Training Contracts

Program Overview

Seat Structure

Our training contract is divided into four six-month seats, in which trainees gain experience in multiple practice areas. The second year provides the opportunity to gain exposure to other offices or practice areas in advance of qualifying as a solicitor, including undertaking an international seat in our Brussels, Hong Kong or New York office.

Trainee Development

We pride ourselves on our broad and comprehensive training programme. You will have a regular training schedule. Drawing upon the experience and teaching abilities of our partners, associates and qualified external consultants, we also offer training seminars, workshops and updates for all levels and across all our practice areas. In addition, training is offered in-house, as well as by external speakers who introduce online research tools and other professional services. Trainees also are invited to attend practice area discussions about current practice-specific developments, such as new legislation and court decisions.

Shortly after qualifying, associates attend Skadden’s firm-wide retreat in New York to participate in an intensive four-day program (with associates in the U.S. and German offices) that provides business and legal skills training.


Throughout your training contract, a qualified solicitor will mentor you and provide advice and guidance whenever required. You will receive regular performance reviews and appraisals from the training principal and your supervisor, who will take a proactive role in shaping your development and progression.

Sponsorship and Funding

Skadden maintains an arrangement with BPP Law School for our prospective trainees to study the PGDL and the SQE, which means our trainees have access to a high standard of teaching and receive the benefit of studying together. During the courses, our future trainees are kept up to date with developments in the London office and invited to office-wide events. From the moment you accept a training contract offer at the firm you become a part of the Skadden family.

Skadden pays for the PGDL and SQE course and exam fees and provides a maintenance grant of £12,500 for the duration of the PGDL and £15,000 for the duration of the SQE. 

Salary & Benefits

Skadden provides a highly competitive salary and benefits package that is subject to regular review. The package includes:

  • First-year salary rate: £58,000; second-year salary rate: £63,000    
  • Discretionary year-end bonus    
  • 25 days holiday per calendar year    
  • Technology allowance    
  • Health insurance    
  • Life insurance   
  • Disability insurance    
  • Private medical insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Cycle scheme
  • Interest-free season ticket loan for rail travel
  • Gym allowance up to £500
  • Newly qualified associates currently receive a salary of £165,000, plus discretionary year-end bonus.

Start Your Path

As a trainee at Skadden, you can expect early responsibility, significant client exposure and the opportunity to work on cutting-edge cross-border transactions sooner than you could expect to do so elsewhere. Our lawyers enjoy a friendly, team-oriented and collegiate culture while reaping the many benefits of working for one of the world’s largest and most prominent law firms.

We are looking to recruit 15 graduates to join Skadden as trainee solicitors in 2026. We look for candidates who combine intellectual ability with enthusiasm and creativity.

Click here for an online application

The application window opens on 1 September 2023. The deadline for applications is 10 December 2023.

Undergraduate candidates must have reached at least the second year of their law degree or the final year of a non-law degree to be eligible to apply for a 2026 training contract.