I have some legal work experience already, and I know I want to be a trainee solicitor at Macfarlanes. Should I apply for a vacation scheme first or just apply for the training programme now?
Our vacation scheme gives you a two-week snapshot of life as a Macfarlanes trainee. You get as much hands-on experience as possible, to gain a real understanding of the firm’s culture and work. The scheme is a great opportunity to find out whether Macfarlanes is right for you. However, if you feel you have a good understanding of what life is like as a trainee and have researched the firm well, you can apply directly for our training programme. If you gain a place on one of our assessment days, you will find out more about the firm during the day.
Can I apply for both the training programme and a vacation scheme?
Yes, you can. If you would like to apply for both, we suggest applying for the vacation scheme first, wait to hear the result of your application and then apply for our training programme if necessary.
I graduated some years ago. Can I still apply for a vacation scheme or the training programme?
Absolutely, yes. Many of our trainees solicitors applied for our programmes after they graduated. Several had other careers first.
Do I need to have completed a vacation scheme when I apply for the training programme?
No. Vacation schemes are designed to give you as much experience as possible within a law firm. They can be invaluable in helping you decide whether a career in law is right for you. However, they are not a requirement for the training programme. Any work experience, within the legal sector or elsewhere, will be taken into account when we review your application.
My higher education qualifications do not meet your minimum requirements. Can I still apply?
Generally, we progress applications from candidates who have, or expect to gain, a minimum 2.1 in their degree. If you have completed the Graduate Diploma in Law/Postgraduate Diploma in Law, the Legal Practice Course/Solicitors Qualifying Examinations or both, you are required to have achieved at least a commendation. However, if you do not meet these requirements and you have extenuating circumstances, you may still apply. Please detail these circumstances in your application for us to consider. You can also arrange a call with the early legal careers team to discuss further. We take extenuating circumstances seriously and would encourage you to be as open with us as you feel comfortable.
I achieved lower grades at A level than I had hoped for. Can I still apply?
Yes. We have no minimum requirements for A level results.
I understand that Macfarlanes’ future trainees undertake further study at BPP in Holborn. Can I apply for the training programme if I am currently studying elsewhere?
Yes, you can.
Who can apply for a vacation scheme?
Regardless of your degree subject, you are eligible to apply for a vacation scheme in your penultimate year of study and onwards.
Who can apply for the training programme?
You can apply for the training programme in your penultimate year and onwards if you are a law student, or in your final year and onwards if you are a non-law student.
I need a work permit. Can I still apply?
Yes, but any training programme offer would be subject to your having the right to work in the UK for the duration of your training programme. International students looking to apply for our first year insight scheme and vacation schemes must ensure that the dates of the scheme are outside term time.
I am studying a four year degree course, with a year abroad in my third year. When can I apply for a vacation scheme, and when can I apply for the training programme?
This depends on your degree subject. If you are studying law, you can apply in your penultimate year and onwards for both a vacation scheme and the training programme. If you are studying a non-law degree, you can only apply for a place on our vacation schemes from your penultimate year onwards. When you apply for the training programme, you should be in at least your final year.
Can I reapply if my application is not successful?
If your application is unsuccessful at the application stage, yes, you can reapply for any programme.
If you are unsuccessful at an assessment day, you should discuss reapplying with a member of the early legal careers team. They can advise you on the best course of action.
Do you only accept applicants from certain universities?
No, not at all. We accept applicants from all UK and international universities. If you are interested in a career in commercial law and would like a career at Macfarlanes, we welcome your application.
I am a career changer. Do you accept applications from people like me?
Yes, we do. A number of our current trainee cohort and associates had another career before applying to our training programme.
I did not study law at university. Can I still apply?
Yes, we accept applications from applicants who studied any subject, whether at a UK or overseas university. Around 50% of our trainees and associates did not study law at university.
I am a qualified lawyer in an overseas jurisdiction. Can I apply for the vacation scheme or training programme?
We would encourage you to apply for post-qualified lawyer vacancies at the firm rather than our vacation scheme or training programme. These programmes are geared towards people who are not yet qualified. Please get in touch with our recruitment team if you have further questions.