Becoming a Trainee at Howard Kennedy

Howard Kennedy is on an exciting journey. Start your legal career and training contract here and we'll bring you with us. 

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Howard Kennedy puts a lot of emphasis on being yourself, which I think suits my experience. I come from a non-legal background and then took a break from law to teach English in China for nearly four years. The company embraced this in the application process.

Kerry Price, Trainee Solicitor 2023

From day one we'll give you hands-on experience of what life is really like at Howard Kennedy.

Our Open Days and Insight Evening are specifically designed to give you an insight into the firm. During these events, we'll introduce you to the Howard Kennedy training contract experience by taking you through our core expertise and giving you a chance to ask a panel of our people any questions that you might have.

We believe the potential to become an excellent Lawyer is about much more than the school you attended or university you studied at.  This is why throughout the application process, from application form to assessment centre you are encouraged to be yourself. Our assessment process is designed to allow you to highlight your strengths whilst finding out more about what you can expect from a training contract with us.

And if you begin a training contract with us, you'll have access to interesting work and impressive clients. You'll have the opportunity to work directly and collaboratively with people at all levels. You'll play an active part in the social and charity committees at the firm, while also attending client events and assisting with pro bono work.

Trainee FAQs

  1. When will you start accepting applications?
    We recruit one year in advance. Applications for our 2024 training contracts opened on 5 January 2023 and have now closed.

  2. What is the closing date for applications?
    The applications for our September 2024 training contracts are now closed.

  3. Do I need to have completed my LPC at the time of application?
    You must have completed your LPC, or be due to complete your LPC by September of the year your training application starts i.e. if you apply for a September 2024 contract you must be due to finish your LPC by September 2024. If you do not meet the transitional arrangements to be able to study the LPC you must have completed the PGDL at the point of application.

  4. Will you be offering the SQE route to qualification?
    Our September 2024 Trainees will qualify via either the SQE or the traditional training contract route. As an SQE trainee, you will complete your SQE1 and 2 exams before starting a 24 month period of qualifying work experience with us. Howard Kennedy will fund your SQE1 and 2 exams and prep courses.

  5. Do you offer any paralegal positions?
    We regularly have opportunities for Paralegals to join us in various departments, these vacancies will be advertised on the careers pages on our website.

  6. Do you fund the GDL and/or LPC?
    We will pay the full fees for the LPC or SQE and prep courses. We are also able to offer a maintenance grant of £6,500 but do not offer any funding towards the GDL or PGDL. We are not able to offer funding for the LPC retrospectively.

  7. Do you interview on a rolling basis?
    No, all interviews will be held after the closing date for applications.

  8. Do you offer work experience or vacation schemes?
    We don't offer work experience or vacation schemes but do hold insight days every year which provide a great opportunity to find out more about the firm.

  9. Do you accept applications from non-law graduates?
    Our trainees come from a diverse range of backgrounds and we welcome applications from those with undergraduate law degrees, or any other subject.

  10. Do you accept applications from mature students and career changers?
    Yes we do – we like to assess everyone on their individual merits and value having a diverse body of trainees.

  11. What qualifications do I need?
    Whilst it is useful for us to understand your educational background we do not score grades or screen out applications based on grades. You need to have completed a qualifying law degree, or a non-law degree (or equivalent) and the GDL in order to apply for a training contract with us.

  12. I studied abroad; how do I enter my qualifications?
    Please tell us their equivalent value or the relevant scale. You can find more information on the UCAS website.

  13. Will I hear whether my application has been successful?
    We will contact all applicants whether successful or unsuccessful within one month of the closing date.

  14. What happens after that?
    Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an assessment day which will take place following the closing date.

  15. Will I receive feedback on my application?
    Regrettably, due to the volume of applications that we receive, it is not possible to give feedback to every applicant. We will, however, offer feedback for all candidates who attend our assessment day.

  16. How many training contracts do you typically offer?
    Our trainee intake is usually between 8-10 each year.

  17. I applied last year – can I re-apply?
    Yes we accept applications from previous applicants, please ensure you tell us what stage you reached last year.

  18. I am currently a paralegal at Howard Kennedy. Can I apply?
    Yes you may apply, please make sure you inform your line manager that you are applying for a training contract.

  19. What is the recruitment process?
    You will need to apply using our online application. Any applications received outside of this will not be accepted. We will contact you during April or May to let you know what stage your application has reached, and whether we will invite you to an assessment day.

  20. What will a Training Contract involve?
    As a firm, we offer services both to businesses and to individuals. Our Training Contracts are geared to give our trainees exposure to a range of work. We offer 4 seats of 6 months in different departments, including our core areas of business: Real Estate, Corporate, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Private Client and Family. We try to match trainees’ individual interests to the seats that they complete, balancing individual preferences with business needs. We offer a range of different support and development opportunities during the two years, including providing a junior and senior mentor; legal training sessions and skills development sessions such as networking and giving presentations.

  21. Where will I be based?
    We operate from one single office, located at No.1 London Bridge, SE1 9BG. We operate an agile working policy. Agile working allows individuals to adjust their approach depending on client, team and business demands. This could mean working part of the week remotely and part in the office but flexing this around client commitments, work demands and team meetings.

Trainee diary

What's it really like to be a trainee at Howard Kennedy? Hear it from our trainees themselves.