FAQs

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions that you might find useful.

I already have lots of legal work experience.  Should I apply for a vacation scheme first, or just apply for the training contract now?

A vacation scheme is designed to give you a two-week snapshot of life as a Macfarlanes trainee.  You will be given as much hands-on experience as possible, enabling you to gain a real understanding of the firm’s culture and work.  Therefore, a vacation scheme is a good opportunity to find out whether Macfarlanes is right for you.  However, if you feel that you have enough legal work experience and have researched the firm well, you can apply directly for a training contract.  If you are successful in gaining a place on one of our assessment days, you will have the opportunity to find out more about the firm that day.

Can I apply for both a training contract and a vacation scheme?

Yes, you can. However, if you would like to apply for both a vacation scheme and a training contract, we ask that you apply for the vacation scheme first and wait to hear the result of your application, before completing an application form for our training contract.

I graduated some years ago now; can I still apply for a vacation scheme or a training contract?

Yes, you can still apply.  

Do I need to have completed a vacation scheme when applying for a training contract?

Vacation schemes are designed to give you as much experience as possible within a law firm.  As such, they can be invaluable in helping you decide whether or not a career in law is right for you.  However, they are not a requirement when applying for a training contract.  Any work experience, regardless of whether or not it is within the legal sector, will be taken into account when reviewing your application.

For the training contract, we do require you to have some level of legal work experience. This does not have to be a formal vacation scheme; any legal exposure will be recognised as a way that you are demonstrating your commitment to a career in law.

We recruit around 50% of our trainees from our vacation scheme and 50% through direct training contract applications.

Can I send in a copy of my CV and covering letter instead of completing an application online?

No.  We only accept applications through our online application system. However, if you have a disability or long term health condition that means you may need additional support through the process, please contact the graduate recruitment team to discuss.

If I require additional support during the assessment process who do I contact?

If you have a disability or long term health condition that means you may need additional support through the process, please contact the graduate recruitment team  to discuss.

Do you cover the cost of travel for candidates?

We will reimburse reasonable travel costs for candidates attending the first year insight day or an assessment day for the vacation scheme or training contract. Please contact the graduate recruitment team for more information.

My academics do not meet your minimum requirements; can I still apply?

We only accept applications from candidates who have gained, or who are expected to gain, a minimum 2.1 in their degree.  If you have already completed the GDL and/or LPC, you are required to have achieved at least commendation. If you have extenuating circumstances which means you do not meet these requirements, you may still apply and detail these circumstances.

I got BBB at A level, but am expected to achieve a strong 2.1 in my degree.  Can I still apply?

Yes.  We have no minimum requirements for A level results.  However, we receive a high number of applications each year, if your A level results are below BBB, you will be competing against a high number of candidates with strong applications.

I understand that Macfarlanes future trainees study their LPC at BPP in Holborn but I am currently studying elsewhere.  Can I still apply for a training contract?

Yes, you can.  If you are already studying elsewhere you may continue.  We may ask you to attend some of our evening LPC training sessions, so that you can meet the rest of your cohort.

I require a work permit, can I still apply?

Yes we accept applications from all candidates who meet our minimum requirements.  Any training contract offer would be conditional on you having obtained the right to work in the UK for the duration of your training contract.

What should I include in the covering letter?

Your covering letter should include any information that you feel is relevant to your application, that you have not included elsewhere in the form.  This can include a summary of your reasons for applying for a vacation scheme or a training contract at the firm, as well as a summary of why you are interested in a career in law. The covering letter should be no longer than one side of A4 in length.

I am studying a four year degree course, with a year abroad in my third year.  When can I apply for a vacation scheme? When can I apply for a training contract?

This will depend on the degree subject that you are studying.  If you are studying a law degree, you are eligible to apply in your penultimate year for both a vacation scheme and a training contract.  If you are studying a non-law degree, you can only apply for a place on one of our vacation schemes in your penultimate year.  If you are studying abroad, you will need to ensure that you can attend the assessment days at our office in London.  Due to the nature of our assessment days, we cannot interview candidates via Skype or telephone.  If you are unable to attend the assessment day, you may wish to delay your application until your final year.

Do you review the applications as and when they are submitted, or after the deadline?

We review applications on a rolling basis, as and when they are submitted. All applications open on 1 October but interview dates will vary. Click here for more information on key dates. 

I’ve already submitted my form, but I have forgotten to mention something.  How do I add it to my form?

Please contact the graduate recruitment team. If your application has not yet been reviewed we may be able to include the updated information as a supplement to your application.

 Can I get feedback on my application?

Due to the number of applications we receive, we are unable to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications.  We do, however, provide feedback to all of those who have attended an assessment day.

Can I reapply if my application isn’t successful?

If your application is unsuccessful at the application stage then you are eligible to reapply.

If your application is unsuccessful after the assessment day then you are not eligible to reapply.

 

If your question is not answered above, please contact the graduate recruitment team.