profession.
Places on this scheme have been allocated via the following organisations with whom we work eg:
Outside of this scheme, we will not be offering any vacation placements or work experience opportunities during 2019.
It’s important to understand that we do not use vacation placement schemes as an opportunity to assess suitability for a training contract or pupillage. The application processes for the diversity summer scheme and the legal trainee scheme are entirely separate. If you obtain a summer placement with us and wish to apply for a training contract or pupillage within one of our legal teams, you will need to apply through our legal trainee scheme application process.
Training contract programme
In July 2019 we will be recruiting 60 or more legal trainees (trainee solicitors and pupil barristers). We generally recruit legal trainees two years in advance. Many of the positions on offer will, therefore, be for those looking to commence their training contract or pupillage in September 2021. However, there are likely to be a number of positions available for those looking to start earlier (ie in September 2019 or 2020).
The legal trainee positions are expected to be within:
Government Legal Department (GLD) and the Commercial Law Group
Government departments provide a unique, interesting and varied training environment. The specific format of your training contract or pupillage is likely to vary according to the department you join.
Typically, the training period for those looking to qualify as solicitors and barristers will cover two years. As a pupil barrister, the 12-month pupillage period will be divided between your department and a set of chambers. The remainder of the training period will be completed within your department. As a trainee solicitor, you will typically spend six months in four different areas of practice 'seats' over a two-year period. All legal trainees will undertake at least one contentious and non-contentious seat.
Trainees and pupils can expect to be involved in the wide range of work conducted by their department, which often includes high profile matters. This will be under the supervision of senior colleagues.
Departments aim 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.
Four seats each lasting six months (contentious and non-contentious).
Type of practice
Various including London, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol. Note legal trainee positions will be based in London and Leeds.
Diversity access schemes
Aspiring Solicitors, Black Lawyers’ Directory, Law Society Diversity Access Scheme, Social Mobility Foundation, Windsor Fellowship