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Legal Traineeships

About Thorntons 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, 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.

2022 Traineeships

Applications for 2021 Traineeships have now closed. Applications for 2022 Traineeships will open in March 2020.

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.

You can apply for our traineeships online and shortlisted applicants will then attend a 45 minute first round interview with a member of our Graduate Recruitment team. Those successful at this stage will proceed to the final stage, at which you will be asked to give a presentation to our Trainee Partner panel followed by a further interview.

Our Partners are fully invested in the Traineeship programme and our Trainee Partner panel comprises of six Partners from across the firm. We believe 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.

Find out more

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, Tuesday 17 September
  • Robert Gordon University, Wednesday 18 September
  • University of Dundee, Thursday 19 September
  • University of Edinburgh, Wednesday 25 September
  • University of Strathclyde, Thursday 26 September
  • University of Glasgow, Wednesday 2 October
  • Napier University, Thursday 3 October

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 a number of future Trainee receptions and networking events in February 2020 for candidates interested in Summer Placements and Traineeships at Thorntons. These will be held in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. Dates for this will be confirmed shortly but in the meantime if you are interested in reserving a space at one of these events please email

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

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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