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 students and will discuss with you, if you are successful, whether we require you to go down the LPC / Training Contract route or SQE / qualifying work experience route. Our preference is the LPC route but will consider your preferences.

We will consider applications from candidate with a least a 2:1. However if you hold a 2:2 and have extenuating circumstances we will also consider your application. We are looking for graduates with potential. It is not about your background, the type of degree you have or where you studied.

The Firm does not favour any particular provider for GDL and LPC. ULaw is our preferred provider for the SQE.

No, we do not provide sponsorship for any postgraduate courses prior to qualification. 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 both SQE1 and SQE2 before beginning your QWE with us.

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

Yes. You will be expected to travel to any of the Firm’s offices depending on where the seats are located. 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 at least three areas of law, and in both contentious and non-contentious practice areas. Generally, future lawyers will undertake four seats of six month duration.

This will vary depending on the needs of the business, but historically Trainees 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.

Generally your seats will be based on the needs of the business. However, second year Trainees will be given more choice and involved in the decision making process, but this is dependent on the needs of the business at the time.

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 15 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