Many of the outstanding lawyers you'll meet here trained with Russell-Cooke and have developed their own areas of specialist expertise, first as solicitors and then as partners. Find out more in our trainee brochure - the start of your law career.

We are looking for people with partnership potential who can cope with responsibility.

Asked by Lex 100 what aspects of the firm they particularly value, Russell-Cooke trainees cited the "quality of the training" and the "plenty of opportunities to get involved in cases in a meaningful way and contribute to their outcome"

Also appreciated are:

  • our stimulating mix of commercial/City and private client work
  • a sustainable working environment with supportive colleagues
  • the skills you develop with us are excellent preparation for a successful legal career 
  • the firm's continuing expansion offers plenty of opportunities to help extend the work of our specialist teams or develop new areas of expertise
  • the responsibility given from day one
  • lots of client contact
  • the opportunity to work in one of three offices in Bedford Row, Putney or Kingston

For more information, see A day in the life of a trainee by Mark Child in the real estate team.

We are looking for people with partnership potential who have the energy and ambition to become successful lawyers in their chosen field. The people we attract tend to be high achievers – academically well qualified, independent minded and often impressively rounded (we seem to have more than our fair share of talented musicians, sports people and linguists).

Our trainees are part of the legal team. We will expect a lot from you and will give you significant responsibility early on. There is a friendly and professional support structure in place. You need to be the kind of person who will thrive on the challenges that real-life legal work throws at you.

Russell-Cooke is an equal opportunity employer and an Investor in People. We welcome applications from people irrespective of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or disability.

On average, we take on six or seven trainees a year. Competition for training contracts with us is intense and we receive many more applications from well-qualified applicants than we have training places.

To be considered for a training contract with us you will need excellent academic ability. Typically we would regard the following as indicative of the level of academic ability we require:

  • at least three A levels (excluding General Studies) of which at least two should be at grade A (or higher) and the third at grade B (or equivalent); and
  • at least an upper second degree (if you have already graduated)

Apply online by 30 June 2018 to be considered for a September 2020 training contract.

First interviews are held week of 9 July 2018. Second interviews are held 24, 25 and 26 July 2018.

If you have any questions please look at our FAQs. If these do not answer your query, please email

If you are invited for interview, you will get a first-hand, warts-and-all view of the firm from our current group of trainees over lunch.

Read what Lex 100, one of the main guides for prospective trainees, says about us or read out trainee brochure - the start of your law career.

If I don't meet the academic qualifications you specify, is there any point in applying?

We do look at every application we receive, but of course academic qualifications are important.

We would like you to let us know if you attended a secondary school that would be recognised as particularly disadvantaged – for example, one with an average A-level points score of below 240 points on the UCAS tariff.

Do you run a Summer placement programme?

No, we do not offer a summer placement programme. However we do run two vacation schemes in the Spring of each year. 

What are the prospects of being offered a post by the firm after qualification?

Very good. Over the last two years we have retained every qualifying trainee bar one. 

On average over the last few years more than 80% of our trainees have stayed with us for at least a year after qualification. The longer term retention rate is about 65%.

About a quarter of our partners trained here.

Do you give preference to applicants with law degrees or those who have studied at particular universities?

No: we simply look for talented people with potential, wherever (and whatever) they have studied. We believe in diversity and feel it contributes to the firm's distinctive character. Russell-Cooke lawyers come from a wide range of academic backgrounds.

What is your interview process?

Our interview process gives you the chance to get under our skin (and vice versa).

We invite selected applicants for two interviews:

  • A first 'getting to know you' interview with one or two senior people at the firm.
  • For those who are shortlisted, a second interview involving a group session and a chance to show how you would cope with actual casework. You'll also meet our current trainees, look round our offices and have the chance to put your questions to the partner in charge of trainees.

Does your interview process include "personality" tests?

No. One of the reasons we do not use personality tests is that we are not seeking to recruit a single personality type. The varied work we do creates opportunities for a wide range of personalities and aptitudes.

Who decides what seats I will occupy during my training contract?

The final decision is ours. But we put a lot of effort into discussing trainees' own preferences and aptitudes with them, in the light of what is available and commercially feasible at any particular point.

If I am committed to qualifying in a particular area of work, will you consider me for a training contract?

Yes. In return, we ask you to keep a reasonably open mind about the seats you occupy. Whichever departments you work in, you can be sure of acquiring the generic legal skills that will serve you well throughout your career.

It's actually not a bad idea to move outside your 'comfort zone' for a while. Many of our trainees find that their initial preferences change during their training contract, and some develop unexpected enthusiasms for types of work that would not have previously featured in their plans.

What are the most difficult things about training at Russell-Cooke?

You will need (often quite rapidly) to acquire a range of skills and adapt to different working environments, even within a single department. You will have to learn how to tailor your advice to the fee budget of different clients, and develop the confidence to make and back your own judgements.

Do you offer a grant for the LPC and/or GDL?

We provide capped sponsorship of up to £10,000 per candidate for LPC fees. We also offer an interest free loan of up to £5,000 re-payable out of a trainee’s salary over a two year period.

Applications for the 2018 vacation scheme (for 2020 trainee solicitors) are now closed.

Our vacation schemes are a great way to experience what it’s really like to work at Russell-Cooke. You will be spending time in a department assisting on client matters whilst working closely with one of our senior associates.

Visit our vacation scheme page to find out more and how to apply.