FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Our frequently asked questions will hopefully answer any queries you have. However, please do get in touch with us if you have a question not covered below. You can do this by emailing [email protected].

Applications

What is the minimum academic criteria for applications?

Applicants should have a minimum ABB at A level or equivalent and have gained or expect to gain a 2:1 or higher degree classification. For those who have completed their education outside the U.K. and do not have A levels, there is space within the application form to add details of your qualifications/grades.

Do you still consider applicants that don’t meet the minimum academic criteria?

We consider the merits of all applications individually and will take into account mitigating circumstances. The application form includes space to add these details.

Do you prefer candidates to come from a law or non–law degree background?

We recruit from a broad range of degree backgrounds and welcome both graduate and undergraduate applications. Our trainees have attended a variety of universities and studied a variety of subjects, you can find their profiles on our website under ‘People’. Additionally, applications are marked blind which means assessors will not see university or degree subject information.

When can I apply?

Open days – we welcome applications from first year university students onwards. There are no limitations on those who have already graduated.

Vacation schemes – we welcome applications from law students in their penultimate year of study onwards and non-law students in their final year of study onwards. There are no limitations on those who have already graduated.

Training Contracts – we welcome applications from law students in their penultimate year of study onwards and non-law students in their final year of study onwards. There are no limitations on those who have already graduated.

Should I apply for the vacation scheme or directly for the training contract?

We use both the vacation scheme and the direct training contract application to recruit for our trainee positions. Whilst on a vacation scheme with us, you will have a training contract interview. We recruit through both paths to allow candidates the choice and we aim to ensure there is no advantage of one path over the other in securing a trainee position. We are conscious that some candidates may not be able to complete a vacation scheme (2 weeks) with us due to work or personal circumstance.

Which intake should I apply for?

We recruit our training contract intakes 2 years in advance. For example, from October 2023 to January 2024 you will apply for the September 2026 intake. Similarly, our 2024 vacation scheme recruits for our 2026 trainee intake. We recruit in advance to ensure future trainees will have adequate time to complete their degree, PGDL and SQE qualifications. For the training contract we welcome applications from law students in their penultimate year of study onwards and non-law students in their final year of study onwards.

Can I apply for an earlier cohort if I am ready to commence my training earlier?

We typically fill all our trainee spaces each recruitment cycle meaning there will not be space to join an earlier cohort. However, opportunities may arise for our future trainees to commence training earlier if another trainee has a change of circumstance. This would be on a case-by-case basis.

If my application is unsuccessful, can I reapply?

We welcome one application from each candidate per application cycle. E.g. you can apply for either the 2024 vacation scheme or the 2026 direct training contract vacancy. We limit the number of applications per cycle as the vacancies are both paths for the 2026 trainee intake and will have identical application processes. If you are unsuccessful in 2024, you are welcome to reapply in 2025.

What is the critical reasoning test and when do I need to complete it?

Once you have submitted your online application you will be invited to complete an online critical reasoning test. We have incorporated the test into our application process as it looks at the skills of analysis and verbal reasoning we think our trainees need. Similar practice tests can be found online and we would advise you to practise before sitting the test.

Further information and a demo test can be found here.

You will need to complete the assessment by the application deadline.

The test can be accessed by logging into the application portal.

Recruitment Process

What is the recruitment process for open days?

  1. Online application
  2. Early Careers team review application for eligibility and quality of response
  3. Open day offer

What is the recruitment process for training contracts?

  1. Online application
  2. Online critical reasoning assessment (this must be completed by the application closing date)
  3. Early Careers team review application for eligibility (e.g. eligible year of graduation, minimum academic criteria)
  4. Graduate Recruitment Panel blind marking of application
  5. If you meet the minimum criteria for the review and scoring above:

  6. Invitation to assessment day (please note that the assessment days will take place in July and August and candidates will be advised as to what to expect prior to attending)
  7. Invitation to final interview including presentation (please note final interviews will take place in July and August and candidates will be advised as to what to expect prior to attending)
  8. Training Contract offer

What is the recruitment process for the vacation scheme (and route to training contract)?

  1. Online application
  2. Online critical reasoning assessment (this must be completed by the application closing date)
  3. Early Careers team review application for eligibility (e.g. eligible year of graduation, minimum academic criteria)
  4. Graduate Recruitment Panel blind marking of application
  5. If you meet the minimum criteria for the review and scoring above:

  6. Invitation to assessment day (please note that the assessment days will take place in February and March and candidates will be advised as to what to expect prior to attending)
  7. Vacation scheme offer
  8. Final interview including presentation whilst on vacation scheme (please note final interviews will take place in July and candidates will be advised as to what to expect prior to attending)
  9. Training Contract offer

How do you stay in touch with future trainees?

There are a number of ways we keep in touch with our future trainees to ensure they feel part of the firm. Some of these include:

  • We host a future trainee welcome party where trainees come to the office for an evening of food, drinks and networking with current trainees and the Graduate Recruitment panel.
  • Our Learning and Development and our Knowledge team create newsletters to share firm information and legal insights.
  • We share details of firm EDI events taking place virtually to allow future trainees to join.
  • Future trainees are offered a subscription to the Financial Times to maintain their commercial awareness.

Open days and fairs

Do you hold open days?

Open days are held at intervals throughout the year. Any planned open days will be advertised on the 'Open Days' page.

Do you attend careers fairs?

We attend a selection of careers events and fairs each year. We do not target specific universities to ensure we remain inclusive to all applicants. Whilst our attendance can differ year-on-year, we typically attend fairs with the University of Law, BPP and Legal Cheek.

Sponsorship

Do you offer visa sponsorship?

We offer visa sponsorship for training contracts but not for vacation schemes. If applying for the vacation scheme, please ensure your visa does not limit your working hours during the vacation scheme dates.

PGDL and SQE

Which courses do trainees complete?

Future trainees with a non-law degree will need to complete the PGDL and the SQE before commencing their training with us. Law students will need to complete the SQE before commencing their training. Forsters sponsors our future trainees through the PGDL and SQE. If you have already completed the LPC you will not need to complete the SQE (in line with transitional provisions until 2032). We support our future trainees with their course applications and registrations.

Do you mind where I do the PGDL or SQE?

We have an exclusive arrangement with The University of Law for the provision of the PGDL and SQE. Our future trainees will complete the SQE LLM (SQE1, SQE2 and SQE Plus) which has been tailored for Forsters. We do not mind if you have already completed the SQE elsewhere. We are flexible on which in-person University of Law location you choose to study at.

Do you offer financial assistance?

If you are offered a training contract, we will sponsor you through the PGDL and/or SQE and provide you with a maintenance grant of £8,000 per year of study from the date of your offer. Where students have already completed their studies before securing a training contract with us, we do not sponsor students retrospectively.

Training Structure

How does our seat rotation work?

Our trainees undertake six seats during their two year training contract.

Given the nature of our business, trainees are encouraged to complete a seat in both Tax, Trusts and Estates (TTE) and Commercial Real Estate (CRE). It is compulsory to complete a seat in either TTE or CRE. In accordance with SRA guidelines, all of our trainees are required to undertake a contentious seat in one of our contentious teams: Dispute Resolution, Property Litigation, Family or Contentious Construction. Trainees may be able to complete a second contentious seat but this is subject to business needs and cannot be guaranteed.

Our trainees will typically spend their final seat rotation in the team into which they will qualify, meaning that trainees will generally have eight months’ of experience within that team at the point of qualification.

Will I get a choice as to which seats I undertake as part of my training contract?

As noted above, all of our trainees are guaranteed to spend time in either Commercial Real Estate (CRE) or Trusts, Tax and Estates (TTE), as well as a contentious seat.

Whilst we do our best to take account of each trainee’s preferences when deciding on seat rotations, our seat rotations are ultimately driven by business needs. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that any trainee will be able to spend time in a particular team. In particular, we are unable to guarantee that trainees will be able to undertake more than one contentious seat.

Diversity and Inclusion (DI) within Graduate Recruitment

How should I raise any extra support requirements I may have?

Forsters LLP is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to ensuring an inclusive and accessible hiring experience for everyone. We strive to attract and encourage applications from all candidates regardless of their background. If you require any support or adjustments in the application or hiring process you can either add this detail to your application form or let the Early Careers team know this directly by emailing [email protected].

How does Forsters consider diversity and inclusion within graduate recruitment processes?

Diversity and inclusion is central to our graduate recruitment strategy. The Early Careers team work closely with the firm’s EDI committee and support networks to continuously review and improve processes. A few examples include:

  • Blind marking of online applications – assessors will not see any personal, academic or reference information.
  • Blind first round interviews on assessment days – interviewers will not have seen your application form ahead of the interview.
  • Use of Rare Recruitment contextual tool within the online application, more information can be found here.
  • Partnership with the Bright Network – our profile can be found here.
  • Gold membership of MyPlus Consulting, a specialist early careers recruitment organisation with a disability focus. More information can be found here.
  • Members of the Halo Code, an alliance working to create a future without hair discrimination. We actively promote an environment where candidates can attend events and assessments at the firm wearing their hair how they feel comfortable. More information can be found here.
  • Disability Confident Certification, more information can be found here. In line with Disability Confident requirements, our minimum criteria for an invitation for interview (assessment day stage) would be steps 1-4 detailed above within the recruitment process section:
    1. Online application
    2. Online critical reasoning assessment (this must be completed by the application closing date)
    3. Early Careers team review application for eligibility (e.g. eligible year of graduation, minimum academic criteria)
    4. Graduate Recruitment Panel blind marking of application

Forsters Paralegals

Can Forsters paralegals apply for the training contract?

Forsters paralegals are welcome to apply for our training contract, however they must have passed their probation by the application deadline.

Can Forsters paralegals reapply if unsuccessful?

Forsters paralegals are welcome to apply for the training contract for a maximum of 3 recruitment cycles.

How do I apply for a paralegal role at Forsters?

We will advertise any paralegal vacancies we have on our website and social media channels such as LinkedIn. Applications will go via our recruitment team in HR.


Podcasts

We've collated some of our recent Graduate Recruitment themed podcasts below to help provide further information about life at Forsters, what it's really like training with us, and how to go about completing your application.

A solicitor reading a document in a beautiful meeting room at Forsters' Hill Street offices.


"They are very pragmatic and give you advice that you can implement."  
Chambers UK
×