Become a Trainee Solicitor - Training Contracts in Bristol

We understand that choosing where to undertake your training as a Solicitor is a huge decision. That’s why it’s so important that you consider your options and think carefully about the type of firm you want to train with, alongside the areas of law that interest you the most.

Applications for our 2024 training contracts are now closed. We will announce details and dates for our 2025 Trainee Solicitor programme here and on our social media pages.

Why choose Barcan+Kirby for your training contract?

In line with our aim to nurture and ‘grow our own’ talent, we are looking for trainees who will fit with the culture and values of our firm, and who will strive to develop and remain with us long term.

You’ll be actively encouraged to participate in marketing and business development activities, and we provide structured training and development opportunities, such as our Training AcademyAssociates Academy and Staff Development Programme. You’ll also have the chance to get involved in activities outside of your day job, such as fundraising for our designated charity or joining one of our committees.

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is important. At Barcan+Kirby, we can offer you a four seat programme plus exposure to all elements of the business within standard firm hours.

We’re committed to making Barcan+Kirby a positive and inclusive place to work.

What can Barcan+Kirby offer me?

When you join us, we can offer you hands-on legal experience across four different seats, as well as an inclusive and supportive environment where you can really thrive.

We also offer Trainees a range of benefits, including:

  • A minimum of 25 days’ holiday per year
  • Holiday purchase scheme
  • Employer pension contribution of 4.5%
  • Discretionary bonuses
  • Access to a 24/7 GP, counselling, second medical opinions and treatment sourcing through our Employee Assistance Programme
  • Discounted legal services
  • Flexible/agile working
  • Health cash plan
  • Summer and Christmas socials
  • Access to the firm’s bespoke Management Training Programme

Read more about the benefits of joining us here.

Hear from our past and present Trainee Solicitors

Want to know a bit more about what it’s like to train as a Solicitor with us? Read some of our Trainee Solicitor stories for an insight into life as a trainee at Barcan+Kirby.

What are we looking for in our Trainee Solicitors?

At Barcan+Kirby, our Trainee Solicitors are an important part of our future. We see our trainees as possible future Partners in the firm. We look for qualities of intelligence, the ability to think laterally and objectively, resilience, the ability to get things done, to get on with people, and great teamwork skills.

While academic ability is important, we think that work and life experience are equally important. Generally, we will look for people who will get involved, fit with our values, have a strong work ethic and have excellent team working abilities.

Many of our successful Trainee Solicitors have also had some months or years of paralegal experience behind them so they can hit the ground running, but this is not essential.

To become a Trainee Solicitor, we require you to have:

  • A degree
  • The Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Solicitors Qualifying Exams (SQE 1 and 2)

If you have already completed the LPC,  we do not require you to have also completed the SQE to be eligible to apply to the Barcan+Kirby Trainee Solicitor Programme.

If you don’t yet have the above qualifications, it’s worth checking out our Summer Vacation Programme.

What can I expect during my law training contract?

Each year, the firm offers at least four candidates the role of Trainee Solicitor. Trainees are supported and supervised by experienced lawyers throughout the contract, many of whom are leading practitioners in their field.

Trainees are given an advanced level of responsibility, undertaking real work for clients from the outset. We consider our trainees to be integral members of our teams.

The Trainee Solicitor Programme will last for two years and provide immediate, direct exposure to a range of live cases. It will allow budding solicitors to gain invaluable experience.

Four training seats

During the two years, trainees will spend time in four department seats, rotating every six months. We will discuss your interests and preferences and, where possible, we will do our best to accommodate this alongside the needs of the business.

Trainees will be assisted and trained in each seat and receive one-to-one mentoring from senior colleagues and a supportive team.

A training contract at Barcan+Kirby will include seats in the following areas of law:

Throughout the training contract, trainees complete a weekly training record and undertake regular meetings with their trainee supervisor. At the end of each year, trainees meet with the Training Principal, Rob Davenport, to discuss their experiences of the training programme and provide their feedback.

In addition, trainees are provided with the opportunity to join the firm-wide mentoring programme to assist with the development of more defined skills such as networking or presentation skills.

As part of the Trainee Solicitor programme with Barcan+Kirby, trainees with the LPC are expected to complete the Professional Skills Course (PSC). The PSC is to be undertaken and completed prior to the end date of your training contract.

Upon the successful completion of the two-year programme, the firm will assist with your application for admission to the Roll of Solicitor.

Trainee development workshops

During the Trainee Solicitor Programme, you will have an opportunity to attend development workshops every quarter.

These provide opportunities to:

  • Build relationships with the management team, the partnership and your trainee colleagues
  • Gain firm-wide exposure beyond the programme
  • Learn business skills
  • Receive internal training from our central teams, including Marketing and Business Development, Finance and Compliance

The workshop timetable will incorporate the following:

Year one

  • The importance of time recording and hints and tips
  • Research, presenting research and drafting skills
  • Financial management
  • Compliance
  • Time management

Year two

  • Business development, networking and LinkedIn
  • What to expect when you qualify
  • The qualification process
  • Challenging clients
  • Key skills

Blog | Barcan+Kirby welcomes four new Trainee Solicitors

Will there be a qualified role available at the end of the Training Contract?

We hope to place the trainee in a qualified role at the end of the two-year programme. All available positions are advertised internally prior to the completion of the two years’ qualifying experience.

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE)

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) was introduced in September 2021 and is the new route to qualifying as a Solicitor.

How does the SQE affect Trainee Solicitors?

Since 2023, our training contracts have been open to trainees who have completed the SQE, but we are also continuing to accept applicants who have successfully completed the LPC.

The Trainee Solicitor Programme will last for two years and provide immediate, direct exposure to a range of live cases. It will allow budding solicitors to gain invaluable experience in a number of departments.

Throughout the programme, trainees will be assisted and trained in a wide variety of practice areas. Each Trainee Solicitor will have one-to-one mentoring from senior colleagues and a supportive team in each department.

How to apply for a training contract

Applications for our 2024 training contracts are now closed. We will announce details for our 2025 programme here.

What is the interview process for Trainee Solicitors?

    1. Download and complete the application form, and send this with your CV and covering letter to by the closing date.
    2. If your application has been successful, you will be invited to an Assessment Centre Day.
    3. You’ll be asked to prepare some basic tasks before attending the Assessment Centre Day. A pack with full details will be sent to you alongside, or shortly after, your interview invite.
    4. At the Assessment Centre, you will be asked to undertake a written task, a presentation task, a practical task and take part in a group discussion.
    5. Following the Assessment Centre, successful candidates will be invited to attend an interview.
    6. The interview panel will consist of our Executive Partner, Anna Wilson, and our Training Principal, Rob Davenport. The interview will last up to one hour.
    7. You will receive Assessment Centre Day and interview feedback if you are not successful on request.

Further information

Not found the answer to your question? You can find more information on our Training Contract FAQs page. Alternatively, you can call us on 0117 325 2929 or fill out our online enquiry form.

To find out more about what life at Barcan+Kirby is really like, watch our short video.