Application Process

When are you recruiting for?

In the 2021/22 recruitment cycle we are recruiting for candidates to start their training contract in September 2023 or September 2024. You can select your preferred start date as part of the application form.

What costs are covered for insight days, events and assessment days?

For those travelling within England and Wales to attend any of our insight days, events and assessment days, we will reimburse expenses up to a maximum value of £100. Candidates travelling within the EU, including from Scotland and Ireland, will be reimbursed up to a maximum value of £150. We cannot reimburse for taxis or cost of petrol. However, if you have a disability that limits your public transport options, please contact the team to discuss travel arrangements.

How can I let you know about any additional work experience/exam results once I have submitted my application form?

Please submit any additional information to your application via the supplementary information tool. When you log into your account you will find information about the supplementary information tool on the home page.

Do you recruit on a rolling basis?

We do not review applications on a rolling basis, so you have until the deadline to complete the form.

When will I know the outcome of my application?

We try to let all candidates know the outcome of their application one month after the deadline. Please note, sometimes it may take longer because each application form is reviewed thoroughly.

Can I have feedback on my application?

Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are unable to offer individual feedback on application forms.

Do you have a minimum grade requirement? 

No, we do not have a minimum requirement.  However, we look for candidates who have strong academic results. We review all application forms holistically and will take mitigating circumstances into account.

Am I allowed to defer for a year?

We will take any requests to defer training contract start dates into consideration.

Do you take on international students?

Yes, we accept applications from international students.

I am qualified in another jurisdiction—should I apply for a training contract?

We welcome applications from foreign-qualified lawyers, but those individuals already qualified in a different jurisdiction should apply for an associate position at the firm. Please email your CV to LondonRecruitment@ropesgray.com and we will respond to let you know whether there are any suitable vacancies that you can apply for.

Law School

Do you have a preferred Law School?

All our future trainees complete the GDL and LPC or SQE at BPP in Holborn.

Do you choose my LPC electives?

We encourage our future trainees to complete debt finance, equity finance and private acquisitions. We feel these electives tailor the training to the work we carry out as a firm.

Training Contract

Will I be placed in my preferred practice areas for my seats?

While we will take your seat preferences into account, and are always happy to discuss these, we cannot guarantee that you will be placed in all your preferred practices. This is because we need to take into account the business needs when planning the seat rotation.

I am interested in an international and/or client secondment—what is available?

We have an international secondment to our Hong Kong office. We prefer to send a third- or fourth-seat trainee who has already completed a seat in our London finance team.

Client secondment opportunities arise on an ad hoc basis because they are at the client’s request. If one of these secondments becomes available, then we will open the opportunity to all our trainees but reserve the right to select the trainee with the most appropriate experience. 

We also have the Tokyo route training contract, which has a guaranteed seat in the Tokyo office and eventual relocation.

SQE

What is the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)?

In September 2021, the routes to qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales changed. A future trainee will have to complete two years of qualifying work experience and pass the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), a new, two-part centralised assessment being introduced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. For more information on the SQE, please visit www.sra.org.uk/sra/policy/sqe

What are Ropes & Gray’s plans in response to the SRA’s introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)?

The introduction of the SQE has changed the training requirements for our future trainees with a new updated Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) for non-law graduates and an entirely new course (in place of the Legal Practice Course) for all future trainees that includes comprehensive preparation for the SQE assessments, as well as the knowledge and skills they will need for a career in City law practice.

We will be implementing the SQE from September 2023 and all trainees joining the firm from this date onwards will qualify as a solicitor on this route.