Our selection process
IBB receives hundreds of applications for a maximum of five training contracts each year. We recruit two years in advance.
You can apply via our online portal which gives us an indication of background and experience. Apply here.
We promptly create a long list of applications and interview approximately 30 people; from those we shortlist 12 to invite to an assessment centre.
It is a rigorous procedure, but those who get through it know us well enough to know if we are the right firm for them.
How is the training structured?
We ask you to join us in September for a comprehensive induction programme. This includes the opportunity to shadow the trainee currently in your first seat.
Your training contract will begin in early October and will consist of four seats of six months each, giving the opportunity to gain experience in varied areas of law.
What does IBB look for?
We look for strong all round, commercially minded individuals. Success here means having the skills to apply knowledge creatively for our clients. We recruit on the basis of potential. In our experience key indicators are:
- a good academic background to indicate conceptual ability (2:1 and 300 UCAS points at A-level)
- clear written and oral communication which is pitched at the appropriate levels
- ability to assimilate information, analyse it, translate that understanding and follow a third party’s instructions
- experience of working with others to achieve a task
- research into, and where possible, experience of working in private practice
- willingness to accept feedback and learn from your experiences
Our training seats
These vary from time to time, depending on the needs of each team. Examples of seats that we offer are:
- Criminal defence (general and serious crime)
- Criminal defence (business investigations and governance)
- Dispute resolution (property)
- Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence
- Property (commercial)
- Estate planning and wealth management (wills, trusts, probate)
Life at IBB
What training and support will I get?
You will have a training supervisor who is a partner or senior solicitor. At the outset you will be given objectives and we will discuss what you can expect to cover in your first three months. You normally cover the compulsory PSC modules in your first two seats. At the beginning of your second year you will be given advice both on which PSC options will complement your training.
You will be expected to attend the internal technical seminars run for the group you are in at any time and invited to all those arranged by other groups as well. We also encourage you to join your local young solicitors group, which offers wider opportunities for socialising and personal development, including the chance to spend a day shadowing a district judge. You also benefit from our membership of LawNet - a network of independent quality law firms.
How much responsibility will I be given?
We offer you the chance to deal with clients with very diverse needs:
- Commercial Real Estate and Commercial Services Groups deal with clients ranging from SMEs to large institutions in the west of London
- Private Client Group offer services primarily to high net worth clients in their locale
- Community Legal Services Group serves individuals and community organisations in the local area
You will be given more responsibility as you progress and build up your skills within each seat and through your training contract. The nature of each seat is different but you can expect a range of experiences from assisting on large, complex transactions, taking clients’ instructions, drafting documents and dealing with everything that comes in between. Scroll down to see what our current trainees have to say about a typical day.
What areas of law will I cover?
Our seats cover a range of disciplines including: commercial property, property dispute resolution, charities, employment, crime, business crime, personal injury, wills, trusts & probate. Before allocating you to a seat we will find out your preferences. We will also take into account the areas of law which you have covered in depth in your studies. We do our best to make sure that second year trainees get their first or second choice, as by then you will usually have a clearer picture of the area in which you want to specialise when you qualify.
Where will I work?
Our professional groups work on different sites that suit their client base. So you will find our private client group in a Grade II listed manor house and grounds in Chesham, at The Bury. Our community legal services and commercial groups are based at our head office Capital Court in Uxbridge.
On an average day, what will I do?
This varies greatly, depending on your seat. You will be treated in the same way as a qualified solicitor in that you have targets to achieve and systems to learn and follow. You will be expected to join in and help run our client events, gain a thorough understanding of the law and practice of the seat you are in and to react quickly and responsively to clients.
Meet the trainees
Where are our past trainees now?
Many of our trainees stay on with the firm when they qualify. Look at our partner profiles to track the progress of some of our homegrown talent.
- Stephanie Price
- Alexander Mahdavi
- Chelsea Martin
- Kate Egan-Martin
- Catherine O’Reilly
- Kajal Shah
- Alexis Ash
- Laura Manson
- Francesca Davey
- Fiona Bundy-Clarke
Top tips for applying
12 top tips
Securing a training contract is very competitive. Successful applicants are very focused, put time and effort into their applications and seek feedback.
Here are our tips on how you can use the skills you already have to get the training contract you want.
- Decide what sort of work you want to do; if you don’t know, work out what you don’t want to do — it will help you eliminate some options.
- Think about the sort of firm you want to work for. Which firms offer the sort of work you want?
- Get feedback about your strengths and weaknesses; ask your tutor or your friends — how would they describe you? Be honest with yourself. Choose firms where you think you will be successful.
- Use those research skills. There is a lot of information available about firms and the kind of training that they offer. Look at websites, legal directories and careers libraries. Talk to people who have got training contracts. Find out the real differences between regional, City and high street firms.
- Choose your words carefully. Each application should be tailored to the firm you are approaching. What are the qualities they are looking for? What language do they use to describe themselves?
- Apply early — application markers get stricter the more applications they receive.
- Get someone else to read your application before you send it. They’ll be able to spot the mistakes that you miss.
- Have a dress rehearsal. Practise an interview with a friend or careers adviser. Remember you will be asked about everything you put on your CV.
- Dust off those law books. You are going for an interview as a trainee solicitor so be prepared to answer some legal questions. Saying that you covered contract in the first year is no excuse!
- Be professional. However friendly the interviewer, remember this is an interview. Don’t let your professional presentation slip.
- Be positive. At interview make sure you talk about what you enjoy, what inspires and enthuses you. If something has gone wrong in the past, for example with your studies, be clear about what you have learned from the experience.
- Keep trying. It’s very competitive. The stamina and resilience you need to secure a training contract will stand you in good stead for your legal career.
Applications for Training Contracts are now closed.
- Recruitment for the 2015 intake opens in October 2012 and closes on 31 July 2013
- Interviews will take place during the month of August 2013
- Our Assessment Day will take place in September 2013