Herbert Smith Freehills launches legal ops graduate training scheme

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By Aishah Hussain on

Includes three-month secondment

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) today launched a new graduate scheme focused on legal operations, becoming the latest firm to offer training in non-traditional legal service areas.

The first intake will begin in January 2022 and include five roles across the firm’s network, including two in London, one in Asia and two in Australia.

The 18-month programme will offer graduates varied experience through rotations in areas such as pricing, legal automation and technology, legal project management and process design.

The scheme will finish with the opportunity to complete a three-month secondment with either a client or another team, before moving into a full-time role in the firm’s legal operations practice. It runs parallel to the firm’s existing training contract scheme and does not lead to qualification as a solicitor.

Ian Gilbert, director of legal operations, said: “Legal operations is rapidly becoming an established methodology and skill set across the legal industry, bridging both private practice and in-house teams through common challenges and opportunities for efficiency and service improvement.”

He continued:

“By offering candidates the chance to train for a career in this rapidly evolving area of client delivery, we are not only demonstrating the importance the firm places in this area but also ultimately creating a workforce that organically understands how to work with our clients in a more streamlined and innovative way, ultimately providing them with even better service. This is a hugely exciting scheme for students and for us as a firm.”

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HSF joins a growing pack of law firms establishing training schemes in non-traditional areas of the legal industry.

In April, Slaughter and May announced early details of a graduate scheme it launched focused on legal operations, while Linklaters launched a similar grad scheme in March 2020, covering core business functions such as project management, innovation and pricing.

Norton Rose Fulbright has run a business and legal operations scheme for graduates since 2018, while Ashurst has a programme for graduates looking to qualify in ‘new law’ roles.

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