Applying for a training contract with Fox Williams begins with an application for our vacation schemes, as this is the only way we recruit our trainee solicitors. We believe this is an important process for us as well as any prospective trainee solicitors.

Kicking things off

You must first complete our online application form which can be found here. Each application is carefully read and considered on its own merits. Supporting our commitment to creating a more diverse workforce, we also use a contextual grade rating system when reviewing academic performance, developed by our social mobility partner upReach, called REALrating.

We will then ask successful candidates to complete an online verbal analysis assessment.

After reviewing both the online application scoring and verbal analysis results, we will select candidates to complete an online video interview, which will be assessed by senior lawyers.

When all of the above stages are complete, we will invite a final highest scoring group of 12 – 14 candidates to join one of our one-week vacation schemes. While we hope these will be in our office, we may need to change to our virtual format.

You must be available to take part in all elements of our selection process to be considered for a training contract.

Vacation scheme

Typically, our in-person vacation schemes are a week long and our virtual vacation schemes last for three days. Both will give you an insight into what it is like to be a trainee solicitor with us. The vacation scheme is a friendly process where you will be exposed to different elements of the firm and work with your fellow vacation schemers to complete various projects. You will sit in two of our departments and get an opportunity to speak with your potential colleagues as well as our current trainees who have sat exactly where you are.

Following the vacation scheme we will decide who we will be offering training contracts to. However, whether successful or not, we want to ensure that everyone who walks through our doors has a fantastic experience that they can learn from. Your feedback following the scheme will be concise, and hopefully, helpful for your journey.

What next?

If you have been successful and have been awarded a training contract, we will be in constant contact ensuring that you feel a part of the firm, until you join with us full-time. This is primarily through regular social events, however our graduate recruitment team will be an email/phone call away if there is anything you need.

In the video below, the Fox Williams team guide you through key information of the application process and what to expect of the vacation scheme week from trainees who have already completed the process.


My Application Experience

Tara Reeves
Applications, applications, applications

I applied for the Fox Williams vacation scheme when I had finished the GDL and LPC and was an in-house paralegal. This had given me a long time to think about what I wanted from a training contract.

Fox Williams appealed to me as an independent firm with a good reputation. It also specialises in areas of law in which I had an interest. Having been a paralegal in a bank’s real estate finance team, I was keen to do a seat in Fox Williams’ real estate team so that I could learn about the property aspects of a real estate deal. I wrote my LPC masters dissertation on an employment law topic so I was also interested in the firm’s employment team.

In my experience, it’s good to be open-minded about the area of law you want to qualify into at this stage.

The application process

The first stage is to answer three questions, which are focused on you, your knowledge of the firm and demonstrating your commercial awareness. Be sure to give tangible examples that show why you are a good candidate, and avoid regurgitating facts about the firm unless it ties directly with a point you are making. A good way to stand out is to make your application personal – clearly link aspects of the firm to experiences or interests you have.
As application answers are short, you need to make sure every word counts. Analyse whether each sentence is adding to your overall response.

The next stage is a verbal analysis test. I completed this around a month after submitting my application. I would suggest practising verbal reasoning tests before taking the test. You can find free or paid resources online that will help you familiarise with the types of questions. Practising under timed conditions will help simulate the feeling of being under pressure.

The final stage of the application process is the video interview. I completed this about two weeks after the verbal reasoning test. You will have a certain number of days to do the interview within. It consisted of three questions, for which you have some thinking time and a minute to answer each question. There will be questions you can’t anticipate, so be prepared to think on your feet. Your answers will then be reviewed by senior lawyers around the firm.

Vacation Scheme

After these three steps, I found out two weeks after completing the video interview that I had got a place on the summer vacation scheme.
On the first day, we had a welcome lunch with the trainees which was a good way to settle in. Over the course of the Vac scheme, candidates participated in a variety of activities and assessments. All assessments are suitable for those who haven’t studied law as well. Any legal concepts which you need to understand to answer the questions are explained.

  1. Written exercise: this was based on a court bundle. You will be asked to prepare a written argument relating to the bundle. There is a lot of reading involved with this task so managing your time is key.
  2. Social: we went for pizzas and then onto axe-throwing. This was a good opportunity to socialise with the trainees in a more relaxed setting and ask any questions you might have about being a trainee. Everyone was extremely friendly!
  3. Advocacy: there is an advocacy task which ties in with your submission for the written task. You have to present your argument in 10 minutes and follow up questions will be asked.
  4. Technical exercise: there were 10 questions and you had 45 minutes to answer as many of them as you could.
  5. Meet the partners: this is an opportunity to speak to partners from departments around the firm. You have 10 minutes to speak to each one before the timer goes and you must move round to the next partner. The questions asked varied from formal to informal. You may be asked competency questions, about your route into law or your life outside of work. It’s a fun way to get a feel for the firm and you can ask questions as well.
  6. Departmental tasks: each department has a different approach as to whether there is a formal task to complete. The department tasks are good opportunity to show that you can accurately follow instructions and complete a task within a set timeframe. As the week is filled with talks and assessments, the time spent in your department will be limited so make the most of the hours you are at your desk. Be enthusiastic and ask questions where you can.
  7. Partner interview: there was a half an hour long interview with two partners. You are given 10 minutes preparation time in which you will see the questions that will be asked. The questions are just a starting point for further discussion.
  8. Insight talks: throughout the week, there was a variety of talks, including from each department and a firm-wide D&I talk. You certainly get a good understanding of what the firm has to offer across the Vac scheme!


Within a couple of weeks, the firm let me know that I was successful in gaining a place on the September 2022 training contract! I remember it was a hot day, so I celebrated by going for a picnic in the park with friends.

The HR partner gave me feedback on each individual task via a phone call which I really appreciated. Regardless of whether you are successful, you will receive feedback on how to improve your performance and areas in which you have done well.

I am currently in Real Estate, and two months in, I’ve had one-to-one training sessions with my team, attended client meetings and been involved in a variety of matters.



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