Ashfords is a top 100 law firm with six offices, including a significant presence in London, that provides legal and professional services to businesses and individuals throughout the UK and abroad. We’re based predominantly in the South West, with our biggest office in the vibrant city of Exeter.
Ashfords has always been about its people. We want our employees to be engaged and motivated, so that our clients will benefit from a fresh and friendly approach. Our open-plan offices lend well to this idea as all our employees get to work alongside the Partners and Lawyers who are supervising them. Our aim is to create an open atmosphere for staff and clients alike.
We have a clear understanding of our markets with an absolute focus on our clients. We have significant experience and depth of knowledge in our business areas. These include real estate, energy, projects, corporate, commercial, technology and private client. Our clients tell us that we genuinely understand their challenges and their sectors – and that we focus on finding solutions, rather than problems.
As a leading UK law firm we are proud of our commitment to social and environmental concerns. Our corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme is employee-led, and as part of this we raised over £66,000 for Mind in 2015: more than three times our original target.
You will experience four areas of law during your training contract, spending six months getting to grips with each department. You have a choice of either a Bristol or South West-based training contract. Our South West trainees will have the opportunity to work across our Exeter, Taunton and Plymouth offices. We also offer flexibility for trainees to complete a seat in another office if the opportunity arises, including London.
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We are looking for exceptional candidates who will be an asset to our firm, but equally we recognise that we need to impress you. The best way to see if we're right for you is to attend our Summer Scheme, which is designed to give you an honest insight into working at Ashfords.
You will spend a week at either our Bristol or Exeter office working in two departments, getting to grips with some challenging yet rewarding Trainee work. You'll also spend time with our current Trainees getting first-hand knowledge of what it's like to be a part of the Trainee programme at Ashfords.
We will be running the one week schemes will through June and July. The Assessment Centre will take place on the final day.
Ashfords have recently launched a new Apprentice Programme and offer both Legal Administrator Apprentice and Paralegal Apprentice positions.
Our apprentices will have the opportunity to develop as individuals and grow their careers in an environment which supports people to be the best that they can.
We are looking for people who are highly motivated to learn and have a positive, can-do approach. You will need to demonstrate excellent communication skills, be highly organised and have good attention to detail. We also expect a good standard of education and would be looking for you to have 8 GCSEs at grade A*- C (including Maths & English); for the Paralegal apprenticeship you must also have (or be expecting) 3 A Levels at grade C or above.
Legal Administrator (Level 2)
This is a fantastic opportunity to prepare for a career in a professional services environment. At the end of the 18 month apprenticeship, there is the possibility to move into a variety of different roles including legal secretary or paralegal.
Paralegal (Level 3)
Our Paralegal apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to start a career in law without needing to go to university. At the end of the two years, you could remain as a paralegal or continue on through to chartered legal executive studies.
Salary & Benefits
Salary varies with location
South West - Competitive Bristol - Competitive
Full course bursary given for the LPC when you study at any University of Law. All PSC courses and Practice Certificate fees are paid by the firm.
The annual benefits include:
- 23 days paid leave (increases to 25 on qualification)
- Birthday day off
- Additional Ashfords Christmas day off
- Holiday purchase scheme
- Free in-house gym (Exeter office)
- 5% non-contributory pension
- Membership of The Junior Lawyers Division
- Cycle scheme
- Annual bonus scheme
- Firm-funded healthcare cash plan (Medicash)
We receive a large number of applications and look for trainees with a minimum 2:1 degree. However, if you have a different background – such as another degree, or you've come through an unusual route, that might not be a barrier. Just make it clear what you think you can offer us in your application! We are always interested in taking a closer look at applicants who can recognise their own unique skills.
If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please do not hesitate to get in touch!
Our Trainee Recruitment Team can be contacted via email or telephone:
01392 333 634
Key Dates for 2020 Training Contracts
- 2 November 2017 – application forms available on our website
- 30 April 2018 – deadline for all applications
- June 2018 – Summer Schemes (including Assessment Centres)
- 11 - 15 June (Exeter)
- 18 - 22 June (Bristol)
- July 2018 - Assessment Centres
- 3 July (Bristol)
- 5 July (Exeter)
This year we will be at the following Law Fairs, please feel free to come along to discuss Ashfords' Training Contracts with us:
- Cardiff University - 31 October 2017?
- University of Bristol - 1 November 2017
- University of Exeter - 15 November 2017
- UoL Bristol - 22 November 2017
- UWE - 29 November 2017