We welcome applications from everyone who meets our minimum academic requirements irrespective of what or where you have studied.

Our application form is all online, both for the training contract and the vacation scheme. The form itself is simple and is designed to give you every opportunity to impress us.

Read about 'your path to success' to find out whether you are eligible to apply.

We aim to get back to you as soon as possible, however this may take longer during our busier periods. We recruit on a rolling basis so we strongly advise you to complete your applications as early as possible.

Type of





First year
insight scheme


1 October

28 February

Apply here



1 October

31 January

Apply here


September 2023/ March 2024

1 October

31 July

Apply here


Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at Macfarlanes Graduate Recruitment. Or for any questions feel free to contact us on +44 (0) 207 831 9222 or email us at
Catherine Morgan-Guest Graduate Recruitment Manager

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 graduate recruitment team.

If you have any technical problems with your application please contact the support team at

Assessment process 

First year insight scheme assessment

Applicants will be invited for a telephone interview before offers for a place on our insight day are made. In addition to outstanding academics, the qualities we look for in applicants to our insight day are the same as those we look for in our people. These include strong communication skills, attention to detail, research skills, drive, motivation, resilience and an interest in City law and Macfarlanes specifically.    

Vacation scheme assessment

Successful vacation scheme applicants will be invited to attend one of our assessment days.  In the morning you will be assessed for the vacation scheme, taking part in a group exercise and a written exercise.  You will get to talk to our partners and trainees over lunch, followed by an interview with a senior solicitor and one of our partners.  The remainder of the afternoon will be spent work shadowing in one of our practice areas.

Training contract assessment

Our assessment day is designed to assess candidates both individually and as part of a team, but to also give you the opportunity to find out more about the firm. The assessment day comprises of a group presentation, a written exercise and two interviews. One of these interviews will be with a partner and a senior solicitor and you will discuss a series of matters that you have had time to read and prepare notes on. The other interview will be with a partner and a member of HR - in this interview you will discuss your application and it will be the only part of the day that is not CV blind. After your assessments you will have the opportunity to network with some of our trainees over lunch.

Virtual training contract assessment

As a result of the on-going situation with Covid-19, we are currently running our training contract assessment days virtually. To give you an insight into what to expect from the day, we have created a short video which details the assessments and how the day runs. The assessment day consists of three separate assessments; a written exercise, an in-tray exercise and an application interview. In the final session of the day you will have the opportunity to network with some of our trainees in a Zoom call.

CV blind and contextual recruitment

We want to recruit the best candidates regardless of their background or where they were educated.  The majority of our assessment processes for both our vacation schemes and training contracts are scored CV blind.  We also use a contextual recruitment tool to understand each applicant's achievements in the context in which they have been gained. We understand that not every candidate's achievements look the same on paper and we are a firm that believes passionately in meritocracy and diversity.

Macfarlanes is unlike any other law firm - we expect you to 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.