Skip to Main Content
Our Commitment to Diversity
Careers > Law Students and Graduates > UK Trainee Solicitor


UK Trainee Solicitor

We welcome applications from both law and non-law students who are seeking to commence their training in August 2023. 

We seek candidates who have an impressive academic record with, ideally, 320 UCAS points and a predicted or achieved 2:1 degree (or the relevant academic equivalent).

We offer only up to 10 periods of recognised training each year but retain the majority of new qualifiers at the end of their periods of recognised training.  As competition for a period of recognised training is intense, those sections of our application form that focus on your drive, initiative and achievements are of particular importance.

Successful applicants will be invited to attend an assessment centre at our offices. During that day you will also have the opportunity to meet with existing trainees. Following this, you may be invited back for a final stage interview.

Our online application process will be open from 1 November 2020 and closes on 31 July 2021.

Application Timeline
We are currently inviting applications from law and non-law students for a period of recognised training commencing in August 2023.  Please see key dates below:

Period of Recognised Training - 2023

Submit Application 1 November 2020 - 31 July 2021
Attend Assessment Day August/September 2021
Decision Made September 2021
Start GDL or CPE September 2021 (non-law students)
Commence LPC September 2022
Start with K&L Gates September 2022

Legal Work Placement - July 2021

Submit Application by 31 January 2021
Attend Interview February or March 2021
Decision Made April 2021
Attend Legal Work Placement July 2021

You may apply via our online application form or you can request a paper application form

Please find below answers to some frequently asked questions in relation to our:


When is your next trainee intake?
We are currently recruiting trainees to commence with us in August 2023.

Do you have any places left to commence in 2022?
There are no places left in 2022.

Who can apply?
We welcome applications from both law and non-law students. We also welcome applications from other relevant postgraduates.

Do you consider mature age applicants?
Yes, we encourage applicants of all ages.

Do you accept applications from candidates who need a work permit?
Yes, we do accept applications from candidates who need a work permit and should your application be successful, we will arrange the work permit for you. However, your offer will be conditional upon us being able to gain approval from the UK Border Agency for your work permit.

When should I apply?
2023 Intake - The application process will be open on 1 November 2020. Apply via our website.

How do I apply?
Applications should be submitted via our website. We use cvMail as our supplier so if you are already registered with them you will not need to re-input all your personal details. You can also request a paper application from

What grades do I need?
You will need to have achieved or be predicting a 2:1 degree and have 320 UCAS points or the relevant academic equivalent.

Do you accept General Studies A-Level?
We do not accept a General Studies A-Level as part of the 320 UCAS point requirement, but all other subjects are accepted.

Will my application be considered if I do not have a 2:1 degree and 320 UCAS points?
If there are mitigating circumstances and documented reasons (i.e. illness backed up by medical certificates) please refer to this in your application. We will in such circumstances consider your application appropriately.

What form will the recruitment process take?
Successful applicants will be invited to attend one of our assessment days where you will take part in a group exercise, a swift analysis test, critical reasoning test & a written test. If successful you will be invited back in for an interview & individual exercise, the final part of the process.

When will interviews take place?
Students will be assessed in August/September 2021. (Subject to change)

How soon after the interview will I know the outcome?
We advise you of the outcome as soon as possible, generally within 7 - 10 days.

How many trainees do you recruit each year?
We usually recruit up to 10 trainees.

If I am not successful in obtaining an interview when will I know?
Unsuccessful candidates will be advised following the application closing date of 31 July 2021—generally we let you know by the end of September 2021.

Do you consider non-law students for Period of Recognised Training?
Yes. On average, about 40% of our trainees have not studied law as a degree.

When should I apply for a place on the CPE/Postgraduate Diploma in Law?
At the beginning of the final year of your undergraduate degree.

Do you recommend a CPE provider?
No, the decision is yours.

Can I apply for a Period of Recognised Training if I do not fall into either category of penultimate year student or final year student?
Yes.  We welcome applications from those who have decided to apply for a Period of Recognised Training later than usual.

Do I need to apply separately for the Legal Work Placement and a Period of Recognised Training?
Yes you will need to submit two separate applications.  cvMail, however, will store your personal and academic profile so your second application will be quicker to complete.

Is non-law work experience relevant to my application?
Yes all work experience is of relevance and should be included on your application.

Do you recommend particular law schools?
We leave the decision to you.

On the Legal Practice Course (LPC) do I choose the Commercial or Corporate pathway?
Corporate pathway as this is more in line with the nature of K&L Gates' practice areas.

Do you have any preference as to which LPC electives are taken?
Please select:
(i) Acquisitions
(ii) Advanced property
(iii) Public companies and equity finance or (instead of (iii))
(iv) Banking and debt finance
The names of these electives may differ slightly at different institutions.  If you are unsure then please contact us.

Can I take a "gap year" prior to commencing my Period of Recognised Training?
Yes. Please indicate your intentions in this regard on your application form.   This will in no way adversely affect your application.

Should I take a "gap year" before or after I study the LPC?
The decision is yours, however, we recommend that you take it before the LPC, particularly if you are intending to travel as you will probably feel better prepared for office life if you complete the LPC just before starting your Period of Recognised Training. However, if you are planning to paralegal in your gap year then it may make sense to complete the LPC first as you will find it easier to get a job.

Are trainees given regular feedback on their performance?
Yes. You will be appraised every three months during your Period of Recognised Training, giving you plenty of opportunity to gain feedback and raise any issues.  You will also be allocated a mentor throughout your contract.

Is there any opportunity for involvement with pro bono or community work?
Yes. The majority of trainees become involved in the firm's Pro Bono initiatives and many work as volunteers at the Battersea Legal Aid Advice Centre.

How many trainees are kept on after qualification?
As we will have invested a great deal in recruiting and training you we hope you will develop a long term career with us.

What training and career opportunities are available after qualification?
We have a formal career development and mentoring scheme.

Do you involve trainees in business development?
You are encouraged to be involved in some of the many marketing and business development events we hold throughout the year to develop client relationships.

Will I have the opportunity to train as a solicitor advocate?
Those qualifying into Dispute Resolution are encouraged to take Higher Rights.

How much choice do I have as to which seats I do?
We aim to give you as much choice as possible, however, all trainees will have seats within core areas such as corporate, dispute resolution and real estate.

Who is your provider for the Professional Skills Course?
Kaplan Altior is our provider for the Professional Skills course.


What is Legal Work Placement?
Legal Work Placement is your opportunity for an inside view of what it is like to work at K&L Gates. It will also provide a general insight into the work of a contemporary, international law firm. During the two weeks you will sit in at least two departments and wherever possible we will allocate you to a seat of your choice. You will also participate in a programme of events and outings.

When is your Legal Work Placement?
We hold one, two week Legal Work Placement during July each year.

Who can apply?
The scheme is open to law students and non-law students. Applications from post-graduates seeking a Period of Recognised Training are also welcome.

What is the deadline for applications?
31 January 2021

Will I be required to attend an interview?
Yes you will be required to attend an interview in March 2021.

When will I know if I have been successful?
We will inform you by early April 2021.

How many positions are there on each placement?
There are 12 positions for the two-week placement.

Do you hold Easter or Christmas Placements?
No, currently we only run the summer Legal Placement Scheme in July.

What grades do I need?
You will need to have achieved or be predicting a 2:1 degree and have 320 UCAS points or the relevant academic equivalent.


What are Open Days?
Open Days are an opportunity for you to visit the firm and will enable you to make a more informed choice as to whether you could see yourself working here. During the day there will be presentations and the opportunity to speak to current trainees, you will find out more about the firm's practice areas, the culture of the firm, qualities and attributes we seek in future trainees and information on how to survive assessment centres. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a dummy group exercise and critical reasoning test.

Who can apply?
When applying for one of our Legal Work Placement or a Period of Recognised Training please indicate if you are interested in attending an Open Day. You will then be contacted if a place becomes available on an Open Day.

When are the Open Days?
Open Days will be held in January, February, March, April, and May. 

Who can I contact for further advice or information on your Period of Recognised Training, Legal Work Placement or Open Days?
For further information on our Period of Recognised Training, Legal Work Placement or Open Days please email queries to and we will respond promptly. Alternatively, contact Hayley Atherton, Recruiting Manager, on 020 7648 9000.

Return to top of page

Email Disclaimer

We welcome your email, but please understand that if you are not already a client of K&L Gates LLP, we cannot represent you until we confirm that doing so would not create a conflict of interest and is otherwise consistent with the policies of our firm. Accordingly, please do not include any confidential information until we verify that the firm is in a position to represent you and our engagement is confirmed in a letter. Prior to that time, there is no assurance that information you send us will be maintained as confidential. Thank you for your consideration.

Accept Cancel