Early Careers in the United Kingdom

Knowing why you want to enter a career in law is important; what is just as important is starting your career at the right firm.
At Goodwin, we strive to go beyond what’s expected with meaningful opportunities for career development, paired with a thriving culture and collegiate approach to law.

Our Programs

We run both a Spring and a Summer Vacation Scheme, which provide real insight into what it is like to train and work at Goodwin while giving you the opportunity to get to know us and your colleagues 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 place on our trainee solicitor programme.

Spring Scheme: 15 - 19 April 2024
Summer Scheme: 17 - 21 June 2024

Applications open on 15 September 2023 and close on 15 December 2023.

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 programme 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, financial services, antitrust, 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.

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 trainee solicitor programme.

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 a high level of support during the two-year period.

Applications open on 15 September 2023 and close on 15 December 2023.

Our Go for Law scheme is available to students who are about to embark on their legal studies at University.

As you begin your university studies, you will be immersed in a world of academic learning and knowledge pertaining to the legal sector. Our three-year programme provides you with the opportunity to leverage essential skills, career guidance, hands-on work experience, ongoing mentoring, and a large professional and social network.

The Go for Law programme supports you professionally and financially as you pursue your law degree, providing a yearly scholarship of £3,500 throughout your time in the programme.

To be eligible, you must fulfill the below criteria at the time of application:

  • Be in year 13 at a state (non-fee paying) school, college or academy
  • Be applying to study law at a UK university

You must also fulfil one or more of the following:

  • First-generation in your immediate family to attend university
  • Have been, or are, eligible for free school meals
  • Your school has 20% or more students eligible for free school meals
  • Spent time in local authority care
  • Have refugee or asylum seeker status
  • Have been, or are, a parent or registered carer

Applications for the scheme are currently closed. Applications will reopen in Summer 2024.

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 trainee solicitor programme opportunities is the same. To be eligible to apply, you will need to be in at least 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 with two members of our graduate recruitment panel. This 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. We also ask candidates to take part in a written exercise and group assessment. Please note that for Vacation Scheme candidates, these 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

  • Law school sponsorship for PGDL and LLM SQE 1 & 2 course, with a maintenance grant of £15,000 per year of full time study

  • Private medical insurance for you and your eligible dependents
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Dental insurance for you and your eligible dependents
  • Group term life insurance – income protection up to 75% of base salary
  • Season ticket loan
  • Pension contribution of 6% of your basic salary
  • Tuition/certificate/license reimbursement
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Digital health and wellbeing service
  • Mental health counselor
  • Family planning services and reimbursement policies
  • Family care support programme
  • Eye test and glasses reimbursement
  • Cycle to Work (with onsite lockers and shower facilities)
  • Gym and wellness subsidies, including free Headspace membership
  • Discounts and special offers with select retailers


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
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
From the first interview I had, everybody at the firm I spoke to was enthusiastic and really passionate about the work Goodwin does. Once I got to the vacation scheme, this translated to a dynamic feel. There was a real buzz and energy and everybody was excited about the trajectory of the firm.
Claudia Baldelli
Future 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
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 Early Careers Recruitment 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 by emailing earlycareerslon@goodwinlaw.com.