The Role

To obtain a training contract and become an associate at the firm, you must apply through our vacation scheme. We have two, week-long schemes over spring and summer where you will gain valuable insight into what it is like to work at Reed Smith.

If you are successful in obtaining a training contract with us, you will experience a programme that is supportive, challenging and exciting, offering unparalleled pro bono, client and international secondments. You will rotate in four, six-month seats across the firm’s practice areas to gain the most comprehensive training possible.


We are also amongst the first firms to offer a unique approach to the Solicitor’s Qualifying Examination with our brand new Professional SQE programme. Future trainees will gain experience in the firm’s numerous business services teams whilst also studying for their exams, providing them with important insight into the work we do across the firm.


About Reed Smith

Reed Smith is a dynamic, international law firm dedicated to helping clients move their businesses forward. With an inclusive and innovative mindset, we deliver smarter, more creative legal services that drive better outcomes for our clients, for ourselves, and for our communities.  We operate as one global partnership and have more than 3,000 employees (including more than 1,700 lawyers) across 30 offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Our deep industry knowledge includes energy and natural resources, financial services, life sciences and healthcare, entertainment and media and transportation.

We drive progress for…


  • 59 of the world’s 100 largest companies*
  • All of the top 10 banks* in the United States, EU and UK
  • 9 of the top 10 life sciences and health care companies*
  • 6 of the top 10 shipping industry companies*
  • All of the top 10 commercial and savings banks*
  • 2 of the top 5 chemical industry companies*


Our unique culture, which allows trainees to turn passions into careers, is one of the reasons our lawyers remain with us for such a long time, moving seats, job roles and even countries whilst still sticking with the firm.


Salary and Benefits

  • Funding for GDL and SQE (fees and maintenance grant)
  • £50,000 starting salary to £55,000 in your second year
  • 25 days annual holiday (with the opportunity to buy or sell more)
  • Permanent health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Contributory pension scheme
  • And many more!


  • 2:1 (or equivalent) in an undergraduate degree of any discipline

Application Process

  • Online application
  • Situational strengths test
  • Virtual interview
  • Case study and written exercise