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Our eight-seat training contract

Three people walking in corridor

The heart of our offering is the eight-seat training contract, in which you experience up to eight three-month seats over two years.

If you like the sound of a career at freshfields, why not apply to join us as a trainee? If successful, you’ll be on one of the most sought after, flexible training contracts in the legal profession.

Seats in corporate, dispute resolution and finance are standard for all trainees. Other seats are available in antitrust, competition and trade; people and reward; real estate; and tax. You can visit core practice groups more than once. Many trainees want to try out more than one specialist team or return to a seat they want to qualify into.

As a Freshfields trainee, you can also apply for a secondment at one of our network offices, such as Paris, Hong Kong, Dubai or New York – or with a client, including our pro bono clients.

‘The eight-seat rotation offers a really high level of flexibility. It gives you all the opportunities you need to find something you enjoy enough to want to do for the rest of your career.’
Gifty Okonkwo, trainee
I encourage all of the trainees who sit with me to endeavour to approach their training contract with an open mind.
Nick Ames, senior associate

The support we offer


Throughout your training contract we offer you plenty of guidance. Much of this will be on the job as you work with partners and associates. We operate an open-door policy, so you should always be able to find someone to answer your questions.

When you first arrive there’s a two-week induction. This includes practical skills workshops and advice to help you hit the ground running. After that, we offer legal training on a departmental basis and business skills training in how to work productively, delegate and handle pressure.

Mentoring and coaching

Formal training will only take you so far. Sometimes you just need a friendly word of advice from someone who’s been there before.

So we allocate every trainee a trainee intake partner (TIP). They are your personal mentor throughout your two-year training contract. You can catch up with your TIP at any time, and you’ll meet them halfway through your training contract to discuss progress. There’s also one-to-one coaching available from our trainee development team.

Help choosing seats

Before you arrive at Freshfields, we’ll invite you to a ‘departmental fair’ in our London office to help you choose the first seat you’ll be working in. After that we offer regular drop-in advice sessions on seat moves.

The experience you gain

Working as a trainee at Freshfields can be hard work. The hours can be long, especially when a deal is closing or you’re nearing settlement or trial in a dispute.

At the same time, the work is fast-paced, varied and challenging. You’ll get plenty of client exposure and responsibility – invaluable experience as you move forward in your training contract.

International work

We’ll give you the support you need to become an international commercial lawyer. That doesn’t mean you’ll be globetrotting from day one. But you may well help co-ordinate work across borders from London – perhaps taking instructions from Singapore in the morning or talking to counsel in Brazil in the afternoon.

In time, though, there will be plenty of opportunities to travel or even to work abroad.