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Career Development

Writing on a glass wall

People join DWF at all stages of their careers, some start their journeys with us as graduates, and others continue their journeys after acquiring experience elsewhere. Regardless of when people join, it is important to us that first impressions are positive, and we convey our company values in a consistent way that is respectful of everyone's journey to DWF.

Career development is about more than excelling in your role to serve the needs of the business, it’s about achieving your personal best and enjoying the job satisfaction and sense of personal fulfilment that brings. Whilst we expect colleagues to lead their own personal and professional development, we provide support with structured career paths and programmes and access to a growing library of self-paced learning.

We are a global business, with clients, colleagues, and offices located across the world. Our collaborative and inclusive culture presents opportunities for you to join different groups, projects, or initiatives, through which you can benefit from exposure to a wide range of disciplines and the chance to gain insight into DWF beyond your own division or country.

Career journeys with DWF

Early Careers
We welcome the best new talent from the very start of their careers. There has never been a more exciting time to join DWF as we look to redefine the legal services market with our innovative integrated legal and business services offering. If you share our passion for innovation and doing things differently, we’re definitely the right business for you.
Training Contracts

Our unique culture provides opportunities for our trainees to make valuable contributions from their first day in the business. The work will vary depending on the individual seat, but the chance to take the lead on specific tasks is a responsibility offered to all trainees to help with their growth and development.

As part of the seat rotation process, you can apply for client secondments. These are excellent opportunities for you to develop your commercial awareness, gain independence, and enhance relationships between DWF and our clients.

Vacation Scheme

Through our vacation scheme for graduates, you can gain experience working for our fee-earners on live client projects whilst having the chance to see if DWF is the right place for them. You will be able to choose to work in any two of our four global practice groups: Commercial Services Dispute Resolution, Insurance, or Real Estate.

The scheme provides the opportunity to learn and interact with colleagues at all levels, gaining insight into how they work and why they enjoy working for DWF. You will be assigned a Trainee Buddy who will be your go-to person for informal support and in addition to 'live' work, you will attend practice group presentations, complete a group project, and be invited to a range of social events.

Trainee Solicitor Programme

Our training contract for aspiring solicitors is the first step on your journey to becoming a commercial lawyer. During your contract, you will have high levels of responsibility and will receive the backing of a comprehensive support network that includes your supervisor, the Emerging Talent team, and Training Principal. In addition, you will have access to a range of face-to-face training sessions, in-house workshops, and practical day-to-day learning.

Training contracts are available at DWF offices across the UK and in Ireland and trainees can get involved with supporting the projects undertaken by the DWF Foundation or engage in several business development opportunities.

Financial Support

Trainees in England undertaking our SQE graduate-level apprenticeship programme will receive National Living Wage from the beginning of the 32-month training contract. One the study period is completed and the QWE begins, the salary will increase to the levels paid to trainees in your location.

Business Services Graduate Scheme

Our first graduate opportunities within our Business Services teams provides access to our Finance, HR, and Marketing teams and the opportunity for graduates to complete a post-graduate qualification over the course of two or three years. The focus of the programme is training and development by exposing participants to a diverse breadth of work and responsibilities within a robust support network offering supervision and mentoring.

Business Services teams collaborate closely with each other and with our legal teams and play an integral role in the delivery of a premium service to our clients. We want our people to thrive in a fast-paced and exciting environment that encourages creativity and flexibility and where our differences combine to have a positive impact on each other, our clients, our communities, and our shareholders.

As an apprentice at DWF you will receive on the job training from experienced team members and the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge in an exciting and dynamic environment.
Legal Apprenticeships

Perfect for candidates at the beginning of their careers or for people seeking a career change, our Paralegal trailblazer Legal Apprenticeship provides an excellent opportunity to enter the legal sector without the time or cost of college or university.

Candidates gain experience at one of the UK’s largest legal businesses whilst working towards a nationally recognised qualification and receiving a competitive remuneration package. Recruitment takes place once a year, with employment starting each September.

Apprentices spend 4 days a week at work and 1 day studying for a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Legal Services with BPP University, with all training costs paid for by DWF. BPP also provide the opportunity to study for a certificate in Higher Education, which is the equivalent to the first year of a degree.

Details of the entry requirements and application process can be found at www.apply4law.com

Established Careers
The working environment and culture we offer our colleagues is designed to help you reach your full potential by offering high levels of responsibility in a friendly, collaborative atmosphere.
Lawyer & Paralegal
DWF provides opportunities to work with teams operating internationally and across different sectors and geographical boundaries. Our legal professionals have access to the latest innovations and benefit from working alongside talented individuals in support of clients in a variety of specialist areas.

Career pathways

Our aim is to recognise knowledge, skills, and behaviours so together we can achieve our global ambitions by appointing diverse, agile, and multi-disciplinary people. Our career pathways are clearly defined and linked to our promotion process, which details the routes available to colleagues that want to secure promotion.

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