Ashurst launches graduate scheme for ‘new law’ roles

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‘Pathways Programme’ offers opportunities in areas including legal project management and legal technology — but doesn’t lead to qualification as a solicitor

Global outfit Ashurst has become the latest law firm to offer graduates the opportunity to pursue careers in new and emerging legal roles.

The scheme, ‘Ashurst Advance Pathway Programme’, or ‘Pathway’ for short, offers successful participants a “structured career path with a range of potential role and skills development opportunities”, but does not lead to qualification as a solicitor or mimic the structure of a training contract.

As things stand, the scheme offers options to train in so-called “new law” roles including legal operations, legal project management, legal technology and legal process improvement, with the opportunity to complete professional qualifications along the way. Successful applicants ideally will have a background in law, according to the firm, however this doesn’t necessarily preclude grads without an LLB from applying.

Pathway participants will be based in one of the firm’s two ‘Ashurst Advance’ support hubs, either Glasgow or Brisbane, but there may be the option to switch to other offices depending on their chosen career path.

Mike Polson, co-head of Ashurst Advance, said:

“The launch of the Ashurst Advance Pathway Programme reflects the growing need for a wider range of roles and skills in the delivery of legal services to our clients. By offering graduates a wide range of alternative career development opportunities, including into a number of ‘new law’ roles, we ensure we attract and retain the best talent. Individuals are now empowered to take ownership of their development through a structured career path which provides opportunities for them to develop a highly varied and valuable skill-set and move into a diverse range of roles across Ashurst.”

In terms of intake, Ashurst confirmed it already recruits around 20 graduates a year in similar roles but will look to increase this now the scheme is officially established.

This, however, isn’t the first time a City law firm has offered graduates a training contract alternative.

Last year, Allen & Overy unveiled a tech-focused graduate scheme that leads to a project management qualification, while Norton Rose Fulbright launched a two-year grad programme targeted at those who have a wider interest in law, technology and innovation.

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14 Million

Ashurst is making a mistake Thor gets fat, Cap wields Thor’s hammer and Tony Stark dies after using the infinity stones to destroy Thanos.



So effectively a back office operation grad scheme. If you have the spare cash to splash at training of your own home grown operations staff then fair enough. Investment banks do it and it works for them.

Although, I’d imagine it’d have been easier and cheaper to just hire the operations staff you need laterally, once somebody else (like, again, a large bank) spent time and money training them up.

That would enable the firm to increase the associates’ comp, but hey… priorities right?



Curious as to how you came to that conclusion.

If other places are training them up, they are increasing their value too. You do not move laterally for less money if you can help it, so incoming operations will have a big pay packet too. And sometime’s that pay packet really does not match the value offered.

If you’re doing the training then you get initially cheaper operations staff, whilst getting to tailor their skills to the Firm’s needs and allowing the Firm to dictate the pay packet, putting less emphasis on the market-rate. You also get to the cut the deadweight at a lower pay scale.

The overall savings could just well lead to increased comp for Associates in this scenario.



Hi Ashurst PR team. Glad to see you are on it and you came in prepared.



If the wannabe Associates on this site understood basic economics, they’d be making bank at an IB rather than settling for working a law firm. 😉



Not sure why responded to this comment, rather than the original.

Also unsure why you are drawing comparisons between law and investment banking as like for like careers that one merely picks up at the drop of the hat then swaps when they’re bored.

Wannabe associates should have understood basic common sense reasoning. After a large volume of applications, yours was deemed wanting and was therefore unsuccessful.



I doubt most sane people would define working for a big international law firm “settling”. Besides, the top firms are pretty comparable to the top IBs in terms of comp, perhaps even more so.



Sinking ship. Ashtray CVs are ten a penny, there are that many flying around the City. We’ve had a good chuckle about it in our office. It isn’t just junior lawyers either – somewhat hypocritically, the partners are desperately touting themselves and trying to jump to US shops



Brutal. I thought Ashursts was a top Silver Circle firm though ??


CMS 4th Seat Trainee

Are Ashtray a top firm? Approaching the end of my training contract and struggling to see how I’ll make ends meet when I qualify.



Can’t tell if you’re saying that you won’t land a position after qualifying or if 82k is not enough to make ends meet… 🤔


CMS 4th Seat Trainee

All depends on your taste. I don’t want to be living a Kirkland lifestyle on a CMS wallet.

IM Trainee

I’d move to Ashurst in a heartbeat. My firm won’t even provide an evening meal service and our motor claims clients refuse to cover anything else. Right now I’m rooting through dustbins trying to find something for this evening.




Lol, ok, get back to your first year crim reading now.



I really don’t get these kind of comments. Ashurst is a reputable law firm with a growing PEP and NQ salaries now beating some MC firms without having to work their lawyers into the ground.

How could anyone describe this firm as a “sinking ship” is totally beyond me, and I am in now way associated with the firm.



Speak to people who work at Ashurst if you want to understand. The salary increase was to try and stem the bleeding.



but i was told ashursts iz top ferm ?



Care to elaborate? I know an NQ who just moved there and he/she is currently satisfied earning more than some MC NQs while not having to burn the midnight oil frequently (if ever). The various rankings (Chambers/IFLR) are also a clear indication of the fact that the firm handles prestigious mandates.

So what is your point?



Lol at the triggered Ashurst TC and vac scheme offer holders, you guys sound like a broken record.

“We earn more than MC lawyers” –
no you don’t

“We don’t work hard” – because your partners are sprinting for the exits and taking work with them.

Once you start citing chambers rankings as evidence of prestige, you know you’re in trouble.

Master YOLO

Much butthurt I sense in you, future Ashurst trainee.


Nope, already said I am in no way associated with this firm. The “butthurt” people are the ones like you who comment negatively on the firm without any evidence whatsoever.

I have no clue why you should be so mad about a firm you do not even work for.




‘Ashurst Advance’ is clearly ripping off ‘Greenberg Go’, the revolutionary new grad scheme set up by the top, top titans here at the Big Double-G LLP.

Greenberg Go allows candidates to take on a number of ‘new law’ roles, including origami, Mongolian throat singing, and the ability to pilot a hovercraft while playing backgammon.

Candidates will be based in the two Greenberg Go support hubs, currently situated in Bradford and the Free City of Danzig.






What about Chunder, Vom & Catch LLP?


Dechert Lad

Shet firm



I heard they are launching a new office in Pyongyang soon.



Working ops at one of these places (a law firm, investment bank or management consultant) seems like it’d be incredibly grim tbh.

From my experience there are two types of people who work in ops:

1. Couldn’t quite land a job in a FO role, settled for BO. Eats away at them as the work is even more brutal than FO for much less pay and status. They aren’t hidden from this either as everyone is in the same building after all.

2. Didn’t really have direction leading up to graduating, thought hey this sounds alright and joined… and it ends up eating away at them much like with group 1.

If you’re going to work ops, imo do it in industry or else it just seems like it would be unbelievably bad for your mental health.



Personally having a hand in a level of operations within a Firm, I would say that every week I have to question why I haven’t quit yet.

I am neither (1) or (2), but the grim part still stands.


Anon - 4PQE

What’s all the weird salty anti-Ashurst banter from anonymous users who are still at Exeter and couldn’t get a TC there?

Ashurst is a top bloody firm. They have pretty much every major financial organisation on their books, every oil and gas co, the biggest technology co’s etc and have a PEP that’ll almost certainly shoot about £1m in the next couple of years. Their pay is amongst the best of the U.K. firms. Pretty much all of their trainees will get interviews at any firms they want on qualification provided they aren’t thick. They work hard but not as hard as the MC.

These are all facts from someone who has worked there as an associate and has a lot of close connections there still. The ‘bleeding’ happened after the merger with Blakes and has led to some radical changes in their offering. It’s worked, and they’re doing bloody well.

Think before you speak. It’s damaging for aspiring trainees to see ‘shet firm’ written about a company that you were too underwhelming to receive a job offer at.


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