Departure lounge

As a firm with a shared purpose, we’re on a journey to create a positive impact.

When you join us, you’ll be ready and willing to bring your ideas and the best of yourself, but in the cockpit rather than as a passenger.

We’re looking for the brightest future commercial lawyers, who understand the work we undertake, the clients we work for, and who are passionate about principles. We encourage candidates with outside-work interests, which we’d like to see maintained and developed over the coming years. If you’re all this and an excellent communicator with a sound academic background, get in touch.

Finding and developing home-grown talent is important to us. We recruit six trainees each year and look to retain all of them at the end of their training contracts.

Trainee Seats

Over the two years of the training, you’ll do two six-month seats in the first year, followed by three four-month seats in the second year.

Trainees complete a mandatory seat in Charity & Social Enterprise. Other seats available include: Corporate & Commercial, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Immigration, Public & Regulatory and Real Estate. You have the opportunity to input into the seat allocation process throughout your Training Contract, giving you greater flexibility during your training. We’ll help you to choose the seats that will best prepare you for your preferred career path.

You’ll have a dedicated supervisor in each seat, who’ll make sure your work is relevant and varied, with training where necessary.  At the interim and final appraisals for each seat, your supervisor will give feedback on your performance and set objectives for the next stage.

How the application process works

You’ll need to be successful at each stage to move to the next.

Applications for 2021 Summer Vacation Schemes1 October 2020 - 31 January 2021
Applications for 2023 Training Contracts1 October 2020 - 1 June 2021
  1. Complete online application form found through our website.
    The application form asks for you to talk about your academics, experiences and motivation. We also work with Rare recruitment and their contextual recruitment tool, which is built into the application form. We take mitigating circumstances seriously when reviewing applications, so if there is anything we should be aware of please include it on your form.
  2. Complete Watson-Glaser Test
    If you submit a good application you will be asked to complete a short assessment testing your critical thinking skills. The test will be sent to you via email and you will be given up to 7 days to complete the test, unless otherwise stated. Adjustments will be made for those who require them to participate in the process due to a disability.
  3. Interview with 2 members of the trainee recruitment team
    Decisions based on your application and test will determine if you are invited for an interview for a vacation scheme. Interviews are usually held in the office, but given current Covid-19 situation we will be flexible in our approach to interviews and can offer virtual interviews if necessary. The interview is no more than 30-45 minutes, with 2 members of the trainee recruitment team. They will ask questions about your application, as well as motivation for being a Solicitor and joining Bates Wells. Have a think about what it is you want to get from the vacation scheme and be prepared to discuss. Be sure to keep up-to-date with current affairs and have an opinion about what is going on in the world. Once you’ve had your interview a decision will be communicated usually within 10 days.


Applications for our 2021 Summer Vacation Schemes and 2023 Training Contracts open on 1st October 2020!

Our Trainees Team