FAQs

Further information about applying

London

The following FAQs apply to applicants in London

Do we consider applications from candidates who have a 2.2?

We will consider candidates that have been awarded a 2:2 in their degree if they have mitigating circumstances or can demonstrate their abilities in other ways, such as work experience.

What qualities/attributes does the firm look for?

We look for strong intellect, with good analytical skills, sound judgment, imagination and meticulous attention to detail. Communication skills are vital to be persuasive and build rapport. Plenty of drive and determination is needed, along with a keen interest in business.

When can you apply for a training contract/placement scheme?

We are now recruiting for March and September 2020, therefore students can only apply for a placement scheme and/or training contract if they are able to start their training contract in 2020.

We review applications throughout the year but never make offers to fill all our places before the application deadline.

Only penultimate year law students or final year non law students (or those who have progressed past this point) may apply for training contracts and placement schemes. First year students are very welcome to apply for an open day.

Is there any value in doing work experience with a law firm which only practices in areas of law which are not offered by Stephenson Harwood? Or any value in work experience in-house? Or in a pro bono role?

Yes, absolutely. Any legal experience can help you demonstrate an interest in the legal profession. It also shows how determined you are to secure your career within the profession. Experience in another environment is always useful so you can decide what type of law you'd like to work in.

Does Stephenson Harwood require you to study the LPC/GDL at a specific law school?

All our future trainees will complete their GDL/LPC at BPP law school, London. This does not affect those who have already started or completed their studies.

When do assessment centres take place?

We hold assessment centres throughout the year, but the majority take place in August.

Are placement scheme students considered for training contracts?

Candidates that apply for a placement scheme with us are automatically considered for a training contract as they are required to attend an assessment centre during their placement.

Do we accept applications from those who have qualified in to another jurisdiction?

Yes.

Do we consider time to count applications?

We expect all of our trainees to complete a full two years training contract and therefore we do not accept time to count requests.

Does the firm offer work experience outside the placement scheme?

Due to high demand the firm is unable to accept work experience requests.

What secondment opportunities are available during the training contract?

International secondments are available in Dubai, Hong Kong, Paris, Seoul and Singapore. Client secondments are also available. These vary from time to time.

What are your options if you have done a law degree overseas?

Unless it is an England & Wales qualifying law degree you will need to do the GDL before the LPC. Then you can complete a two year training contract.

What opportunities are there for first year students?

First year students can apply for an open day.

What should I do if I have mitigating circumstances for my academics?

Please provide details on the application form. If appropriate, explain what you have learnt from the experience and how you have developed your skills or adapted your approach since that time.

Should I include details of non legal work experience, e. g. business/commercial work, volunteer/charity work?

Yes, this can help demonstrate that you have considered other career options; picked up other transferrable skills; and/or gained an understanding of another sector or industry. You should comment on the skills and competencies you were able to develop, as well as the tasks and responsibilities you were given and any specific learning points.

What three top tips can you provide to those completing the application form?

  • Think about where you have gone beyond the usual and take the opportunity to shine. Highlight situations where you have made a contribution beyond what you would expect from a student, i.e. situations where you have made improvements, taken responsibility, etc.
  • Research the firm. Demonstrate you have done your research in your application form. Particularly in response to the question, 'why would you like to join Stephenson Harwood?'.
  • Check your written English is accurate and professional. It may be useful to draft your application, then review it the next day to check for errors. Make sure you spell the name of the firm correctly.

What three top tips can you provide to those participating in an assessment day?

  • Take every opportunity to showcase your achievements – try not to repeat yourself and use opportunities to talk about different areas of your life.
  • Try to relax and be yourself – the exercises for the assessment day are designed to allow you to showcase your strengths, they are not designed to catch you out.
  • Think of some questions that you would like to ask the interviewers – remember this is a two way process and we are keen for you to ensure that you have all the information you need to make your career decisions.

What is the recruitment process for training contracts?

  • Online application form
  • Online critical reasoning test
  • Face-to-face interview with HR
  • Assessment centre – this consists of presentation, interview and case study exercise.

How many places are available for placement schemes?

There are eight places available on each scheme. We run schemes in winter and spring and three in the summer. This makes 40 places in total.

What if I do not have equivalent qualifications for secondary education?

If you are an international student you may not have equivalent qualifications for secondary education. If so, please provide as much detail as possible about the nature of your secondary school qualifications; the grading system and any further information which will be useful to the assessor in screening your application.

If I am not successful first time around, can I reapply?

Yes, you can reapply, but you can only apply once in every recruitment window (1 October to 31 July).

When can I expect to hear back about my application?

We respond to all applicants to let them know the outcome of their application once we have made decisions. We understand that you are keen to hear back from us and we try to get decisions to you as soon as possible. However, please note that whilst we review applications throughout the year we never make offers to fill all our places before the application deadline. So if you haven't heard from us from the time being, you application is still under consideration. If you are unsure or would like further clarification, please feel free to contact us by email at graduate.recruitment@shlegal.com.

What if I have a question that is not covered by these FAQs?

Please feel free to contact us on 0207 809 2812 or by email graduate.recruitment@shlegal.com and we would be happy to help.

Dubai

The following FAQs apply to applicants in Dubai

What qualities/attributes does the firm look for?

We look for strong intellect, with good analytical skills, sound judgment, imagination and meticulous attention to detail. Communication skills are vital to be persuasive and build rapport. Plenty of drive and determination is needed, along with a keen interest in business.

What is the recruitment process for training contracts?

  • Online application form
  • Online critical reasoning test
  • Face-to-face interview with HR
  • Assessment centre – this consists of presentation, interview and case study exercise.

What three top tips can you provide to those participating in an assessment day?

  • Take every opportunity to showcase your achievements – try not to repeat yourself and use opportunities to talk about different areas of your life.
  • Try to relax and be yourself – the exercises for the assessment day are designed to allow you to showcase your strengths, they are not designed to catch you out.
  • Think of some questions that you would like to ask the interviewers – remember this is a two way process and we are keen for you to ensure that you have all the information you need to make your career decisions.

What should I do if I have mitigating circumstances for my academics?

Please provide details on the application form. If appropriate, explain what you have learnt from the experience and how you have developed your skills or adapted your approach since that time.

Should I include details of non legal work experience, e. g. business/commercial work, volunteer/charity work?

Yes, this can help demonstrate that you have considered other career options; picked up other transferrable skills; and/or gained an understanding of another sector or industry. You should comment on the skills and competencies you were able to develop, as well as the tasks and responsibilities you were given and any specific learning points.

What three top tips can you provide to those completing the application form?

  • Think about where you have gone beyond the usual and take the opportunity to shine. Highlight situations where you have made a contribution beyond what you would expect from a student, i.e. situations where you have made improvements, taken responsibility, etc.
  • Research the firm. Demonstrate you have done your research in your application form. Particularly in response to the question, 'why would you like to join Stephenson Harwood?'.
  • Check your written English is accurate and professional. It may be useful to draft your application, then review it the next day to check for errors. Make sure you spell the name of the firm correctly.

When can I expect to hear back about my application?

We respond to all applicants to let them know the outcome of their application once we have made decisions. We understand that you are keen to hear back from us and we try to get decisions to you as soon as possible. However, please note that whilst we review applications throughout the year we never make offers to fill all our places before the application deadline. So if you haven't heard from us from the time being, you application is still under consideration. If you are unsure or would like further clarification, please feel free to contact us by email at graduate.recruitment@shlegal.com.

What if I have a question that is not covered by these FAQs?

Please feel free to contact us on 0044 207 809 2812 or by email graduate.recruitment@shlegal.com and we would be happy to help.

Hong Kong

The following FAQs apply to applicants in Hong Kong

What is the assessment process?

  1. Online application form
  2. Written test for Chinese and English language skills with initial interview
  3. Further interviews during the course of the internship

What qualities/attributes does the firm look for?

We look for strong intellect, with good analytical skills, sound judgment, imagination and meticulous attention to detail. Communication skills are vital to be persuasive and build rapport. Plenty of drive and determination is needed to meet challenging goals.

Where is the office based in Hong Kong?

18/F, United Centre
95 Queensway

What are the culture and values in the Hong Kong office?

In an industry where technical knowhow is a given, we differentiate ourselves by our honesty, creative thinking and attention to client care. Our lawyers are bright, fun, commercially minded and have strong inter-personal skills. We achieve this by focusing on talent recruitment and enrichment across all aspects of our human resource management. We aim to ensure that our clients have access to top-notch, consistent and unequivocal legal advice in plain language wherever we operate.

How many places are available for placement schemes?

There are two schemes which take place in June and there are eight places available on each scheme. This makes 16 places in total.

What secondment opportunities are available during the training contract?

International secondments are available in London and Shanghai.

What training and development opportunities are available during the training contract?

  • Practical 'on-the-job' training by sharing an office and working with one of our partners or senior solicitors.
  • Stimulating work with lots of responsibility early on.
  • An in-house programme of legal education and soft skills training.
  • Continuous review of your career development both during your training contract and after qualification.
  • An opportunity to complete a secondment in our London or Shanghai offices.