Work Experience in Scotland

Despite legal work experience being traditionally difficult to obtain - especially if you have no connections to the legal profession - a wealth of programmes exist to provide work experience for aspiring lawyers from less advantaged backgrounds. The majority of these programmes recognise that unpaid work placements are simply not possible for some students, and so come with a salary. However, for the sake of completeness, this page includes paid, unpaid and voluntary work experience opportunities. 

If you have not had any legal work experience or are struggling to succeed with your applications, do not underestimate the importance of non-legal work experience! It provides you with a wide variety of transferable skills and life experience which law firms value. 

 

Please note that many law firms - especially high street firms - accept speculative applications. If there is a firm you are particularly interested in, just e-mail or hand in your CV with a cover letter!

Click on the buttons below to find information relevant to you.

 

 Prospective Law Students

PRIME

PRIME is a collection of leading law firms who have undertaken a commitment to promote social mobility in the legal profession by offering work experience to young people between S2 and S6. These placements generally last around one week and involve shadowing a lawyer, attending meetings and assisting with research tasks.

 

There are criteria which must be met, including:

  • Attending a state school 

  • First generation to attend University 

  • You have been or are: in receipt of free school meals or Education Maintenance Allowance; a full or part time carer; in the UK as a refugee or asylum seeker; attending a school with below average Higher attainment or with a low rate of progression to higher education 

The following firms offer work experience placements as a result of their involvement with PRIME:

More information: https://primecommitment.co.uk/for-students

Morton Fraser

Leading law firm Morton Fraser offers one week of unpaid work experience to school pupils who have completed fourth year. The working hours are from 9:30am - 1pm, and the firm offers 10 places in their Edinburgh office and 5 places in their Glasgow office. Students will receive experience in at least three areas of legal practice by shadowing trainee solicitors.

The deadlines for applications are the 28th February and 30th September each year. An application form can be found on the website. 

More information: 

https://www.morton-fraser.com/work/work-experience

Brodies

In addition to being a member of PRIME, Brodies holds Career Insight Days which are run by Newly Qualified (NQ) solicitors. This is an opportunity to learn more about becoming a lawyer and receive guidance as to how to enter the legal profession. 

Brodies also offers some ad hoc opportunities to visit their legal departments and shadow staff. 

More information: 

https://brodies.com/graduate/work-experience-at-brodies

Womble Bond Dickinson

Womble Bond Dickinson offers work experience opportunities for school pupils at any stage, ranging from workshops, interactive days at the office and work  placements.

More information: 

https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/uk/careers/early-careers

Virtual Work Experience

The following law firms offer virtual work experience through InsideSherpa:

More information:

https://www.insidesherpa.com/

Pinsent Masons

Pinsent Masons offers a week of work experience to school pupils which not only provides an insight into life as a lawyer, but also enhances your CV. The week involves support from a supervisor, shadowing lawyers and attending presentations.

The firm cannot cover travel or accommodation costs.

 

More information:

https://graduate.pinsentmasons.com/your-route-into-law/work-experience/united-kingdom/

Digby Brown

Available for young people from S4 to university level, the Digby Brown work experience placement offers an insight into how cases are conducted including the opportunity to shadow solicitors and conduct relevant research. Placements are offered across Scotland on a first come, first served basis. 

 

The placement is unpaid. 

 

More information: 

https://www.digbybrown.co.uk/work-experience

Harper MacLeod

Harper MacLeod offers work experience to school students aged between 16 - 18 years old who are interested in pursuing a career in law.

More information: 

https://www.harpermacleod.co.uk/careers/

Procurator Fiscal Service

The Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service invite speculative applications for work experience during the summer months.

 

Contact your local COPFS for more information.

Stronachs

Stronachs offers school pupils across Aberdeen City and Shire the opportunity to complete a placement week with us in our Aberdeen office and gain an introduction to working life at a full-service law firm.

 

This program is open to school pupils in their secondary education from third year onwards and runs from January to June, each year. 

More information: 

https://www.stronachs.com/work-with-us/careers-experience/350-work-experience-opportunities

Aberdein Considine

Aberdein Considine offers paid work experience placements for secondary school students with a keen interest in property, financial or legal roles. 

More information: 

https://www.acandco.com/careers/work-experience

Faculty of Advocates

The Faculty of Advocates runs an annual open day for S5 and S6 pupils, as well as LLB and Diploma students. During the event, students can expect to gain an insight into the day-to-day life of an advocate and explore career opportunities, as well as participate in interactive activities such as mock hearings.

The Faculty and its members are frequently involved in other initiatives to provide information and insights to school pupils and students in higher education about a career at the Scottish Bar.  Contact Neil Mackenzie, QC, at neilmackenzie@amadvocates.co.uk for more information.

 

More information:

http://www.advocates.org.uk/faculty-of-advocates/events

 

 Undergraduate Law Students

Insight Days

For current law students, many law firms run Insight Days, Networking Brunches and Open Days to provide you with a brief insight into the firm. These are run throughout the year, and generally require a small application form to be submitted. This is a great way to get noticed by a firm, experience their culture and decide if you would like to work with them in the future. 

These opportunities are usually advertised on a law firm's social media channels so keep an eye out!

Insight Week

The Law Society of Scotland offers four unpaid insight weeks for law students during February, June, August and October based in Edinburgh. Closing dates for applications are in June and December each year.

 

More information: 

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/about-us/work-with-us/insight-weeks/

Aspiring Solicitors

As a member of Aspiring Solicitors, you gain exclusive access to work experience opportunities with top employers such as Barclays and Network Rail. These experiences not only provide you with legal work experience, they may also lead to a graduate role.

More information: 

https://www.aspiringsolicitors.co.uk

Street Law

Run by the Law Society of Scotland, Street Law involves delivering 8 lessons to secondary school pupils, with the first covering the Scottish legal system and the remaining 7 being based on what the pupils hope to learn about. Trainers will be those on the route to becoming a qualified solicitor, such as students or trainee solicitors, who have undergone training to ensure they provide correct information and a dynamic learning environment. All lessons have links to the Curriculum for Excellence outcomes. 

 

This scheme is supported by Pinsent Masons.

 

More information: 

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/qualifying-and-education/our-work-with-schools/street-law/

CMS First Steps

The CMS First Steps Scheme is offered to second year law students and includes one week of paid work experience where you will have the opportunity to shadow lawyers and participate in engaging case studies.

More information: 

https://www.cmsearlytalent.com/first-steps

NHS Central Legal Office

The NHS Central Legal Office offers a one-week work placement to law students and recent law graduates during the months of June, July and September. The week provides an overview of the work of the CLO, including in litigation, commercial contracts, commercial property and employment

More information:

https://clo.scot.nhs.uk/work-experience.aspx

Aberdein Considine

Aberdein Considine welcome speculative applications from law students seeking work experience at a leading law firm which primarily deals with property and finance.

More information: https://www.acandco.com/careers/work-experience

Future Legal Mind Competition

The Future Legal Mind competition is run by the National Accident Helpline and gives students the opportunity to win £2,000 and receive mentoring support.

 

More information: 

https://www.national-accident-helpline.co.uk/news/future-legal-mind

Shelter Scotland

Shelter Scotland are regularly seeking volunteers. Roles vary from assistance on the legal aspects of the organisation, to online chat help regarding basic housing issues. 

More information:

https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_involved/volunteer

Scottish Child Law Centre

The SCLC offers two types of volunteering opportunities: volunteer placements for a fixed period of time and weekly volunteering. Volunteer placements are full-time placements lasting for a minimum of four weeks up to a number of months (depending on the volunteer’s availability). They are open to all including both local and foreign law students. Weekly volunteers attend the Centre’s office on a set day (morning or afternoon) each week.

All volunteers will receive comprehensive training, with the main responsibilities being answering the telephone and logging any queries.

More information:

https://sclc.org.uk/get-involved/

Procurator Fiscal Service

The Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service invite speculative applications for work experience during the summer months. Contact your local COPFS for more information.

Victim Support Scotland

Victim Support Scotland are regularly seeking volunteers for their helpline. Helpline volunteers can expect to complete the following tasks:

  • Answer incoming helpline enquiries

  • Make outbound calls to service users

  • Provide relevant support and information to anyone affected by crime

  • Promote VSS’ support and make referrals to our local services

  • Link service users with specialist organisations

  • Update our database record system

More information: 

https://victimsupport.scot/how-you-can-help/volunteer/helpline-volunteers/

The Times Law Award

The Times Law Award is an essay competition open to all students registered with a higher education institution. The essay question is published in October each year. 

More information:

https://www.oeclaw.co.uk/times-law-awards

Vacation Schemes

Aimed primarily at law students in their third year of study, vacation schemes are the main way law firms recruit future trainee solicitors. The scheme usually takes place in the summer and can have a duration of between two and eight weeks. Most placements are paid at a competitive rate, but check this before applying. 

Application deadlines are generally in December and January.

Digby Brown

Available for undergraduate law students, the Digby Brown work experience placement offers an insight into how cases are conducted including the opportunity to shadow solicitors and conduct relevant research. Placements are offered across Scotland on a first come, first served basis. 

 

The placement is unpaid. 

 

More information:

https://www.digbybrown.co.uk/work-experience

Essay Competition

This is an annual competition to write an essay on a prescribed legal topic. The winner will receive three weeks paid work experience with the Scottish Parliament’s Legal Services team and a £500 cash prize. 

 

More information:

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/news-and-events/law-society-news/student-competition/

Faculty of Advocates

The Faculty of Advocates runs an annual open day for S5 and S6 pupils, as well as LLB and Diploma students. During the event, students can expect to gain an insight into the day-to-day life of an advocate and explore career opportunities, as well as participate in interactive activities such as mock hearings.

The Faculty and its members are frequently involved in other initiatives to provide information and insights to school pupils and students in higher education about a career at the Scottish Bar.  Contact Neil Mackenzie, QC, at neilmackenzie@amadvocates.co.uk for more information.

 

More information:

http://www.advocates.org.uk/faculty-of-advocates/events

Stronachs

Stronach's work placements for law students take place in the summer period when we offer “Insight Weeks”. Insight Weeks are available for 3rd, 4th and Diploma year law students. They offer the opportunity for up to 6 students to spend a week in our Aberdeen office.

During the placement each student is assigned to a team where they will be given an opportunity to carry out research and drafting and, where possible, to attend client meetings with our fee earners. This is an ideal opportunity to gain an insight into a law firm and the type of work that you may do as a trainee solicitor.

 

More information: 

https://www.stronachs.com/work-with-us/careers-experience/350-work-experience-opportunities

Virtual Work Experience

The following law firms offer virtual work experience through InsideSherpa:

More information:

https://www.insidesherpa.com/

Citizens' Advice Scotland

Citizens' Advice are often looking for volunteer advisors. As a law student, such a placement provides hands on experience of the law in practice whilst enabling you to help others in need. 

Look for vacancies advertised on the Citizens' Advice Scotland website, contact your local Citizens' Advice Bureau or check your university careers service.

More information:

https://www.cas.org.uk/apply-volunteer

JustRight Scotland

JustRight Scotland operates three centres for legal excellence: the Scottish Refugee & Migrant Centre; the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre; and the Scottish Anti-Trafficking & Exploitation Centre. They also host a think tank hub called JustRight for All.

Through these centres, JustRight Scotland aims to identify gaps in law and the provision of legal service, and in public and professional understanding of legal rights, which lead to inequality and prevent people from accessing justice in Scotland.  

JustRight Scotland often recruit interns and volunteers to assist with their work, and to explore any vacancies they should be contacted directly. 

More information: 

https://www.justrightscotland.org.uk/contact/join-us/

Govan Law Centre

Govan Law Centre often recruit law students for volunteering opportunities, and have a partnership with the University of Glasgow to facilitate this. 

Roles will be advertised on the website or through the University of Glasgow Internship Hub. 

More information: 

https://govanlawcentre.org/2017/05/24/job-opportunities-and-volunteering-opportunities-at-glc/

Clan Childlaw

Clan Childlaw is a unique legal and advocacy service for children and young people. They believe the law needs to work better for children and young people, and try to effect change by offering free representation and information as well as lobbying for policy changes. 

They are happy to recieve enquiries from any speculative volunteers.

More information: 

https://www.clanchildlaw.org/volunteer

LawScot

If you are a law student, paralegal, trainee or a solicitor, you could apply to be a guest speaker who attends schools to offer insight into your legal career.

 

Follow the sign-up link on this page:

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/qualifying-and-education/our-work-with-schools/schools-careers-events/

 

 Postgraduate Law Students

Essay Competition

This is an annual competition to write an essay on a prescribed legal topic. The winner will receive three weeks paid work experience with the Scottish Parliament’s Legal Services team and a £500 cash prize. 

 

More information:

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/news-and-events/law-society-news/student-competition/

Faculty of Advocates

The Faculty of Advocates runs an annual open day for S5 and S6 pupils, as well as LLB and Diploma students. During the event, students can expect to gain an insight into the day-to-day life of an advocate and explore career opportunities, as well as participate in interactive activities such as mock hearings.

The Faculty and its members are frequently involved in other initiatives to provide information and insights to school pupils and students in higher education about a career at the Scottish Bar.  Contact Neil Mackenzie, QC, at neilmackenzie@amadvocates.co.uk for more information.

 

More information:

http://www.advocates.org.uk/faculty-of-advocates/events

Stronachs

Stronach's work placements for law students take place in the summer period when we offer “Insight Weeks”. Insight Weeks are available for 3rd, 4th and Diploma year law students. They offer the opportunity for up to 6 students to spend a week in our Aberdeen office.

During the placement each student is assigned to a team where they will be given an opportunity to carry out research and drafting and, where possible, to attend client meetings with our fee earners. This is an ideal opportunity to gain an insight into a law firm and the type of work that you may do as a trainee solicitor.

 

More information: 

https://www.stronachs.com/work-with-us/careers-experience/350-work-experience-opportunities

Citizens' Advice Scotland

Citizens' Advice are often looking for volunteer advisors. As a law student, such a placement provides hands on experience of the law in practice whilst enabling you to help others in need. 

Look for vacancies advertised on the Citizens' Advice Scotland website, contact your local Citizens' Advice Bureau or check your university careers service.

More information:

https://www.cas.org.uk/apply-volunteer

JustRight Scotland

JustRight Scotland operates three centres for legal excellence: the Scottish Refugee & Migrant Centre; the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre; and the Scottish Anti-Trafficking & Exploitation Centre. They also host a think tank hub called JustRight for All.

Through these centres, JustRight Scotland aims to identify gaps in law and the provision of legal service, and in public and professional understanding of legal rights, which lead to inequality and prevent people from accessing justice in Scotland.  

JustRight Scotland often recruit interns and volunteers to assist with their work, and to explore any vacancies they should be contacted directly. 

More information: 

https://www.justrightscotland.org.uk/contact/join-us/

Govan Law Centre

Govan Law Centre often recruit law students for volunteering opportunities, and have a partnership with the University of Glasgow to facilitate this. 

Roles will be advertised on the website or through the University of Glasgow Internship Hub. 

More information: 

https://govanlawcentre.org/2017/05/24/job-opportunities-and-volunteering-opportunities-at-glc/

Clan Childlaw

Clan Childlaw is a unique legal and advocacy service for children and young people. They believe the law needs to work better for children and young people, and try to effect change by offering free representation and information as well as lobbying for policy changes. 

They are happy to recieve enquiries from any speculative volunteers.

More information: 

https://www.clanchildlaw.org/volunteer

LawScot

As a law student, you could apply to be a guest speaker who attends schools to offer insight into your legal career.

 

Follow the sign-up link on this page:

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/qualifying-and-education/our-work-with-schools/schools-careers-events/

The Times Law Award

The Times Law Award is an essay competition open to all students registered with a higher education institution. The essay question is published in October each year. 

More information:

https://www.oeclaw.co.uk/times-law-awards

Insight Week

The Law Society of Scotland offers four unpaid insight weeks for law students during February, June, August and October based in Edinburgh. Closing dates for applications are in June and December each year.

 

More information: 

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/about-us/work-with-us/insight-weeks/

Aspiring Solicitors

As a member of Aspiring Solicitors, you gain exclusive access to work experience opportunities with top employers such as Barclays and Network Rail. These experiences not only provide you with legal work experience, they may also lead to a graduate role.

More information: 

https://www.aspiringsolicitors.co.uk

Street Law

Run by the Law Society of Scotland, Street Law involves delivering 8 lessons to secondary school pupils, with the first covering the Scottish legal system and the remaining 7 being based on what the pupils hope to learn about. Trainers will be those on the route to becoming a qualified solicitor, such as students or trainee solicitors, who have undergone training to ensure they provide correct information and a dynamic learning environment. All lessons have links to the Curriculum for Excellence outcomes. 

 

This scheme is supported by Pinsent Masons.

 

More information: 

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/qualifying-and-education/our-work-with-schools/street-law/

NHS Central Legal Office

The NHS Central Legal Office offers a one-week work placement to law students and recent law graduates during the months of June, July and September. The week provides an overview of the work of the CLO, including in litigation, commercial contracts, commercial property and employment

More information:

https://clo.scot.nhs.uk/work-experience.aspx

Aberdein Considine

Aberdein Considine welcome speculative applications from law students seeking work experience at a leading law firm which primarily deals with property and finance.

More information: https://www.acandco.com/careers/work-experience

Future Legal Mind Competition

The Future Legal Mind competition is run by the National Accident Helpline and gives students the opportunity to win £2,000 and receive mentoring support.

 

More information: 

https://www.national-accident-helpline.co.uk/news/future-legal-mind

Virtual Work Experience

The following law firms offer virtual work experience through InsideSherpa:

More information:

https://www.insidesherpa.com/

Shelter Scotland

Shelter Scotland are regularly seeking volunteers. Roles vary from assistance on the legal aspects of the organisation, to online chat help regarding basic housing issues. 

More information:

https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_involved/volunteer

Scottish Child Law Centre

The SCLC offers two types of volunteering opportunities: volunteer placements for a fixed period of time and weekly volunteering. Volunteer placements are full-time placements lasting for a minimum of four weeks up to a number of months (depending on the volunteer’s availability). They are open to all including both local and foreign law students. Weekly volunteers attend the Centre’s office on a set day (morning or afternoon) each week.

All volunteers will receive comprehensive training, with the main responsibilities being answering the telephone and logging any queries.

More information:

https://sclc.org.uk/get-involved/

Procurator Fiscal Service

The Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service invite speculative applications for work experience during the summer months. Contact your local COPFS for more information.

Victim Support Scotland

Victim Support Scotland are regularly seeking volunteers for their helpline. Helpline volunteers can expect to complete the following tasks:

  • Answer incoming helpline enquiries

  • Make outbound calls to service users

  • Provide relevant support and information to anyone affected by crime

  • Promote VSS’ support and make referrals to our local services

  • Link service users with specialist organisations

  • Update our database record system

More information: 

https://victimsupport.scot/how-you-can-help/volunteer/helpline-volunteers/

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