We understand that you may have questions and these are the ones we get asked most often. If you can't find the answer you are looking for then please get in touch. You can find the graduate recruitment team's details on the contacts page.
Yes, we recruit directly from our vacation schemes.
Yes. We aim to ensure our intake is as diverse as possible.
If you are unable to attend the summer vacation scheme, then we will allow you to apply for the spring vacation scheme. That being said, we encourage you to please apply for the scheme that applies to you, as this way we can best tailor our schemes to you and your career stage.
The first stage of the process is an application form, which is completed online. If successful at this stage, you will then be asked to complete a situational strengths test (SST), again online. If you meet the standard on the SST, then you will be invited to undertake an on-demand strengths based video interview. Should you be successful at this stage, you will then be invited to undertake a case study exercise. The location of the case study exercise (virtual or in person) will depend on the Covid-19 situation and government guidelines at the time of interview.
In line with Reed Smith’s agile working policy, our vacation schemes will incorporate a hybrid of both office and remote working. This will of course depend on Covid-19 and government guidelines at the time of each scheme. Regardless of the format however, you will still have the opportunity to work within a practice area, network with a range of people across the business, and experience the culture of the firm.
Yes, given you will be undertaking paid work during your vacation scheme, UK law requires all attendees to have valid UK work rights at the time of the program. This applies even if one attends the scheme remotely from their country of residence. Unfortunately we are not able to provide sponsored visas for our two week vacation schemes, however should you be successful in receiving a training contract offer, we are able to provide sponsored visas for your two year training contract.
Scottish students study a four year LLB degree course and are required to undertake the CPE/PgDL. Students at the following universities are able to gain at least four exemptions from modules on the CPE/PgDL: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Napier (Edinburgh), Glasgow and Strathclyde. Scottish law students should apply for the summer vacation scheme in the January of their penultimate degree year.
If you did not obtain a 2:1 or a First (or the equivalent), we would expect to see exceptional academic ability demonstrated elsewhere. We do take into account mitigating circumstances.
You might feel an LLM would improve your chances if, for example, you did not achieve a 2:1 in your degree (or the equivalent); it certainly does show added commitment. However, we suggest you should only study for an LLM if you have a genuine interest in doing so. It is not a factor which we would usually take into account for selection purposes.
Yes, we are happy for candidates to reapply in the next recruitment year.
We ask candidates to wait at least 12 months before reapplying.
Yes, if you receive your training contract offer prior to completing the GDL/ SQE, we will sponsor your GDL course through King’s College London and your SQE course with Barbri. We have a sole provider agreement with both King’s College and Barbri, meaning all our future trainees are expected to attend these institutes. The idea behind this is so that we can start to build relationships with our future trainees before they join and that all trainees receive the same training.
From September 2022 onwards, Reed Smith will be transitioning to the new professional SQE route. As such, we ask all of our future trainees to complete the SQE course regardless of whether you have completed the LPC. However if you have already completed your LPC, we will only ask you to take the SQE2 and not the SQE1. This way we can ensure all of our future trainees receive the same training and you have the opportunity to gain part time work experience at Reed Smith during your SQE2 as part of our unique program.
We will pay your course fees for both the GDL and SQE plus a maintenance grant of £6000 while studying for the GDL and £7000 to assist during the SQE.
We do our very best to accommodate preferences of training contract start dates, however this will depend on spaces available and your interim studies that need to be completed. In general, we try to prioritise earlier TC offers to those who are further along in their studies at the time of their offer. Currently we are recruiting for 2024 onwards.
You are able to select which departments you want to sit in throughout your training contract, provided there is sufficient availability and that you satisfy Law Society requirements by gaining both contentious and non-contentious experience.
Yes, we currently run trainee secondments to Athens, Dubai, Paris and Singapore. We also offer a wide range of client secondments. We review secondments on an annual basis.
We only recruit a small number of trainees a year. This is because we are not only committed to giving you the best possible training, but also to retaining our trainees upon qualification.
One of our summer students recently observed, "Reed Smith’s sociable ethos was carried over after working hours. It was good to see that people didn’t spend their whole lives at their desk, and the evenings out were always well attended." There are various sports teams, including softball, football and cricket – spectators are always welcome. The firm also often arranges socials; including all members of staff. Impromptu drinks are often suggested after work.