Graduate Recruitment FAQ

Timely. Solutions.

  • Getting to know Travers Smith

    Topics include application research, open days, work experience, first-year schemes, campus ambassadors and preferred law school providers.

  • Eligibility

    Topics include work experience, vacation schemes, universities, academic requirements, PGDL/LPC grade requirements and reapplications. 

  • Applications

    Topics include the application process, application screening, cover letters, CVs, future work experience and what to do if you have forgotten to include important information. 

  • Interviews

    Topics include virtual interviews, interview format and interview feedback.

  • Vacation Schemes

    Topics include how many spaces we have on each scheme, how much we pay, the format of the scheme and how you are assessed on the scheme. 

  • International Applicants

    Topics include whether international applicants can apply and what to do if you attended a school/university outside of the UK. 

  • PGDL, LPC and SQE

    Topics include the SQE, the LPC and PGDL. 

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Getting to know Travers Smith

What should I do to research the firm for my application?

We have a number of online profiles with the likes of Chambers Student, Lex100, AllAboutLaw, Legal Cheek and more, as well as podcasts that allow you to gain an insight into the work we do and our culture.

We also attend and host numerous virtual events and law fairs, which you can keep up to date with on our events page and Instagram @traverssmithgraduates 

Does Travers Smith offer open days?

At Travers Smith, we do not offer open days. However, we do run a PRIME scheme for Year 12 students from lower income groups.

We also partner with University Law Societies, and regularly host events with them, so join your Law society for more details.

Does Travers Smith offer work experience?

We run a winter vacation scheme and three summer vacation schemes which are the only formal work experience opportunities for students.

Does Travers Smith offer first-year schemes?

We do not offer any first-year schemes. However, we do often run events for first-year students which you can keep up to date with on our events page and social media. We encourage you to attend events, join your university law society and read up on the firm as early as possible to gain insight into the firm.

Can I be a campus ambassador for Travers Smith?

Unfortunately, we do not offer campus ambassador opportunities.

Do you have a preferred law school provider?

We partner with BPP Law School, so we prefer students to study the PGDL or LPC here.


I have no legal work experience, should I still apply?

It is not a requirement to have completed any legal work experience in order to have a successful application. Any experience – legal or non-legal - is valuable and will be taken into account when reviewing your application.

Do I need to complete a vacation scheme to get a training contract?

Vacation schemes are the best way of gaining a deeper understanding of Travers Smith, our work and our culture and to help you to make your informed choice about whether you want to train with us.

In recent years, we have filled the vast majority of our training contract places with students from the vacation schemes, but we have also recruited directly. However, this is dependent on the outcome of the schemes. If we have spaces, we will open the direct training contract process after the schemes which tends to be early August.

Who are your vacation schemes open to?

Our vacation schemes are open to everyone, whether you are a university student or a career-changer. We do typically recruit two years in advance to allow for non-law students to complete the PGDL and all students to do the LPC but we can make an exception if the application is particularly strong.

I didn't study law, can I still apply?

Our training programme is open to everyone, no matter what subject they studied, and we do not rule anyone out based on their subject.

Do you only accept applications from certain universities?

No, we accept applications from all UK and international universities.

I do not meet your minimum academic requirements, can I still apply?

We require applicants to have a minimum of AAB at A-Level and to have obtained, or expected to obtain, a 2:1 in their degree. However, we do review your application as a whole and if you have mitigating circumstances we advise you to detail this in your application, as we take these into account when reviewing applications.

Do you have any PGDL/LPC minimum grade requirements?

You are required to have obtained, or expected to obtain, a commendation for the PGDL/LPC. Again, if you have mitigating circumstances which mean that you do not meet these requirements, we advise you to detail this in your application as we take these into account.

Can I reapply if my application isn’t successful?

If your application is unsuccessful at the application stage, then you are eligible to reapply.

Unfortunately, if you attend an interview or vacation scheme and are unsuccessful you are ineligible to reapply.


What is the application process?

Vacation scheme - You will need to complete an online application form. If your application is successful, you will then be invited to an interview with one Graduate Recruitment Partner.

Training contract - You will need to complete an online application form. If your application is successful, you will then be invited to an interview with one Graduate Recruitment Partner or Senior Counsel. If you are successful after this, you will be asked to complete two written assessments over the course of two weeks. If you are selected to attend a second interview this will be held with two further graduate recruitment partners and/or senior counsel at our London office.

Please note, we do not accept applications via email and will only consider you if you have applied online through cvMail.

Do you screen applications on a rolling basis?

No. We review all applications made, regardless of the date, and then interviews are only offered after all applications are processed.

For our winter vacation scheme, applications will open in early September and close in early October.

For our summer vacation schemes, applications will open in early October and close mid-January.

For exact dates please see our applications page.

What should I include on my cover letter?

We give you the freedom to get across whatever you feel is relevant in your cover letter. Generally, we want to hear why you are interested in a role as a commercial solicitor, why you are interested in Travers Smith and why you feel you are a strong candidate for the role. We also want to see that you have tailored your application to us and researched the firm in depth. Lastly, it needs to be addressed to Germaine VanGeyzel, our Graduate Recruitment Manager.

Is there a word limit?

No, there is no limit, but ideally it should be no longer than one side of A4.

Do I need to submit a CV?

You do not need to upload a CV. There are sections in the application that cover education, work experience and references, as well as your cover letter. All you need to do is make your way through each step on the application on cvMail.

Should I include future work experience on my application?

We are looking to hear about the skills you have gained which make you suited to a legal career.  So, at this stage, we would advise you to avoid including future work experience.

I have submitted my application but realised I forgot to include something important. How do I add this?

Please contact the Graduate Recruitment team and we can add any updated information to your application.

What support/adjustments are there for candidates who are differently abled, have long-term or fluctuating conditions? 

Travers Smith is committed to providing a truly inclusive workplace, in which all of our people feel welcome, valued equally, listened to, and given the tools they need to maximise their potential. At the forefront of this commitment is ensuring that we are doing everything we can to create a working culture and environment which meets the needs of all of our people who have a disability or long-term condition. This extends to those looking to join the firm as a Trainee Solicitor.

The firm is currently accredited under Level 2 of the Government's Disability Confident employer regime. As a result, where candidates tell us they have a disability and meet the minimum criteria for the role, they will be invited to interview. Further information on the support and adjustments candidates can receive can be found on this link.


Are interviews being held virtually?

All first stage interviews will be held virtually going forward. Second interviews will be held in-person at our office. 

What is the format of the interview?

The vacation scheme and first stage training contract interview are with a Graduate Recruitment Partner and will last about one hour. It is a competency and commercial awareness discussion-based interview.

The second stage training contract interview is with two Co-Heads of Graduate Recruitment and will follow the same format as the first stage but in more detail.

Can I get feedback if I am unsuccessful?

Yes, we can provide you with written feedback if you are unsuccessful at interview stage. We do not provide feedback just at application stage.

Vacation Schemes

How many places are on your schemes?

Winter – 40

Summer – 60

Are your vacation schemes paid?

Yes, we pay £750 per week.

What is the format of your vacation scheme?

Our vacation schemes include a combination of seminars and talks from Travers Smith representatives, group tasks, written assessments, networking and social events. We want to give you as much insight into the firm and culture as possible!

How am I assessed on the vacation scheme?

The vacation scheme is a two-way process. Although we will be assessing your performance on the scheme we appreciate that you will also be assessing us in order to make an informed choice about whether we are the right firm for you.

Assessments include a mixture of group tasks and written assessments all of which help us to identify the skills that we look for in a future trainee.

International Applicants

I attended university outside of the UK, can I still apply?

Yes, we accept applications from all universities both in the UK and internationally.

I am an international applicant, can I still apply?

Yes you can, we interview anyone who meets our standards and we are a Tier 2 sponsor.

However, everyone needs immigration clearance to work in the UK. This is currently automatic for EU Nationals but once the current Brexit transition period ends, new rules will apply to EEA and Swiss nationals and some may need to apply for residence status or immigration clearance – this will depend on their individual circumstances. Non-EU nationals will need to work out what sort of immigration clearance they need. Please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website, accessed from the Home Office website, for further information.

We encourage you to apply and we can take it from there as everyone's circumstances are different and need to be dealt with on an individual basis.

I attended school/university outside of the UK so do not have GCSE, A-Level or degree results. How should I include these on the application?

Please provide the grades of the equivalent exams that you have taken. In the relevant section on the application, please explain the grading system.


When do I need to start the SQE?

Our first cohort of trainees will be starting the SQE in September 2023.

Can I choose between the LPC and SQE?

From September 2023, the SQE is mandatory.

How is the firm approaching the SQE for non-law students?

Non-law students have to do a PGDL before starting the SQE

Got everything you need to know?

Got everything you need to know?

Apply here.

If you have any questions, please contact

Nicole Alexander
Tara Davidson
Germaine VanGeyzel
Tiff Wiltsher
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