Freshfields Graduate Careers
Freshfields is one of the UK's leading law firms and you can find out everything you need to know about their practice and opportunites on their law firm hub.
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The AllAboutLaw perspective on Freshfields
If you’ve dreamed of working with high-profile companies, supporting them as they navigate deals worth billions of pounds, consider applying to Freshfields. In the past five years, the elite magic circle firm has successfully negotiated deals worth £1 trillion, and the firm even helped Mastercard avoid paying £14 billion worth of damages (the largest damages claim in UK history.)
Freshfields’ practice areas fall into three main categories: grow (transactional), strengthen (regulatory) and defend (risk and disputes). While the firm’s eight seats for trainees may seem a little unusual, it allows you to gain a greater breadth of understanding surrounding the legal world. Client and international secondments are also common, with past trainees working with the Bank of England and Goldman Sachs. Freshfields even has 28 offices worldwide, so you’re spoilt for choice!
When trainees aren’t negotiating high-stakes deals, they’re getting involved in the firm’s variety of pro bono opportunities. Trainees have been able to provide free legal advice at a law clinic in Tower Hamlets, work on the Modern Slavery Act, and work with the charity Liberty, who help those experiencing human rights abuses.
While negotiating billion pound deals can be challenging at times, Freshfields trainees feel incredibly supported and valued by the firm. There are plenty of social events for trainees to get involved in, with past events including a theatre-outing club and a winter skiing trip. Past trainees have praised the “completely inspirational, collegiate ambitious people who want to work on the most challenging global transactions, but also have fun along the way.”
What the firm says
At Freshfields, trainees get the chance to work with high-profile matters and household names. The firm includes Lufthansa, Western Union and Volkswagen as some of its clients, and even advised the government on the economic situation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Work of this stature can be challenging, but also provides you with endless opportunities and the chance to gain even more responsibility as you progress.
While you may assume that working on million pound deals means that the firm only recruits those from the upper echelons of society, this could not be further from the truth. Aside from their internal networks for marginalised groups, the firm has a scheme run with the family of Stephen Lawrence. It aims to increase representation of black men from low socioeconomic backgrounds, by providing them with mentoring and work experience. One trainee summed it up best: “our people make our firm.”
- 1st year trainee£50,000
- 2nd year trainee£55,000
- GDL course fees paidYes
- GDL living costs grant£10,000
- Retention rate Feb 202397%
- UK Offices2
- NQ salary£125,000
- SQE course fees paidYes
- SQE Living costs grant£20,000
- A Levels Not Assessed
- Degree Not Assessed