The route to qualification as a Solicitor is changing, with the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) and Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) to replace the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Training Contract.

At Butcher & Barlow we will continue to accept applications from Graduates for Training Contracts and will also consider applications for QWE. See our FAQs below for more details on your options and how our training is structured.

As a regional law firm, with 160 staff over 11 locations, you will be fully immersed in the Firm from the outset. You’ll be working with a Partner or a Senior Lawyer who will mentor you and provide you with your daily work load. Although the work you will undertake will vary between departments you can be sure you will be liaising with clients from early stage, preparing legal documents and researching for projects or articles. We actively encourage our future lawyers to take responsibility and to offer ideas to those you work with and integrate themselves with the team.

We pride ourselves on the fact that 14 of our current Partners began their careers with Training Contracts with Butcher & Barlow and we believe that the work/life balance we offer, combined with the varied caseload and the responsibility we encourage our Solicitors to take, means that we have a driven and contented workforce who want to share not only in maintaining our excellent reputation but in being part of our future. We believe it is important to encourage each member of staff, whether qualified or not, to feel part of our team and that they can contribute to our continued success. We have a blend of youth and experience that enables us to empathise with the needs of our clients and to offer the solutions and assistance they require.

What we are looking for

Applicants should have:

  • Commercial awareness
  • Attention to detail
  • Individuality
  • Drive, passion and innovation

Applicants should be:

  • Team players with interpersonal skills
  • Strong communicators
  • Able to accept responsibility

Frequently asked questions on our training programme

We welcome applications on a year-round basis. You can access the application form here. Please complete and submit this, then send your CV together with a covering letter to

We are looking for graduates with potential. It is not about your background the type of degree you have or where you studied. Applicants should have: Commercial awareness, attention to detail, individuality, drive, passion and innovation.  Applicants should be team players with interpersonal skills, strong communicators and be able to take responsibility.

We will accept applications from third year student and will discuss with you, if you are successful, whether you will be opting for the SQE or LPC route, if that remains available to you.

We have no minimum grade requirements and we will consider each application on its own merit. We are looking for graduates with potential. It is not about your background or the type of degree you have or where you studied.

As a general rule we do not provide sponsorship for any postgraduate courses prior to qualification, however, we will assess each case on its own merit. If you are completing a training contract we will cover the costs of the Professional Skills Course.

Yes, we will consider your application. We ideally require you to have passed SQE1 before beginning your QWE with us although again, we will consider each application on its own merit.

We will consider your application. We must be confident that your previous experience is sufficient and adheres to the SRA’s qualifying criteria.

Whilst you are unlikely to be working across all the branches, you should be able to travel to any of the Firm’s offices. This will also be the case when visiting clients.

The purpose of both the training contract and the QWE is to give future lawyers supervised experience in legal practice, through which they can refine and develop their professional skills. We intend that both those completing their training contract and those undertaking QWE will get the opportunity to gain experience in a variety of areas of law, and in both contentious and non-contentious practice areas.

Historically, graduates have enjoyed seats in:

Company and Commercial; Dispute Resolution, both personal and commercial; Family, both private and public; Residential Property; Commercial Property; Wills, Trusts and Probate; and Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Once you are settled in your first seat, you will have monthly catch-ups with our Managing Partner in which you can express your interest in gaining experience in particular areas of law. We aim to accommodate these preferences as best as possible to provide you with a positive and fulfilling training experience.

Yes, from day one you will be involved in all aspects of the Firm to ensure you have a good overview of law and business. You will be involved in business development and networking.

Whilst we cannot guarantee a qualified position, we are committed to guiding talented graduates to be the best they can, and seek to ensure that they thrive both professionally and personally. We look to recruit graduates who fit in with the culture and values of our Firm, with a view to them being part of the future of the business. We have a long established history of bringing through graduates and 14 Partners began their careers as Trainees with the Firm.

Apply now

We will accept applications from penultimate or final year students and graduates.

  1. 1

    Fill in the application form and send us your CV with a covering letter using the form

  2. 2

    We'll get in touch if we like what we see, asking you to come for an first interview

  3. 3

    If that goes well, you'll be asked back for a second interview