Apprenticeship Programme

A&O Shearman Solicitor Apprenticeships

Apprenticeship Programme

Welcome to the future of law

We believe talented and ambitious people will always thrive with the right investment and support. With our Solicitor Apprenticeship programme, we are giving you the opportunity to gain the qualifications and experience to excel in a leading law firm, while earning a salary of £28,000 in the first year of your apprenticeship (increasing every year). On this page, you can learn about the benefits of the programme, discover what we are looking for in a suitable applicant and find out how you can apply.


We’re able to welcome anyone with a minimum of AAB (or equivalent) at A-level and 7 GCSEs at grade 6 or above (including Maths and English).

Application window

16 December 2024 - 19 February 2025


Aqsa and Philip

Hear from Aqsa, one of our Solicitor Apprentices and her trainer Philip, Senior Associate, who are part of our Solicitor Apprenticeship Programme. Aqsa tells us about why she applied, her expectations and how they compare to current life as a Solicitor Apprentice at A&O Shearman. Philip tells us about how he’s supported Aqsa and how he approaches his role as a trainer. 

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Programme Overview

Over six years, you will immerse yourself in the world of law, with your time divided between working with A&O Shearman colleagues and focused study time. The programme is designed and balanced to provide everything you need for a successful career in law. 

Four days of each week will be spent working in practice groups on real projects, live deals, and interesting cases for clients. Throughout the programme you will move between teams and departments within the firm to gain valuable insight into all the services we provide. This will give you the perfect platform for you to gain an unmatched understanding of everything we do, learn, expand your knowledge and ability as a solicitor, and show what you’re capable of at the highest levels.

One day per week will be spent studying with our training provider, BPP University, where you will work towards an LLB (Hons) Law and Legal Practice and a Solicitor Level 7 Apprenticeship. We will cover your entire tuition fee and you will also earn a salary during your training. 


£28,000 per year. Salary increases annually. 

Working Here

Rotating through our practice groups, you will discover the full breadth of our offering to clients, see first-hand how we are constantly innovating and evolving our approach to law and understand how you can play a real part in it. A key benefit of developing this way is that you will simultaneously be advancing your technical knowledge and developing critical experience of the legal world, while also gaining the soft skills and attributes that will serve you well throughout your career in law. You will be exposed to the challenges you will face as a lawyer, while also having the exceptional resources and support to overcome them as they arise.

Another great benefit is the ability to immerse yourself in our culture while you study and grow. Our culture is built on inclusion. We’re continually building an environment that enables you to bring your whole self to work. Where you feel supported to excel. Where you feel like you belong. As you work with different teams across our practice groups, you will build a valuable and reliable network of talented colleagues who will always make you feel welcome and supported and will help you reach your full potential and thrive wherever your career takes you.

James and Will

Hear from James, our Early Careers Recruitment Partner and Training Principal and Will, our Early Careers and DE&I HR Manager, as they talk about the Solicitor Apprenticeship and why it is a top priority for the firm. They discuss how the firm identifies future lawyers, how the pay and benefits are structured, as well as sharing the array of support on offer to ensure every Solicitor Apprentice can reach their full potential at A&O Shearman. 

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Reasons to Join


You will receive training not only from BPP University, but also first-class training from industry-leading experts across every sector at A&O Shearman. You will have the chance to apply what you learn to live matters, deals and projects, so by the time you take your exams, you will already have years of real-life experience from working at the firm. 


The knowledge and experience you gain from your apprenticeship will inform your choices of where you take your career. By exploring many areas of our practice, you will discover brand-new career options and be able to tailor your path to achieve your ambitions, whatever they may be.


Every single colleague at A&O Shearman knows the value of support. It’s defined all of their careers, and wherever you work with us, you’ll have it. It could be from your mentor who will guide you through every challenge, from the lawyers and support staff you work alongside day-to-day, or from our dedicated HR team. The apprentices completing the programme alongside you will become your mutually beneficial community, supporting each other and advancing together. 


A&O Shearman, with over 40 offices around the world, is one of the largest global law firms to offer a fully funded Solicitor Level 7 Apprenticeship programme. Upon completion of your training and exams, you will have also earned an LLB (Hons) Law and Legal Practice from BPP University.


As well as financial rewards, working at A&O Shearman offers an exceptional range of benefits including insurance (life, group income protection and private medical); a pension scheme; an interest-free season ticket loan; access to wellbeing apps (such as Unmind and Headspace) as well as a range of on-site facilities including a gym and sports hall; medical, dental and physiotherapy services; a beauty treatment centre; dry cleaners and two restaurants. All of these combine to ensure you have what you need in and out of work to succeed.

What we look for

This programme gives you the opportunities you need to expand your skills across multiple areas. And the great thing is, there’s not one single type of person who succeeds here. Whoever you are, this programme is a chance for you to start your journey early and develop your legal expertise, while earning your qualifications without the burden of tuition fees – opening the door to people from all academic and social backgrounds. 

Academic results

We require you to be on track to achieving AAB at A-Level or equivalent and have 7 GCSEs at grade 6 or above (including Maths and English). We do look at every form received and take extenuating circumstances into account for grades that do not meet our requirements.

Skills to succeed

When reviewing applicants, we look out for the skills and qualities you have that will help you become a talented lawyer. That is not just strong communication and organisational skills, but the commitment, resilience and enthusiasm required to be an effective team member and work under pressure. At times, a career in law can be challenging, so it is critical that apprentices are adaptable and can work effectively individually, or as part of a team.

Application Process

The application process is designed to give you a platform to show us what you’re capable of and to set you up for success at A&O Shearman.   

1.    Online Application

You will be required to submit an online application which details your education history and any work experience you may have undertaken. This does not need to be legal experience.

As part of the application you will also be asked to provide a written response to a motivational question. 

Once you have completed the written application form, you will be prompted to complete an online interactive assessment. The interactive assessment will test your adaptability, digital intelligence, applied intellect and creativity.  The assessment should only take 30 minutes to complete and there will be practice questions available.  You will be given 48 hours in which to complete the test. You will then be presented with another motivational question to which you will need to record a video response. For the video response you will have unlimited time to prepare but your actual response time will be limited to 2 mins. 

You will need to submit your online application form and complete the interactive assessment before the application deadline. We therefore advise you to plan your time in a way that allows you to complete both. 

2.    Insight Day

If you are successful, you will pass through to the next stage which will be an Insight Day. This is an opportunity for you to experience the type of work you will be exposed to as a solicitor apprentice. During the Insight Day, you will also meet a range of people from the business, have first-hand experience of A&O Shearman’s culture and learn more about the final stage of the process. Our Insight Day will take place on 20 March 2024. 

3.    Interviews

Following on from the Insight Day, we will be inviting candidates to attend our Assessment Day, which will comprise of two one-on-one interviews.

The first interview will be a case study. You will be asked to review some documents and this will be followed by a discussion on the key points from the case study. Ahead of the Assessment Day, we will be sending out a briefing video to help you prepare for the day.

In the second interview you will be asked a series of questions based on scenarios you may encounter as an apprentice. 

We are assessing your potential on the day and don’t expect you know all of the answers. Our assessors will explore the topics with you and will guide you through the two assessments. 

4.    Offer

After your interviews, we will review your performance and aim to get back to you with a decision as quickly as possible.

Regardless of the outcome, we are committed to providing constructive feedback on your interview performance.

Life Experience

At A&O Shearman, we value real life experience just as much as work experience. It’s not something to shy away from on your application. It makes you who you are. Here’s how some of our people have brought their life experiences to a career here.  

These videos, originally produced under the A&O legacy, authentically showcase the experiences and opportunities synonymous with A&O Shearman.