Training Contracts

Program Overview

Seat Structure

The first year is divided into two six-month seats, in which trainees gain experience in corporate transactions and litigation/international arbitration. 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. Client secondments are arranged on a case-by-case basis.

Trainee Development

We pride ourselves on our broad and comprehensive training programme. In addition to completing your Professional Skills Course, 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 weekly training seminars, workshops and updates for associates at all levels and across our practice areas. In addition, training is offered in-house by providers such as BARBRI and BPP Law School, 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-week 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 GDL and the Fast-Track LPC, which means our trainees are assured places, have access to a high standard of teaching and receive the benefit of studying together. During the LPC, our future trainees are invited to a series of workshops geared towards providing an introduction to the firm. The workshops cover areas such as corporate law, the anatomy of deals and our London practice departments, and include “meet the partners” sessions. We allocate a Skadden “buddy” to all future trainees during the Fast-Track LPC, typically a newly qualified associate who will serve as a point of contact until your qualification as a solicitor. During the GDL and LPC, future trainees also are kept up to date with developments in the London office and invited to all office-wide social events. From the moment you accept a Training Contract offer at the firm you become a part of the Skadden family. We seek to ensure that our trainees are ready to hit the ground running in their first seats.

Skadden pays for the GDL and LPC course fees and provides a maintenance grant of £10,000 for the duration of each course.

Salary & Benefits

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

  • First-year salary rate: £50,000; second-year salary rate: £55,000    
  • 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

Training contracts to commence in September 2023

(Deadline for applications 31 December 2020)
Click here for an online application

Please note that most of our correspondence will be via the email address you provide in your application. You should have regular access to this email account or log into your Skadden application form with your username and password to receive any correspondence.

Once you have submitted your application, you will get an acknowledgement that we have received it. Shortly after the closing date for new applications, we will inform you whether you have been selected for a telephone interview. Assessment days typically consist of a panel interview, a case-study exercise and a group exercise.

Start Your Path

We are looking to recruit approximately 10 to 12 graduates to join Skadden as trainee solicitors in 2023.

Undergraduate candidates must have reached the second year of their law degree or the final year of a non-law degree to be eligible to apply for a 2023 training contract. We look for candidates who combine intellectual ability with enthusiasm and creativity. 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.