Being a successful City lawyer requires more than purely legal knowledge. Our Learning and Development department organises a full and varied legal and commercial education programme which starts before you join the firm and continues during the training contract.
Your personal training schedule will cover technical legal knowledge, legal skills, and commercial and financial awareness. We’ll also train you on the necessary mental approach, professional skills, delegation, personal impact and more.
There’ll be responsibility from an early stage, the opportunity to work alongside partners, mentoring and individual support. You’ll never stop learning, not even as a partner.
On joining the firm, trainees attend a two-week induction that provides you with the key skills and knowledge you will need to start work. You meet people from various groups and teams in the firm so you can start to network from day one.
We aim to be trusted business advisers as well as lawyers and so it is important to us that we are at ease in our clients' world and able to converse in their language. To that end, trainees participate in commercial awareness courses designed to improve their financial awareness and knowledge of the City.
Trainees are enrolled on a comprehensive legal training programme, with sessions delivered on a wide range of subjects by partners and other senior lawyers. Trainees are also invited to attend bespoke group and practice area training, and are encouraged to attend firmwide sessions on topical issues, legal updates and recent transactions.
Our skills training covers an array of topics which help our trainees develop throughout their training contract and beyond. Sessions, delivered by internal and external trainers, include presentation skills, resilience and time management, negotiation and advocacy skills, client care and professional standards.
Mentoring provides a valuable forum to seek support, reflect on your career development, discuss professional goals and expand your network. We offer a diverse range of mentoring programmes to our students and our current trainees, with opportunities to act as both mentees and mentors. These include the ‘CCP Mentoring Programme’ which matches students with first seat trainees and the ‘Mentoring - Trainee Buddying Scheme’ which is run in conjunction with our Diversity and Inclusion team and aims to match you with an associate that has a characteristic or background which you request. Trainees can also participate in a range of external initiatives, acting as mentors to students as part of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion work. Mentoring opportunities continue after qualification, including our firmwide ‘Connect’ mentoring programme which provides associates with partner mentors to build relationships and access advice.
We offer one-to-one support to you in any areas of individual development, so that all of our trainees can develop into the best possible lawyers.
Shortly before qualification, trainees attend the first of a five part business skills training programme to help with the progression to qualified life. The ‘Associate Business Skills’ programme, which equips junior lawyers with key skills they need to progress and succeed, runs at important transition times and includes training on personal impact, confidence, effective communication, and management and leadership styles.
During your final seat we will begin discussions with you about your preferences on qualification. Most of our trainees remain with us on qualification, which we feel reflects the fulfilling nature of the work that we do here and the trust we place in each of them. Our HR team will fully support you during your transition to becoming a newly qualified solicitor.
Your seating programme
During your two years as a trainee solicitor you will spend time in different practice areas, which are referred to as 'seats'. To ensure you get the most from your training contract, our HR team will work with you to design a seating programme that best suits your individual preferences. The experience in different seats will help you to decide which area of law you are most interested in and to start developing the versatility and vision essential to becoming a trusted legal adviser to your clients.
All trainees complete at least two six-month seats in our Corporate and M&A and Financing groups. Subject to gaining some contentious experience, you choose where to spend your remaining time. It can be divided into two or three specialist areas or focused on one.
Our specialist groups include:
- Disputes and Investigations
- Financial Regulation
- Intellectual Property / Technology
- Pensions, Employment and Incentives
- Real Estate
We will ask you for your first seat preferences during the CCP. To help you to choose, we provide you with a detailed brochure and insightful videos, and host a live event at the firm, to give you further information on the seats available. We allocate your first seat ahead of you joining us, and then once you join the firm, we meet with you again to discuss your preferences before allocating your remaining seats. We aim to give everyone their first choices. If you wish to change your seats at a later time, you can submit a request and we will do our best to accommodate this.
As a trainee, you will also have the chance to apply for an international secondment. It is an excellent opportunity to develop, enjoy another culture and gain experience in a different working environment in a new jurisdiction. Not all trainees choose to apply, and a secondment is not compulsory.
During each seat you will share an office with a partner or associate (your ‘supervisor’) who will guide you and ensure that you are actively involved in their work and the work of the group. A partner in your group will regularly meet with you to discuss your progress and your supervisor will give you a full review at the end of each seat. You will also receive regular informal feedback. These opportunities provide a forum for you to discuss your progress and how to develop your legal knowledge, skills and experience.