Our unique eight-seat training contract offers you a wide breadth of experience across our many areas of law. All trainees take at least one seat in dispute resolution and at least two seats in global transactions (across corporate, finance and real estate). You can choose other seats in: antitrust, competition and trade; people and reward; and tax.

Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to know what type of law you want to specialise in – not many people do at this stage. Instead, we believe our future lawyers should be able to try different things.

We'll help you learn about the different seats on offer before you arrive at Freshfields. After that, we offer regular drop-in advice sessions on seat moves.

If you want to get a taster of what we do, you could apply for one of our workshops or vacation scheme.

Before you join

The route to qualification is changing with the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (‘‘SQE’’)– but don’t worry. Freshfields is part of the City Consortium, and we have created the City Consortium Solicitor Training Programme (“CCP”) alongside BPP Law School to prepare our trainees for the SQE. 

The City Consortium is made up of six leading law firms: Freshfields, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters, Norton Rose Fulbright, and Slaughter and May. Together we have created a suite of programmes to provide our future trainees with the tools required to pass the new SQE assessments, as well as develop the knowledge and skills needed to join Freshfields as a trainee solicitor.

The CCP will cover preparation for SQE1 and SQE2 assessments, and also include a bespoke Plus Programme designed in close collaboration with the firms and focused on key areas of our practices.

The CCP will launch with BPP Law School in September 2022. This means the first SQE trainee cohort will join Freshfields in August 2023.  In order to cover the range of content and to adequately prepare students for the SQE examinations, the CCP will be delivered over 11 months.

The programmes will be taught at BPP’s site in London (the PGDL can be studied at other BPP venues in the UK):

  • The City Consortium Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) for non-law graduates *although no longer a regulatory requirement, City Consortium non-law graduates will be required to sit the PGDL prior to commencing the CCP and SQE exams. 
  • SQE1 Preparation Programme
  • City Consortium Plus Programme
  • SQE 2 Preparation Programme

You’ll be studying with other people from the City Consortium and will be encouraged to form as wide a network as possible. Our trainee development team will provide you with clear guidance through each stage of these courses.

If you accept a training contract with Freshfields and you subsequently complete the PGDL (for non-law graduates) and CCP, we will cover the cost of the course fees and also contribute to your living expenses with a maintenance grant while you’re studying.

If you accept a training contract with us after you have completed either of these courses, we may be able to provide some reimbursement of your tuition fees on a discretionary basis.

On-the-job training

We try to balance responsibility with guidance. We think you get the best training by doing, so most of your training will be on the job as you work with partners and associates. Our open-door policy means you’ll always be able to find someone to answer your questions.

You’ll start with a two-week induction when you join the firm. This includes practical skills workshops and advice to help you hit the ground running. After that, we offer legal training on a departmental basis and business skills training in how to work productively, delegate and handle pressure.

Mentoring and coaching

Formal training will only take you so far. Sometimes you just need a friendly word of advice from someone who’s been there before.

You’ll always be able to turn to your trainee intake partner (TIP), your personal mentor throughout your two-year training contract. You can catch up with your TIP at any time, and you’ll meet them halfway through your training contract to discuss progress. One-to-one coaching is also available from our trainee development team.

Working arrangements

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to huge changes in our everyday lives. Whatever our new working environment looks like, Freshfields believes in flexible collaboration that prioritises safety.

As a firm, we took steps to ensure that our offices around the globe were able to implement a safe and effective agile-working policy, while continuing to deliver the same exceptional standard of service to our clients. 

We understand that there are challenges associated with working from home and we do everything we can to support our people. All of our colleagues are provided with a laptop and are able to contact our global IT service desk 24/7. Mental health and well-being is also taken very seriously at the firm and there are numerous ways staff can access support.


Twitter | 10 August 2021

Freshfields are recruiting for Legal Solutions Specialists (paralegals) in Manchester! If you are interested in applying please email The application deadline is 13th August 2021.

Twitter | 19 July 2021

Our Manchester Hub has a number of vacancies for Document Controllers in the Documents Specialist Team. For more information please contact the Manchester Recruitment Team on