The Legal Cheek View

Linklaters isn’t for the faint-hearted. But there are few more prestigious places to begin a legal career. The firm scores an A* for training in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, but it can be a demanding environment. While the training materials and seminars are said to be “top quality”, what really sets the Links training experience apart is the instruction from people who are “technically brilliant with absolute dedication to excellence”. Not that they’re without a human side. “I call my supervisor dad,” quips one of the firm’s trainees.

There’s a prevailing atmosphere of kinship among trainees, with many developing friendships while studying together on the LPC. “On the whole you don't feel like you're always competing with the others,” one insider tells us, but another adds that there can be “a bit of stepping on others to get ahead”. The battle to secure the plum international secondments is said to be particularly “Hunger Games-esque” (although overall around two thirds of trainees get to go abroad, which are odds that Katniss Everdeen would probably take). Seats in Hong Kong are said to be in particularly high demand.

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Pathfinder (first years)

27-28 March; 29-30 March, 19-20 April 2017

Applications open: 6 January 2017
Applications close: 17 February 2017

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Spring and Summer Vacation Schemes

April, June, July, August 2017

Applications open: 1 October 2016
Applications close: 6 January 2017

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Training Contracts

March or September 2018

Applications open: 1 October 2016
Applications close: 6 January 2017

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Key Info

Training contracts 110
Latest trainee retention rate 91%
Offices 29
Countries 20
Minimum A-level requirement AAB
Minimum degree requirement 2:1

Insider Scorecard

Quality of work
Peer support
Partner approach-ability
Work/life balance
Social life
Chances of secondment abroad


Average arrival time 9:32am
Average leave time 8:26pm
Annual target hours 1,700
Annual leave 27 days


First year trainee salary £43,000
Second year trainee salary £49,000
Newly qualified salary £77,500
Profit per equity partner £1,450,000
GDL grant £8,000
LPC grant £7,000

When the GDL is studied outside London, Linklaters pays a grant of £7,000.


UK female associates 51%
UK female partners 24%
UK BME associates 28%
UK BME partners 8%

Universities Current Trainees Attended

The Firm In Its Own Words