London FAQs

Application FAQs

How do I apply for a vacation scheme and training contract?

Please complete the online application form here . The application process will open on 1 October each year and the deadline for both schemes is 31 January 2020. 

What are the dates of your 2020 vacation schemes?

We run two schemes, these will run from Monday 30 March to Thursday 9 April 2020 and then Monday 22 June to Friday 3 July 2020.  We offer places on both schemes to penultimate year Law undergraduates, all final year undergraduates (both law and non-law), all graduates, post-graduates and career changers.  

How much will I be paid on the vacation scheme?

We pay our vacation scheme students £500 a week. 

Do you have open days?

Yes, we do.  Please see here for details.  

What are your academic criteria?

Our recruits almost invariably have exceptional academic grades, generally at least AAB (or equivalent) in their A-levels (or equivalent), and have graduated with, or are on course for a 2.1 or first.

I don’t meet your academic criteria – should i still apply?

We take all relevant information into consideration and look at your application as a whole.  If you didn’t reach the minimum requirements and you have mitigating circumstances, please provide these in the relevant part of the application form.

Do you offer ad-hoc work experience outside of your formal vacation schemes?

We do not offer informal work experience placements.  Eligible candidates are encouraged to apply for a place on one of our vacation schemes.

What are the deadlines for applying this year?

The deadline for applying to both schemes is 31 January 2020.  

I’ve missed the deadline to apply for a vacation scheme – can i still apply?

We do not accept applications after the deadline.  

Do you accept CV applications?

No, we do not usually accept CV applications.  If you are unable to complete the online application form please contact us at to discuss, in confidence, your individual circumstances.  We will be able to make adjustments to the process as required.   

I require adjustments due to a disability; can you accommodate these?

We are happy to make adjustments to a candidate’s individual requirements.  Please contact us at to discuss, in confidence, your individual circumstances. 

Can i apply directly for a training contract?

We feel that the best way for you to decide if Dechert is right for you, and you for Dechert, is to complete a vacation scheme at the firm.  Therefore, we do not accept direct training contract applications. 

I submitted my application form but i have not heard from you since the confirmation email; does this mean i have been unsuccessful?

No, we will contact all applicants and aim to do so within ten working days of receiving your application.  

Will you cover any costs i incur to attend an interview?

We reimburse up to £100 for travel expenses incurred to attend an interview at the firm’s office.   

I am qualified in another jurisdiction, should i apply for a training contract?

In this circumstance we would advise you to apply for an associate position, rather than a training contract.  Please visit the London Qualified Solicitors section of our careers site for further information.   

What do i do if i am unsuccessful during the application process? Can i reapply next year?

If you are unsuccessful during the application process, you will not be able to reapply during that application period.  You can, however, reapply the following autumn.  If you are unsuccessful after attending an assessment centre, we offer feedback.  

I’m thinking of undertaking a further qualification after my degree, such as an LLM or the New York bar, will this help my application?

If you have a genuine interest in an area of postgraduate study, we encourage you to pursue this interest.  However, we do not recommend students to take on postgraduate studies to merely boost their vacation scheme application or fill a gap year.  Undertaking an MA and achieving a high grade will not mitigate for falling below our academic criteria at undergraduate degree level.  If you decide to pursue postgraduate studies you should be able to give full and convincing reasons for this in an interview.  

Do you pay a maintenance grant to future trainees?

Yes.  In addition to GDL and LPC tuition fees, we pay future trainees £10,000 per year when they undertake the full time GDL or LPC.   

Do you provide sponsorship for the GDL and LPC?

Yes.  We pay our future trainees’ GDL and LPC fees if they accept the Training Contract offer before they begin the course.  We ask all of our future trainees to complete these courses at BPP.

I have already completed the GDL/LPC will you reimburse me for the tuition fees and pay the maintenance grant retrospectively?

We are only able to pay GDL or LPC fees for future trainees who are offered a Training Contract, and accept the offer, before they commence the course.  Similarly, we do not pay maintenance fees retrospectively. 

Do you require future trainees to choose specific LPC electives?

Our future trainees study the following LPC electives as these align best with our core practice areas in London: advanced commercial litigation, corporate finance, private acquisitions. 

Will i have any contact with the firm between accepting my offer and starting my training contract?

Yes.  We don’t forget about you during this period, and will be in touch regularly with news and invitations to both firm wide and future joiner specific social events.  We also encourage future trainees to contact us if there is anything you want to discuss during this time. 

How many trainees do you take on?

We typically take on 10 trainees each year. 

How many trainee intakes do you have per year?

We have one trainee intake.  Our trainees join each year in August.  

What is the starting salary for trainees?

We pay first year trainees £45,000 and second year trainees £50,000. 

How much influence will i have over my training contract seat plan?

We operate a six seat, four month, rotational system, and we have seats available in many different legal specialisations in our London office.  Trainees can sit in corporate, financial services, trial, investigations & securities, finance, IP, labour & employment, real estate and tax.  We take time to counsel trainees on their career goals so that they complete seats that will suit them and align with their interests.  

What secondment opportunities are there, and am i likely to go on secondment during my training contract?

In addition to regular trainee secondments in our international offices (Dublin, Brussels and Singapore), we currently have a trainee on a client secondment in Toulouse.  With a variety of options for secondments, all trainees will have the opportunity to undertake at least one secondment.  In some circumstance a trainee may undertake two secondments during their training contact.  Some practice groups also offer secondment opportunities to clients or overseas offices post qualification. 


Yes.  Trainees and qualified lawyers alike are encouraged to do pro bono work.  Dechert is committed to pro bono work and all our lawyers commit at least 25 hours per year to pro bono.  In addition, we also find that working on pro bono matters helps lawyers to develop and enhance serving our committees through their interpersonal and advisory skills. 


We recruit people that have the potential to have long and successful careers with the firm, and we aim to keep on all our qualifiers.