Trainee Solicitors

Fun, Challenging, Rewarding

Battens is one of the largest law firms in the South West and is a Legal 500 firm with offices in Yeovil, Sherborne, Dorchester, Weymouth, Wareham as well as in central Bath and London.

We offer a challenging and interesting programme for our trainee solicitors, and from day one our trainees are involved in client work. We give trainees the opportunity to get involved in specialist activity such as media and entertainment work and esoteric property financing structures: it is unusual for a regional firm to offer this experience.  

We have a high trainee retention rate and many of our trainees have stayed with us and are now Senior Associate Solicitors, Heads of Department and Directors. Read our testimonials to find out more.

Find out more about our training programme:

What does the training programme consist of?

Trainees complete a rotation of seats, receiving a wide range of practical experience and skills in both contentious and non-contentious work. Being a full service law firm, we are able to offer seats across various areas of law, without trainees having to choose between commercial or private client. This provides an excellent foundation and helps our trainees to decide on the area of practice they ultimately wish to follow. On many occasions, our trainees have chosen to qualify into areas that they would not initially have considered.  

Our training programme is over a twenty-four month period, although we may be able to reduce this to eighteen months based on suitable experience trainees have gained prior to starting their training contract. We may also be able to offer part-time extended training for those who are unable to work with us full time.  

Seats on offer generally include:  

  • Agriculture
  • Commercial Property
  • Residential Property
  • Company Commercial
  • Media & Entertainment, IP
  • Employment
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Property Dispute Resolution
  • Family
  • Private Client
  • Tax 

Where possible, we try to assign seats according to each trainee’s preference, though this is not always possible. We will always try to make sure that trainees gain as much useful and relevant experience as possible. 

We give our trainees as much responsibility as they and their supervisor think they can manage, enabling them to gain expertise in each field and to become an integral part of the team. This also equips them with the knowledge they need to decide which area of the law suits them the best. 

Trainees find themselves drafting court orders, contracts, leases, witness statements, TV commissioning agreements and film distribution licences, attending client meetings and representing clients in court. The level of responsibility increases throughout the programme and is carefully overseen.  

Reviews and appraisals are held regularly, and, at the end of each seat, trainees are reviewed to see if the work they have done and their overall experience have lived up to expectations. 

In addition to receiving on-the-job training, there is a host of SRA-chosen skills which trainees are expected to acquire. These include: 

  • Communication skills
  • Dispute resolution
  • Drafting
  • Interview and advising
  • Legal research
  • Negotiation
  • Advocacy and oral presentation
  • Case and transaction management
  • Client care
  • Practice support 

In addition, trainees learn a range of soft skills such as teamwork, networking and business development, time management and managing workload. 

During the training course, you will also have to complete the Professional Skills Course.

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What we look for in a trainee

We seek ambitious and dynamic individuals who will become valuable members of our team. We have high trainee retention rates and the majority of our trainees from recent years are still working with us, some in senior positions.  

We look for candidates who have received a very good standard of education, wherever they have studied. We do not restrict ourselves to recruiting from any specific university and our team went to a range of universities, including Oxbridge.  

We are looking for applicants who can demonstrate excellent communication skills, a common sense approach, commitment, loyalty and commercial awareness.  

We are always keen to hear from applicants who have a real interest and involvement in the South West and from those interested in being involved in the local community.  

As part of your training you will be expected to take part in various projects such as presentations to local schools, attending networking events, and taking part in fundraising events and other marketing activities.  

At Battens, our trainees could be based in any of our offices and will usually be assigned seats in our Head Office in Yeovil, as well as our other offices in Bath, Sherborne, Dorchester and Weymouth. It’s therefore important that you are able to travel to each of our locations. There may also be some travel to London.

Why choose Battens?

Battens is a leading Legal 500 firm in the South West, with offices in Somerset, Dorset, Bath and London. We offer a wide range of services to businesses and personal clients and have built up an enviable reputation for providing quality services and expert legal advice whilst maintaining our local roots.  

Battens is at its heart an excellent private client firm, and over a period of over 300 years we have built on foundations of property, wills and probate and family work. In the 1970s, we founded our own bank which went on to become Virgin Money. We also have a strong and growing reputation in other areas, including company commercial, media and entertainment, IP and IT and employment. We have an excellent profile in dispute resolution, particularly in private client disputes, contested probate, breach of trust and also in all forms of property disputes.  

We believe in the critical importance of investing in our trainees by providing the training, support and guidance necessary for them to succeed. Our high trainee retention rate is testament to our training programme. We believe in recruiting high caliber candidates and then through the expertise and guidance provided by their mentors, supervisors and the hands-on experience gained on the job, our trainees become equipped to secure positions following qualification and to help Battens to continue to thrive.  

Importantly, life at Battens isn’t all about work. We encourage all our trainees to keep a good work/life balance. While there are times when they will be expected to work late, these should not prevent our trainees from getting the most out of life as well as out of their work. We run several social events throughout the year from drinks evenings to beach volleyball, to bring employees from all our offices together in an informal environment.

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How to apply

Apply 2017 or Apply 2018

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