Q1 - For which intake of trainees are you currently accepting applications?

We are currently looking to recruit trainees to join us in August 2024.

Q2 - I am in my first year at university, can I still apply for a vacation scheme?

It’s a little early to apply for a vacation scheme but you are welcome to apply for our virtual Open Day. You can also speak to us at one of the universities or other law fairs we attend every year to find out more about the firm. Once you are in the penultimate year of a qualifying law degree or the final year of a non-law degree, you will be eligible to apply for a place on one of our vacation schemes.

Q3 - How many trainees do you take from a non-law degree background?

We consider applicants from all degree disciplines. It varies year on year, but on average around 50% of our trainees did not study law at university.

Q4 - Do you recruit exclusively from your vacation scheme?

In short, no. We recognise that not everyone will be able to do a vacation scheme and so not all our vacancies are filled via this route. That said, the vacation scheme is not only a way for us to get to know you but also a great way for you to learn more about the firm and decide if we are right for you. Typically, the majority of our places are filled by those who have been on a vacation scheme.

Q5 - How many training contracts do you offer each year?

We typically offer 18 places each year.

Q6 - Do you look for candidates with foreign language skills?

Although we don’t require specific language skills, we are an international firm with an international client base. You will also do at least one seat during your training contract in one of our international offices. All of this means that language skills are useful to our business. Speaking a second language is not a requirement, however, and we provide language classes ahead of secondments if needed.

Q7 - If I attend a vacation scheme, do I need to apply again for a training contract?

No. Being accepted onto the vacation scheme means you will automatically be considered for a training contract. You will have an interview towards the end of the scheme.

Q8 - I applied for a vacation scheme but was unsuccessful, can I apply again for a training contract?

Applications for a vacation scheme are considered for a training contract at the same time, so we are unable to consider you again in the same year. If you are still interested in the firm, you are welcome to apply to us again the following year provided you have not previously made it to the assessment centre stage of the recruitment process.

Q9 - Do you offer any work experience at the firm outside of the vacation schemes you offer?

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer work experience at the firm other than participation in one of our vacation schemes.

Q10 - I have applied to the firm in a previous year, can I reapply?

If you have not previously attended the assessment centre stage of our recruitment process then, yes, you are eligible to reapply to us. If you have attended an assessment centre and not been successful, however, you would not be eligible.

Q11 - Due to a disability or long-term health condition, I require reasonable adjustments to be made at one or more stages of the recruitment process. I would like to discuss this with someone to understand what adjustments may be possible before I submit my application form, who should I contact?

Please send an email to uktrainees@wfw.com and a member of the graduate recruitment team will be happy to speak to you to discuss what support we can offer.

Q12 - How should I detail any mitigating circumstances relating to my academic achievements?

There is a place on the application form for you to explain, briefly, individual circumstances relating to academics which you may wish to highlight to us. Applications are read as a whole.

Q13 - Do you use a contextual recruitment system in conjunction with your application form?

Yes. We work with Rare and their contextual recruitment system allows us to understand individual academics in the context of how they were achieved.

Q14 - Is the firm planning to look differently at school and/or university academics achieved during the pandemic?

We are obviously very aware that many exams and assessments in 2020 and 2021 took place in unprecedented and challenging circumstances and we will consider the impact of this when reviewing application forms. Our use of contextual recruitment will assist us with this, but please provide us with any details you feel may be relevant when completing your application form.

Q15 - I am having problems with the application form, who should I contact?

Please send an email to support@allhires.com for any technical queries. For queries relating to the content of the form, please email uktrainees@wfw.com.

Q16 - Do you have a preferred law school for the PGDL and/or LPC?

For those starting their studies after they have accepted a training contract with the firm, we have appointed BPP as our preferred law school. If you have already completed your studies elsewhere, though, you are still welcome to apply to us.

Q17 - Does the firm provide funding for my studies?

Subject to the timing of when you accept a training contract with us, we pay full fees for both the PGDL and LPC, plus a maintenance grant for both. Maintenance is currently £8,500 for those studying in London and £7,500 for those outside London. Financial support will remain in place when the firm switches to the SQE route to qualification.

Q18 - Do you require trainees to have completed specific elective modules on the LPC?

Yes. We require all trainees to undertake Debt Finance, Private Acquisitions and Equity Finance as their three electives. If successful candidates have already completed their LPC but not studied these electives, they would be required to complete them before commencing their training contract. Full fees and a pro rata maintenance grant would be paid by the firm.

Q19 - What are the firm’s plans regarding the introduction of the Solicitors Qualification Exam by the SRA?

Trainees joining us in 2024 will qualify via the SRA’s new route to qualification, the Solicitors Qualification Exam. Details of our programme of study for this will be confirmed at offer stage. Please visit www.sra.org.uk for full details of the changes to the route to qualification. We recognise that some candidates may have already started the Solicitors Qualification Exam pathway by the time they apply. There is an additional section on our application form, titled ‘Other Education’ where applicants can share details of this, if applicable.

Q20 - What percentage of trainees do you employ as associates on qualification?

Our approach is to invest in trainees as future partners of the firm and we aim to retain as many as possible on qualification. In recent years there have been at least as many qualification jobs available as there were candidates. Retention rates are typically high but do vary year on year. In 2021 we retained 89% of our trainees.

Q21 - Are there opportunities to join one of your international offices on qualification?

Yes. In most years there are NQ jobs available in one or more of our international offices. In recent years, trainees have joined Singapore, Dubai, Hanoi and Paris on qualification.

Q22 - How were international secondments impacted during the pandemic?

When the pandemic first started in March 2020, we worked closely with all the trainees who were overseas at the time to understand individual circumstances and bring them back to the UK as and when they wanted to return. In subsequent seat rotations, we have reviewed the situation and discussed preferences with both trainees and international offices. Some secondments were possible in full, some in part and some were completed virtually. We have always had the well-being of our trainees at the centre of any decisions and have ensured that no one has had to travel if they have preferred not to.

Q23 - Has the firm introduced any formal policies relating to agile working as a result of the pandemic?

The firm has always had flexible and agile working policies in place and we have recently launched our new Agile Working Guidelines as we plan for the future. We have decided not to prescribe firmwide rules for minimum attendance in the office as many firms have done. Instead, each team and office will work out what works best for them. This is based around three principles: (1) that we believe in the benefits of office working; (2) that nevertheless you can work from anywhere; and (3) that collaborative team working is the key to our success. On that basis, we trust you to make the best decision where to work on a given day. Sometimes that might mean you coming into the office on a day that’s not convenient for you in order to support the team, others that might mean the team working around you if you need to work away from the office. As a trainee, you may find that you prefer to spend more time in the office to benefit from the more informal learning opportunities that inevitably come from this, as well as the social aspect of having your colleagues around you. If, however, you prefer to spend some time working outside of the office then you would be able to discuss this with your supervisor.