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Herbert Smith Freehills expands successful ALT Belfast Trainee Solicitor Programme

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Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

20th Sep 2022

Leading global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills is delighted to announce that it is expanding its Alternative Legal Services (ALT) Trainee Solicitor Programme in Belfast by offering positions to external candidates for the first time.

With a dynamic and growing team in Belfast, ALT is committed to offering opportunities for career progression and development, including a pathway to qualification for those who aspire to become solicitors.

The Belfast office launched training contract opportunities to internal candidates in 2012 and, to date, has supported 33 Belfast-based candidates to qualify as solicitors – enabling them to build on the considerable experience they had already gained within the firm as Legal Analysts.

This year, 10 years on from its inception, ALT is expanding the programme by increasing the overall number of Trainee Solicitor positions available and welcoming direct applications from external candidates for the first time.

Lisa McLaughlin, Managing Partner for the Belfast office, comments: “We are extremely proud to launch our refreshed ALT Belfast Trainee Solicitor Programme. We welcome candidates who have a desire to be part of a firm that is at the forefront of the future of law – combining cutting-edge technology with expert legal talent. We want to ensure that we continue to recruit candidates with diverse interests and experience, and that we continue to attract top talent to drive the ongoing success of both ALT and the wider firm.”

The ALT Belfast Trainee Solicitor Programme will comprise a rotation of four seats within the Belfast office – enabling trainees to hone their skills across a range of practice areas and develop into well-rounded solicitors. Practice areas offered include Disputes, Corporate, Funds, Finance and Banking, Real Estate and Construction, and Employment. Trainees will also have the opportunity to complete a seat in the firm’s London office if they wish to.

Trainees will complete the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) learning programme on a part-time basis during their second, third and fourth seats, and on completion of the programme, will become England and Wales-qualified solicitors.

The programme is open for applications from final year Law students, or those who have already completed their Law degree. Applications to commence the training programme in September 2023 should be submitted between 20 September and 18 October 2022.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ ALT practice originated in Belfast in 2011 – offering expert, technology-led solutions for tackling document- and data-intensive legal work as a fully-integrated part of HSF. ALT’s pioneering launch was the first of its kind in Belfast – a “near-shore” offering from a major international law firm.

In the intervening decade, and encouraged by early success in Belfast, ALT has grown to become a global business – spanning 10 hubs across the US, UK, South Africa, China and Australia – and is a leader in the global NewLaw market. The practice is proud to be unrivalled in its ranking in all four categories of the Chambers and Partners Alternative Legal Service Providers Guide 2022.

To find out more about the ALT Belfast Trainee Solicitor Programme, please follow this link: