Vacation Placements – Northern Ireland

The facts speak for themselves. A good 70% of our trainees regularly join us after experiencing the working environment first-hand over a summer placement. It’s by far the best way for you to get to know us, and for us get to know you.

  • Placement Structure

    We design, structure and develop our placements to ensure that the experience is as practical and true to the life of a trainee solicitor as possible. A placement offers you a structured programme of work-based learning, skills training and presentations, working alongside trainees and solicitors on real client matters. You’ll experience first-hand what it’s like to be part of the team, and get the chance to make a great first impression. It’s also a great time to start building a network of contacts, get a feel for the firm’s culture and make friends.

    If you are offered a placement, it’s because we’re already thinking of you as a potential trainee. And during the time you spend with us, we’ll do our best to give you every chance to prove us right. That’s why placement students don’t need to make a separate application for our training contract programme. In our eyes you’re already in the running.

  • Placement Dates

    Placements last two weeks and will commence on 30th July 2018.

    In order for you to undertake a placement, and be considered for a training contract, we need you to be available for the full duration of a placement and be in the penultimate year of your degree I.e students applying for a vacation scheme in summer 2018 should be seeking a training contract in 2019 and be sitting the IPLS exam in December 2018 or completing their LPC in 2018/19 . Unfortunately, we are unable to offer placements outside the advertised dates and we do not offer ad hoc placements or work experience opportunities.

  • Making an Application

    Vacation Placement Opportunities

    From September 2017 we will be inviting applications for Vacation Placements taking place in summer 2018. The closing date for applications will be 11:59p.m. on Friday 23 February 2018 for those seeking a placement in 2018.

    Applications 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.

    You should apply to the office you would be intrested in obtaining a Training Contract with.

    Minimum Entry Requirements

    The minimum academic requirements that all our trainees are expected to meet or exceed are:

    • 300+ UCAS points from your best three A-levels or equivalent
    • attainment or prediction of a strong 2.1 in your undergraduate degree
    • the appropriate post-graduate qualification i.e. a place at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at The Queens University Belfast (IPLS) or the attainment of a Commendation from the Legal Practice Course (LPC)
    • must be planning to take the IPLS exam in December 2018 or be finishing the LPC course in 2019.

    If you do not meet the above criteria but there are mitigating circumstances that 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 meet our core capabilities.  Shortlisted candidates will be invited to log-on to our application system and book a place at one of our assessment centres.  The assessment centre comprises a number of different elements:

    • a psychometric test
    • a behavioural/commercial interview with a Partner or Senior Associate
    • the opportunity to spend time with some of our current trainees

    After the assessment centres, candidates performance in all areas will be considered and those who have best demonstrated that they meet our core capabilities will be offered a Vacation Placement.

    Vacation Placement to Training Contract

    We hope that all candidates who undertake a Vacation Placement with us would ultimately like to join the firm as a Trainee Solicitor. As part of your Vacation Placement, you will therefore undertake the following assessments for a Training Contract commencing in 2019:

    • a further behavioural/commercial interview with a Partner or Senior Associate which focuses on your placement experience
    • a business simulation exercise including a review meeting with a Partner or Senior Associate
    • a SWOT presentation

    The Practice Group you have spent time with throughout your placement will provide feedback on your performance, which will be taken into account together with the results from these assessments when deciding the final outcome of your application. Those who best demonstrate that they meet our core capabilities will receive an offer of a Training Contract.


  • Salary & Benefits

    We believe internships should be paid as while you are with us you will be making a valuable contribution to our business. We recognise that undertaking placements can mean incurring costs for travel and accommodation. That is why all vacation placement students receive a competitive rate of pay while at the firm. Our 2017 Vacation Placement salary in Belfast was £255 per week. These are reviewed on an annual basis.

  • Find Out More

    We would also like to invite interested applicants to visit the firm prior to submitting an application by attending our Office Insight Evenings or a campus event. Details of all upcoming events can be found in the Events section.

    You can find out what former Vacation Placement students have said about their experience at

    You may also wish to visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @PMgrads where you can receive up-to-date news from the firm and find out more about developments across the legal sector.

    If you have any other questions relating to this programme, take a look at the FAQs section of this website.