Graduate Opportunities

What you'll be doing

You will experience four areas of law during your training contract, spending six months in each seat. You can choose to apply for a Bristol or a South West-based training contract. Our South West trainees will have the opportunity to work across our Exeter 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 be immersed in the life of a full-service law firm. We offer hands-on experience, early responsibility and client involvement. You can expect to be working alongside experienced lawyers and partners, who are leaders in their field, on a daily basis, to develop your technical skills and broaden your commercial awareness.

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SQE pathways

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year training contract

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Seats across the firm

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500 %

Trainee retention rate in 2023

To make sure that everything is on track, you will have regular review meetings with your supervisor to monitor your development. Our trainees also play an integral role in wider firm initiatives, such as assisting with business development and marketing events, which provide exposure to our diverse client base.

There is far more to life at Ashfords than just the day job - you will have the chance to get involved in various social activities ranging from the annual ball, to sports clubs and 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! Ashfords’ trainees continue to run the XYBC (Exeter Young Business Club) to encourage inter-profession social and networking activities across the local young professional community.

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Who you are

There is no magic recipe for the perfect Trainee. However, at Ashfords, there are characteristics that we value. We are looking for individuals who are curious, ambitious and willing 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. We expect our trainees to get stuck in and integrate with each team they are a member of, so an open mind and personable, can-do attitude is essential!

We want our Trainees to be our Partners of the future, which is why we ‘recruit to retain’. Our commitment to this is demonstrated by our consistently high retention rates (100% in 2023). We’re really proud of this achievement, and our Trainees choosing to remain at Ashfords to grow their careers is testament to our collaborative and supportive culture, combined with the high quality work that we offer.

Interested in learning more about Ashfords, the training contract, and the opportunities on offer? Click below to download our Graduate Recruitment Brochure.

Download our brochure

How we support you

We know how important your career development is to you, so we want to provide you with the tools to succeed.


For each seat you will have a dedicated supervisor, who will provide you with regular feedback and will lead a review meeting with you twice during each seat to monitor your development.


We understand that it can also be helpful to speak to a more objective third party regarding any issues that you may be experiencing.

Jess Iley, Talent Attraction Manager, will be your HR point of contact and will be available to support you throughout your training. Jess will be in regular contact with both you and your supervisor in order to monitor your performance, as well as ensuring that all mid and end of seat reviews are fully completed.

Training Principal

Our Training Principal, Kerry Morgan-Gould, will ensure that your training contract complies with SRA regulations and will assist the HR team in making sure that you receive adequate supervision and feedback throughout your training contract.

We believe that each Trainee’s experience is unique to them so it’s important that we get to know you as an individual. Once per seat, Kerry will meet with you for an informal catch up and you will have one-to-one discussions with Jess about your future seat move preferences so that we can help you to optimise your training contract experience.

Dates for your diary


Applications for our 2026 campaign are now open. Simply click the button below to start your application. The deadline for applications is 31 March 2024.

Law Fairs

We regularly attend law fairs at universities around the country to discuss the graduate opportunities available at Ashfords. Below are the 2023 law fairs we will be attending:

  • University of Law Fair - 16 October 2023
  • Cardiff Law Fair - 1 November 2023
  • Exeter Law Fair – 15 November 2023
  • Bristol Law Fair - TBC
Apply now