Training Contracts – Middle East
A Training Contract at Pinsent Masons represents the first stage of a focused development programme that will enable you to become a qualified lawyer and fulfil your potential. Our training programme has been developed in-house; this ensures you receive a bespoke, balanced and comprehensive introduction to the legal profession.
Pinsent Masons’ Middle East Training Contract Programme was developed to ensure that our rapidly-growing Doha and Dubai offices have talented lawyers training and qualifying into the jurisdiction, helping them grow and develop the business year on year.
The latest development in the programme is for us to offer two different contracts; one where Trainees will be more closely aligned to our Dubai office and another where the Trainee will be more closely aligned with our Doha office. We believe that the training experience you will have in each of them will be very similar in terms of the opportunities available for learning, development and personal growth.
We are proud of the high quality work, early responsibility and exposure to clients we can offer all our Trainees, and are keen to offer the best possible training experience to those who join us. This begins from the moment you accept your Training Contract offer. We have a programme of events and communications which allow us to keep in touch with you throughout the time between you accepting our offer and joining the firm.
However, the journey doesn’t stop there; indeed it is only the beginning of your Training Contract experience. This starts with an induction at our Crown Place headquarters in London, where you will meet with your Trainee cohort, get your training off to a flying start and begin to grow your network of contacts across the business. The following week all Trainees attend a residential trainee conference, where you will undertake intensive legal training, complimentary skills training and get to know your trainee peer group.
Training & Seat Rotations
Throughout your Training Contract you will continue to receive the technical legal skills training you require, as well as complementary skills training, which will fully equip you for your life as a newly-qualified Solicitor and business advisor.
Our Graduate Development Team will work with you throughout your two years as a Trainee to ensure that you meet the requirements of your Training Contract, as outlined by the SRA, as well as working with you and the wider business in the allocation of seats. Trainees on our Dubai/London Training contract can expect to undertake their first seat in our Dubai office, whilst Trainees on our Doha/London Training Contract will spend their first seat in the Doha office, before moving to the UK (typically our London office) for their second seat before returning to their ‘home’ location to complete their final two seats.
Our aim is to give you broad exposure to a number of different areas of the firm so that you have a number of options when you come to qualify. We do this by allowing Trainees to indicate which practice areas they are most interested in exploring, while balancing this against the needs of the firm.
The structure of the Middle East Training Contracts means you will spend the majority of your time split in one of our Middle East offices with a six-month secondment to our London office. This is in part to ensure you satisfy all the requirements of a Training Contract prior to qualification but it is also a great opportunity to build valuable networks of contacts across the firm. While you are on secondment from the Middle East to the UK, you will have the chance to benefit from the same opportunities on offer to our UK office Trainees.
Making an Application
Training Contract Opportunities
The application process for the Middle Eastern Training Contract is currently closed. Applications for Training Contracts commencing in 2018 will open in due course.
Applications for Training Contracts are made using our online application system. Your application is your opportunity to take the first step in what could be a remarkable legal career. Please take your time, consider your answers and remember to double-check them for accuracy and spelling.
Minimum Entry Requirements
The minimum academic requirements that all applicants are expected to meet or exceed are:
- 300+UCAS points from your three best A-levels or equivalent
- A strong 2.1 degree
- A strong degree of proficiency in Arabic (both written and verbal). This is mandatory and will be tested during the selection process.
- The appropriate post-graduate qualification, i.e. attainment of a Commendation on the Legal Practice Course (LPC)
If you do not meet any of the above criteria but there are mitigating circumstances which explain why you have failed to meet the minimum academic requirements, there is an opportunity for you to include this information in your application.
From Application to Assessment
After the deadline, all applications are screened to a pre-defined framework and we shortlist those candidates who best evidence that they possess our core capabilities. Those shortlisted candidates will be invited to undertake an online psychometric assessment with those successfully passing that assessment undertaking an interview to assess Arabic language skills.
Candidates will be further shortlisted with the candidates who have performed best in the psychometric and Arabic assessments being invited to log-on to our application system and book a place at one of our assessment centres, which will be held in our London office.
The assessment centre will comprise of a number of different elements:
- a behavioural interview with a Partner or Senior Associate
- a business simulation exercise, including a review meeting with a Senior Associate which includes an Arabic element
- a SWOT presentation
- the opportunity to spend time with some of our current trainees
After the assessment centre, candidate performance across the various assessments is considered, and those who best demonstrate that they meet our core capabilities will receive an offer of a Training Contract. Once the assessment centres have taken place, we will contact all applicants to advise them of the outcome of their application. The whole process from application deadline to notification of the outcome is no more than three months.
Salary & Benefits
Law School Sponsorship
Any Dubai or Doha Training Contract offer would be conditional on you achieving a Commendation or better in the Legal Practice Course (LPC) prior to joining. Non-law graduates must also have achieved a Commendation or better in the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).
Once you join the firm you will receive a competitive salary that is reflective of the Middle East market in which you are working. The first year trainee salary is 213,994 AED rising to 230,054 AED in second year (or Qatari equivalent if appropriate). When you are seconded to the UK for your six-month seats you will receive the same salary as other Trainee Solicitors based in your office location. The qualification salary will be dictated by the location in which you qualify. However, it is our expectation that you will look to qualify in either Doha or Dubai. Your salary when qualifying into one of our ME offices will be 385,000 AED (or Qatari equivalent if appropriate). The firm also offers the sort of comprehensive benefits package you would expect from a leading employer.
Qualification & beyond
Given how much we invest, we naturally aim to retain as many Trainees as possible — our recent retention rate has been in excess of 70% and many Trainees have gone on to become Partners in the firm. The wider pressures of the global economy have made it harder for commercial law firms to retain their Trainees and we have had to respond to this. By carefully controlling the number of Trainees in the business and increasing our use of paralegals and legal support staff, we aim to not only retain a greater percentage of our Trainees in future but also ensure that they are given the highest quality of work, which will stretch them further and allow them to quickly learn and develop.
The NQ (Newly-Qualified) Selection Process
The Firm anticipate that applicants to this programme will seek to qualify into one of our Middle East offices. However, where experience allows, we also give Trainees the opportunity to apply for any of the available vacancies at the firm when they come to qualify. The process is fair and transparent. A list of the roles available is circulated, with Trainees applying for the roles they would like to be considered for. Interviews are held for each vacancy with positions being offered to the applicant who is able to best demonstrate their suitability for the role. Unlike some firms we do not operate a ‘tap on the shoulder’ system of qualification.
Continuous Professional Development
Once you qualify your development doesn’t stop. Instead you start to focus your energies on becoming a specialist in your chosen area. This is facilitated by a number of bespoke training courses delivered by both your practice area and through the Pinsent Masons Academy. Together these ensure that you will continue to develop the necessary skills to allow you to progress further in your career and take on additional responsibility.
Find Out More
The application process for the Middle Eastern Training Contract is currently closed. To keep up-to-date on this programme you may wish to visit our Facebook page or follow our Trainees on Twitter @PMgrads where you can receive up-to-date news from the firm and find out more about developments across the legal sector.
We are also inviting interested applicants to get to know more about the firm prior to submitting an application by attending one of our Information Evenings or a campus event. Details of all upcoming events can be found in the Events section.
If you have any other questions relating to this programme, take a look at the FAQs section of this website.