The traineeship explained

Our two-year traineeship offers a structured approach to training with four six-month seats covering at least three different legal disciplines. Not only will this help you decide the area in which you wish to specialise but it will also keep life interesting. Traineeships are available in our Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and London offices.

From day one, we expect you to become a fully-fledged member of our team, working on real legal projects, meeting clients and getting to grips with the way we do business.

As a trainee, you will be mentored by a senior member of our team, who will offer help and encouragement and suggest new opportunities to explore.

During each seat, you will report to a Partner, who will monitor your progress and assess your development.

You will also take part in an ongoing programme of professional skills training and may enjoy a secondment to a client organisation to fully develop your commercial awareness, or have the chance to spend a few months in one of our other offices.

How to apply?

We aim to open our trainee recruitment around August each year. Please note, if you secure a summer placement with the firm, you will have the opportunity to fast-track your application to traineeship assessment. 

Why apply?

We know how important your career is. It is, after all, your big chance to fulfil both your professional and personal ambitions. That’s why we believe in giving everyone, whether in legal roles or management services, a fully-rounded experience, one that has its fair share of hard work and good fun.

  • We are a dynamic, forward-thinking firm where a team atmosphere is fostered and encouraged
  • We have a supportive and well-structured trainee programme
  • We are specialists in chosen fields across the firm, providing the opportunity to work with people at the top of their profession
  • We have a variety of high-quality legal work and an impressive client list

Pay & Funding

Our current salaries for trainees are set competitively in the respective locations and reviewed on a regular basis.

We will fund your PEAT1 or LPC fees. The PEAT1 fees are covered up to a maximum of £7,250. A maintenance allowance of £3,500 will also be provided to help support you through your PEAT1 studies. This will be paid to you in equal monthly instalments by BACS transfer, commencing in the month you start your studies for the PEAT1.

LPC funding will be paid up to a maximum of £10,750.

Note: Funding is not available for courses that have been completed or have commenced prior to our offer of a training contract.

Training and development

Trainees at Shepherd and Wedderburn benefit from a supportive and well-structured trainee program – read on to find out more about the opportunities we offer.

Law Society of Scotland (LSS) Trainees

The firm is an authorised provider of Trainee Continuing Professional Development (TCPD), and provides a comprehensive training programme over the duration of the two-year traineeship.

During their first week, LSS trainees undergo an intensive induction programme covering training on IT systems, risk, research skills, learning styles and more. In the weeks following the induction, trainees are provided with division-specific training and follow-up induction sessions, ensuring trainees are as well-equipped as possible to start their career with the firm.

In September of their second year, trainees attend a PEAT 2 week that covers core skills modules, mandatory ethics and black letter law training. Black letter law training is also covered at a divisional level on an on-going basis.

Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) Trainees

All SRA trainees will be required to spend their first week at our Edinburgh office for a comprehensive induction to the firm. As part of the SRA traineeship, trainees are required to complete their Professional Skills Course (PSC). We use the College of Law to provide this course. In addition to undertaking PSC courses, trainees will also benefit from divisional training activities throughout the course of their two-year traineeship.

Mentoring Programme

The firm operates a mentor programme, which is open to all trainees. On commencement of a traineeship, trainees are offered a senior lawyer as a mentor for the duration of their traineeship. This is entirely voluntary, however the uptake and success in the past has been very high. Click here to read an article, written by one of our banking and finance partners, on the benefits of mentoring.


While secondment opportunities for trainees can be more restricted, given the requirements in terms of supervision and exposure to different areas of work, the firm does operate a number of secondments to client companies in major sectors such as energy, property and finance and banking.

These secondments give trainees an insight into some of our clients as well as allowing the firm to strengthen client relationships.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many departments does the two-year traineeship cover?

A: Each trainee will undertake four modules over two years, covering at least three different legal disciplines.

Q: Will I be able to give a preference as to the location of my traineeship?

A: We will ask you to note your preferred choice on your application form and will discuss this further with you at the offer stage.

Q: Will I be able to choose the departments in which I work?

A: We will ask you which seats you are interested in rather than just allocating them to you. We cannot guarantee to give you exactly what you ask for but we promise to try.

Q: How will my work be reviewed?

A: Each seat placement involves a three-month and six-month review, which is underpinned by the requirements set out by the Law Society of Scotland/SRA.

Q: What support will I receive throughout the training contract?

A: The firm operates a mentoring scheme for all trainees. On commencement of a traineeship, you would be offered a senior legal mentor to be a point of contact for you throughout the two years. The HR team also works closely with trainees to ensure that continued support is available.

Q: What training would I receive throughout the traineeship?

A: In Scotland, we are an accredited provider of TCPD, which we run in-house bi-annually. This covers both the core and ethics modules and electives as set out by the Law Society of Scotland.

In London, we use an external provider to support our trainees through the process of completing the Professional Skills course. This provider is reviewed regularly to ensure continued high standards of training. We also run an in-house training programme that covers both the technical aspects of law and softer skills, such as presentation skills.

Q: If I am offered a training contract, is there any contact before the start date?

A: Our HR team is always available to answer any queries that arise before your start date. You would also be invited to attend a welcome day for all new trainees a couple of months before you begin your training contact and to attend social events, including our annual Summer Ball.