Before you apply

To be considered for any of our schemes, you’ll need a minimum of AAB at A Level (or equivalent) and a 2:1 degree in any discipline.

It’s all about you as an individual and what you can bring to our firm. So throughout our recruitment process, we’re looking for you to show your commercial awareness, communication, drive, motivation, intellect, teamwork and attention to detail.

Online application

We carefully analyse your application form before we decide whether you will move on to the next stage of the process, so getting it right is critical. We have to differentiate between thousands of applicants each year so it’s worth making sure that you stand out from the crowd.

  • Think about what sets you apart from other applicants. This is your chance to sell yourself, so use a range of examples from both inside and out of university to highlight your skills and achievements.
  • Be clear in your own mind why you want to join the firm and become a commercial lawyer –  show that you’ve done your research into Linklaters and why you are interested in training with us.
  • Attention to detail is a key skill for a lawyer and this starts with your application, so check thoroughly for grammar and spelling errors.
  • Think about whether there is any additional information about your requirements or circumstances that you think we should know about and include this in the appropriate section on your application so that we can take this into consideration. Each form is reviewed by one of our team so that we can take a personalised approach. If you would prefer to speak to us to discuss your circumstances, please email

In order to apply for one of our vacancies, we will require you to give us some basic information (personal details, a brief summary of your education, language capability and diversity information). This will take approximately 15 minutes. You can save your work at any point by clicking the 'Save As Draft' button at the bottom of each screen. If you click 'Save As Draft', you can retrieve your work by selecting the 'Log In' button on our graduate recruitment website, logging in and selecting Saved Drafts.

To complete your application, we will also require you to fill in a copy of our application form and upload this to our system. Once the basic information has been completed and you have uploaded your application form, you can submit. 

You will need to download a template application form to complete, which can be accessed here

Once you have downloaded the template, you can save it to your computer to work on it before uploading to our system, under CV upload. Please note we will only review submissions using the application template provided and will not be able to review incomplete submissions.

If you have any questions during the application process, please contact a member of the team by emailing

Critical thinking test

The critical thinking test is designed to measure critical and logical thinking skills. It’s a key element of the application process for all our schemes. The test measures abilities in:

  • Drawing inferences: the ability to evaluate the validity of assumptions drawn from a series of factual statements.
  • Recognising assumptions: the ability to identify unstated theories or presuppositions in a series of statements.
  • Argument evaluation: the ability to determine whether certain conclusions necessarily follow from the information given in a statement.
  • Deductive reasoning: the ability to weigh up evidence and decide if conclusions based on the given data are warranted.
  • Logical interpretation: the ability to distinguish between arguments that are strong and relevant and those that are weak or irrelevant to a specific point.


Interview day

Interview days are quite intensive, but our aim is that you will find them interesting and stimulating. You will be shown around the office and have lunch with a trainee who will give you candid answers to any questions you might have.

Work simulation and written exercise

Everyone applying for a training contract will undertake a work simulation exercise (our ‘etray test’). This takes the form of a computer-based simulation of an email inbox. Although the scenario is set within Linklaters, it is entirely fictitious. No specialist knowledge (including legal knowledge) or experience of the subject is required. During the exercise, emails will arrive in your inbox and you will be required to:

  • Respond to a series of emails using multiple choice answers,
  • Extract information from data provided,
  • Make judgement calls on how to deal with challenging situations.

After the inbox exercise, you will be asked to prepare a written response to one email. This will be based on an issue you have been dealing with throughout the work simulation.

Everyone applying for a vacation scheme will be required to review the data and information provided as part of the work simulation exercise and prepare a written response to one email. Applicants will not be required to undertake the inbox exercise.


  • Make sure you respond in a style appropriate to the email you have been sent. Ensure that it has a clear, logical structure.
  • Keep an eye on the time and make sure you proof read what you have written for your email response before the time is up, as this piece of work will be reviewed and used as a basis for discussion in your second interview.
  • Think about the person for whom you are writing the information. How much do they already know? How much do they need to know? Tailor the content and the level of detail to the audience.



Your first interview, with a member of the human resources team, will be competency-based. Your second interview, with lawyers from the practice, will involve a discussion of your written exercise from the work simulation task, as well as more general topics around commercial awareness. We have a clear idea of the qualities and aptitudes that make a successful Linklaters lawyer. These skills revolve around:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Motivation
  • Time management
  • Commercial thinking

Your interview day is a real opportunity to show us what you can do and to see if Linklaters is right for you.


  • To get the best out of your interview day, remind yourself of our process and what we are looking for. Re-read your application form and think about examples that can show the qualities we are looking for in future trainees.
  • You should be able to explain why you are interested in commercial law and what has attracted you to apply to Linklaters.
  • Finally, try to relax and just be yourself.

You’re applying to a commercial law firm, so we will expect you to know about the world of business and the issues that affect the firm and its clients. You may wish to consider our recent transactions or to look at websites such as Lawyer2b and Legal Week to see what has been going on in the legal market.

If you would like to contact a member of the Graduate Recruitment team about our application process, or require any reasonable adjustments, please email us at

Typical questions we receive on interview days

Can I start my training contract earlier than the advertised intake?

We do receive some applications from candidates who have already finished law school. However, as is general practice across most law firms, we recruit our trainees two years in advance of the intake date. We therefore cannot guarantee you a position earlier than that advertised but earlier start dates are sometimes available so please speak to a member of the graduate recruitment team once you have been made a training contract offer.

Do you accept applications from candidates who need a work permit?

Yes we do. If you are successful in securing a training contract we will offer assistance to obtain work permits and visas required. Our offer will be dependent upon us successfully obtaining a work permit for you, and you will have responsibility for providing all of the information and documentation required (e.g. proof of academic and professional qualifications, current CV and valid passport). Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any restrictions imposed by the UK Border Agency, including caps on the number of certificates allocated to sponsor employees.

Can I train to be an English solicitor with a law degree from overseas?

You will be required to complete the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and then the Legal Practice Course (LPC) before you are able to start your training contract. The requirements are different if your undergraduate law degree was obtained from a common law jurisdiction (e.g. Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, and South Africa) and you may be able to complete the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS). Please check these requirements with the SRA.

Do you hold any open days?

We provide many opportunities for students to meet us throughout the year - including law fairs, presentations at a number of universities across the UK and other on-campus activities. In addition you may be able to visit our offices for an open day arranged through your university or in partnership with diversity-focused organisations. You can find out more about our diversity partners here.

It's a good idea to keep an eye on our events calendar to see what's happening, or why not sign up to our mailing list.

Do you offer internships outside London?

We offer internships at a number of our offices around the world. These are resourced directly by the individual offices. For more information, please visit the careers site of the country to which you would like to apply. Click here to be re-directed to our global careers site.

Do you offer work experience?

We run a range of insight schemes. Our Winter Vacation Scheme lasts for two weeks during December and is open to final-year students, graduates and postgraduates. The Summer Vacation Scheme lasts for four weeks and is exclusively for penultimate-year students studying law or non-law degrees at UK and Irish universities. For penultimate-year Law students studying in Australia we run an Australian clerkship at our London office, which runs for four weeks in November/December. We also run an Indian internship in the summer at our London office for penultimate-year law students in India. For first-year students, we offer our Pathfinder insight scheme. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any form of work experience outside these schemes.

Does a degree in Scottish or Irish Law count as ‘law’ or ‘non-law’ for recruitment purposes?

If you are studying law at a university in Scotland or Ireland, you may need to complete only certain of the elements of the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), as well as the Legal Practice Course (LPC), before commencing your training contract. You may be able to complete an accelerated course (which could be undertaken via distance learning). Please check with SRA which parts of the GDL will be relevant to you, according to the modules included in your individual degree.

If an accelerated GDL would be appropriate, or if in your individual circumstances it is not necessary to study any part of the GDL, you would follow the ‘law’ track for our recruitment purposes.

How many trainees are kept on at qualification?

Our retention rates are consistently high and the vast majority of our trainees take up associate roles with us. In September 2015, we offered places on qualification to 84% of trainees in the cohort.

If you have any further queries then please drop us a line on Facebook or email us at