Foot Anstey Training Contracts & Vacation Schemes

Ambitious futures start here - Learn why Foot Anstey could be the right fit for you.

At Foot Anstey Our aim is to become our clients’ most trusted adviser, enabling them to achieve their ambitions and our trainee programme is there to help you on the way to achieve yours.

For both our clients and our trainees, how we achieve it is just as important as what we do. Our trainee programme is structured to create an environment which provides you with an opportunity to stand out from the crowd, reach your full potential and become an accomplished business advisor to our clients.

Find out more about our vacation scheme, training contracts and application process.

What do we offer you?

Virtual Client Secondments

We offer you the chance to work closely with one key client in our award winning ‘Virtual Trainee’ scheme.

Aligned to one client for the duration, you will effectively be a trainee for that client on a virtual basis, gaining first hand experience of clients’ needs and challenges whilst still being able to benefit from all of what Foot Anstey has to offer.

GDL and LPC Sponsorship

We are able to offer you support through sponsorship, available for both the LPC and GDL. On top of that we provide a bursary for each year of study (currently £5,000 per year).

We know that this can be a huge weight off your shoulders and lets you minimise worry and focus on getting the best start to your legal career.

The application process

Throughout the application process you'll see that it's geared around getting to know you as a person. You won't find any pre-recorded interview requests or overly long-winded forms and stages. You'll deal with real people at every stage and find out as much about us as we will about you.

When applications open you can either apply directly for a Training Contract with us or via our Vacation Scheme route. Our Vacation Scheme offers a week of work experience during which you will be aligned to a team, gain invaluable insight into our business, and find out what makes us different from other law firms.

Trainee Application Process
What our trainees say

"I worked as a corporate legal assistant for a year before undertaking the legal practice course. This not only gave me a great insight into commercial and property law, but also what it would be like to work as a trainee in the firm."

Lucie Wickens

Tell us about your route to becoming a trainee

After graduating from my law degree, I worked as a corporate legal assistant for a year before undertaking the legal practice course. During this time I secured my training contract at Foot Anstey and they offered me the opportunity to work as a paralegal in the energy team prior to commencing my training contract with the firm. I supported the team on commercial and property aspects of renewable energy projects. This not only gave me a great insight into commercial and property law, but also what it would be like to work as a trainee in the firm.

What sort of projects do you work on?

During my commercial seat, I worked on a variety of commercial and data related matters, which involved drafting and negotiating commercial contracts, supporting on international data transfers, drafting privacy policies and reviewing businesses' data protection compliance for legal due diligence reports on several corporate deals. Although I was based in the Exeter office, I had the opportunity to work across offices and subject areas within the wider commercial team. It was great to work closely with and learn from a number of lawyers in the firm.

What do you value most about training at Foot Anstey?

For me, it is the opportunity to work directly with client businesses. I undertook a part-time secondment to a client in the travel sector for the first eight months of my training contract. During my secondment, I provided legal and business support to the general counsel at the client's offices and remotely. I am also a 'virtual trainee' for a large wealth management company, assisting their in-house legal team with a broad range of work. Both of these experiences have given me a better understanding of the challenges faced by our clients and enabled me to deliver more commercially focused advice.

Do you have a recent work highlight?

I was involved in a landmark High Court case where we were acting for the Defendant in a construction dispute. Throughout the case, I had lots of contact with the client and was involved with a range of work such as helping draft witness statements, compiling evidence and liaising with the court and the expert assisting with the case. It was great to work closely with senior lawyers within the firm and I felt supported and guided throughout. When the High Court judgment was issued, I was elated as our client was found to be successful in staying the enforcement of the adjudication award. Ultimately, it has been very rewarding to be able to help our client in a challenging situation and see them attain such a successful outcome which has also further developed this particular area of law.

How has your virtual trainee opportunity with a client helped you grow in your career?

Being a virtual trainee for a client has helped me understand how businesses operate and engage with the challenges they are currently facing. I have grown from simply stating what the law says to now considering what the law means for the client and whether there are any forthcoming issues that may affect them. I believe that my experience on this virtual secondment will help me become an advisory lawyer.

What do you think of the firm's culture?

The culture at Foot Anstey is very friendly and we are actively encouraged to get involved in various projects and share our thoughts on how the firm can grow and adapt.

What do you value most about training at Foot Anstey?

For me it has always been the cultural fit - this was clear from my assessment day and throughout the training contract. I am yet to meet a colleague who is not willing to have a friendly conversation in the kitchen (or more likely on Zoom these days!) or offer some support be it work based or otherwise. Foot Anstey really does deliver on its friendly, approachable and supportive ethos for the trainees and it means we have access to great training from senior lawyers, legal support staff and the training team.

Tell us about your client secondment:

I spent 8 months working with the in-house legal team of one of the firms' Projects, Infrastructure and Construction clients who are undertaking a major power project. Day to day I assisted with the drafting and negotiation of various commercial contracts between the client and contractors. I also supported the senior lawyers with an ongoing adjudication and several other contractual disputes. It was an incredible learning experience and gave me great insight as to what is important to a client's business and how decisions are made. Seeing how the in-house legal team interacts with the different teams within the business and all the different pieces of the puzzle coming together has made me a more commercially minded lawyer and will stand me in good stead on the work I continue to do for the client and the firm generally.

What benefit do you get from the lifestyle hour each week?

It sounds simple to say but I get 'time'. I often try to use it on a Friday afternoon to start the weekend early. It means I can spend a little extra time with my wife or if we are visiting friends/family head off and be there a bit earlier. It is surprising how much an extra hour can feel like such an extension to the weekend. A lifestyle hour also gives me freedom to go to appointments which you might otherwise have to arrange in your free-time (hair-cut, shopping ...) so it also gives me my free-time back.

What are the benefits of the Virtual Trainee Programme?

The Virtual Trainee programme has been an invaluable experience for me as a trainee. It has allowed me to build my skills in developing significant, long term relationships with clients. I have learnt the importance of how understanding their business, is at the forefront of delivering high-end legal advice.

I would highly recommend being involved with the Virtual Trainee Programme. The experience has allowed me to grow in confidence and tailor legal advice to a client, taking into account their approach to business.

What sort of work did you do for the client you were placed with?

The tasks that I have performed for the client I was placed with as part of the Virtual Trainee Programme have been so varied, from employment queries to commercial, commercial litigation and property. This has enabled me to experience areas of law where I had not completed a seat as part of my training contract, providing me with a broader overall experience. The level of support and supervision you receive is exceptional - you never feel out of your depth due to the support you receive internally from your colleagues. The supervision has allowed me to build internal relationships with my colleagues from different teams.

What does powering your ambition mean to you?

It means that we are all capable of continuously building on our skills to improve and better ourselves. Our future is in our own hands and by using the resources and support we have around us, we can continue to grow and develop as individuals. Every persons' ambition and what drives them is different but what we all share is the drive to be happy and to succeed. Powering Your Ambition provides us with a statement that drives us forward and reminds us that nothing is impossible as long as you are determined.

Do you enjoy your work?

I really enjoy the work I have been doing and feel a sense of pride and purpose when I can see my contribution to a piece of work. For example, in the tax notes which the team write for clients, I can clearly see where my research has contributed to the outputs. As a trainee at Foot Anstey you are highly valued and given a lot of responsibility from the outset as well as a lot of client contact.

What opportunities do you have outside of your seats?

Outside of my seat I am also taking part in two schemes that the firm organise for the trainees. I am the Virtual Trainee for L.K. Bennett which involves supporting the GC in a wide range of matters such as a lease review of all their current stores, which is a really great opportunity to get experience of working with a client. I am also the Sector Trainee for the Media and Entertainment Sector. This means helping our Business Development Team with market profile activity in this sector which is a really great way to develop my commercial awareness.

Do you find the firm supportive?

The firm is very friendly and supportive. As trainees we are lucky to work with a lot of senior staff who show a genuine interest in our personal and career development. As well our seat supervisors, the trainee group also have a trainee supervisor who looks after our development in the programme - it's great to have both a point of contact for my legal work and my general training experience. The best thing though, in my opinion, is that each trainee gets a Partner-level mentor who we can meet with for support and advice to help develop our careers. It's invaluable to be able to spend time with someone so senior and to build a personal relationship with them.

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