Apply

For all our programmes, please apply online. The form is designed to give you every opportunity to tell us about yourself and show your interest in Macfarlanes.

You can apply no matter what or where you have studied. You need a 2:1 degree or above, though we do take account of extenuating circumstances.

We do not recruit on a rolling basis, so you can expect to hear from us once applications have closed.

Type of
application

Intake
year

Applications
open

Applications
close

Application
link

First year
insight scheme

2023

26 September
2022

27 January
2023

Apply now

Vacation
scheme

2023

26 September
2022

6 January
2023

Apply now

Training
programme

September 2025

26 September
2022

21 July
2023

Apply now

Technology grant

N/A

31 October 2022

9 December

2022

Apply now

Participation grant

N/A

Rolling - please check the event

Rolling - please check the event

Apply now

If you have any questions with regards to your application or the application form please refer to the content below, our FAQ page or alternatively please contact the early legal careers team. 

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Macfarlanes Early Legal Careers. Or for any questions feel free to contact us on +44 (0) 207 831 9222 or email us at earlylegalcareers@macfarlanes.com.
Catherine Morgan-Guest Senior manager, early legal careers

If you have any questions with regards to your application or the application form please refer to our FAQ page or alternatively please contact the early legal careers team.

Assessment process 

Application blind and contextual recruitment

We want to recruit the best candidates regardless of their background or where they were educated. Most of our assessment processes for both our vacation schemes and our training programmes are scored application blind. We also use a contextual recruitment tool to understand each applicant’s achievements in the context they were gained. We understand that not every candidate’s achievements look the same on paper, and we are a firm that believes in fairness and diversity.

Macfarlanes is unlike any other law firm. We hope you use the assessments as a chance to build your understanding of us and what makes us different, just as we see it as a chance to gain an understanding of you.

Training programme

Whether you studied law or another subject, you can apply for our training programme either via the vacation scheme (see above) or the direct route using this application form.

Applications for our 2025 training programme are now open and will close on Friday 21 July 2023. We do not recruit on a rolling basis so you can expect to hear back from us once applications have closed.

There are three assessments:

  • a business case-study exercise, with a partner and a senior associate. You will discuss a series of commercial scenarios that you will have time to read and prepare notes on beforehand; 
  • an application interview with a partner and a member of HR. This is the only part of the day that is not application blind; and
  • a written exercise.

For the final session of the day, you get to meet and network with some trainees.

Vacation scheme

Complete this application form if you would like to apply for a place on one of our vacation schemes.

We invite candidates with the strongest application forms to attend a vacation scheme assessment day, during which you take part in an interview, a written exercise and a group exercise. The interview takes place with a partner and a senior associate and is split into two sections: a case study exercise and a skills-based interview.

We welcome applications from anyone as long as they are at least in their penultimate year of study.

First year insight scheme

Complete this application form if you would like to apply for a place on our first year insight scheme. If you are progressed to the next stage, we will arrange a telephone interview to learn more about you and to give you the opportunity to ask us questions.

First year skills development initiative

To apply for the first year skills development initiative, you first need to submit your CV and a covering letter to your law careers team or law faculty. Presentations will be run at each university to provide more details before applications open. A shortlist of 10–15 students from each participating university will then complete this application form and send it directly to Macfarlanes. If you are progressed to the next stage, we will arrange a virtual interview with you where you will meet two of our associates.

You may have questions about the form or your application – please read our FAQs page, or, feel free to contact our early legal careers team.