Vacation Scheme

Training Contract

Business & Legal Operations Graduate Scheme


Applications and assessment

Diversity & Inclusion

Vacation Schemes

If I don't do a vacation scheme with Norton Rose Fulbright, can I still apply for a training contract?

Yes, you can. We welcome applications from those who haven’t applied for a vacation scheme and also from those who did apply, but weren’t invited to an assessment day. But if you are reapplying, we expect you to have critically reviewed your application and made some updates to the content.

If we invited you to a vacation scheme assessment day, but you were unsuccessful at that stage, you can still apply for a training contract. However, we suggest you wait 12 months from the date of your original application before reapplying.

Who can apply?

  • Winter Vacation Scheme: Finalists and graduates of any discipline.
  • Spring Vacation Scheme: Finalists and graduates of any discipline.
  • Summer Vacation Schemes: Penultimate year law students.
  • First Steps: All first year, or second year of a four year course students, of any discipline.

If you’re studying for the two-year LLB, you can apply for the Summer Vacation Schemes in your first year, or the Winter or Spring Vacation Scheme in your final year. Please include a breakdown of all the academic results from your previous undergraduate degree on your application form.

If you’re taking a four-year degree where your third year is abroad, you can apply for the Summer Vacation Scheme in your third year.

Will the schemes be virtual or in-person this year?

Our Winter Vacation Scheme will be held virtually this year. Rest assured you will be still have a very thorough insight into the work we do at Norton Rose Fulbright, and the scheme will include a mix of Q&A, training sessions, round tables, and work shadowing. We hope that Spring and Summer will be a hybrid scheme, however we will update any successful candidates as soon as this has been confirmed.

Training Contract

Can I defer my training contract start date?

We consider requests on a case-by-case basis however, usually, we’re happy to defer your start date for six or twelve months. On occasion we are also able to offer an earlier start date if you are further ahead in your academics (i.e. have completed your LPC).

We are unable to defer Apprenticeship or Business & Legal Operations Scheme start dates.

You can discuss your preferences at interview or when we make you an offer. Alternatively, contact our Graduate Recruitment team.

How many Training Contracts a year do you offer?

We have 45 trainees start with us each year, via two intakes, in March and September.

Do you recruit Training Contracts only from the Vacation Scheme?

No, we have a direct Training Contract application as well and recruit from both pools of candidates. It is personal choice which you apply for, however if you apply for the direct Training Contract we expect demonstrable legal work experience in your application.

Business & Legal Operations Graduate Scheme

Who can apply?

All finalists and graduates of any discipline. You do not need a law degree, or any prior legal knowledge to be considered for this scheme.

How many trainees do you take each year?

Up to 4 roles are available starting in September 2022. It is our intention that in future years we will take up to 4 trainees, starting each September.

How many trainees will be offered a permanent role?

When we take on a trainee we are making an investment. We expect to retain a high proportion of trainees, but the number we retain will be based on the number who reach an objective standard and business need, not a quota. You will be given a lot of support to reach this standard, and regularly appraised throughout the scheme.

Where will I be based?

All rotations will be based in our London office, except for rotations through the innovation team, which is predominantly based in our Newcastle Hub. Accommodation will be provided on placements during the scheme and travel costs will also be met.

Does this scheme lead to a legal qualification?

No. This scheme is designed for graduates who would like to pursue a career in the legal industry - which is different to being a lawyer. Both careers are challenging and rewarding, but they are very different.

Will this scheme lead to a professional qualification?

The scheme sits within NRF Transform, our global change and innovation program, which encompasses a number of related but different disciplines. On successful completion of the scheme will join one of a number of teams, some of which are supported by professional qualifications. In those circumstances you may be eligible (and may be required) to gain the relevant professional qualification.


Who can apply?

All school leavers who are in their final year completing A Levels (or equivalent) or who have left school. We cannot accept applications from students who have completed, or are completing, a degree. If you have a degree please apply to our Vacation Schemes or Training Contracts.

What legal qualifications will I study during my Apprenticeship?

We recruit two apprenticeships; a Solicitor Apprenticeship in London and a Paralegal Apprenticeship in Newcastle. On successful completion of the Paralegal Apprenticeship you will achieve a Paralegal Level 3 Apprenticeship Certificate of Higher Education. On successful completion of the Programme, our apprentices will have an LLB degree and will qualify as solicitors.

Can I apply for the Solicitor Apprenticeship if I have successfully completed the Paralegal Apprenticeship?

Yes, you can apply however you will be assessed in the same way as all external applicants.

What are the minimum grade requirements?

To apply for our Solicitor Apprenticeship you must have received AAB at A Level. For our Paralegal Apprenticeship you must have received three A Levels grace A - C.

Applications and assessment

When can I apply?

All our application windows and deadlines, as well as scheme dates, can be found on the Apply page.

What are the minimum grade requirements for your schemes?

We require AAB at A level and a 2.1 at university to be considered. We do however take into account any mitigating circumstances you faced during your academics, and there is space to elaborate on these on the application form. This will only be visible to the Graduate Recruitment team and will not impact your application.

To ensure diversity, we use the RARE contextual recruitment system. The system looks at the context in which students received their grades, and any other factors such as students who have overachieved the average grades in their school, or those who have achieved in the face of hardship or adversity.

Do you review applications on a rolling basis, and when will I know the outcome of my application?

No, we review every application that we receive, regardless of when you submit your application. We would advise applying before the final submission date to avoid any technical issues, as there will be no exceptions for late applications.

We will email you straight away to let you know we’ve received your application. Please be patient when waiting for an outcome, you will be informed of the status of this as soon as we have reviewed your submission.

If your circumstances change, please email the team on graduate.recruitment@nortonrosefulbright.com. Unfortunately we can’t update your application with academics or work experience once you’ve submitted it.

How do I complete the application form if I didn’t study in the UK?

Please enter your grades on the application form as they were awarded to you at school and/or university. You don’t need to convert them into the UK equivalent, but please do include as much detail as possible. There is a section on the application form where you can elaborate on what your grades mean. If you have any technical issues please contact support@cvmail.net.

My academic performance was affected by personal circumstances. Will you take these into account?

Yes. Please include relevant details on your application form or, if you prefer, send a confidential email to graduate.recruitment@nortonrosefulbright.com.

I’m in my second year of a four-year course - can I apply?

You can apply for our First Step programme.

You’ll need to wait until you’re in your penultimate year or beyond before you can apply for our Winter, Spring or Summer Schemes, or the Training Contract.

Can I have feedback on my application?

Unfortunately, because we get so many applications, we can’t offer individual feedback on application forms.

I need a work permit - will that be a problem?

Although we can’t guarantee it, we may be able to sponsor you to work in the UK if you receive an offer. Please speak to us about this if we offer you a position.

We cannot offer sponsorship for Vacation Schemes or First Steps.

If I’ve been unsuccessful at interview, can I reapply?

If you’ve taken part in an assessment day and were unsuccessful, please wait 12 months from the date of your original application before reapplying. However, if you were unsuccessful at the application stage you can apply for another vacancy, within the same calendar year. If you reapply, we strongly advise rewriting your application.

What happens after I submit an application?

Once your application is reviewed, if you meet our minimum criteria you will be invited to complete an online psychometric test. Details of this test will be sent to you from an external provider, explaining what you need to complete and the deadline. If you meet the benchmark for our psychometric testing you will be invited to complete a telephone interview with a member of our graduate recruitment team. Passing this, you will be invited to an assessment centre.

Will the assessment centres be virtual or in person?

Going forward all our assessment centres will be held virtually using an online platform. If you are invited to our assessment centre all details will be sent to you in advance of what to expect, as well as log in details for said platform. We will also invite all successful applicants to a skills session prior to your assessment centre to offer an insight into what to expect, and answer any questions you may have.

What does the assessment day include?

We hold assessment centres for all our schemes, except First Steps (which will only include psychometric testing and a telephone interview). The assessment days vary slightly depending on the programme you’re applying for, though you can expect:

  • a welcome by the early careers recruitment team
  • an interview with two or more senior members of the practice (either one on one or speed interviewing)
  • an individual case study exercise
  • a group exercise

Find out how to prepare on the Application page.

As well as lots of enthusiasm, you’ll need to provide:

  • your passport and any accompanying visas
  • original certificates to confirm your academic achievements to date (e.g. school, university, law school, as applicable)

Diversity & Inclusion

I have a disability and need the application form in an alternative format. Can you provide this?

Yes, we can. Please email support@cvmail.net as soon as you can to arrange this.

What should I do if I need reasonable adjustments for the recruitment process because of a disability?

We’ll work with you to make any reasonable adjustments you need. Please email graduate.recruitment@nortonrosefulbright.com or call us on 020 744 4213 to discuss further. There is also a section on the application form where you can elaborate if you feel comfortable doing so.

I’m worried that if I tell you about my disability this will be seen negatively. I’ve had a bad experience in the past and feel its ‘safer’ not to disclose my disability.

We’re positive about employing disabled people and are an accredited Disability Confident Employer. As a Disability Confident organisation we offer interviews to disabled people that meet the minimum criteria for our roles. If you meet our minimum criteria at written application and testing stage, you will be invited to telephone interview stage. Remember, we take a range of competencies, achievements and skills into account when making decisions on candidates and don’t rely solely on academic results.