We realise that embarking on a career in law can be a daunting process, so we’ve put together some FAQs and answers about what you can expect from the Trainee recruitment process at Thomas Cooper and, if you’re still interested how to join us by completing the on-line application form.
When can you apply?
If you are a law student, the earliest you can apply is your penultimate year of study. Before commencing the training contract law students are required to complete the LPC.
If you are a non-law student, the earliest you can apply is your final year of study. Before commencing the training contract non-law students are required to complete both the GDL and the LPC.
If you have already graduated; you can apply at any time.
The closing date for applications that are recruited two years in advance are 31 July every year. If we are recruiting for an earlier intake then a closing date of 30 June will apply. You can apply using our on-line form.
When will you hear from us?
All applications are acknowledged on receipt. Applications are assessed immediately after the closing date.
As we receive a high number of applications, it is not possible for us to contact all applicants to provide individual feedback before we have completed the recruitment process.
All applicants who have not been successful in getting to first interview will be notified during the last two weeks of August or the first two weeks of September at the latest.
We aim to make all offers by the end of September at the latest.
For candidates who have been successful in obtaining and accepting an offer from Thomas Cooper LLP, we will sponsor both the GDL and the LPC course fees to be incurred. We will not reimburse fees for courses that have already been completed.
Interviews and assessments
Interviews and assessments are conducted during August and September. The first stage interviews take place during the first two weeks of August and second stage interviews take place during the last two weeks of August or early September.
First stage interviews are with the Senior Partner and a Solicitor. Candidates will be asked to complete two assessments during this first interview stage. The assessments will last for 1 hour and 15 minutes. No preparation is required for the assessments and we do not give guidance on the content of the assessments. Non-legal candidates will be asked to sit the same assessment but we do take into account that they have not studied law.
The second stage interviews take place with two senior partners.
The Recruitment process
We recruit four graduates every year and generally we recruit two years in advance.
The process starts with the completion and submission of an online application form. This form is then screened by the HR Manager and the Senior Partner.
Those candidates who pass the screening process are then invited to attend a first interview.
What we look for
We do look for team working, leadership skills and a bright personality throughout the application, assessment and interview process. As well as candidates who can demonstrate initiative, drive, self-awareness and excellent communication skills. Thomas Cooper LLP have a minimum requirement of a 2:1 or above (or predicted grade if you have not yet graduated) in Law or another subject.
The Training contract
During the two year training contract you will gain valuable insight from the four training seats, each for a period of six months.
We will provide you with hands on experience and responsibility, with client contact from an early stage. You will have constant exposure to the partners within the firm and in each seat you will share an office with your supervising partner. You will receive constant support and feedback.
There is a formal assessment carried out every six months and this is then used to develop a training plan for your next training seat. This enables you as a trainee to have a continuous and ongoing development programme that follows you from seat to seat.
Is there an opportunity to work in an overseas office during the training contract or on qualification?
Yes. Trainees are encouraged to work in one of our overseas offices for one seat in their training contract. The Piraeus and Singapore offices have trainees most frequently but there may also the opportunity for Spanish speakers to undertake a seat in Madrid. On qualification, there may be the opportunity to qualify into one of our overseas offices subject to the needs of the business at the time.
As a niche market practice we are able to offer high quality and intellectually demanding work with the added benefit of an international presence. We operate an open door policy at all levels and our partners are always willing to impart their knowledge and experience.
Qualified lawyers with high levels of experience and technical skills in the areas in which we practice can be difficult to find, therefore we do the best we can to look after and retain the staff we have. This includes our trainees!
We offer a congenial working atmosphere and a good working life balance that cannot be found at some of its larger competitors in the City. Thomas Cooper LLP’s social committee organises the Christmas party, summer party, new joiners welcome drinks and other firm social events. We also have a netball team which is always happy to take on new players.