School Work Experience Programme

We want to give ambitious candidates the chance to experience life at a top law firm. By undertaking work experience with us, you will demonstrate your proactive approach and give your CV a real boost! You’ll gain a valuable insight into the commercial world and find out if law is the right career for you. We’re committed to creating a diverse workforce and welcome applications from candidates of all backgrounds.

  • Placement Structure

    The School Work Experience Programme is a programme aimed at providing people interested in a legal career with an overview of what life in a commercial law firm is really like. The programme takes place over one week, and there are a number of different intakes over the year. You are able to select which intake you would prefer to apply for in the online application form. The dates for 2018 are:

    England (Birmingham, Leeds, London and Manchester)

    • Monday 6 – Friday 10 August
    • Monday 29 October – Friday 2 November

    Scotland (Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow)

    • Monday 30 July – Friday 3 August
    • Monday 15 – Friday 19 October

    We are proud to be awarded the RateMyApprenticeship Scotland Regional Award for 2017/18!


    Northern Ireland (Belfast)

    • Monday 20 – Friday 24 August

    We constantly review and develop the programme and therefore the content may change, but generally, you will spend time in a different practice area each day. There are also presentations on subjects such as routes into the legal profession and a group exercise to help sharpen your commercial knowledge.

  • The Benefits of Taking Part

    Law firms come in all shapes and sizes and it’s important you find the right one for you. Whether your interest lies in commercial law or another area of practice, our placements can teach you valuable skills that will stand you in good stead for the future. You’ll also be able to see the values we live by as you work alongside our leading people.

    Our award-winning programme is designed to be as interesting, informative (and fun!) as possible. During your week at the firm you will:

    • have a supervisor who will help you gain an appreciation of the skills you will need to be a successful lawyer
    • take part in a business group exercise
    • attend information sessions
    • participate in a mock employment tribunal
    • shadow our lawyers on real client work
    • spend time in a number of different departments
    • have an opportunity to review your CV and discuss your plans for the future with a PM colleague

    During your time with us, you’ll learn about the commercial impact of the law on our clients, gain an understanding of practice areas like Banking and Employment. You’ll also get an insight into qualifying into the legal profession so you can go on to make the right career decisions based on first-hand knowledge and experience.

    RMA Top 100 2017-18 logo (2)


    Post-placement Opportunities

    Our School Work Experience students:

    • continue to build on and develop their interest in the Law and undertake further work experience in different areas of law
    • apply for (and secure) Vacation Placements and Training Contracts at Pinsent Masons whilst at university
    • not all students who do our Work Experience programme decide to follow a career in law but the skills that they learn are transferrable and help them stand out from their peers.

  • Making an Application

    Minimum entry requirements

    You’ll need to be at least 16 years of age and already studying towards either your AS or A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications (such as International Baccalaureate or Scottish Highers) when you make your application. Good academic results are extremely important and, whilst this is only the first step to gaining work experience, it is a highly competitive programme and places will be awarded on merit. Do your best to make your application stand out from the crowd. This means you will have achieved predominantly A*, A and B grades in your GCSEs (or equivalent), and be expecting high grades in your A Levels (or equivalent).

    Application timetable

    All applications must be made using our online application form. We receive applications from a high-volume of excellent candidates each year, so it’s crucial that you take time over your application. It is only the first stage of our process but you must get it absolutely right to secure a placement.

    We are currently inviting applications from students looking to gain work experience in 2018.

    The deadline for applications is 23:59 UK time on Friday 30 March 2018 (GMT). After the deadline, all applications are screened to a pre-defined framework and we shortlist those candidates who best evidence that they meet our capabilities. If your application is successful, you will receive an email offering you a place on the programme by Friday 4 May 2018.

    We do not screen applications on a rolling basis. The whole process from the application deadline to being advised of the outcome of your application is no more than 4 weeks.

    How to apply

    If you’re keen to join us for work experience, and you meet the application criteria, you will need to complete our online application form via our website.

    There are a few questions on the form so you will need to spend some time researching the firm and thinking about your answers. If you are serious about applying, don’t leave it to the last minute!

    Application hints & tips

    • Poor punctuation, spelling and grammar is not something lawyers can get away with, so attention to detail is key to submitting a successful application. Make sure you ask someone to review your application before you submit it.
    • Take your time to think about the questions, give detailed answers which show that you understand the questions that are being asked. Make sure you pay attention to any character limits for the question; this will help you ensure your answers are not too long or too short.
    • Support your application by providing examples of work experience you may have already undertaken. Detail the skills you developed during each placement and what you learned about yourself. This may be helpful in highlighting areas you excel in or you would like to improve i.e. your strengths and weaknesses.
    • If helpful ask a friend or parent to review your completed application prior to submitting it to check for anything you may have missed and above all, do not leave your application to be submitted at the last minute, remember – “Fail to prepare – Prepare to fail!”
    • Ensure you mention any extra-curricular activities you are involved in which demonstrate responsibility and commitment over and above your school work. For example are you the captain of a sports team, a school prefect or do you have a part-time job?

  • Widening access to the legal profession

    As part of our commitment to a truly diverse workforce, we are founder signatories to PRIME, the legal sector’s commitment to providing high-quality work experience.

    Our award-winning work experience programme has been running for over 10 years, it is one of the largest in the legal sector, offering placements to over 150 students each year across our eight UK offices, with an additional circa 50 placements specifically allocated to students from less privileged backgrounds as part of our PRIME commitment.

    We’re already starting to see the impact, with applications for vacation placements and training contracts coming through from a wider pool of candidates, including some who did work experience with us during their school years.

    pathways   prime

  • Non-legal work experience

    At present we do not offer non-legal work experience in departments such as Facilities, Finance and Human Resources, however, this is currently under review and so may change in the future.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    I am under 16 years old; can I undertake work experience with you?

    No, we only offer work experience placements to school students who are over 16 years old and who are studying towards their AS/A Levels (or equivalent). If you are still studying towards your GCSE’s (or equivalent) will need to wait until you have completed these before applying.

    What are the school work experience dates?

    We offer work experience in all our UK offices during the Summer and October holidays. The duration of all our placements is one week.

    The dates for 2018 are:

    England (Birmingham, Leeds, London and Manchester)

    • Monday 6 – Friday 10 August
    • Monday 29 October – Friday 2 November

    Scotland (Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow)

    • Monday 30 July – Friday 3 August
    • Monday 15 – Friday 19 October

    Northern Ireland (Belfast)

    • Monday 20 – Friday 24 August

    Are there any alternative dates available?

    No, we are unable to offer any alternative arrangements outside of our scheduled dates for the Programme.

    We receive a large volume of these requests from students each year and unfortunately, we are unable to offer any additional placements under any circumstances.

    When choosing the dates for our Programme we analyse the term times of all the schools in each jurisdiction and select dates which best suit the majority of students.

    When will I find out if my application has been successful?

    The deadline for applications is 23:59 UK time on Friday 30 March 2018.

    After the deadline, all applications are screened to a pre-defined framework and we shortlist candidates who best meet our capabilities. If you pass the screening you will be sent an email confirming your place on the Programme by no later than 27 April 2018.

    Are travel and/or accommodation costs covered?

    Unfortunately, we are unable to provide travel or accommodation costs due to the large number of students we offer placements to each year.

    Is lunch provided?

    Lunch is provided on your first day only.

    Most offices have in-house delis offering hot and cold food.  You’ll also find plenty of local sandwich shops and cafes close to the office.

  • Find Out More

    Please direct any other questions to

    You can find out what some of our previous Work Experience students thought by reading the reviews at RateMyApprenticeship.