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 2017-18 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. “For all that people say about the MC, not a bad group of people here. They do have my back, don't think I would be let drown here,” one insider tells us. In the past the battle to secure the plum international secondments has been described as “Hunger Games-esque”, but this year the process apparently took place fairly peacefully with most getting their first choices (Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore are among the most popular locations). It seems that some of the Linklaters young may have united around a new common enemy. “The generational split is very obvious, this place will be amazing when the current batch of partners retire,” one tells us.

The work is a mixture of the intellectually challenging and the mindless that prevails at most magic circle firms. One rookie pithily sums it up: “Sometimes trainees are given fantastic opportunities to take on meaningful work. At other times, the work can be mundane and it makes you ask yourself, ‘Why did I go to law school just to do this?’” Trainees who prove themselves find that better quality work keeps coming their way.

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Key Info

Training contracts 110
Latest trainee retention rate 84%
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

Insider Scorecard Grades range from A* to D and are derived from the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2017-18 of over 2,000 trainees and junior associates at the leading law firms in the UK.


Average arrival time 9:14am
Average leave time 8:23pm
Annual target hours 1,700
Annual leave 27 days


First year trainee salary £43,000
Second year trainee salary £49,000
Newly qualified salary £78,500
Profit per equity partner £1,568,000
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