Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Secondments

Secondments

Welcome to our monthly updated section featuring Q&A sessions with our regular panel of top UK law firm representatives, who'll tackle any topic to do with graduate recruitment, applications, interviews, training contracts, vacation schemes and much more. If you have a question we haven't covered, just drop us a line, or tweet us @TheLex100, and we'll keep it in mind.

Many firms offer a secondment option as part of the training contract seat rotation, and the opportunity to be based with a client, or in an overseas office, is often highly sought after by trainees. Allow our Experts to explain the purpose of secondments, and what trainees can gain from the experience.

A trainee benefits from going on secondment by gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of a clients’ commercial needs and constraints, company structures, market presence and risk appetites. These are very difficult components to learn as a trainee in private practice as the majority of client contact, strategy discussions and market considerations are undertaken by more senior lawyers.

A secondment gives trainees an unrivalled opportunity to learn, amongst other things:

  • How the client's business actually works;
  • What client's actually want from their legal advisors;
  • Business development skills and building relationships with clients;
  • What it is like to instruct law firms; and
  • The commercial aspects of law.

With such great experience on offer, secondment opportunities should be seized by trainees wherever possible.

An understanding of our wider global network. With over 50 offices worldwide, and clients based across the globe, trainees who undertake an international secondment get the chance to immerse themselves in a different office environment, learning local cultural work practices and having exposure to clients and work they may not experience in London.

We actively encourage our trainees to take overseas secondments; an international perspective is essential for all of our lawyers.

In addition to the opportunity to experience a different culture, as well as the travel opportunities and social possibilities that a six month secondment offers, it also allows our trainees to understand a different perspective in a cross-boarder deal.

Overseas secondments make a huge contribution to trainee development, ensuring that on qualification our lawyers have strong networks, an international outlook and important skills such as networking, confidence, teambuilding, resilience etc.

Secondments are important for any firm and for a trainee to be able to experience one is a very valuable opportunity! Firms provide the chance to go on secondment, not only to enhance relationships with the client but also for trainees to develop a better understanding of the client's business. In addition to this, secondments give trainees the exposure to a different work environment where they can learn new skills and also learn to adapt their approach, supporting their development from understanding the academic principles to applying these in a practical business context. The trainee will also experience a different level of responsibility while on secondment and take pride in representing their firm.