Graduate opportunities

We are looking for outstanding candidates who will contribute to our growth. If that sounds like you, read on for more information about our vacation scheme and training contracts.

As a full-service firm, we provide partner-led training across a spectrum of legal areas, providing you with the best opportunity to fully explore your interests. Our dedicated graduate recruitment team will support you throughout your training to encourage your individual development and to ensure you fulfil your potential.

How to apply

To apply, please complete the application form above and return to recruitment@hay-kilner.co.uk.

We accept applications from 1 January until 28 February for the vacation scheme in the summer of the same year. Please note that applications received outside of this window will not be considered.

Following a review of all applications, selected applicants will be invited to attend an assessment centre at our offices in April. The assessment centre will consist of a written exercise and a group collaboration exercise, and there will be an opportunity to meet members of the Recruitment Committee and our current trainee solicitors.

Those who are successful at the assessment centre will be invited to participate in a week-long vacation scheme, which will take place in June. During the vacation scheme you will sit with a partner in a number of different departments within the Firm and we will accommodate your areas of interest wherever possible. There will also be opportunities to socialise with members of the Firm to gain a broader insight into life at Hay & Kilner, and ask any burning questions.

Successful candidates will receive their offers of two years’ qualifying work experience (commonly referred to as a training contract) soon thereafter.

In exceptional circumstances, we may consider an application which indicates a preference not to undertake the vacation scheme, however, our preferred process is for all applicants to undertake the vacation scheme. We do not offer stand-alone vacation schemes.

Typically, offers will be made for the training contract to commence in the September which follows two years after the vacation scheme, although we keep this under review according to business need.

What are we looking for

While academic excellence is important, we are principally looking for well-rounded, enthusiastic individuals who align with our brand values, and who will take an active role in the continued development of our Firm.

While Hay & Kilner boasts an array of national clients, we proudly retain a strong connection to the businesses and individuals of the North East region. This commitment to the region is reflected in our corporate social responsibility endeavours, supporting local charities, and engaging with local schools and universities. As such we expect applicants to be dedicated to working in the North East and for our firm in particular.

We recognise that paths into law vary, and there are more routes than ever into the profession. With that in mind, we welcome applications from those with both law and non-law backgrounds with a 2.1 or above (unless there are mitigating circumstances), provided that non-law graduates undertake a law conversion course.

Following the introduction of the SQE, we consider that applicants will be best equipped to start their training contract having undertaken an SQE Masters course, as this offers the most comprehensive legal knowledge and skills training available. Accordingly, our preference is for successful applicants to complete an SQE Masters prior to commencing the training contract with us. We acknowledge that some applicants may have already completed the LPC or SQE prior to reviewing our recruitment page, and we will still consider those applications.

At Hay & Kilner, we believe that there should be no barriers to entering the legal profession, which is why we will cover the cost of successful applicants’ SQE exams, and further contribute to the cost of the SQE Masters course.

How your training contract works

Your training contract will comprise four 6-month seats in both contentious and non-contentious areas of law. As a full-service firm, we provide partner-led training across a spectrum of legal areas, providing you with the best opportunity to fully explore your interests.

Your training contract will start with the ‘Hay & Kilner Bootcamp’ – an induction week where you will receive training on everything you need to know to hit the ground running with confidence. This will be an opportunity to learn about the Firm’s ethos and client care expectations, and to partake in training sessions led by members of the Firm across a range of subjects like time recording, interviewing, advocacy and networking. We will also introduce you to what you can get involved in at Hay & Kilner outside of your work, including charitable and wellbeing activities, clubs such as our running club and much more.

At Hay & Kilner we consider our trainees valued members of each team, and integral to the Firm’s long-term growth, and this is reflected with many members of the Firm, including our Managing Partner Jonathan Waters and the Recruitment Committee (Jan, Tom, and Bethany), having trained with us.

We are therefore committed to supporting you with your individual development, to help you fulfil your potential. We will introduce you to clients from the outset, and you will undertake real case work so that you can observe, learn and contribute, while giving you partner-led support and supervision. You will receive a broad range of training and, if during your training contract you develop a particular interest in an area of practice, we will work with you to explore this as part of your training.

Your recruitment team

Our current trainees

Q&A with Charles: From trainee to qualified solicitor

Get in touch

If you would like any more information about our vacation scheme or training contract, please get in touch.

‘Hay & Kilner’ and ‘Hay & Kilner Law Firm’ are both trading names of Hay & Kilner LLP, a limited liability partnership registered in England & Wales with registered number OC418767. Our registered office is at The Lumen, St James' Boulevard, Newcastle Helix, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 5BZ and we are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (Authorisation number 643191). We use the word ‘partner’ to refer to a member of Hay & Kilner LLP. A list of the members is available at our registered office.