Early Careers in the United Kingdom

Grounded in a small team structure and a collegiate atmosphere, our Vacation Scheme and Training Contract programmes offer you a meaningful experience and plenty of opportunities to build your career.

Our Programs

We run a Spring and a Summer Vacation Scheme. Our Vacation Schemes provide real insight into what it is like to train and work at Goodwin, while giving us the opportunity to get to know each other better. You will witness first-hand the work we do for our clients by shadowing partners and associates, attending client meetings, and participating in negotiations and departmental meetings.

You will leave our programme with valuable mentors and a large professional and social network. All Vacation Scheme participants are automatically considered for a Training Contract.

Spring Scheme: 17th - 21st April 2023
Summer Scheme: 19th - 23rd June 2023

Applications closed in January.

Our London office recruits 14 trainees each year with the objective of ensuring a seamless transition over a two-year period from a talented student to a professional lawyer. The contract consists of three phases: transition, orientation and integration.

You will have the opportunity to spend six months in four of our practice areas, allowing you to rotate in life sciences, private equity, private investment funds, real estate, technology, tax, finance, and complex litigation and dispute resolution. This rotation will give you the widest exposure to our business and substantive responsibilities and client interactions from the outset, while meeting the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Future trainees will be paired with current trainees as part of our buddy programme to establish a friendly point of contact at the firm during this period. This buddy relationship will continue throughout your training contract. We also invite all future trainees to social and networking events before joining us as a trainee.

Once at the firm, trainees receive a comprehensive induction consisting of department-specific and firmwide training. All trainees have both an associate supervisor and a partner supervisor, to ensure that you are supported throughout each and every year during the two-year period.

Applications opened in January and close in May.

We understand that your career path is personal to you and not everyone’s route into law is the same. That is why we welcome applications from all degree disciplines, from all universities – internationally. We focus on your attributes and motivations, and look for individuals who are entrepreneurial, aspirational and driven.

The application and assessment process for our Vacation Scheme and Training Contract opportunities is the same. To be eligible to apply, you will need to be in the penultimate year of your law degree, final year of your non-law degree, or have already graduated.

You begin by submitting an online application form, made up of your academics, your work experience, and a series of different questions to bring your application to life and to allow us to get to know you better. We recommend spending time on your answers and researching the firm. Remember that this is your chance to make a first impression.

If your application is progressed, we will invite you to attend an interview and take a written assessment. The interview will be with two members of our graduate recruitment panel, and will be an opportunity to find out more about you and for you to ask anything you would like to know about life at Goodwin. The written assessment is case study based, and will take an hour. Please note that for Vacation Scheme candidates the written exercise will take place on the Vacation Scheme. 

Goodwin is a disability inclusive employer. Please contact us if you require any reasonable adjustments during the interview process, or would like to have a confidential conversation with a member of the recruitment team.

The Perks

We offer highly competitive salaries and an outstanding benefits package designed to help you balance your work and home life.

  • First year salary: £52,000
  • Second year salary: £57,000

  • Private medical and dental insurance, including virtual GP, eye tests and more
  • Pension contribution of 6% of your basic salary
  • Employee Assistance Programme, on-site counsellor and life event support
  • Life assurance and group income protection
  • Law school sponsorship for Law Foundations Course (where applicable) and SQE Preparation LLM Court, with a maintenance grant of £15,000 per year
  • 27 days’ holiday
  • Gym and wellness subsidies, including Headspace membership
  • Cycle to Work (with onsite lockers and shower facilities) and season ticket loan


What I found most surprising, yet incredibly impressive, is that Goodwin has designed their talent acquisition process in a very candidate centric way. The recruitment journey proved to be unique and memorable for all the right reasons – short and very straightforwardly expedient, centered around personalisation and strategic personal relationship building every step of the way.
Mihaela Angelova
Future Trainee Solicitor
Everyone at the firm made a real effort to make themselves available throughout the week and my associate mentor made a huge effort to involve me in lots of different bits of work throughout the week!
Harriet Muncey
Trainee Solicitor
One of the most enjoyable parts of my training contract has been approaching the business sectors of Goodwin’s focus from the lenses of different practice areas. It’s been intriguing, for example, to experience the buzzy dealmaking side of emerging unicorns and big biotech companies, and then to see the way in which these glitzy deals can turn contentious. It’s given me a depth of understanding of our clients’ working environments, and an insight into what I can and want to be able to offer clients as a lawyer in practice.
Arjun Dhar
Trainee Solicitor
Goodwin’s expertise at the intersection of capital and innovation provides ample opportunity to work with clients in the fastest growing sectors. It also means that the team comes from a diverse range of backgrounds, which makes for a collaborative and entrepreneurial environment.
Mickey Lee
Future Trainee Solicitor
I was particularly interested in the opportunities of experiencing a very commercially focused training contract working with clients in the financial and real estate industries. Furthermore, being part of a small trainee intake, with the chance for early responsibility and client contact, appealed to me.
Josh Angrave

interview Panel

Our Graduate Recruitment Interview Panel is composed of a group of partners and counsel who are experienced in interviewing for a range of positions. Our interviewers have all received unconscious bias training and are friendly, approachable and – most importantly – excited to meet you.

Get in Touch

Please contact us with any questions you may have about Vacation Schemes or Training Contracts by emailing earlycareerslon@goodwinlaw.com.