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Training Contracts 2022 - London and Manchester

Apply for our 2022 training contacts (London & Manchester)

Who are we?

We are a top 100 law firm committed to claimant-only cases, ensuring that individuals have the same access to justice as the UK Government and large corporations. We’re not afraid to take on difficult and challenging cases involving medical negligence, serious personal injuries, discrimination in the workplace, defective products and human rights abuses in this country and overseas. We offer a market-leading service to our clients who include individuals from around the world, charities and global NGOs.

Our trainees are a top priority for the future of our firm. We are very proud that our current retention rate of trainees on qualification is 90%. Many of our partners and heads of departments have trained with us.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for candidates who are able to demonstrate:

  • Excellent fit with our ethos - a genuine passion for claimant law and providing access to justice for all.
  • High standards of academic achievement, at least a 2:1 degree classification and typically 128 UCAS tariff points (or equivalent) or better.
  • Ability to solve problems, demonstrating good judgement and critical reasoning.
  • Excellent written & verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to deal sensitively with clients and experts.
  • Excellent organisation and prioritisation skills, with the enthusiasm to work in a busy team environment.
  • Confidence, persistence and resilience to consistently deliver the highest quality of work under pressure and in the face of change.
  • Sincerity, positivity and flexibility to ensure our clients receive first rate service, at all times.

What is it like to be a trainee with Leigh Day?

Unlike many firms, we offer two 12 month training seats as we believe this is the best way to acquire more responsibilities, get stuck in to cases and develop a true in-depth appreciation of a particular area of law. A London trainee should typically expect to be assigned their first seat in clinical negligence, employment or personal injury, before expressing a preference as to where they would like to spend their second seat, which might be in our employment, human rights or international departments although much depends on the cases being run and the needs of the firm. Manchester trainees should typically expect to undertake one seat with clinical negligence and the other with personal injury or employment. 

As a trainee, you will work closely with a supervising partner/ associate on client work and have a dedicated learning and development team on hand to support you through the professional training. Our learning and development team also support you with a comprehensive development programme, drawing on the experience of internal and external experts, to build your skills as a solicitor for the future.

You will also be actively encouraged to get involved with a lot of cross-department charitable and fundraising activities to get to know the firm. You will also have the opportunity to interact regularly with other trainees, solicitors, partners and staff members through our many social events, clubs and networks.

Read about some of past and present trainee experiences!

How does the application process work?

How do I apply?

All interested applicants need to apply via our online application system.

You will be able to access the link when you click on the Apply Now button at the head of the page.

You will only be able to access the link once the application process is open.

We do not accept speculative and/ or applications made in any other format.

What are the application opening and closing dates?

The application process for London and Manchester 2022 and Manchester 2021 training contract opportunities;

Opens on: 26 March 2021 (Friday) @ 00:00

Closes on: 22 April 2021 (Thursday) @ 23:59

When will I find out if my application has been successful?

We aim to update everyone on the status of their application within 3-4 weeks of the closing date.

Those candidates who are successful at the application stage will be invited to attend an assessment day. 

The assessment day will include panel interviews with Partners, covering a mix of competency, skills and opinion based questions, along with ability tests and a written assessment.

When are the assessment dates?

Assessments for London and Manchester will take place in mid-June 2021.

When can I expect to hear the final outcome?

We aim to make our final decisions shortly after the assessment days. Assessed candidates will be informed about the outcome of their applications within 1-2 weeks of their assessment day.

What should I include in the online application form?

Academic achievement

We look for a high standard of academic achievement; at least a 2:1 degree classification and the equivalent of 128 UCAS tariff points or better. For any academic qualifications gained outside of the UK, please ensure you provide as much detail as you can about them in the boxes provided.

We do consider extenuating circumstances and contextual information related to your time in education, so we may still be able to consider your application if you have not achieved our academic requirements.

Please highlight any extenuating circumstances in the relevant section of the application form but please note you may be required to provide evidence, should your application be progressed.

Our online application form is integrated with the Rare Contextual Recruitment System (CRS). If you sat your Key Stage 5 exams (A-level or equivalent) in the UK from 2011 onwards, a ‘Performance Indication’ score can be generated relating to the grades you attained from that school/ college against the average that was attained there, that year. If you have significantly over-performed compared to the average grades of that school/ college, for that year, but still fall short of our academic requirements, we may still be able to progress your application.

Work history

Our applicants could come from many backgrounds; some may have gained experience with law firms similar to ours or worked with NGOs and charities, where others may have worked across completely different sectors. We're interested in the demonstration of the relevant skills, approaches and responsibilities you have developed from these roles and how you have successfully applied them, no matter where or how they have been gained.

Please provide information on all roles where you have demonstrated the attributes that we value and that will make you a successful trainee/ future solicitor.

Covering letter

This should include why you are interested in a Training Contract with Leigh Day, any relevant life experiences that highlight the personal attributes we value and your commitment to providing exceptional client care and access to justice, to all.

The covering letter section is limited to a maximum word count of 1000. This is typically equivalent to two sides of A4 in font Arial, size 11.

Other experience

We value everyone’s unique background, circumstances and pathway equally, so if you feel that you have not been able to articulate and express any information relevant to your application elsewhere in the form, please include it here. However, you should not feel obligated to share anything here if you are satisfied that you have already included everything to support your application in the previous sections.

Commitment to social mobility 

As a firm that does not fund the Legal Practice Course (LPC) fees for all trainees, we recognise this can create a barrier to application for some candidates who are not in a position to self-fund their studies and who may consider larger firms that are able to provide financial assistance, ahead of us.


We also recognise that applicants that have not been able to gain valuable insight and work experience in the legal sector or with vulnerable individuals through legal internships, mini pupillages or volunteer work, may feel they are at a disadvantage through the application and selection process and decide not to apply.


We do not wish this to be the case, so to help counteract this, we are proud to be continuing our partnership with Rare’s Contextual Recruitment System (CRS), which aids identifying and progressing high potential candidates from less-advantaged backgrounds. We also ensure that all application and selection criteria can be achieved through multiple means, which are valued equally and do not put any individual or group at a disadvantage.


Finally, we have a scholarship fund in place to cover LPC costs. For more information, please read on….. 


Commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Leigh Day is committed to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion. We value the diversity of our colleagues, our clients and the third parties with whom we work. We seek to create an environment where everyone feels included and valued for their unique characteristics, skills and abilities and supported in their needs and responsibilities. We already have well established committees and networks that have achieved significant success already, and we are in the process of developing and launching more.

BAME Network

Our BAME Network is led by a committee of staff from across the firm. It focuses on improving recruitment and progression of all BAME staff, encouraging diversity within the firm’s networks, educating and reflecting on the wider race debate and increasing accessibility to the legal profession.

In 2019, we launched a Solicitor Apprenticeship Scheme to help address the underrepresentation of qualified solicitors of black African and/or Caribbean heritage working at Leigh Day and within the wider legal community.

LGBT+ & Allies Network

Our LGBT+ & Allies Network is driven by a committee of staff members. The network’s activities include organising seminars and events of LGBT+ interest, providing a peer support network for LGBT+ staff and ensuring the firm's policies and practices support LGBT+ staff. 

We are a Stonewall Diversity Champion and have recently entered the top 100 of the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.

Disability & Allies Network

Our Disability & Allies Network is led by the Disability Steering Committee, and progresses our aims through a variety of specific events and activities and hold events jointly with the other Leigh Day Networks to explore areas of common experience and interest.


Can I send in a copy of my CV and covering letter instead of completing an application online?

We only accept applications through our online application system. We do not accept speculative and/ or applications made in any other format.

Are you a registered sponsor for Tier 2 visas?

We are currently applying to become a registered Tier 2 visa sponsor and will be accepting applications from those who will need sponsorship for the 2022 intake.

I’ve already submitted my application form, but I need to edit it. How do I make changes?

Once you have submitted your application form, you are able to log back in and update your personal details and academic achievement sections if you have changed address or have received exam results after your submission. All other sections will be locked from editing after submission, so please ensure you have thoroughly reviewed your application content and are happy with it before submission.

Will I get feedback on my application?

Due to the number of applications we receive, we are unable to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications. However, we are able to provide feedback to candidates who attend an assessment day.

Does Leigh Day provide sponsorship/ funding?

We do not offer funding or maintenance for the GDL and/ or LPC for all of our trainees, however we do have a scholarship scheme that will cover the LPC course costs for one trainee, which will be awarded on merit and financial need.

Do you have a preferred LPC provider?

You are free to choose where to complete your LPC and which electives you take.

How do you accommodate applicants/ trainees that require 'reasonable adjustments'?

During the selection process you will always be asked if reasonable adjustments are required, and you can contact the recruitment team in confidence that they will do what they can to ensure you are supported appropriately.

Likewise, a successful trainee will discuss the necessary support required, so our facilities team, IT team, trainee supervisors and training course providers are all able to respond accordingly.

I intend to follow the SQE route. Should I still apply?

We are only supporting the LPC route to qualification for the 2022 intake, however, we will be welcoming and supporting the SQE route from our 2023 intakes onwards.

I have obtained/ am currently studying towards my LPC. Will this be my last opportunity to apply to Leigh Day's training contract?

We intend to support both LPC and SQE routes to qualification for the 2023 intake, which will open for applications in early 2022. 

You will still be able to apply with the LPC beyond 2023 but you will complete your training with the SQE2 rather than the current PSC.

Do you prefer applicants from current undergraduates or from graduates with paralegal experience?

We do not have a preference on applicant background.

Many of our trainees have been paralegals with Leigh Day or other firms before taking up their training contract, however, any applicant that can demonstrate the skills, attitude and ethos we're looking will be considered equally.

I have read all of the useful information available but could not find answers to all of my questions, who do I contact?