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Below you will find a summary of the stages of our process.
- Online application form (here).
- Watson Glaser critical thinking test. You can take a practice test here.
- Shortlisting of application forms by HR and a team of lawyers.
- Assessment centres held over various dates in February.
- Two-week vacation schemes in our Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester and Norwich offices. These will be held 20 June to 1 July (Birmingham and Cambridge) and 27 June to 8 July (Leeds, Manchester and Norwich).
How to applywww.mills-reeve.com/careers/graduates
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Ms Rachel Chapman
Method of applicationOnline Application Form
Method of assessment
- Assessment centre
- Partner interview
- Psychometric testing
You will often hear us say "Achieve more. Together”, and while many law firms talk about teamwork and collaboration, it’s not just a catchphrase for us, more the cornerstone of our culture and how we work.
Of course, you want to know that we have six offices across the UK with 1,000 staff and over 500 lawyers. But, more importantly, you should know that we have been crowned Law Firm of the Year by both Legal Week and RollonFriday and we have been ranked in the UK's “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the past 18 years. We consistently win accolades for our vacation scheme and training contracts.
This is because, as a trainee at Mills & Reeve, we offer something a bit different. The quality of the work you will get involved with, the contact and relationships you will build with clients and the culture of the firm you work in. And 97% of us would recommend that you work here.
We are a major UK law firm and our work spans a broad range of legal sectors and jurisdictions for a diverse range of clients: from the FTSE250 to fast-growth start-ups, from individuals to some of the world’s most established and prestigious organisations.
Our service is delivered through firm-wide core groups: corporate and commercial, employment, family, insurance disputes, private client, projects and construction, real estate and regulatory, public and commercial disputes. Core sectors are automotive, charities and social enterprise, education, energy, food and agribusiness, government, health and care, insurance, life sciences, mid-market, private wealth, real estate investment, sport, technology.
We want people who are ready for early responsibility because that is what we will give you. You will be driven, have a positive attitude and an agile approach. You will enjoy untangling complicated issues and thrive on building relationships with clients and colleagues.
To find out what it is like to work at Mills & Reeve LLP read the firm's Meet the Lawyer profile.
Mills & Reeve LLP won Best Work Placement Scheme – Regional firm at the LawCareers.Net Training & Recruitment Awards 2019.
Our award-winning summer vacation scheme is the ideal introduction to Mills & Reeve and gives you a real taste of life as a lawyer. During your time with us you will be placed in real-life situations, preparing draft documents, researching, attending court hearings and meeting clients.
You will work with a variety of lawyers around the business over the course of two weeks, changing teams every two to three days.
A high proportion of our trainee solicitors have completed a summer placement with the firm.
To find out what it's like to undertake a placement at Mills & Reeve LLP read the firm's Vac Scheme Insider report.
A Mills & Reeve trainee receives more opportunities and experiences than at many firms. We want you to really understand what it’s like to be a lawyer and the best way to do that is to give you responsibility. You’ll be working with national and international clients where you are given the freedom to learn in a supportive environment.
Trainees take on six four-month seats to allow you to experience the breadth of the work we do and you will be supported by dedicated supervisors, a partner mentor, a trainee buddy and the graduate team throughout the two-year training programme.
For the last few years, we have recruited all of our trainees via our summer vacation scheme. Therefore, we recommend you apply for a place on the scheme in the first instance, if possible.
We are recruiting the following positions from our 2022 summer vacation scheme:
- Training contracts to start in 2023 - two positions in Leeds: due to firm growth, we are looking to recruit our inaugural cohort of trainees in Leeds, to start in September 2023. We will require this trainee cohort to take the LPC route to qualification, and so will only be able to take forward applications from candidates who are final year law students, law graduates or non-law graduates with the GDL.
- Training contracts to start in 2024 - c.25 positions across Birmingham, Cambridge, Manchester and Norwich
Our training contracts commence in September of each year. We place a strong emphasis on 'learning on the job' and trainees become fully involved in the work of their seat. Performance is regularly reviewed via a mix of informal and formal reviews.
We continue to invest in your development after completion of the training contract. Initially this invovles an increase in client contact, a confidence to handle whole matters with decreasing amounts of supervision and an ability to manage and meet demanding targets. Individual development needs are identified through regular performance reviews and feedback, and training is provided across the firm in a variety of areas and from a number of sources. Typically, after approximately four years, you become a senior associate and, among other things, demonstrate the ability to lead a team and develop your profile to 'expert' within the firm in particular areas of the business. Developing our trainees from junior to senior associates, contributing to the future of the success of the business, is a high priority to us.
We are very proud that a very high proportion of our trainees remain with us on qualification - 100% for this year!
For our 2024 intake, we will sponsor candidates to qualify via the SQE route and we will welcome applications from penultimate-year/final-year law students, final-year non-law students and graduates (any discipline). We will sponsor non-law candidates to undertake the PGDL before any SQE courses.
Everyone at Mills & Reeve brings a unique perspective and ideas to the team and we do everything we can to help each person to thrive. Diversity and inclusion is a key strand of our 2025 vision. Our aim is to ensure that everyone working for or with us feels valued and supported, not only for how they perform in the working environment but also for who they truly are.
We have recently been recognised by Legal Week with an award for Standout Diversity in Innovation and a Lifetime Contributor to Innovation award.
We are committed to being a fair employer, which recruits, develops, promotes and retains a diverse and talented workforce.
We recognise the need to provide an inclusive and positive workplace where people are able to do their best work.
We recognise we cannot achieve our vision as a firm without developing and implementing best practice in diversity and inclusion, not only as an employer but also as a provider of legal services, as a purchaser of goods and services and in our wider role in society.
We have the following objectives for the firm to help us achieve our goals:
- Achieve a more diverse workforce by identifying and communicating a number of diversity and inclusion workforce profile goals.
- Embed good equality, diversity and inclusion practices into our daily activities and decision-making processes.
- Celebrate, communicate and promote equality, diversity and inclusion both within and outside of the firm.
Diversity, inclusion and wellbeing initiatives
We believe that embedding diversity and inclusion creates a positive workforce environment. It will make us a better law firm and helps us to attract the best talent, drive innovation, and deliver the best experience for our employees and clients. We have a number of initiatives in place to support us to embed diversity and inclusion practice.
For more information, please visit our website at https://www.mills-reeve.com/about-us/diversity-and-inclusion
The firm sponsors full course fees and provides a maintenance grant for each course.
- Banking & finance
- Corporate tax
- Information technology
- Intellectual property
- Insurance disputes
- Litigation/Dispute resolution
- Private client
- Projects & PPP
- Public law
- Real estate
- Real estate disputes
- Restructuring & insolvency
- Corporate & Commercial
- General Commercial
Administrative & public law
Public law comprises several interlinking practice areas which concern relationships between people and government.
Agriculture & rural issues
It is unsurprising that some of the country's strongest agricultural law practices are to be found in rural regions.
Banking & finance
Banking and finance involves many financial products, from bank loans to companies to highly structured financing arrangements across multiple jurisdictions.
Charities lawyers advising the not-for-profit and social enterprise sector cover wills and trusts to commercial and real estate law.
Clinical negligence lawyers advise on instances of injury or death arising from incorrect or inadequate medical treatment or diagnosis.
Commercial property/real estate
Commercial property lawyers work on a wide range of transactions including offices, retail developments and infrastructure projects.
Company & commercial
Commercial lawyers focus on trade, from commercial agreements about supply, manufacture and distribution to identifying the best routes to market.
Competition & EU law
Competition and regulatory work includes merger control, regulatory and court proceedings, issues arising from sector-specific regulation and utility procurement issues.
Construction & engineering
Contentious construction work involves the resolution of disputes while non-contentious work involves drafting and negotiating contracts and advising on projects.
Corporate finance/mergers & acquisitions
Corporate finance lawyers advise companies on all aspects of the buying and selling of whole businesses or business assets.
Corporate tax involves advising on the most tax-efficient means of acquiring, selling or restructuring assets.
In this area of legal practice, clients generally fall into two categories: the rich or famous and the media.
Commercial litigation involves the resolution of disputes in the corporate and commercial sphere.
Employment, pensions & incentives
Employment lawyers work across all areas of employment law, including handling discrimination, staff restructuring and whistleblowing issues.
Energy & natural resources
The energy sector is an important part of the legal landscape and is making more headlines than ever before.
Issues such as climate change 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.
This area of legal practice involves advising financial services clients on the myriad regulations that affect their sector.
Housing/landlord & tenant
Relationships between the owners and occupiers of properties, both residential and commercial, can be fraught with problems.
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.
Insurance and reinsurance is an integral part of commercial activity throughout the world.
IP barristers advise on issues that range from commercial exploitation and infringement disputes to IP rights in large commercial transactions.
The life sciences sector combines a diverse range of practice areas, demanding advice in areas like food, healthcare and biotechnology.
Media & entertainment
Among the different types of client in this area are performers, managers and agents, artists, theatres, broadcasters and publishers.
Private client solicitors looks after the affairs of individual clients and trustees, managing all aspects of their personal wealth.
Lawyers specialising in professional negligence disputes will handle claims ranging from the relatively low-value to the absolutely enormous.
Large projects involve lawyers specialising in finance, construction and corporate law.
Sports law involves the legal issues at play in the worlds of both amateur and professional sport.
|Profit per partner:||£374,380 (2021)|
|Training contract applications:||1,049 (2021)|
|Retention rate:||100% (2021)|
|Has client secondments:||Yes|
- Birmingham Free Legal Advice Group (FLAG)
- Business in the Community
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- Birmingham FLAG
- Black Solicitors Network
- BPP Legal Access Scheme
- Business Disability Forum
- InterLaw Diversity Forum
- Legal Apprenticeships
- Mindful Business Charter
- Rare Recruitment
- Social Mobility Foundation
- UOL Menotring Scheme
- Working Families