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. 


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Trainee Opportunities

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 Trainees Time to meet the trainee! Charlie is a first seat trainee in Commercial Property. Read our latest trainee blog post…

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Ashfords Trainees 3 of our Trainees Hannah, Rebecca and Charlie are at the @UniversityofLaw Law Fair in Bristol this afternoon. Come…

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Ashfords Trainees Come and see two of our First Year Trainees Matt and Cara at the Exeter University Law Fair this afternoon!

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Ashfords is a national provider of legal, professional and regulatory services. We combine legal expertise, commercial experience and our wider network to help our clients achieve their goals, providing value for time and value for money.

Our aim is straightforward – to help our clients get the results that they want.

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 highly organised and have good attention to detail.

The apprenticeships last between 18 - 24 months and are based in our Exeter office.

Business Support (Non-Legal) Apprenticeships

We have a number of Apprenticeship roles available across our IT, Marketing and HR Departments.

Completing a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration is a great opportunity to gain practical experience in a professional environment and start learning about the world of work.

Our IT, Marketing and HR departments support the entire firm, across all 6 offices.

The apprenticeship is 15 months long, following which there may be options to complete a further apprenticeship or move into a permanent role within the firm.

Working hours: Monday - Friday, 9am-5.15pm, 1 hour lunch break
Salary: £230 per week

Requirements: GCSE grades A to C or equivalent are essential.

To Apply for the IT Business Administration Apprenticeship: APPLY HERE

To Apply for the HR Business Administration Apprenticeship: APPLY HERE 

To Apply for the Marketing Business Administration Apprenticeship: APPLY HERE 


Legal apprenticeships

Legal apprenticeships at Ashfords provide a great opportunity for young people to prosper and develop in a legal environment, without incurring the cost of going to university.

Legal Administrator (Level 3)

The Level 3 Intermediate Apprenticeship in Legal Administration is a great opportunity to get into the legal environment and start learning about the world of work.

The apprenticeship is 15 - 18 months long. At the end of the apprenticeship, there is the possibility to apply for a variety of different roles including legal secretary or paralegal.

As the Legal Administrator Apprentice, you will be supporting the Real Estate or Equity Release team by providing essential support services. You will be studying for the Legal Administration qualification while learning tasks on the job.


  • Minimum of 5 GCSE grades A*-C must include maths and English
  • Aptitude for ICT

Apply now!

To Apply for a Legal Administrator (Level 3) Apprenticeship in our Real Estate team APPLY HERE

To Apply for a Legal Administrator (Level 3) Apprenticeship in our Equity Release team APPLY HERE

Paralegal Trailblazer (Level 3)

Our Paralegal Trailblazer gives you the opportunity to start a career in law without needing to go to university. The apprenticeship is 24 months long and at the end of the two years, you could remain as a paralegal or continue on through to chartered legal executive or studies.

What are we looking for?

By completing the level 3 Paralegal Trailblazer Apprenticeship you will develop a wide range of legal (and non-legal) skills and gain invaluable experience of working in a top class national law firm.

As a Paralegal Apprentice you will be supporting the Real Estate team by providing essential support services to the Real Estate Fee Earners.  You will be studying for the Paralegal qualification while learning tasks on the job.

Our apprentices have dedicated study time each week and have full use of our IT room in order to complete assignments, revision and exams.


  • Minimum of 5 GCSE grades A*-C must include maths and English
  • A Levels: grades A to C (gained or expected) are essential

Apply now!

To Apply for a Paralegal Trailblazer (Level 3) Apprenticeship in our Real Estate team APPLY HERE.  

The application process consists of four steps:

  1. Online Application
  2. Telephone Interview
  3. Face to face interview
  4. Offer

For more information please contact: Jordan Harris.