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At LA, we really do see our trainee solicitors as potential future leaders of the business. In fact, many of our current partners and lawyers qualified with LA through our training contract programme. Our two-year training contract supports your journey to qualify as a solicitor and helps you gain the necessary experience to become both a trusted business adviser and a technically proficient lawyer.

The window for applying for a 2026 training contract with us is now closed. Keep an eye out for news of the application period for 2027 training contracts, which will be in early 2025.

Training contracts at Lester Aldridge

During a training contract with LA, you will have the opportunity to experience four six-month seats in a variety of our practice areas across our three offices. Our trainee solicitors are an integral part of each team they work with. You will work with many of our enviable clients, from large, high-profile corporates to high-net-worth individuals, with the support and supervision of our exceptional lawyers.

We also encourage you to participate in all the team’s activities, including business development, team meetings, training, socials, and CSR events. In addition to the day-to-day support from your colleagues within each team, you will have monthly meetings with your allocated training principal and regular formal appraisals. We will give you constructive feedback so you understand what you are doing well and how to improve. In return, we are always interested in listening to your thoughts and views. Our managing partner and other senior leaders host quarterly trainee meetings for all our trainees, followed by dinner so you can talk with them about LA and broader issues impacting the legal sector.

The LA Hub will give you further insight into LA, including firm news, blogs, seminars and events we are involved in.

Tales from a Trainee – Podcast series

YouTube – Lester Aldridge

Spotify – Lester Aldridge Podcasts

Read what our trainees have to say about us

“LA focuses on promoting from within, and the number of partners trained here is a testament to this. Each year there is a wave of promotions following an application period in which staff can apply for promotion if they feel the time is right. The firm also has a Learning and Development team that provides structured training to staff at all levels.”
Elliot LeadbeaterRead his interview here
Qualified September 2023

“There is a strong sense of teamwork which sits at the heart of each department; it is demonstrated best by the great working relationships among colleagues and the genuine friendships you see throughout the firm.”
Chelsie LittleRead her interview here
Qualified March 2024

“Despite being one of the largest firms in the area, the culture at LA is very tightly knit. All of the partners are approachable, and there is a lot of collaboration between the various departments.”
Phil BourneRead his interview here
Qualified March 2024

“The diversity of the practice areas within the firm was definitely what attracted me to the LA trainee scheme… it became really clear that LA stood out as having a wide range of practice areas, and that really appealed to me when I was applying for training contracts.”
Nicole CritchleyRead her interview here
Qualified March 2024

“The range of work you are exposed to; from day one I was brought into client meetings and have been encouraged to liaise with clients independently. The firm really cares about your development and growth as a trainee.”
Nikhita Lakhani – Read her interview here

“The support from all levels is brilliant, with everyone looking to ensure you can get the most out of your role, and people usually have time for all kinds of questions, ranging from specific legal queries or more general questions surrounding procedure or even development.”
Daniel Blair – Read his interview here

“I was looking for a firm where I could excel at helping clients and receive high-quality training. Seeing that the firm took a proactive stance regarding environmental responsibility, diversity, and inclusion was a welcoming sight because many firms still do not take this approach.”
George Robinson – Read his interview here

“The sheer volume of LA partners that began as trainees in the firm is a testament to the investment the firm puts into its training programme and the long-term development of trainees. Aside from promotions, there is a clear focus on personal development within the firm with frequent training sessions on all aspects of the career which are readily available and accessible through the Learning and Development team.”
Grace Long – Read her interview here

“At LA, there are regular social events. I have taken part in firm-wide quizzes and department-specific mini golf and drinks. There are also trainee meet-ups – most recently, the trainees went axe throwing! Getting to know your colleagues outside of the office and having some fun is important.”
Maddy Cornmell – Read her interview here

“If you are flexible with your living situation, you have the potential to work in all three of our offices across Southampton, Bournemouth and London which is an exciting prospect and not one many firms can offer.”
Gavin Fernandes – Read his interview here

“The best thing that I have found is that the work and training given are manageable, and if I have any questions, I know who to ask.”
Alex Phillips – Read his interview here

Frequently Asked Questions

We are looking for trainees who are academically robust, good communicators and are adaptable. A willingness to embrace all the opportunities our training programme will offer is important too.

Ideally, we are looking for candidates with a minimum of ABB at A-level (or equivalent) and a predicted or achieved minimum 2:1 in their undergraduate degree. However, we do look at applications as a whole and our application form does give the opportunity to let us know if there have been any circumstances that have impacted on your academic performance.

Our 2026 SQE programme has now opened, anyone who is currently in the penultimate year (or beyond) of their degree is able to apply now for contracts starting in September 2026.

From 2024 all our trainees will qualify under the new SQE route. Our applications for the 2026 SQE programme (even if you have completed an LPC) is now open. If you have completed an LPC you are exempted from the requirement of SQE 1 and only have to pass SQE 2 prior to joining us. You can apply now for our 2026 application process.

For our new SQE programme, LA can offer full sponsorship for the SQE prep course and exams with our preferred provider, Barbri.

The Training Contract Application Form and Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form for 2026 applications is now available. You may find these guidance notes helpful.

We will review all applications as they are received but we will not have selected candidates for all spaces on the assessment day until after the deadline closes.

Yes, we will have a limited number of one week vacation scheme placements that will take place during w/c 10 June 2024, which could be at any of our offices (Bournemouth, Southampton or London). We will select people for our vacation scheme places from those who have submitted a training contract application and who have indicated they are interested in a vacation scheme. When completing the application please select both of the following options Training Contract to commence in 2026 AND Vacation Scheme 2024.

Our assessment days will be held in our head office in Bournemouth between mid and late June 2024. You will only be required to attend on one day in this period.

The day will be made up of a panel interview with one or two of our partners and a member of our HR team. There will be a Watson Glaser critical thinking test and a drafting exercise. For tips on the Watson Glaser test please follow this link.

There will also be a chance to meet some of the existing trainees and newly qualified solicitors over lunch (COVID-19 restrictions allowing).

Unfortunately due to the volume of applications received we will be unable to give feedback to you if you are unsuccessful at any stage of our process.­­­­­

If you have any further questions regarding our graduate training contracts, please contact us by emailing