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 people and partners, our client testimonials and industry awards. 

Our three core divisions – Company Commercial, Real Estate and Infrastructure and Private Client – cover a wide range of practice areas. 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 around 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 in each seat. You can chose to apply for 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 Responsible Business 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. Aside from working, 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.

2020 Recruitment Process Update

Ensuring the wellbeing, health and safety of candidates and colleagues is our priority and we are monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on all aspects of our business in line with government advice. With the likelihood of this outbreak continuing into the summer, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Exeter and Bristol Summer Schemes this year.

We are still recruiting!

Our Assessment Centres will now take place in August and we are making provisions for these to be held virtually. 

All candidates will be informed of the outcome of their application by Friday 10 July 2020.

Applications for this year’s recruitment cycle are now closed. Applications for 2021 will open on 1 November 2020.

I have already submitted a Summer Scheme application, what should I do?

To ensure fairness, we are considering applications already submitted for our 2020 Summer Schemes, in addition to those submitted for our Assessment Centres.


Law Fairs 2020:

Exeter: Wednesday 18 November
Cardiff: Tuesday 27 October
Bristol: Thursday 1 October
University of Law (Bristol): TBC

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Contact us

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