Training contract

This is where it starts

This is it: the start of your full-time career with Simmons & Simmons. We offer our training contracts in both London and Bristol, and either way, you’ll join a two-year programme where our teams will teach you everything they know about the world of law. We’ve laid out this map for how your training contract will progress, but to make sure it’s right for you, there’s just one thing we need to know:

Law Student or Graduate

1

Take on the LPC

This is where our law and non-law trainees take their first steps together, with the LPC - or Legal Practice Course. Whether you’re joining us in London or Bristol, you’ll study for this at BPP Law School in London before beginning your training contract. The LPC is a year-long course, getting you ready for the practical experience of working in the legal sector. All your course fees are paid by us, and we’ll also provide a maintenance grant of £7,500. Again, you’ll be part of the future trainee community, and you’ll also tell us what you need in a mentor – if you want someone from your own background, for instance – so that we can support you as best we can.

2

Begin the Compass programme

Our Compass programme marks the start of your exposure to life at Simmons & Simmons – and it begins at the same time as your year on the LPC. While you’re at law school, you’ll complete two modules with us via face-to-face workshops and online coursework. Through those modules, you’ll learn vital skills that complement your studies. You’ll understand our firm’s structure and clients, and learn the different working styles we’ll expect from you as a trainee and beyond.

3

Pursue the finer details with an MA

After you complete the LPC, you’ll also have the option to complete an MA (LPC with Business) qualification by self-study. It’s optional and completely up to you, but it offers the chance to take your learning as far as you want. Either way, life inside our firm starts now.

4

Induction

Once you’ve completed your LPC, you’ll start your three-week induction. That’ll be in September for our Bristol intake, and either September or March for our London intake. We want you to thrive with us, so this module sets you up for a smooth transition from student to trainee. You’ll hear from senior leaders. Learn about our sectors. Build your people skills. Now, you’re ready for the big day.

5

Your first seat

After your induction, you’ll begin your first seat with us – that’s your first six-month rotation within one of our practice areas. Over the two-year programme, you’ll do four seats, and each one you take on will place you with a new team. That way, you get a broader perspective of the firm’s work and where your career might lead. To give you the best possible understanding, there are certain areas everyone covers during their seats:

     - One contentious seat in employment, intellectual property or litigation
     - One corporate and commercial seat in corporate, ICT, or projects
     - One financial markets seat in either banking, capital markets or financial services

As well as those three, there are other optional seats too, in areas like competition and regulatory, pensions, real estate and tax. If you already have your heart set on specialising in a particular area, we’ll do our best to help you with that, since we know your strengths and interests are a strong motivator. That said, it’s also a good idea to be flexible – sometimes a new seat can open up possibilities and capabilities you didn’t expect.

6

Continuous support

Throughout everything you do from this point on, you’ll have your buddy and preferred choice of mentor beside you. And don’t forget, as part of a host of trainees – not to mention an engaged global team - you’ll find a firm support network wherever you look.

7

Secondment

The world of law isn’t just about what you do inside the office. It’s about understanding how our clients work, and how our broader team works. That’s where secondments come in, with the chance to spend one of your six-month seats with either a client or in one of our international offices.

Around 80% of our trainees will take on this opportunity in each intake, usually in your second, third or fourth seat. Whenever you do it, there’s a range of opportunities available: you might do anything from working on technology in Singapore to working in banking for a client in Canary Wharf. And whatever you take on, you’ll come to understand our clients’ world – and be a better lawyer as a result.

8

Following the Compass programme

Whatever your seats and whether or not you choose to do a secondment, you’ll keep following the Compass programme throughout your two years as a trainee. Alongside your practical work from day-to-day, our Compass modules on client knowledge and engagement will guide you on your way to becoming a well-rounded and highly competent lawyer. You’ll also benefit from online progress-tracking tools and interactive development workshops, helping you prepare for what comes next.

9

Qualification

At the end of your training contract, you’ll officially qualify as a practising lawyer. As an NQ (Newly Qualified), you’ll move into the department of your choice, beginning the transition from trainee to associate. And of course, we’ll keep supporting you as you do.

10

Becoming an associate - and beyond

Associate status is the next goal after your training contract, and many of our trainees will find permanent associate roles with us. As a key member of the team, you’ll build on your specialist skills in your area of choice, working on day-to-day client work, business development, and mentoring younger members of your team. Now, you’ll start to aim higher, moving towards Supervising Associate, Managing Associate, and even making Partner, when you’re ready.

Non-Law Student or Graduate

1

Start with the GDL

If you’re a non-law student or graduate, the first thing you’ll do is the GDL, or Graduate Diploma in Law, at BPP Law School in London. It’s a year-long course, setting you up with all the basic legal skills you need, and we’ll pay your course fees as well as providing a maintenance grant of £7,000. And while you study, we won’t be far away: you’ll have a buddy, colleague visits, and plenty of events within our future trainee community.

2

Take on the LPC

This is where our law and non-law trainees take their first steps together, with the LPC - or Legal Practice Course. Whether you’re joining us in London or Bristol, you’ll study for this at BPP Law School in London before beginning your training contract. The LPC is a year-long course, getting you ready for the practical experience of working in the legal sector. All your course fees are paid by us, and we’ll also provide a maintenance grant of £7,500. Again, you’ll be part of the future trainee community, and you’ll also tell us what you need in a mentor – if you want someone from your own background, for instance – so that we can support you as best we can.

3

Begin the Compass programme

Our Compass programme marks the start of your exposure to life at Simmons & Simmons – and it begins at the same time as your year on the LPC. While you’re at law school, you’ll complete two modules with us via face-to-face workshops and online coursework. Through those modules, you’ll learn vital skills that complement your studies. You’ll understand our firm’s structure and clients, and learn the different working styles we’ll expect from you as a trainee and beyond.

4

Pursue the finer details with an MA

After you complete the LPC, you’ll also have the option to complete an MA (LPC with Business) qualification by self-study. It’s optional and completely up to you, but it offers the chance to take your learning as far as you want. Either way, life inside our firm starts now.

5

Induction

Once you’ve completed your LPC, you’ll start your three-week induction. That’ll be in September for our Bristol intake, and either September or March for our London intake. We want you to thrive with us, so this module sets you up for a smooth transition from student to trainee. You’ll hear from senior leaders. Learn about our sectors. Build your people skills. Now, you’re ready for the big day.

6

Your first seat

After your induction, you’ll begin your first seat with us – that’s your first six-month rotation within one of our practice areas. Over the two-year programme, you’ll do four seats, and each one you take on will place you with a new team. That way, you get a broader perspective of the firm’s work and where your career might lead. To give you the best possible understanding, there are certain areas everyone covers during their seats:

     - One contentious seat in employment, intellectual property or litigation
     - One corporate and commercial seat in corporate, ICT, or projects
     - One financial markets seat in either banking, capital markets or financial services

As well as those three, there are other optional seats too, in areas like competition and regulatory, pensions, real estate and tax. If you already have your heart set on specialising in a particular area, we’ll do our best to help you with that, since we know your strengths and interests are a strong motivator. That said, it’s also a good idea to be flexible – sometimes a new seat can open up possibilities and capabilities you didn’t expect.

7

Continuous support

Throughout everything you do from this point on, you’ll have your buddy and preferred choice of mentor beside you. And don’t forget, as part of a host of trainees – not to mention an engaged global team - you’ll find a firm support network wherever you look.

8

Secondment

The world of law isn’t just about what you do inside the office. It’s about understanding how our clients work, and how our broader team works. That’s where secondments come in, with the chance to spend one of your six-month seats with either a client or in one of our international offices.

Around 80% of our trainees will take on this opportunity in each intake, usually in your second, third or fourth seat. Whenever you do it, there’s a range of opportunities available: you might do anything from working on technology in Singapore to working in banking for a client in Canary Wharf. And whatever you take on, you’ll come to understand our clients’ world – and be a better lawyer as a result.

9

Following the Compass programme

Whatever your seats and whether or not you choose to do a secondment, you’ll keep following the Compass programme throughout your two years as a trainee. Alongside your practical work from day-to-day, our Compass modules on client knowledge and engagement will guide you on your way to becoming a well-rounded and highly competent lawyer. You’ll also benefit from online progress-tracking tools and interactive development workshops, helping you prepare for what comes next.

10

Qualification

At the end of your training contract, you’ll officially qualify as a practising lawyer. As an NQ (Newly Qualified), you’ll move into the department of your choice, beginning the transition from trainee to associate. And of course, we’ll keep supporting you as you do.

11

Becoming an associate - and beyond

Associate status is the next goal after your training contract, and many of our trainees will find permanent associate roles with us. As a key member of the team, you’ll build on your specialist skills in your area of choice, working on day-to-day client work, business development, and mentoring younger members of your team. Now, you’ll start to aim higher, moving towards Supervising Associate, Managing Associate, and even making Partner, when you’re ready.

Benefits

There are plenty of steps on your journey, and your salary will change as you move through the programme and beyond:

Future trainee maintenance grant:

GDL: £7,000
LPC: £7,500

Trainee salary package:

London
£42,000 (first year)

£47,000 (second year)

£2,000 interest free loan

Bristol
£37,000 (first year)

£38,000 (second year)

£2,000 interest free loan

Salary on qualification:

London
£71,000

Bristol
£50,000

Other benefits include:

  • 25 days’ holiday entitlement
  • Life assurance
  • Income protection insurance
  • Medical insurance
  • Gym subsidy
  • Free visits to a private GP
  • Taxis home and free evening meals if working late
  • Emergency care provision for children and dependents
  • Employee support services
  • Music/Singing lessons
  • Payroll charity donation scheme
  • Season ticket loan
  • Subsidised staff restaurant
  • Travel insurance
  • Pension contributions