Your application

Handled with care

You can find out all you need to know about our application process here.

Your first step in applying is to download and complete our application form, which you'll find here.

We also want the process to be straightforward for you. So we've designed our application form to be simple. And we read every application form with great care to ensure we make the right decisions.

If you've already started filling out a form and saved it as a draft, you can retrieve it by clicking the 'Log in' button at the top of this page and selecting 'Saved drafts'.

Scheme Scheme dates Application opens Application closing date
Winter Vacation Scheme (penultimate-year and final-year undergraduates, postgraduate students and graduates) 4 - 15 December 2017 Closed 23 October 2017
Training Contract 2020 (penultimate-year law undergraduates, final-year students, postgraduate students and graduates) March or September 2020 Apply now 4 January 2018
Spring Vacation Scheme (penultimate-year and final-year undergraduates, postgraduate students and graduates) 3 April - 13 April 2018 Apply now 4 January 2018
Summer Vacation Scheme (2 x 4-week schemes for penultimate-year and final-year undergraduates, postgraduate students and graduates) 25 June - 20 July 2018
30 July - 24 August 2018
Apply now 4 January 2018
African Clerkship (penultimate-year and final-year international law students at South African universities) 20 November – 15 December 2017 Closed 31 May 2017
China – London Training Contract 2020 (final-year undergraduates and postgraduate students) 2020 Apply now 4 January 2018
Korea Summer Vacation Scheme (3 week scheme for penultimate-year students, finalists and postgraduates studying in the UK or recent graduates who have fluency in both English and Korean) Summer 2018 Apply now 4 January 2018

UK LLM & Postgraduate Insight Event (Postgraduates and LLM students in the UK)

8 November 2017 Closed 6 November 2017

US LLM & Postgraduate Insight Event (Postgraduates and LLM students in the US)

17 November 2017 Closed 15 November 2017
Pathfinder (first-year undergraduates or second-year of a four-year degree) 26 - 27 March, 28 - 29 March, 19 - 20 April 2018 8 January 2018 15 February 2018
Australian Clerkship (penultimate-year law students at Australian universities) 19 November – 15 December 2018 1 March 2018 2 May 2018
Linklaters Brand Ambassador 2017-2018 September 2017 - May 2018 Closed 2 August 2017
Indian Internship (penultimate-year law students at Indian universities) 20 November – 15 December 2017 26 June 2017 26 July 2017

How to apply

Getting to know each other

We understand that applying may feel daunting and time-consuming but we'll do everything we can to make it an enjoyable experience. Selection is mutual. It allows us to find out more about you. But it's also an opportunity for you to decide whether we’re right for you. So, ask questions, allow time to think and do your research.

Remember too, that you don't need to decide where to apply right away. Talk to us, find out more about what we do and what we can do for you. On our events page, you'll find a calendar of our upcoming law fairs, presentations and workshops. Ask us anything, and we promise to give you a straight answer.

Above all, we're looking for individuals, not robots. We're interested in what you can bring to the firm. So throughout the recruitment process, take every opportunity to demonstrate your many skills: commercial awareness, communication skills, drive, motivation, intellect, teamwork and attention to detail.

First things first

If you're applying to one our schemes you'll need a strong academic track record, a minimum of AAB at A-Level (or equivalent, taken in one sitting), and you'll be on track for a 2:1 degree, in any discipline.

1. The application form

Application starts with filling out our online application form - it helps us get to know you and what sets you apart.

Step by step

  1. The form's available to download here. Once downloaded, you'll need to save it to your computer, to complete in your own time before uploading to our system.
  2. Before putting fingers to keyboard, make sure you’re clear in your own mind. Why have you chosen Linklaters? Why do you want to become a commercial lawyer? What is it that excites you about our work?
  3. First we'll need you to complete some basic information: personal details, a brief summary of your education, languages and background. We estimate this will take around 15 minutes.
  4. Then we want to know all about your skills and experience. Use examples from university and work that highlight these. Explain how you contributed personally, and the impact you had.
  5. If you have specific personal requirements, such as adjustments for a disability please also explain them in the appropriate section so that we can take them into consideration.
  6. Also, attention to detail is essential for a lawyer, so check the whole form thoroughly to eradicate grammar and spelling errors.
  7. Once completed, upload the application form to our system by clicking 'attachment upload'.
  8. To save your work at any time, click the 'Save as draft' button at the bottom of each screen.
  9. You can retrieve your work via the 'Log in' button on the website. Select 'Saved drafts'.
  10. When you're happy everything is complete, submit your form.

Every form is personally reviewed by one of our team. Please note we'll only review complete submissions using the application template provided.

2. The critical thinking test (Watson Glaser)

We’ll ask you to take this test once you have submitted your application form, so you can show off your critical and logical thinking.

We'll be looking for your ability to distinguish between assumption and fact, your skill at evaluating arguments, your deductive reasoning, and your ability to solve problems logically.

> We strongly encourage you to try practice tests before you start. Your university careers service should be able to point you in the right direction or you can find an example test on the Pearson website here

If you have any questions during the process, or want to speak to us about your personal circumstances, please contact the team at

3. The interview day

Our interview days last around five hours and consist of a critical thinking test, a work simulation case study exercise, and two interviews: one with HR and one with a Partner and Managing Associate.

You'll also be shown around the office and have lunch with a Trainee who will give you candid answers to any questions you might have.

This is an opportunity both to show us what you can do and to see if Linklaters is right for you. 

The case study

During our work simulation case study you'll be asked to tackle many of the typical business challenges we face at Linklaters. You'll need to respond in writing to a client problem, extracting relevant information from data, and deciding how to deal with tricky situations. Rest assured, no specialist legal or subject knowledge is required.

You'll want to...

  1. Think about the person you're writing to and tailor the content and detail accordingly. How much do they already know? What do they need to know?
  2. Make sure you respond in a style appropriate to the email you have been sent.
  3. Ensure that you use a clear, logical structure.
  4. Keep an eye on the time and be sure to proofread thoroughly before time is up.


Your first interview, with a member of the Human Resources team, will be a discussion of your competencies.

Your second interview, with lawyers from the practice, is a chance to explore your response to the work simulation case study, and to discuss more general topics around commercial awareness.

We have a clear idea of the qualities and aptitudes that make a successful Linklaters lawyer: teamwork, communication, motivation, time management and commercial thinking.

  1. To get the best out of your interview day, remind yourself of our process and what we are looking for.
  2. Re-read your application form and think about examples that will demonstrate the qualities we're looking for in future Trainees.
  3. You should be able to explain why you're interested in commercial law and Linklaters.
  4. Finally, try to relax. Just be yourself.
  5. You’re applying to a commercial law firm, so we'll expect you to know about the world of business and the issues that affect the firm and its clients. You may wish to consider our recent transactions or to look at websites such as Lawyer2b and Legal Week to see what has been going on in the legal market.

4. Commercial awareness

Because business matters to our clients, it matters to us. So before you come to interview, get ready to wow us with your commercial knowhow. Get to know the commercial world and the issues that affect our clients and the firm.

Get to know us. Visit to learn about how a deal works, and read our Thought Leadership papers. Attend one of our workshops or deal presentations on campus.

Get up to speed with business and market trends. Read the business press and watch the news. Some good places to start include Lawyer2B, BBC News Business, The Economist and broadsheet newspapers. There's also a good range of commercial awareness books available. We recommend you pick one or two key business or legal news stories that interest you and follow them for a couple of weeks. And, remember to have opinions of your own!

“Commercial awareness is, in its purest form, understanding the key concerns of clients: their size and shape, the markets they operate in, their competitors, the risks facing them and their future direction. It's about understanding how the client can deal with regulations, finance an acquisition or meet ongoing funding needs. There are many technically able lawyers, but the ones who impress clients – and excel – are the ones who understand clients’ businesses.” Christopher Williams, Managing Associate

If you'd like to contact a member of the Graduate Recruitment team about our application process, or require any reasonable adjustments, please email us at


Do you interview on a rolling basis?

No.  We screen applications as they are submitted in order to keep up with the volume.  However, we do not start interviews or make offers until after the deadline has passed and all applications have been read/critical reasoning tests scores have been considered.  We advise candidates to submit their application forms as soon as they are complete, to allow for sufficient time for the firm to read and consider all applications before commencing interviews. 

Which vacation scheme should I apply for?

In opening up all our schemes to penultimate year students and beyond, the intention is to allow you the freedom to apply for the scheme which suits your academic timetable and career decision-making process.  There is no particular advantage to applying to one scheme over another.  Please note that for holders of a student visa who are limited to part-time work during term-time, you must apply for a scheme which falls during your vacation time, to avoid breaching the terms of your visa, as vacation schemes cannot be completed on a part-time basis.  Please only apply to one scheme per academic year.

Should I apply for a vacation scheme or a training contract?

If you are eligible for both, the decision is yours, there is no advantage to applying to one vacancy over another - the application and assessment process is the same.  If you have not yet undertaken assessed legal work experience (typically a vacation scheme), we would advise you to apply for a vacation scheme in order to ensure you can make an informed decision about training with us. Please only apply for either a vacation scheme or a training contract at any one time. You may apply for a training contract after making an unsuccesful application for a vacation scheme but please do spend time reviewing your application and addressing any areas of concern.

How will the SQE affect my application? 

Linklaters, in common with many City firms, is not planning to adopt the SQE route to qualification at the earliest possible opportunity, currently estimated by the SRA to be 2020.  You should apply for a training contract as normal.  The SRA's plans for the SQE are still under discussion and consultation and we will not be adopting a route until the asessment and admission processes are clearer.  For more information and updates on the on the SQE, please see the SRA website

I haven't been invited to interview.  Can I have feedback on my application?

I'm afraid not. We receive around 4,000 applications per academic year, which makes it impossible to provide individual application feedback.  If you have undertaken a critical reasoning test, you can ask for a copy of your post-test report to be emailed to you by emailing

I have been for an assessment day, when will I hear the outcome and will I receive feedback?

We call everyone who has attended an assessment day to give them the outcome and talk through any feedback, whether they are successful or not.  We aim to do this the day after the assessment day but sometimes the decision takes slightly longer.  We will always be in touch within a week.

Can I start my training contract earlier than the advertised intake?

We receive some applications from candidates who have already finished law school. However, as is general practice across most law firms, we recruit our Trainees two years in advance of the intake date. We therefore can't guarantee you a position earlier than that advertised. However, earlier start dates are sometimes available so please speak to a member of the Graduate Recruitment team once you've been made a Training Contract offer.

Do you accept applications from candidates who need a work permit?

Yes, we do. If you're successful in securing a training contract we'll offer assistance to obtain work permits and visas. Our offer will be dependent upon us successfully obtaining a work permit for you, and you will be responsible for providing all of the information and documentation required (e.g. proof of academic and professional qualifications, a current CV and valid passport). Please note that we can't be held responsible for any restrictions imposed by the UK Border Agency, including caps on the number of certificates allocated to sponsor employers.

Can I train to be an English solicitor with a law degree from overseas?

You'll be required to complete the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and then the Legal Practice Course (LPC) before you can start your training contract. The requirements are different if your undergraduate Law degree was obtained from a common law jurisdiction (e.g. Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand or South Africa) and you may be able to complete the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS). Please check these requirements with the SRA.

Do you hold any open days?

We provide many opportunities for students to meet us throughout the year - including law fairs, presentations at universities across the UK and other on-campus activities. You may also be able to visit our offices for an open day arranged through your university or diversity-focused organisations. It's a good idea to keep an eye on our events calendar to see what's happening, and you can also sign up to our mailing list for event news.

Do you offer internships outside London?

We offer internships at a number of our offices around the world. These are resourced directly by the individual offices. For more information, please visit the careers site of the country that you would like to apply to. Click the country list on the menu of this website to be re-directed to other offices.

Do you offer work experience?

We run several work experience schemes.

  • For first-year students, we offer our Pathfinder insight scheme during the Spring vacation.
  • Our Winter Vacation Scheme lasts for two weeks during December
  • Our Spring Vacation scheme last for two weeks during April
  • Our two Summer Vacation Schemes last for four weeks
  • All our schemes are open to penultimate and final year undergraduates, graduates and career changers.
  • For penultimate-year law students studying in Australia we run an Australian Clerkship at our London office, which runs for four weeks in November/December.
  • For penultimate-year law students in India we run an Indian internship in our London office, which runs for four weeks in November/December.
  • For international students studying penultimate-year law at South African universities, an African internship in our London office, which runs for four weeks in November/December.

Unfortunately, we can't offer work experience outside these schemes.

Does a degree in Scottish or Irish Law count as ‘law’ or ‘non-law’ for recruitment purposes?

If you're studying law at a university in Scotland or Ireland, you may only need to complete selected elements of the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), and the Legal Practice Course (LPC), before starting your training contract. You may be able to complete an accelerated course (which could be undertaken via distance learning). Please check with the SRA which parts of the GDL will be relevant to you, according to the modules included in your individual degree. If an accelerated GDL would be appropriate, or if in your individual circumstances it's not necessary to study any part of the GDL, you would follow the law track for our recruitment purposes.

How many Trainees are kept on at qualification?

Our retention is consistently high and the vast majority of our Trainees take up Associate roles with us. In September 2017, we offered places on qualification to 94% of Trainees in the cohort. If you have any further queries then please drop us a line on Facebook or email us at

My A levels are lower than your requirements. Will I be considered?

Linklaters, in common with many organisations, uses a contextual information tool during the application process to understand the context in which you attained your results. You will be given the opportunity to add information, including extenuating circumstances such as illness or bereavement, when you complete your application. If you have any further queries then please email us at