Skip to main content

Legal Traineeships

We know that our trainees are the key to the future success of Thorntons and our vision to be one of Scotland's most forward-thinking legal firms. If you have the ability and the drive to succeed, we will strive to provide you with a challenging and varied two-year traineeship with first-class training and hands-on experience from the start.

As a trainee, you will have the opportunity to work in many of our offices in Dundee, Perth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fife and Angus. Your traineeship will be structured round four 6-month department rotations and you will gain hands-on experience, practical work and direct client contact from early on. Much of your training will be delivered by Accredited Specialists, so from the outset you will be learning from the very best.

The Recruitment Process

There are two ways to apply for a Thorntons Traineeship:

  1.  Summer placement process
  2.  Graduate recruitment process.

Candidates who successfully progress through each process all attend the final stage of our Traineeship recruitment process at the same time.  

We recognise that not all candidates are able to, or choose to apply for a summer placement, and if this applies to you, then our Graduate recruitment process is for you. Applications for Legal Traineeships commencing in September 2022 will open on 6 April 2020. Please be aware, however, that due to the business disruption caused by the Coronavirus outbreak, timescales for reviewing the applications and responding to applicants may be affected. Applications will close on the 31st May 2020 and we will aim to review applications in June.  All shortlisted candidates will attend a first stage interview with a member of our Graduate Recruitment team. Those successful at this stage will then proceed to the final stage of our recruitment process.

The final stage of our recruitment process is an hour long interview with our Partner panel where you will also be asked to give a presentation.

Our Partners are fully invested in our Traineeship programme and our Partner panel comprises of six Partners from across the firm. We believe that our process gives you the best opportunity to showcase your strengths, skills and abilities and gives us the opportunity to engage with a diverse talent pool who will contribute to Thorntons future success.

2022 Traineeships

We are now accepting Trainee applications for 2022. The closing date for applications is Sunday 31 May.

Apply online now

Please be aware, that due to the business disruption caused by the Coronavirus outbreak, timescales for reviewing the applications and responding to applicants may be affected. 

With Thorntons Traineeship structured programme, you will get to experience legal specialisms such as:

  • Employment
  • Corporate
  • Intellectual Property
  • Commercial Property
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Personal Injury
  • Family
  • Private Client
  • Residential Conveyancing
  • Land & Rural Business

At the beginning of their traineeship most trainees do not know exactly what they want to specialise in. Even if you do already have an idea, this can very often change over the course of your traineeship as you experience different areas of law in practice.  We would encourage you to enjoy as varied a traineeship as possible before you specialise as your breadth of knowledge will develop in every discipline.

However, if you are absolutely sure of the field you want to specialise in, and would like to explore the possibility of a more focussed traineeship, then please discuss this with us in the recruitment process.

Your learning and development will begin on day one of your traineeship and continue throughout your time with us.

Along with your Trainee Continuing Professional Development (TCPD), you will be invited to internal webinars and seminars and also be included in our internal Trainee Development Programme covering topics such as Risk Management, Organisational Skills and Commercial Awareness.

All trainees are allocated a mentor within the firm to support them throughout their traineeship. Your mentor is specially selected for you from our internal team of volunteer mentors, who are all qualified solicitors. They will be an effective sounding board for anything you want to discuss and can offer advice and guidance to you during your traineeship.  

We offer a competitive package to trainees:

  • Competitive Salary
  • Investment in Training, Development and Career Advancement Opportunities
  • 25 days holiday (rising with length of service) plus 7 public holiday
  • Contributory Pension Scheme
  • Healthcare Cash Plan
  • Corporate Discounts
  • Cycle to Work

A significant number of our newly qualified Solicitors stay on and continue their legal career with Thorntons. As the firm continues to grow opportunities become available across all of our offices.

Find out more

We regularly attend University Law fairs,  provide graduate presentations and host networking evenings for graduates interested in a Thorntons Traineeship.

We attend many of the University Law Fairs and we would be delighted to meet you there to provide further information on our traineeships and what Thorntons can offer you. These events are attended by some of our current trainees who can provide the inside track on what a traineeship with Thorntons is really like and our HR department who can advise further on the recruitment process.

This year we will be attending the following Law Fairs

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Robert Gordon University
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of Glasgow
  • Napier University

In 2020 we will be attending the following universities where we hold Graduate Recruitment Presentations. These presentations and informal networking events will give you the chance to meet with Partners, our graduate recruitment team and some of our current trainees.

  • University of Dundee
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Abertay

We will be hosting three Graduation Opening Evenings for candidates interested in Traineeships at Thorntons in 2022. These will be held in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.  These events are open to 3rd or 4th year LLB Honours degree students, 1st or 2nd year of Accelerated LLB or those currently undertaking or who have recently completed the Diploma in Legal Practice. 

  • Tuesday 25 February – Glasgow, Spaces, West Regent Street 5:30 – 7:00pm
  • Tuesday 3 March – Dundee, Whitehall House, 5:30 – 7:00pm
  • Thursday 5 March – Edinburgh, Citypoint, Haymarket, 5:30 – 7:00pm

To book a place please email

You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for the latest information on our Trainee and Summer placement applications and deadlines.

Make an Enquiry


Living Wage Employer Leading Firm Legal 500 2019 Chambers and Partners 2019 Scottish Law Awards winner 2017 Business Insider Employer of the Year 2017 Scott + Co Legal Awards Finalist 2018 scottish Business Pledge Disability Confident 2019