About our training contracts

Hear about our training contracts from our Training Principal, Stuart Evans

Stuart gives an overview of training contracts at Gateley, including:

  • the two sponsored routes to qualification that are available at Gateley;
  • how the training contract is structured; and
  • the role of supervisor. 


Once you are on a training contract

Learn more about what to expect once you are on your training contract with Gateley

Here our Training Principal, Stuart Evans, gives an overview of the induction process, talks about the Gateley graduate getaway and discusses other initiatives that trainees and apprentices can get involved in. 




How to apply for a training contract

Hear about the application process at Gateley

Our Training Principal, Stuart Evans, talks about how to apply for a training contract, including:

  • what qualifications are needed;
  • whether you need to have studied law previously;
  • when and how to apply;
  • what the summer vacation scheme involves; and
  • when offers are made to successful applicants. 

Attend an in-person insight evening

The best way to find out more about life at Gateley and how to join us is to attend one of our in-person insight events across our offices. These are aimed at students and graduates of any degree discipline looking to apply for a summer vacation scheme and training contract or graduate solicitor apprenticeship in 2023/24.

An insight evening is an excellent opportunity for you to discover more about our business, culture, purpose and values, as well as our key legal practice areas. We’ll tell you about how our training contract and graduate solicitor apprenticeship application process works and provide an insight into what your training and graduate development programme will look like when you join us. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet lots of our people and ask any questions you may have.

Insight evening dates are as follows: 

  • 10 October 2023 – Birmingham 
  • 9 November 2023 – Manchester 
  • 15 & 16 November 2023 – Nottingham 
  • 5 December 2023 – Reading 
  • 11 January 2024 – Leeds 

All events will run from 5:30pm to 7.30pm. To secure your place, please email emergingtalent@gateleyplc.com stating which date you would like to attend.

We recruit our future trainee solicitors and graduate solicitor apprentices directly from our summer vacation placements.

By attending one of our vacation schemes you’ll experience a week in the life of a trainee solicitor and graduate solicitor apprentice, which will include real responsibility, working on case files, and attending meetings. You will be supported by your assigned team and trainee buddy, who will guide you through the week and answer any questions you may have.

The summer vacation placement scheme is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about our business, purpose and values and ask our current trainees and graduate solicitor apprentices about their training and advice on the recruitment process. There will be opportunities for you to get to know our people and spend time with them in a social environment too.

When can you apply?

Applications for summer vacation placements, training contracts and graduate solicitor apprenticeships open on 6 November 2023 and close on 31 January 2024.

Where are summer vacation placements held? 

Our summer vacation placements take place in our Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and Reading offices. We advise candidates to apply for a summer vacation placement at the same location in which they would like to start their training as it offers a great snapshot into what life is like in that Gateley office. 

Who can apply?

You can apply for a summer vacation placement if:

  • you are in your penultimate or final year of a law degree, or have graduated after completing a law degree
  • you are in your final year of a non-law degree, or have graduated after completing a non-law degree. 

How do you apply for a summer vacation placement?

  • Complete our online form once applications open.
  • After we have received your application all applicants will be invited to complete an interactive assessment.
  • All applications and interactive assessments will be reviewed after the closing date so don’t be concerned if you do not hear from us straightaway.
  • If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to attend a virtual assessment centre which includes an opportunity to meet some of our trainees and emerging talent team.
  • If you are successful at the assessment centre, you will be invited to join one of our summer vacation placements which usually take place in June and July.
  • Training contract offers are made within two weeks of completion of the placement. If you are unsuccessful, we will let you know what you could have done differently or better, to support you with future applications at Gateley or elsewhere.

Hear from a former trainee

5 top tips on how to approach your vacation scheme

Georgia Horrocks shares some of the lessons that she learnt during her vacation scheme placement

Read more

Sign up to receive a notification when applications open

Answers to your key questions

How many places do you offer each year? 

We usually offer 25 training contracts and graduate solicitor apprenticeships, however this is reviewed each year to ensure it meets business needs. 

If I don’t obtain a 2:1 degree, will you withdraw my offer? 

Academics are important and you should aim for the best school/ college and university grades as you can. However, we understand that individuals may have mitigating circumstances and there is a section on our application form where you can detail these. 

We always look at applications and your summer vacation placement experience as a whole. If you have shown strengths in other areas and have demonstrated elements of our Gateley Team Spirit, we will consider all university degree grades. 

What is the salary for a trainee solicitor and graduate solicitor apprentice? 

Our trainee salaries are reviewed annually.

The September 2023 salary for first year trainee solicitors and graduate solicitor apprentices in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham is £28,000, increasing to £30,000 in the second year.

The salary for trainee solicitors and graduate solicitor apprentice in our Reading and Guildford offices is £32,000 in the first year, increasing to £34,000 in the second year. 

Trainee solicitors and graduate solicitor apprentice in our London office receive £36,000 in the first year and £38,500 in the second year.

Do you specify where I should study?

We are now sponsoring our future trainees to complete the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). If you have not already completed the LPC and have accepted a training contract offer from us, we will ask you to study the LLM in Legal Practice (SQE 1 and 2) at the University of Law. If you need to complete a conversion course and have accepted a training contract offer with us, we will sponsor you to complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) at the University of Law.

If you have any extenuating circumstances which may affect where you can study we would be happy to discuss this with you.

Do you provide financial assistance through law school?

When you accept your training contract, we will provide financial support for your law school studies. 

What contact will I have with my cohort and Gateley legal during the two years between my training contract or graduate solicitor apprenticeship offer and starting at the company?

We want to help you get settled into life at Gateley as soon as possible so you will be invited to our Gateley Graduate Get-Together events before you join to help you get to know us more and feel part of our team. You will also be assigned a current trainee solicitor or graduate solicitor apprentice buddy and be able to contact our emerging talent team whenever you need to. 

Do I get to choose my seats? 

Our training contracts and graduate solicitor apprenticeships are made up of four six-month seats. We do our very best to ensure at least one of these is a seat of your choice, in line with SRA guidelines and business needs. 

We require trainee solicitors and graduate solicitor apprentices to do seats in the following core legal areas:

One of:
Real estate
One of:
One of:
Banking & finance 
Restructuring advisory 
Real estate
Residential development
Dispute resolution
Restructuring litigation
Property litigation


Do you offer client secondments?

Yes, many of our trainees have spent very rewarding and insightful seats working on client secondments. Let us know during your second seat if you are interested in a secondment for your third or final seat.