FAQs for graduates

What degree do I need?

We accept all degree disciplines, but you must have achieved, or be expected to achieve, a 2:1 or above at degree level or equivalent.

Do you require minimum “A” level grades?

We look for a minimum of A, B and B.

Can I still apply if I have a 2:2 or my “A” levels fall below the minimum requirement?

Your application will only be considered if there are mitigating circumstances. If there are, then please note these on your application and they will be taken into consideration (you may be asked to produce documentary evidence).

Do you look at applications on a rolling basis?

Yes we do, but we still review all applications received. However, we would recommend and encourage you to apply as early as possible. Competition for places is very high.

Where should I study my GDL and/or LPC?

We ask our future trainees to attend BPP University College for the GDL and LPC. BPP has a wide choice of geographical locations and you are free to apply to any of these centres.

Do you pay fees and grants for law school?

If you accept our offer of a training contract prior to starting your GDL and/or LPC, we will pay the full GDL and/or LPC fees for your future studies. Unfortunately we are unable to reimburse fees for those who have already completed the GDL and/or LPC.

For those who have accepted our offer of a training contract, for each year of actual study we also offer a maintenance grant of £5,000 per annum (£6,000 per annum for students studying in London).

Are there specific electives I need to take at law school?

If you are joining our London office, we prefer you to take three “City” electives on Corporate and Banking topics. These are Private Acquisitions, Debt Finance and Equity Finance. If, however, you have a particular interest in Commercial Litigation or Commercial Property, then we would not object to your substituting one of these for one of the Banking topics. If you are joining our Milton Keynes & Watford training contract, please study Advanced Commercial Property and Advanced Commercial Litigation and one City elective of your choice.

I am currently taking the GDL. Should I submit an application as a law applicant?

No, you are still considered a non-law applicant until you have completed your GDL in its entirety. Please submit an application as a non-law applicant.

Which departments will I sit in during my training contract?

We try to work with our trainees to get an understanding of their legal and departmental preferences and place them in seats that meet their individual career aims. For training contracts in London, your two years of training will consist of four six-month seats. You must complete a seat in Banking and Finance and a seat where you will gain contentious experience. You may also have the opportunity to work abroad, or go on a client secondment. Whatever seats you are allocated, you’ll enjoy the support of a dedicated supervisor to guide you through the transition to becoming a solicitor.

For training contracts in Milton Keynes & Watford, your two years of training will consist of four six-month seats. We currently have seats in Corporate, Dispute Resolution, Financial Litigation, Real Estate, Property Litigation, Construction and Employment. All trainees must complete one non-contentious transactional seat (e.g. Corporate or Real Estate) and one contentious seat.

What training will I receive?

Most of your training will be on the job with your supervisor and other members of the department. However, more structured training will include a comprehensive induction programme when you arrive and departmental training each time you change seats and departments. There is also the compulsory Professional Skills Course, which we run in-house. Legal training and personal development sessions run throughout the year and you are encouraged to attend those relevant to you and your career development.

What support will I get throughout my training?

We will provide a range of formal and informal support during your training contract. You will be allocated a “buddy” in week one, who will have worked in the practice group where you will spend your first seat – they will introduce you to your supervisor and other key members in the team. Each practice group has a partner with specific responsibility for trainee matters and, of course, your supervisor, who will guide and mentor you for six months. To oversee your training, it’s our trainee partner’s job to ensure you get the right mix and balance of training across practice areas throughout your training contract. Our trainee representatives are also there as a constructive medium for exchanging views, achievements or concerns with Human Resources, partners and trainees.

How will I know how I’m getting on?

Informal feedback is given regularly, with a more structured mid-seat review meeting at the three-month stage. At the end of each seat you will have a formal appraisal with your supervisor.

What process is there for applying for a job at the end of my training contract?

We advertise the positions available and trainees are invited to apply for up to two positions in the UK plus any vacancies abroad. All trainees are interviewed against a competency framework.

Are there opportunities to do a seat in your global offices or with a client?

Yes, there is the opportunity if you are training in the London office to undertake a seat in another Dentons office. At present we have trainee secondments to the Middle East, North America and Australia. The number of opportunities available will vary from year to year. We also offer several client secondments in each seat. Client secondments are invaluable for learning about how our clients operate and a great chance to experience at first hand a practical business context.

How many trainees do you take on?

We normally take on 24 trainees for London, five to six trainees for Milton Keynes & Watford and one or two for the Middle East.

What pro bono work do you do?

Dentons believes in giving something back to the communities in which it operates, and we encourage all employees to share in this commitment. As a trainee, you will have an opportunity to volunteer at our reading scheme with local primary schools, cook breakfast for the homeless at the Whitechapel Mission and assist with a free legal advice clinic in Poplar, East London. The Firm also has pro bono relationships with UNICEF, the Campaign for Female Education (Camfed) and the HIV/AIDS Alliance.

What social activities are there?

We have an expansive list of clubs and activities. There are over 20 sports teams, including hockey, rugby, badminton, softball, football, cricket, netball, karate/self-defence, aerobics classes and dragon boat racing. Some slightly less strenuous activities are yoga, Pilates, tai chi and sailing. All offer excellent social occasions for our staff. We also have a social committee which organises regular social events, including quiz evenings, sponsored walks and drinks evenings. Proceeds from the tickets sold for these events go to our nominated charity. Other events include departmental away days and social events. There is a dedicated budget managed by the trainee representatives which goes towards organising social activities for the trainees.

Do you offer vacation schemes or work experience in your global offices?

Please visit the relevant careers web page for the office that you are interested in to find out more about opportunities in our global offices.

Do you accept applications from candidates who are not eligible to work in the UK and who require sponsorship?

Yes, we will accept applications from candidates requiring a work permit.

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