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Bates Wells Graduate Careers

Welcome to the Bates Wells law firm hub. Find out everything you need to know about the firm and how to apply for one of their opportunities. 

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The AllAboutLaw perspective on Bates Wells

Bates Wells' employees work within a record-breaking firm: the first UK law firm to achieve B Corp certification. This means the firm genuinely cares about people, society and the environment, balancing social purpose and environmental agenda with profit. As a trainee at Bates Wells, you can ensure you will be working in a business that cares equally about people, profit and the planet. 

Bates Wells put social and environmental impact at the forefront of their training contracts, as all trainees complete a six-month seat in their Charity & Social Enterprise department. With only a small cohort of trainees recruited annually, trainees hold plenty of responsibility, working closely with dedicated supervisors and senior lawyers. The firm is looking for candidates who understand the work they undertake and are passionate about their core principles, and they particularly encourage applications from candidates who have interests outside of law. 

What the firm says

Making a profit is core to all businesses but Bates Wells’ goal is to combine this with a real social purpose. The firm’s values are pivotal to them, they shape their decisions and the way the firm lives and works.

Bates Wells focuses on positive social impact as much as they focus on being a successful law firm. The firm's top tier legal advice is coupled with a real desire to drive change and they were the first UK law firm with B Corp certification, awarded to businesses that balance purpose and profit.

Today, the firm’s clients are diverse – from corporate household names and public bodies to start-ups. Bates Wells are also the firm of choice for thousands of charities and social enterprises. The firm continues to lead the market they helped to shape.

Bates Wells challenges what is possible in legal expertise delivery.



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Academic requirements

Training contract requirements

We are looking for solid academic achievers – those who have achieved at least ABB at A-Level, plus a 2:1 or above at university. We work with RARE and use their contextualised recruitment system that helps us to recruit candidates from a diverse socio-economic background. The tool provides us with a valuable insight into the context of which grades were achieved. Working with RARE means we are able to recognise talent that we might have missed based on our selection criteria. This means we encourage everyone to complete this information on the form so we can have a better picture, particularly in relation to A-Level grades. 

We are also really interested in what sort of post-graduate study you have embarked on, if any, as we are always looking for academic progression. This means if your grades at A-Level/undergrad level are more inconsistent and do not meet the selection criteria, but you have shown development at post-grad stage, your recent academics will be viewed more positively.

Please note that academics are only part of the form and part of what is taken into consideration! We are also interested in how your values align with ours and what practical examples you can provide to demonstrate this as well as why you want to be a trainee solicitor at the firm. We are interested in finding out who you are, and why you’ve decided to apply, so academics form only part of the decisions.

Please be aware that we take into account mitigating circumstances, and would encourage you to include this on your form. We take mitigating circumstances very seriously, and if you’re unsure if your experience/situation constitutes a mitigating circumstance we would encourage you to include it anyway – any extra colour is helpful, especially if you believe they have impacted your academic performance at any stage. You are welcome to speak with Daisy Mortimer (, Senior Recruitment and Trainee Development Advisor about this too before submitting an application.