When it comes to landing a training contract, there are several criteria that aspiring trainees must meet. A training contract is a two-year program that prepares individuals to become solicitors in the UK. It involves a combination of practical work experience, training and formal assessments. To ensure that you stand a good chance of securing a training contract, it`s important to understand the key criteria that law firms look for. In this article, we`ll discuss the most important training contract criteria.

Academic Achievements

Law firms typically look for candidates who have achieved good grades in their degree, particularly in law. A 2:1 (second-class, upper division) is usually the minimum requirement, but some firms may require a first-class degree. However, if your degree is in a subject other than law, some firms may consider you if you have achieved a commendable academic record.

Work Experience

Most law firms prefer candidates who have had some work experience, particularly in a legal setting. This could include work experience in a law firm, court or legal department. It is important to highlight any relevant work experience you have had in your CV and cover letter.

Extra-curricular Activities

Extra-curricular activities that demonstrate teamwork, leadership, and communication skills are highly valued by law firms. These could include volunteering for a charity, participating in a moot court, or being a member of a sports team.

Commercial Awareness

Commercial awareness is an important skill for aspiring solicitors. It involves an understanding of the business environment in which law firms operate and how legal solutions can be applied to client’s problems. You should be able to demonstrate an understanding of business and economic news and trends.

Communication Skills

Effective communication skills are crucial for solicitors. Law firms look for candidates who are articulate and able to communicate legal concepts clearly and persuasively. Good written and oral communication skills are also essential.

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is an important quality that is always in demand by law firms. As a solicitor, you will be drafting legal documents, contracts and briefs and it is essential that you pay attention to the smallest details to avoid errors that could have costly consequences.


In conclusion, securing a training contract with a law firm requires a combination of academic achievement, work experience, extra-curricular activities, commercial awareness, communication skills and attention to detail. Highlighting your skills and experiences that meet these criteria in your CV and cover letter can help you to stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of securing a training contract. Additionally, it can be helpful to research law firms and their recruitment processes to get an idea of the specific requirements before you apply.