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.

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 weekly training seminars, workshops and updates for associates at all levels and across 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-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 PGDL and the SQE, which means our trainees are assured places, 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. We seek to ensure that our trainees are ready to hit the ground running in their first seats.

Skadden pays for the PGDL and SQE course and exam 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
  • Newly qualified associates currently receive a salary of £150,000, plus discretionary year-end bonus.

Training contracts to commence in September 2024

Click here for an online application

The application window opens on 1 October 2021. The deadline for applications is 20 December 2021.

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 will follow the telephone interviews and consist of a panel interview, a case-study exercise and a group exercise.

Our London office will relocate to 22 Bishopsgate in the City of London at the end of 2022 or early in 2023. Our new building is at the forefront of sustainability and technology advancements, and will be a fantastic place for clients to visit and our people to work.

Start Your Path

We are looking to recruit approximately 12 graduates to join Skadden as trainee solicitors in 2024.

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 2024 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.