Womble Bond Dickinson LLP
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) advises in excess of 40 FTSE 350 companies, many of the largest businesses in the country, government organisations, wealthy individuals and over 100 rural landowners; including National Trust and English Heritage.
With a focus on twelve key sectors (Public, Government and Third Sector; Technology, Healthcare; Insurance, Manufacturing; Real Estate; Retail and Consumer; Transport, Logistics & Infrastructure; Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences; Technology and Private Wealth).
Our clients include Nissan, HSBC, Grainger, Bellway, Sainsbury’s, New Look, Atom Bank, HS2 and Five Guys. Whether we’re working with a FTSE 100 business, a government organisation or a privately managed company, our approach is to build productive, trusting long-term relationships.
We always put ourselves in our clients’ shoes and ask the right questions so that we can really understand and anticipate their needs. That’s why we look for trainees who take the time to listen and who want to work for a firm where integrity and reliability matter every bit as much as insight and legal expertise.
We take our commitment to being a Responsible Business very seriously and care about the impact of our actions on our people, our local community and the environment.
Building sustainable relationships through partnerships with charities, community projects and our own initiatives and networks, we are determined to play a strong role in creating better places to live, work and do business.
Diversity and Inclusion sits at the heart of our firm’s values. A diverse and inclusive workplace, full of the richness of different perspectives, creates better ways of working.
We want everyone to reach their full potential, by being themselves whilst encouraging each other to achieve their goals with courage, determination and enthusiasm.
We work hard to ensure that difference is visibly valued and welcomed, and that our people understand there is so much to diversity and inclusion and it's not about a set of paper policies. Everything from our award-winning apprenticeship scheme, our Investors in People Accreditation, our focus on health and wellbeing, to our #BeYourself campaign, underlines the importance of a visibly proactive and diverse and inclusive culture.
Who should apply
Throughout our recruitment process, we measure four competencies. We believe that these encompass the skills and attributes that our colleagues need to in order to be successful in our business. They are collaboration, client focus, creating value and adaptability.
As part of our Early Talent recruitment, we typically measure the potential to develop these skills. The definitions and indicators that are related to each of these competencies help us to recognise and measure (as best we can) an individual’s potential to develop – we don’t just collect evidence of a certain behaviour in the past.
There are a lot of things that can shape and help candidates to develop important transferrable skills that could be invaluable to Womble Bond Dickinson, so if you can show us that you have the potential to develop the skills we are looking for these then we want to hear about it!
Our Early Talent recruitment competency framework is the starting point of the behaviours and actions that will be valued, recognised and rewarded at the firm – and these behaviours will underpin your career development at WBD.
Graduate Training Programme
Our training contract forms part of our early talent pipeline. Trainees at Womble Bond Dickinson will have an opportunity to spend six months in four Business Groups, gaining a real breadth of experience.
This is your training contract and it's up to you to make the most of it, but along the way we offer fantastic opportunities to develop your legal career in a growing firm.
Our supervisors are trained and fully supported on an ongoing basis. You'll have access to high quality work and senior client contact. We regularly second trainees to our most high profile clients.
We're currently in the process of transitioning to qualification through SQE – and those who join us in 2025 will be following this route.
We have recognised that the changing landscape gives us a chance to do something different when it comes to educating and training our lawyers.
In that sense, we are viewing it as an opportunity to make sure we are giving our trainees the skills they need to be successful in the profession and our business.
Aligning with our competency framework, we will be putting a bigger focus on other areas, including legal tech, project management and client relationships. Our aim is to incorporate a period of work experience with the firm in these areas prior to our trainees starting the formal qualifying work experience (QWE) aspect of the SQE.
When and how to apply
Applications close on 28 February 2023, although we encourage early applications.
Our recruitment process consists of an application form, online assessment, video interview, followed by a virtual assessment day.
Following the virtual assessment day, we shortlist candidates for the work placement week. During the work placement week, candidates will have the chance to meet WBD colleagues and gain real insight into what it's like to work at the firm. The final stage interview will also be conducted, in person, during this week.
We believe that the variety of stages and methods we use increases our chance of recruiting top talent. We have designed our assessments in a way that enable candidates to demonstrate a range of behaviours in a variety of ways. As a result, we gain a more holistic understanding of each applicant.
Our recruitment process also allows us to showcase the firm in different ways and gives candidates a chance to assess whether Womble Bond Dickinson is the right fit for them, which is equally as important.
Virtual Experience Programme
Forage is a free, virtual law programme that you can complete in your own time, introducing you to roles in law, supporting you with developing a personal statement and an introduction to some law based tasks. This is available to all students and a great addition to your CV.
In this programme, you'll research and explore different roles available in law and learn how to craft a personal statement. Then, you'll amend a commercial contract and prepare a business development pitch to gain an idea of the work that our lawyers encounter daily.
We hope this programme helps upskill you in law and explore a potential career with us at WBD.
Visit our website for more information and to take part.
We understand that for some ambition can't wait and our firm champions alternative routes into your chosen profession. We know that university isn't for everyone, but that doesn't mean you can't strive for a successful career. Whether you're leaving school or college or considering changing your career, our apprenticeship programmes offer formal qualifications, protected study time, an abundance of support and hands on experience through paid, on-the-job learning.
We launched our first apprenticeship in 2014 and since then we've gone from strength to strength. Our proudest moment came in January 2017 when we won Best Large Newcomer at the National Apprenticeship Awards.
We are fortunate enough to have some real talent at WBD and are always striving to make a career in law more accessible to local students who aspire to become lawyers. Our Solicitor Apprenticeship is an exciting way to qualify as a Solicitor without the associated costs of going to university and has been running since 2017. We are incredibly proud of the 19 Solicitor Apprentices we currently have in the business.
This six year programme sees you working full time using 20% of your time for 'off the job' training. You'll obtain a degree in law, have an opportunity to experience different practice areas whilst building a work portfolio of tasks and developing your knowledge. You'll be given great quality work that will increase in complexity as you develop throughout the programme in readiness for years five and six when you'll sit your Solicitor Qualifying Exams and ultimately qualify as a Solicitor. You'll of course be supported by WBD as well as The University of Law who we partner with.
All of this is of course underpinned by our highly talented support services teams who recruit on a business need basis. We offer apprenticeships within all our support functions including, HR, Administration, IT, Facilities, Risk and Best Practice and Finance. In-built qualifications vary depending on the apprenticeship you're undertaking and usually vary in length ranging from 12months – 36 months. You'll receive the same support from WBD as well as have regular check in meetings with your designated skills coach.