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36 vacancies
70 trainees
221 partners
1600 staff

Shoosmiths is a major UK law firm with a network of offices working together as one team.

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LCNLIVE Manchester 2022 - Question time: the law firm as a business

At our LawCareersNetLIVE Manchester event on 25 November 2022, the panel of top law firm partners addressed the key issues affecting law firms in 2023. The session helped delegates understand how firms operate as businesses and the role they will play as trainees.

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Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Shoosmiths.

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We accept applications for the following vacancies:

Summer vacation placement 2023 – Edinburgh and Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Reading, and Solent.

Training contract September 2025 – Edinburgh and Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Reading, and Solent.

Training contract March 2026 – Birmingham, Thames Valley, Mancheser

For training contracts in Belfast, please see the firm's website for the most up to date application dates and deadlines.

You can also apply to attend an in-person insight evening in December, January, February or March 2023, to increase your knowledge of the firm and develop your commercial awareness. The exact dates of these eventsare listed on the firm's website. Apply during October 2022 to secure your place.

Applications for training contracts to start in September 2025 should be made by 31 March 2023. Please apply online at where you can also find details of the deadlines for each vacancy.

Applications to

Miss Amy Ruff

Method of application

Online Application Form

Method of assessment

  • Assessment centre
  • Partner interview
  • Presentation
  • Written exercise

Shoosmiths is leading UK law firm with a network of offices from the South Coast to Scotland, working together as one national team. An innovative practice and the first top 50 law firm to achieve “Platinum Standard” Investors in People, our values and culture are not just words on our website but are the heartbeat of the firm. The lack of barriers between departments, a real lack of hierarchy, zero tolerance for arrogance makes Shoosmiths a fantastic place to work. 

We provide a friendly and effective working environment and you'll soon become an integral member of your team, national department and indeed, Shoosmiths. You'll find our culture is positive and our working style is professional and cooperative. We know that our ethos suits energetic and "can do" people who thrive on plenty of contact with clients.

To find out what it is like to work at Shoosmiths read the firm's Meet the Lawyer profile.

Shoosmiths won Best Recruiter - National / Large Regional firm at the LawCareers.Net Training & Recruitment Awards 2019 and 2020.

A placement at Shoosmiths is an opportunity to try out some real trainee-level work. It's direct and down-to-earth as we believe that the way for you to get real value from the placement is to see what really goes on and get involved. We want to challenge you, but not overwhelm you, and work is pitched at a level that you feel comfortable with and which takes account of which stage of your legal studies you have reached.

You'll get to spend time with our current trainees who are an invaluable source of information on what it's really like to work at Shoosmiths. They will usually be your host for the placement and will guide you through the work and anything else that you would like to find out about.

We offer a one-week placement during June to second-year law undergraduates and final year non-law undergraduates onwards. We also welcome applications from people who are further on in their legal studies, but yet to be offered a training contract, right through to post-LPC.

To find out what it's like to undertake a placement at Shoosmiths read the firm's Vac Scheme Insider report.

There's nothing like diving straight in and having a go and, while we would not ask you to do something that you were not comfortable in tackling, we expect you to relish the opportunity to get experience of real cases and deals from the start. In our opinion, it's the best way to learn. Your experience will be built around a practical workload, complemented by technical and business skills training. Over the two years, you would usually complete four six-month placements around the firm. From time to time we also offer the opportunity for trainees to be seconded to the in-house legal team of one of our clients, which provides an invaluable insight into the client's perspective.


Before all the real work starts we run a week-long induction for our new trainee solicitors where we give you the opportunity to learn about Shoosmiths away from the office and to build friendships that will last through your training contract and beyond. This week is a really enjoyable way to start your employment with us before heading off to your individual departments.

Away from the desk

As a trainee at Shoosmiths you will be encouraged to get involved in activities away from your desk, such as business development, networking with other young professionals and charity-related activities. We see these kinds of events as a great way for you to develop valuable skills for the future and we also encourage trainees to come up with their own ideas and to run with them. In the past year Shoosmiths trainees have attended client golf days, set up their own networking events, run half-marathons, raced dragon boats, pushed a cake trolley round the office, dressed up in fancy dress, planted trees, collected old bicycles, and attended a film premiere – and most of these raised money for charity too.

Shoosmiths will expect those offered a training contract from the assessment centres hosted in summer 2023 to undertake the SQE with their preferred provider. 

Should you already have started or completed the LPC, then you will not need to undertake any additional postgraduate study before commencing your training contract. 

Further informaiton will be shared on the firm's website.

Shoosmiths will offer financial support towards your future postgraduate studies (PGDL, LPC or SQE (or equivalent). Full details are provided with your offer of a training contract.

  • Corporate
  • Insolvency
  • Tax
  • Finance litigation
  • Banking
  • Real estate
  • Planning
  • Construction
  • Real estate litigation
  • Commercial
  • Commercial litigation
  • Employment
  • IP
  • Regulatory
  • Medical negligence
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • General Commercial
  • General Practice
  • Niche

Practice Areas

Extra info

The Lakes, Northampton, NN4 7SH
Phone: 03700 863 075
Email: [email protected]
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 40
Minimum qualification: Any degree
Start salary: £42,000
Fees paid for:
  • LPC
  • SQE
Turnover: £167,000,000 (2020)
Profit per partner: £441,000 (2018)
Training contract applications: 2,616 (2020)
Retention rate: 78% (2021)
Partner diversity:
  • 65.0% male (2022)
  • 35.0% female
Lawyer diversity:
  • 35.0% male (2022)
  • 65.0% female
Has client secondments: Yes
Client secondments:
  • Banks
  • Charities
  • Consultancies
  • Energy companies
  • Insurance companies
  • Leisure and tourism
  • Media and TV organisations
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Retail outlets
  • Sporting bodies
  • Edinburgh
  • Leeds
  • Manchester
  • Birmingham
  • London
  • Nottingham
  • Northampton
  • Milton Keynes
  • Reading
  • Solent
  • Belfast
  • Sheffield
  • Glasgow
  • Brussels
  • Aspire Foundation
  • Birmingham Legal Advice Centre
  • Business in the Community
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Communicare (Reading)
  • LawWorks
  • Legal Advice Centres
  • London Legal Support Trust (LLST)
  • University of Manchester Legal Advice Centre
  • #10000BlackInterns
  • Aspiring Solicitors
  • Black Lawyers’ Directory
  • Black Solicitors Network
  • Bright Network
  • GROW Mentoring
  • Legal and Social Mobility Partnership
  • Legal Apprenticeships
  • Mindful Business Charter
  • Pathways to Law
  • Social Mobility Business Partnership
  • Social Mobility Foundation