Applications are: closed

During your two year training contract, you’ll move through four seats, gaining broad exposure to different areas of law whilst meeting the regulatory requirements of the Law Society of Northern Ireland. Training in each seat is ‘front loaded’, enabling you to quickly develop the relevant legal knowledge and take on real responsibility.

We recommend you spend time in Property, Corporate and Litigation to ensure you have a good grounding in our core areas, although other seats are available. This range of experience ensures you’ll have fully informed idea of which practice areas interest you and can take your career further in your chosen specialism on qualification.

Your training starts on day one at our Crown Place Headquarters, where you’ll have the chance to meet your fellow Trainees and begin to build a network of contacts across the firm.

Our residential Trainee Conference in your second week is when your intensive legal and skills training really starts. With a series of social events, it also gives you the chance to strengthen your bonds with other Trainees.

Throughout your two years as a Trainee, you’ll build both technical and complementary skills and gain broad exposure to different areas of the firm, by moving seat every six months.

We’ll support you in meeting the regulatory training requirements of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, while working with you and the wider business on the allocation of seats. Our aim is for you to experience different areas so you have a number of options when you qualify.

During your Training Contract, our Graduate Development Team will meet with you regularly to offer personal or professional support and guidance.

Throughout your two years as a Trainee, you’ll build both technical and complementary skills and gain broad exposure to different areas of the firm, by moving seat every six months.

We’re registered to offer Training Contracts to students who have completed the LPC course. We service local, UK and international clients from our Belfast office and can offer LPC students high calibre training on cases and transactions relevant to their jurisdiction.

We’ll support you in meeting the regulatory training requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, while working with you and the wider business on the allocation of seats. Our aim is for you to experience different areas so you have a number of options when you qualify.

During your Training Contract, our Graduate Development Team will meet with you regularly to offer personal or professional support and guidance.

Entry requirements

300+
UCAS points

from your three best A-Levels or equivalent.

2.1
degree

already gained or predicted to achieve.

Final
Year

and working towards IPLS exam or have completed LPC.

If you don’t meet the above criteria but there are mitigating circumstances that explain why you’ve failed to meet the minimum academic requirements, there’s an opportunity for you to include this information in your application.

Please be aware, if a vacancy becomes oversubscribed, we will close it for applications before the stated deadline. We recommend you submit your full application as early as possible.

Law school sponsorship

Northern Ireland trainees must have been offered a place at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies (IPLS), part of Queen’s University Belfast. Alternatively, the Belfast office is also registered to accept students who have completed the one-year Legal Practice Course and will accept applications for a Training Contract from candidates following this route.

A training contract represents a big investment in your future. In light of this, Pinsent Masons will pay IPLS fees (or LPC fees) for trainees provided you complete your Training Contract with the firm.

Northern Ireland Apprentices spend part of their training working in our offices and spend the remainder of their time studying at the IPLS. Trainees who have followed the LPC route work on a full-time basis, therefore their salaries are slightly higher to reflect this. Salaries are reviewed annually.

Reward package

Northern Ireland

(IPLS Route)

£17,500
1st Year

£18,500
2nd Year

£30,000
Newly Qualified

Additional benefits

25 DAYS’ HOLIDAY (20 during IPLS year)

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What we believe makes a great Trainee

AN INTEREST IN BUSINESS

We’re a commercial law firm, so you’ll have a genuine interest in how business works. That means keeping up-to-date with the latest business issues, as well as appreciating how legal expertise can support and steer commercial organisations.

PERSONAL DRIVE

You’ll need to combine a real desire to be the best with the energy, ambition and enthusiasm to go the extra mile to succeed. With a can-do attitude, you’re always open to learning from your experience, so you can be even better next time.

CONFIDENCE

With the self-assurance to voice your own opinions and defend your point of view when you need to, you’ll be a convincing and persuasive communicator. But you’ll also have the self-awareness to ask for help when you need it.

A FOCUS ON DETAIL

With a conscientious approach, you’ll have the ability to read and absorb large amounts of reference material and spot errors quickly. You’ll be a stickler for detail when it comes to your own writing too, ensuring it’s always clear and accurate.

INTELLECTUAL CAPABILITY

You’ve the intellectual curiosity to explore new approaches and ask others’ opinions, With an analytical approach, you think things through and weigh up the implications, but also have the capacity to think on your feet to find solutions.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

You understand that taking responsibility for your successes and acknowledging when things go wrong will help you to constantly improve and achieve your career aims. By knowing your strengths and weaknesses, you give others confidence in your abilities.

SELF-ORGANISATION

You understand priorities and monitor your progress towards set objectives. By being well-organised and planning and managing your work efficiently, you make sure you always deliver quality work on time.

OPENNESS

You’ll be approachable, outgoing and confident engaging with people from different backgrounds and experiences to your own. Whether you’re communicating with colleagues or clients, you’ll understand the need to adapt your message to suit your audience.

Hear from some of our Trainees

Our recruitment process

We’ve designed our application process to ensure you’ll know the outcome in no more than three months after the application deadline.

Qualification and beyond

Our investment in your training means we’ll do everything possible to continue your career with us after qualification. We carefully control the number of Trainees in the business to maximise retention. Resource planning ensures that you will be given the highest quality of work, which will stretch you further and allow you to quickly learn and develop. At the moment, we retain 80% of our Trainees.

We run a fair and transparent NQ selection process.  Our graduate development team work with the business to identify which roles are available and circulate a list. You’ll be able to apply for any relevant, available vacancies across the firm’s offices. The recruitment process is centrally managed and includes interviews and technical skills assessments. The outcomes will be based on your performance at assessment and throughout your training contract. This gives you every opportunity to further your career with a leading, well-respected firm in your chosen area of law.

After qualification, you can look forward to a variety of development opportunities that will enable you to become a specialist in your chosen area. With a wide range of courses available through the Pinsent Masons Academy, as well as in your practice area, you’ll have plenty of scope to develop your skills, add to your responsibilities and build a successful career.

Want to know more?

You can meet us prior to submitting an application by attending one of our events. Details of all upcoming events can be found in our events calendar.

In the meantime, why not follow us on our social media channels where you can receive up-to-date news from the firm and find out more about developments across the legal sector?

If you’ve any other questions relating to this programme, take a look through these frequently asked questions. If you still have a question that needs answering, email the Training Contract team at graduate@pinsentmasons.com

Some frequently asked questions

Usually, we offer around 68 Training Contracts each year across the UK,which inludes 4 in Northern Ireland, although we review this regularly to make sure it reflects our business needs.

No, we understand you could have other commitments that prevent you from doing a placement, so we also run assessment centres for direct applicants. Having said that, our Vacation Placement programme offers an ideal opportunity for you to understand the firm and vice versa.

Yes, if you want to defer your start date for 12 months. We look at these on a case-by-case basis, taking our business needs into account. If you want to defer, you should give us reasonable notice before your agreed start date by contacting us at graduate@pinsentmasons.com.

Our Training Contract gives you experience-based professional training over four six-month seats. This means you experience a variety of teams and gain a well-rounded view of our business. If you have extensive legal work experience, you can apply for ‘Time to Count’ and we’ll consider your case in line with SRA guidelines and the needs of the business.

You can let us know which seat you’d prefer for each move and we’ll do our best to meet your request, in line with SRA guidelines and our business needs. At the moment, we don’t have any mandatory seats for Trainees in England and Scotland. In our Belfast office, you must spend time in Property, Corporate and Litigation.

Due to the way the Institute of Professional Legal Studies course runs, our Northern Ireland trainees must complete their seat in our Belfast office.  If you are following the LPC route, a move to another office may be possible.

Due to the way the Institute of Professional Legal Studies course runs, our Northern Ireland trainees must complete their seat in our Belfast office.  If you are following the LPC route, a secondment may be possible.

We aim to retain as many Trainees as possible and at the moment our retention rate is over 80%. We can only offer the positions which have been identified as part of our NQ process. That’s why we encourage you to keep an open mind about the practice area and location you’d like to qualify in.

Applications are: closed