Baker McKenzie believes that diversity within the firm makes us stronger and that all our people in all offices deserve respect, protection from harassment in the workplace, support and equal treatment. No-one should be put at a disadvantage, professionally, financially or socially, on the basis of who they are.
Baker McKenzie is a leading global law firm based in over 75 locations in nearly 50 countries. With a presence in nearly all of the world's leading financial and commercial centres, our strategy is to provide the best combination of local legal and commercial knowledge, international expertise and resources. Our trainee solicitors are a vital part of that strategy, exposed to the international scope of the firm from the moment they start. There is also the possibility of an overseas secondment, recent secondees have spent time in Brussels, Moscow, Sydney, Singapore, Johannesburg and Hong Kong.
The firm provides equal opportunities to all suitably qualified applicants and employees without regard to person's sex, marital or registered civil partnership status, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, age or disability. All conditions of service, including pay and employee benefits, training, transfer and promotion opportunities, as well as general career development, apply on a fair and equal basis. If you consider yourself to have a disability or a health condition, we want to reassure you that any information you share with us will be treated in the strictest confidence. Our aim is to provide you with as much help and support as possible.
Did you know?
Way back in 1948, two successful lawyers, Russell Baker & John McKenzie, shared a taxi ride home from work. They shared a vision, to create a truly global law firm, staffed by experienced and talented local lawyers with equal partnership rights. From this meeting, Baker McKenzie was born.
What's the difference between a good law firm and an outstanding law firm? Its people. As a truly global law firm, we pride ourselves on the excellence and the diversity of our people; diversity through their perspectives, backgrounds, cultures, experience. To be successful; to give our clients the best possible service means we need to draw on the rich melting pot of talent our diverse workforce has to offer.
Our Vacation Scheme offers the ideal opportunity to experience what it's like to work for a City-based, global law firm.
Each Vacation Scheme gives you the chance to experience two of our key practice areas. Training is provided throughout to familiarise you with some of our typical transactions and to help you develop key skills. We place great emphasis on involving you in live work.
Intake: April, July, August
Length: 2-3 weeks
First Year Programme
As a first-year university student, we can offer you an invaluable insight into life as a commercial lawyer on our First Year Programme. This will enable you to experience first-hand the kind of work that we do and how a global law firm operates.
Its aim is simple: to equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to pursue your career when you return to university after the summer. This will be done through a series of interactive workshops, shadowing, networking and one-to-one sessions with the Graduate Recruitment & Development team.
Intake: 10-11 August
Length: 2 days
Each year, we recruit 30 Trainees. We take the best and brightest talent and turn them into the well-rounded commercial lawyers that make our Firm stand out from the crowd.
We do this by giving you the very best technical and skills training, delivered by our own lawyers, often Partners, so you'll benefit from the latest advice and experience in a Baker McKenzie context.
Intake: March and September
Length: 2 years
As you might expect from a firm that prides itself on its people, we place a big emphasis on you getting to know us and vice versa. With this in mind, we hold a number of Open Days throughout the year. These will give you a unique insight into who we are and the work we do.
Over the course of the day, we run various workshops on topics such as negotiation, commercial awareness and application skills. You'll also get to meet our Partners, Associates and Trainees over lunch so you can ask about their own experiences of working at the Firm.
International Vacation Scheme
Our International Vacation Scheme is the perfect way to experience living and working in another jurisdiction and culture. It lasts between eight and twelve weeks, divided equally between London and one of our international offices, such as New York, Sydney and Hong Kong.
As with our Vacation Scheme, you'll be involved in live work across several practice areas.
Tips for applying
Everyone's got a stellar application by the time we get to interviews; they're all academically brilliant, they've done well at university and they've got a whole range of extra-curricular activities. What we're trying to work out in an interview is who you really are. The interviews I really enjoy are the ones where people are confident enough to be themselves.- KAREN GUCH, Corporate Partner, Trainee Partner and member of the Graduate Recruitment Panel
- Be confident in yourself We want you to do well. So be prepared, be honest, be yourself and be confident. If you've made it as far as the interview, it's because you've impressed us. It's important to remember this.
- Share your passion The interview is a chance for you to show your abilities and share with us the achievements you're most proud of. You should also be able to tell us why you're choosing to pursue a career in commercial law and why you're passionate about doing so with us.
- Tell us what we need to know If you have extenuating circumstances then please as much detail as possible as we do not know what you do not tell us.
The firm strives to enable trainees to be the best they can be. We are looking for trainees who are stimulated by intellectual challenge and respect and enjoy the diversity of cultural, social and academic backgrounds found in the firm. Effective communication skills, together with the ability to be creative and practical problem solvers, team players and to have a sense of humour, are qualities which will help them stand out from the crowd.
- Intellect, quick-thinking and persuasiveness The important thing to remember is that the first client problem interview is designed to examine your thought processes and assess the above qualities and your potential as a successful lawyer, rather than your existing legal knowledge. You'll need to show flexibility of thought; if what the interviewer says causes you to change your opinion then say so and explain why. Don't back down too easily though: be confident and persuasive but show that you are willing to adapt. Explain each step of your thought process to Baker & McKenzie's interviewers.
- Motivation to work in law and with Baker & McKenzie You'll already have covered some of this in your application form, but in the interview you'll be required to expand on what you wrote and make it really clear that you understand Baker & McKenzie and the trainee scheme. This is a good time to bring up your research about the firm and talk about some of their cases and transactions, such as their landmark tax case against the US Internal Revenue Service on behalf of Symantec Corporation, or their reports, which can be found on their website. Talk about why these subjects interest you and why you think you'd be suited to the work involved. It's also a good idea to show that you're aware of the sorts of seats that will be available to you, such as employment law; emphasise the kind of experience they could give you.
- Knowledge of commercial law and commercial awareness In this interview, candidates will be expected to talk confidently about an issue affecting the commercial law sector. If you referred to a particular commercial law case in your application, brush up on this before the interview. Baker & McKenzie has past briefing papers for advising Eurozone on its website: read these to get an idea about the commercial issues affecting the legal profession, and to learn about the work commercial lawyers do. This will not only help with your commercial awareness, but will give you some ideas for handling the client problem in the first interview. It's also a good idea to read legal publications as well as newspapers such as the FT in the run-up to your interview. Develop your own ideas and opinions about the issues you research; Baker & McKenzie are looking for intellectual ability, enthusiasm and commitment, and this will demonstrate all three.
Your Training Contract will start with a two-week induction programme to equip you with the skills you'll need to start making an immediate contribution.
You can expect department-specific training and, throughout your Training Contract, you'll be able to call on the personal and professional support of our Graduate Recruitment and Development team.
Training Contract 2018, Trainee Solicitors
During your two-year Training Contract, you'll spend six months in four key practice areas, referred to as "seats". In each seat you'll have a supervisor who acts as your work provider and mentor, and a Trainee Partner who is responsible for overseeing your progress. We believe it is important for all trainees to gain broad experience. Trainees regularly participate in a range of tasks including drafting, researching, attending meetings and proof-reading. The Firm's clients span a wide spectrum of industries, and the group encourages its trainees to develop a knowledge of specific industry sectors.
Our seat rotation policy ensures you experience at least three distinct areas of law, including Contentious Law. A number of departments offer contentious experience, including Dispute Resolution, Employment, Intellectual Property and EU, Competition & Trade.
Corporate work is at the heart of the Firm and all Trainees are required to complete six months in our Corporate department during their Training Contract. The Graduate Recruitment and Development team will discuss your interest in particular departments, which is considered in-line with business needs. Midway through each seat, you'll have an informal review to discuss your progress and development. At the end of each seat, there'll be a more formal evaluation with a Trainee Partner who will provide feedback on your progress and experience.
All Trainees have the opportunity to apply for a three-month secondment to one of our international offices. Recent locations include Singapore, Moscow, Hong Kong, Brussels, Sydney and Johannesburg. Applications are reviewed on an individual basis and in-line with the needs of the business and SRA regulations. Depending on client needs, we're also able to offer Trainee secondments to in-house legal teams with a variety of our clients. This will give you the chance to deepen your knowledge and skills, and gain a better understanding of their perspective.
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