Only by attracting and looking after the best people can we be sure to deliver the best advice and service to our clients

Working at Ashfords

We recognise that there is something different and special about the Ashfords’ culture so we are careful to recruit people who share our values and who can further contribute to the working environment of the firm.

We promote a culture that develops, recognises, and rewards talent, commitment, and contribution from staff at all levels, and it doesn't stop there. We take our responsibilities seriously, both as an employer and member of the local business community. We make sure our business behaviour encourages the growth and development of our communities and that we act responsibly towards the environment. 

Meet our people

Trainee Opportunities

Ashfords is recruiting a 2019 Trainee Solicitor to start in our Plymouth office this March! If you are interested in a Plymouth based Training Contract and have completed the LPC, please click here to apply.

The Ashfords Training Contract

Ashfords is recognised nationally as a leading provider of legal, regulatory and related professional services. We deliver commercially focused advice to our clients across a range of industries and sectors. Our aim is straightforward – to help our clients get the results that they want. Our commitment to excellence is reflected by the quality of our staff and partners, our client testimonials and industry awards. We are also delighted to have been voted a Guardian UK 300 employer by students and graduates in the UK for the third year running.

Our three core divisions – business services, real estate and infrastructure and private client – cover a wide range of practice areas, including corporate, commercial property, dispute resolution, projects, local government, employment, intellectual property, information technology, aviation, trusts and estates, family, residential property and equity release. We have a wealth of experience in the specific sector areas of technology, waste, energy and resource management, local government, and bulk commodity services and, through our ADVOC network of independent law firms, we have experts in more than 60 countries across the world.

Who should apply?

There is no magic recipe for the perfect Trainee; however, at Ashfords there are characteristics that we value. We are looking for individuals who have ambition, are business savvy and who are never afraid to put forward innovative ideas. We need excellent communicators who are adaptable and ready to accept the variety of challenges that a career in law can throw at you.

At Ashfords, we are committed to a 'recruit to retain' policy which is demonstrated by our consistently high retention rates. We want our Trainees to be our Partners of the future.

Your Training Contract

You will experience four areas of law during your training contract, spending six months getting to grips with each department. You have a choice of either a Bristol-based or a South West-based training contract. Our South West trainees will have the opportunity to work across our Exeter, Taunton and Plymouth offices. We also offer flexibility for trainees to complete a seat in another office if the opportunity arises, including London.

As an Ashfords trainee, you will experience first-hand the work of a commercial law firm. We offer the opportunity of hands-on experience, early responsibility and client involvement. To make sure that everything is on track you will meet with your supervisor during each seat to monitor your development. You will also have a mentor to provide personalised support and give you the opportunity to discuss all those burning questions. Our trainees also play an integral role in our CSR programme and business development and marketing events, which provide exposure to our diverse client base. 

In addition to a comprehensive induction to the firm, the dedicated Learning and Development Team will support you through your mandatory PSC training, as well as providing a variety of client focused and soft skills courses, underpinning and complementing your on-the-job training. It is not all work though… You will have the chance to get involved in a number of social activities ranging from the annual ball, to sports clubs and charity fundraising events. Our Trainees know that if there is not already a club or activity available, all they need to do is take the initiative to create one! As an example, Ashfords' Trainees set up XYBC (Exeter Young Business Club) to encourage inter-profession social and networking activities across the local young professional community.

Applications for 2021 Training Contracts will be open from 1 November. 

Please click here to read our Trainee Applicant Privacy Policy.


Ashfords is a top 100 law firm with six offices, including a significant presence in London. We’re based predominantly in the South West, with our biggest office in the vibrant city of Exeter.

Ashfords has always been about its people. We want our employees to be engaged and motivated, so that our clients will benefit from a fresh and friendly approach. Our open-plan offices lend well to this idea as all our employees get to work alongside the Partners and Lawyers who are supervising them.

Ashfords is proud to have offered apprenticeships for the last three years and to over 25 legal and business apprentices. Apprenticeships at Ashfords provide a great opportunity to get stuck into the world of work and gain practical experience in a professional environment. The apprenticeships are between 18 - 24 months long  and you'll develop key transferable skills. You will be working at one of our South West locations for the duration of your apprenticeship, with the majority of positions based at our Exeter office.

How do I become an Apprentice

To be an apprentice at Ashfords we expect a good standard of education and would be looking for you to have 8 GCSEs at grade A*- C (including Maths & English); for the Paralegal apprenticeship you must also have (or be expecting) 3 A Levels at grade C or above.

We are looking for people who are highly motivated to learn and have a positive, can-do approach. You will need to demonstrate excellent communication skills, be well organised and have good attention to detail.

For more information please contact The Apprenticeship Team.

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying for our September 2019 programme please send your CV and accompanying cover letter, including details of the position you wish to apply for  to The Apprenticeship Team.

Work Experience

Aspire with Ashfords 

Have you always wondered what it might be like to work at a law firm?  If you are attending school and are in Year 10, our Aspire with Ashfords programme could be for you.

What can you expect from the programme?

We believe that work experience is a vital component of school life, promoting the growth of your skills such as independence, team work and organisation.  We are proud to offer young people an insight into Ashfords and inspire them to think forward to future careers in law.

The Aspire with Ashfords Programme will provide you with a week-long experience in a variety of departments and functions that make up our Firm.  You will be joined by students from a range of schools in the local area, where you will be mentored by key lawyers and business support team members throughout your time with us.

When is the programme?

Unfortunately, Aspire has reached capacity and we will therefore be unable to accept further applications for the 2019 programme. Applications for the 2020 programme will open this Autumn.

We are sorry to be unable to accept adhoc work experience requests at any other times of year for any of our offices.

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