FAQs

You’ve got an inquisitive mind and plenty of questions, so how can we help?

First, check out our FAQs below. If you don’t find what you’re looking for though, you can get in touch with us on our active social media channels. Alternatively, you could also come along and meet us in person to ask your question if you’d prefer, and you’ll also find our contact details at the bottom of the page.

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FAQs

Vacation schemes and work experience

Do you have internships or work experience opportunities?

Our vacation schemes are the closest you’ll find to internships – one and two-week programmes running in the winter and summer holidays. We don’t offer any other ad hoc work experience, because we believe in a level playing field, where everyone goes through the same process and gets exactly the same opportunities. That said, we do run open days if you’d like to get a taste for the firm, and you can find out more about them and about all our opportunities here.

Do you accept speculative applications for work experience

No, we only consider applications to our formal opportunities, so that everyone goes through the same fair process.

What are your application deadlines?

A full list of our application deadlines can be found here. As we fill our roles on a first come first served basis, we strongly recommend you apply early to avoid disappointment.

How many vacation scheme places do you have each year?

Winter vacation scheme: 1 scheme with approximately 15 places. Spring insight scheme: 1 scheme with approximately 20 places. Summer vacation schemes: 2 schemes in London with approximately 15 places on each and 1 scheme in Bristol with approximately 5 places.

I'm doing a four-year law course with a year abroad. When should I apply for a summer vacation scheme?

Our summer vacation schemes are aimed at candidates who are looking to gain a training contract in two years time. That means that you’ll need to apply in your penultimate year, even if you’re abroad on a placement year, so that we can see you at the right time for your intake.

Do you have any internships (or vacation schemes) available at your international offices?

We do have a limited number of internships available at some of our international offices. Details of opportunities can be found on the country specific pages here. Please click on the relevant office to find out how to apply.

I am a first year or non-law student at university, are there any schemes that I can apply for?

Yes, we run a spring insight scheme aimed at first year law students and non-law students. You can find out more about that here.

Events and open days

I am interested in attending an event to find out more about Simmons & Simmons. Where can I find one?

All our upcoming university events and open days can be found here. For our open days, we’ll ask you to apply online, and you can do that here.

Do you reimburse travel expenses for open days?

Yes, we will reimburse travel to our open days on public transport, up to £100 on production of valid receipts. Please note though that we don’t cover accommodation.

I can't afford to pay my travel expenses upfront. Can you help?

We do book travel for those who can’t afford the travel costs, or who can’t afford to wait to be reimbursed. If that’s a necessity for you, please get in touch – we want to support you however we can.

Applying for a training contract

How do I apply for a training contract?

We recruit our trainees two years in advance. You can find out more about how to apply here.

What do you look for in an application

You can come from any degree discipline, but we’re looking for outstanding academic performance as a baseline. You’ll have around 136 UCAS points (or equivalent, or 320 UCAS points under the old system), and you’ll be on course for (or already have) at least a 2:1 in your discipline. Aside from that, there are certain other traits we look for, and you can find out about them here.

The application process for training contracts is only open for September 2020/March 2021, but I’d like to start earlier or later than this. Can I still apply?

We can only accept training contract applications for the year we are currently recruiting for, and we don’t allow applicants to apply for later start dates. If, however, you would like to start your training contract earlier you are welcome to apply. If you are successful in obtaining a training contract, we would be happy to review your start date again at this stage. We stress, however, that there is no guarantee we will be able to move start dates forward.

What is your application deadline?

Our application deadline for training contracts is 15 January 2018. However, as we fill our roles on a first come first served basis, we strongly recommend you apply early to avoid disappointment.

I have previously been unsuccessful in the recruitment process at Simmons & Simmons. When can I reapply?

You’ll need to wait until the next recruitment year, commencing each Autumn, before submitting another application. We unfortunately can’t reconsider a candidate if you’ve already applied this year and been unsuccessful (at either application or interview).

Do Simmons & Simmons wait until receiving all applications before reviewing them?

No. We recruit for our vacation schemes and training contracts on a rolling basis and therefore strongly recommend you apply early to avoid disappointment. Please note, that if you apply close to the deadline, it will take us slightly longer to respond to your application and there is a chance we will have filled all of our roles.

Do you conduct Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks?

All future trainees of Simmons & Simmons will be required to go through the firm's pre-employment screening process. This will include a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The firm undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a DBS check on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed. The firm's policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders is available on request.

Your application

Do you accept mitigating circumstances for academic results?

Yes, we do consider mitigating circumstances. If you have mitigating circumstances you should outline these in the education section of your application form under ‘Further Information’.

What academic results do Simmons & Simmons ask for?

We look for candidates that have 136 UCAS points (or equivalent, or 320 UCAS points under the old system), and a 2:1 degree (or equivalent). We do not screen out applications based purely on academics, however, and we do take all aspects of an application into consideration. That said, the competition for training contracts and vacation placements at the firm is intense and we only have a limited number of places available.

Am I at a disadvantage if I do not have any legal work experience?

No, we recognise that not everyone will have had the opportunity to obtain legal work experience and therefore we don’t request this. Any work experience can be helpful, as it gives you the ability to demonstrate some of our desired competencies and transferable skills. Whether you’ve completed legal work experience or not, we still want you to show us why you are interested in a career in law.

Does my degree subject mean I can bypass the GDL and go straight to the LPC?

You don’t have to study the GDL if the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) classes your degree as a Qualifying Law Degree. That may not be the case if, for instance, you went to university overseas. You can check your degree against the SRA’s list here

Do you give feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful?

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are unable to provide feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at application stage for vacation schemes or training contracts. We do, however, provide verbal feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at an assessment day, if requested.

I studied outside of the UK and am having difficulty fitting my results into the education section of the form, what should I do?

Please try to fit your results into the application form as best as you can. All major exam results from the age of 16 should be included and we request that a full module breakdown is provided. Please enter your results as they appear on your transcript and do not try to ‘convert’ them to the UK education system. If you would like to provide a fuller explanation of your education system or have difficulty imputing results, please include this explanation in the 'Additional information' space provided on the application form.

Do I need the right to work in the UK?

Yes, you’ll need the right to work in the UK for all our schemes. You should also note that we do provide visa sponsorship for training contracts, but not for vacation schemes or other events.

Diversity and inclusion

I have a disability. Is it possible to have the application form in a different format?

We are more than happy to provide the application form in an alternative format. Please e-mail recruitment@simmons-simmons.com or call 020 7628 2020 and let us know what format you require.

I have a disability or a health condition which means I require reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process. Will Simmons & Simmons be able to provide these?

If you need any reasonable adjustments to be made at any stage of our process for open days, vacation schemes or training contracts, please get in touch to let us know. We’ll gladly do all we can to help you perform to the best of your ability. Please contact a member of the graduate recruitment team by e-mail (recruitment@simmons-simmons.com), or phone (020 7628 2020). If you are not sure what adjustments you may require for the recruitment process, we can establish this together.

I have a disability but am concerned about disclosing this to Simmons & Simmons. What should I do?

Please don’t worry – we’re here to help. We’re committed to diversity and inclusion and welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds. If you require adjustments during the recruitment process, we would encourage you to disclose this information to us as soon as you can so that we can make the adjustments required.

Law school

Do you have a preference as to where applicants have studied their GDL or LPC?

If you receive and accept a training contract offer before you have registered for the GDL and/or LPC, you will be required to undertake both at BPP Law School in London. Applicants who are taking, or have taken, their GDL/LPC elsewhere are not at a disadvantage when applying for a training contract.

Do you pay law school fees retrospectively if an applicant already has their GDL/LPC?

Unfortunately, we don’t offer this.

Your training contract

How many trainees do you take on each year?

We recruit 30 trainees each year in London and three trainees in Bristol. The trainee intake in London is split between September (approximately 20 trainees) and March (approximately 10 trainees). In Bristol there is one trainee intake in September.

Is it possible to go on client or international secondments?

Yes, we are able to offer client or international secondments to most trainees at some point during their training contract. Trainees undertake secondments in their second, third or fourth seats. You can find out about that here.

How many seats do I have to do during my training contract

The training contract is made up of four seats, each lasting six months. You can find out about that here.

Are there any seats that are compulsory?

We require all trainee solicitors to undertake a corporate-commercial seat, a contentious seat and a finance seat. You can find out about that here.

How do I select which seats I would like to undertake?

Trainees are asked to rank their preferences for their next seat approximately two months before each seat change. Seats are then allocated based on these preferences, the business requirements of the firm, and SRA regulations. We try to take into consideration trainee preferences as much as possible.

How is it decided which department I might qualify into after my training contract?

Trainees who are approaching qualification are informed of the newly qualified solicitor vacancies available in the firm and asked to rank these in order of preference. This ranking is then compared to the preferences of the departments as to whom they would like to fill their vacancies.

Will I get feedback during my training contract

Yes, trainees are given both formal and informal feedback during their training contract. All of our trainee solicitors have informal mid-seat reviews and then a more formal review at the end of each seat. This helps us to identify their development needs, let them know where they have excelled, and ensure that they are progressing well. You can find out more about how the training contract will progress here.

Who will I sit with during my training contract?

Each trainee solicitor shares an office with an associate or partner who will be their ‘supervisor’. This ensures that they have exposure to real legal work from day one of their training contract and are well supported in their learning. You can find out more about the people who’ll support you here.

Paralegal vacancies

Do you have any paralegal vacancies?

We do occasionally have paralegal vacancies. However, we do not accept speculative applications. When vacancies arise they will be advertised on the careers pages of our website and should be applied for online.

Contact us

Got a problem or a question we haven’t answered? Need to know more about special arrangements for your application? You can contact our team below:

T: +44 (0) 20 7628 2020
E: recruitment@simmons-simmons.com

Simmons & Simmons
CityPoint
One Ropemaker Street
London
EC2Y 9SS

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