Frequently asked questions
All you need to know, about all you need to know
Q. When should I apply for your opportunities?
A. Currently, we are recruiting candidates who can start a training contract with us in either August 2024 or August 2025. For the Training Contract, we recruit up to 2 years in advance as you will need to complete law school before starting at the firm as a trainee. Therefore, the earliest you can apply for vacation schemes in your penultimate year of an undergraduate qualifying law degree, or final year of any other undergraduate degree. Graduates are welcome to apply.
We always try to keep a few spaces back for those of you who may want to start a year early, but this will be decided on an individual basis. Applicants in this situation should apply for the current year’s vacation scheme or Training Contract as usual.
Q. How many trainees do you typically take on?
A. Each August/September we have approx. 12-15 trainees starting with us
Q. Do you recruit on a rolling basis?
Q. How many trainee intakes do you have per year?
A. We have one trainee intake in August/September
Q. Do you have minimum academic entry criteria?
A. We require all candidates to have AAB at A-Level (or equivalent qualification) and a min. 2.1 degree classification.
Q. How will I be assessed on an Assessment Centre?
A. There are four individual elements to our Assessment Centres. 1. Written exercise 2. Group Exercise. 3. Case study 4. Partner interview.
Q. Can I choose all four seats that I want to do over my training contract?
A. Yes, you can submit a preference form and discuss your interests with the Graduate Recruitment team. We require you to complete two of your seats in our three core areas: Finance, M&A, Project Development & Finance. The other seats can be taken in our advisory and contentious seats or in our overseas offices. Where possible we try to accommodate trainee preferences, but seats are allocated according to business needs.
Q. I submitted my application form early and have not heard from you since the receipt email; do I need to reapply?
A. No, we will contact you to let you know if you have been successful once all the applications have been received. It is most likely you will hear from us closer/after the deadline date
Q. Since I submitted my application I have gained further work experience / received exam results; can I let you know about these developments?
A. Yes, if the submission deadline has not yet passed you can log back into Apply4Law and update your details yourself.
Q. I require adjustments due to a disability; can you accommodate these?
A. Yes, we are happy to make adjustments to candidates’ individual requirements. If you’d like to speak confidentially then please get in touch with our Head of Wellbeing and Benefits, Mariyam Hassan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Q. Do you support trainees through the required qualifications?
A. Yes, we will fully sponsor you through the PgDIP and SQE preparation courses, as well as providing a maintenance grant of £11,000 per year while you study; this is paid in two instalments
We don’t pay law school fees retrospectively.
Q. Do you ask candidates to complete the SQE?
A. Yes, we now ask all future trainees to complete SQE 1 and SQE 2 ahead of starting with us. You can learn more in this video:
Q. Do you have a preferred Law School?
A. Yes, we would like our future trainees to complete their SQE at The University of Law in London and the PgDIP at a University of Law centre of their choice. If you have already commenced the GDL, PgDIP, SQE or LPC at another law school, your application will not be disadvantaged.
Q. Am I allowed to defer for a year?
A. While it is not normal practice for us to defer places, we will discuss this on a case by case basis
Q. I would like to complete a seat overseas, is this possible?
A. Yes. You may be able to complete six months in Abu Dhabi, Brussels, Dubai, New York or Singapore
Q. Do you take on international students?
A. We do hire international students and support you as much as we can in applying for a visa
Q. I am qualified in another jurisdiction, should I apply for a training contract?
A. It is more advisable to apply for an associate position than a training contract. Please visit www.shearman.com to find out more about associate opportunities
Q. I am unable to complete an online application form, how do I apply?
A. If you are unable to complete an application form online, please contact us at email@example.com, or call us on 020 7655 5000. We are happy to discuss your individual circumstances and we will be able to make adjustments to the process as required. Similarly, if you require any adjustments or have any particular circumstances you would like to make us aware of, please do not hesitate to get in touch.