We’ve put together a few of our commonly asked questions covering topics such as what is your assessment process to is the legal world for me?
Take a look below or reach out to our early ambitions team.
Life at Shakespeare Martineau Glasgow
We are all authentic in our own individual ways.
We are inquisitive and constantly exploring and creating new ways of doing things. We work in collaboration with each other, taking our own individual opinions, challenging and learning from others to reach an exciting outcome. We have integrity in our work, we do the right thing and not the easy one. We are optimistic, adaptable, brave, and ambitious.
We are a group of individuals, all different, but working together to achieve ambitious goals for ourselves and our clients. Our mind is on tomorrow, so it matters less what you achieved in the classroom in the past, and is more about what you can bring to the table now, and how you will drive your legal career moving forward. Does this sound like something you want to be a part of? Of course it does!
Want to find out more? We are hosting a series of Q&A events with Trainees at Shakespeare Martineau in England in the coming months, along with a Shakespeare Martineau Glasgow insight evening. Register and join us!
Additionally, if you want to find out more but are unable to join us at an event, contact us directly.
Your adventure starts today, and it starts right here.
We like to work flexibly and encourage all our staff to, honestly!
Shakespeare Martineau’s core working hours are 9.00 – 5.30 pm but what matters is getting the work done that you need to.
We certainly don’t promote a culture of being at your desk after hours for the sake of it, but if you have a deadline to meet then these need to be met and if that means working a little later, then on occasion this needs to happen.
However we also encourage employees to fit their work in around their life, so if that means starting early and finishing early, that is fine (as long as it fits in with your team and your manager). Additionally, if you would rather take a big break in the middle of the day to go to the gym for instance, and work later, that is fine as well. It all falls under what we call empowered working.
We have a dress for your diary policy here.
If you are meeting clients then you should dress in a professional, smart manner but other than that, it’s a case of being ...you!
We have a strong CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) offering, and we are always keen for volunteers. Individuals across our business are able to volunteer their time to a range of initiatives as part of our 10,000 hours of volunteering ambition and are also encouraged to volunteer to become People, Communities, or Environment champions as part of our Responsible Business strategy. Additionally, we love our Trainees to get involved with different outreach programmes and initiatives to help encourage the next generation of Solicitors down the legal pathway.
Qualifing as a Lawyer at Shakespeare Martineau Glasgow?
We are currently recruiting for two trainees at Shakespeare Martineau Glasgow to support our growth.
One Training Contract will start in 2022 and the second in 2024. As a Trainee at Shakespeare Martineau Glasgow, you will complete your Training Contract primarily in Commercial Property and will be supervised by a solicitor in this field. You will have a broad development programme aimed to develop you as a whole person, aiding you to become a great lawyer, and trusted advisor. You will complete the required CPD and develop against the PEAT 2 outcomes.
We would expect you to travel to England on a regular basis to allow you to work with the wider Commercial Property team, as well as network with other Trainee Solicitors completing their training at Shakespeare Martineau in England. Additionally, as part of your development, you will take part in Trainee projects aimed to improve your business acumen and commercial awareness.
The Training Contract application process
Here at Shakespeare Martineau, it’s about the rounded person - not about the numbers and levels. We are looking for people who have the skills and competencies to be a great lawyer and future star at our firm. We don’t believe that we will find that on a university certificate, but through your application form, your assessment centre and our interview process.
Our CEO, Sarah Walker-Smith wrote a blog on our stance on qualifications, you can read the blog here
No, not necessarily. As long as you will have completed the Diploma in Legal Practice by the time your training contract starts, you will be eligible for a training contract with us. If you haven’t started this programme yet, you will not be eligible for the 2022 training contract, but could be for the 2024 programme.
Additionally, if you are successful in obtaining a training contract offer at Shakespeare Martineau Glasgow, we will sponsor your PEAT 1 Diploma in Legal Practice.
Not necessarily. We mind little about the quantity of experience, and more about the quality. What did you do, and what did you learn during the experience you gained? And how will that help you in your career as a lawyer?
Additionally, we mind just as much about non-legal work experience as we do legal. Make sure you give us a fully rounded understanding of your experience, challenges overcome, and how it has helped you prepare for your legal career.
That is a tricky question and one that is even more difficult to answer. Many applications we see fall down because they don’t fully read, understand and answer the question. Ensure you know what is expected and make sure you answer this. It may help to spend some time pulling apart the question, circling key bits of information, and questioning what it is you need to show in your answer before you start to draft your response.
A couple of specific tips which may help you when completing your application:
- Tailor your answers to our business. Particularly in the case of questions that ask you to pull on your commercial awareness. It is one thing to know what is happening in the world, it is another to know how it impacts on us specifically.
- In structuring your answer, our advice, at all times is to consider the STAR technique of question response. This will help you answer the question fully and also works for structuring responses to questions asked in any assessment/interview process.
Still unsure, a quick google search will give you loads of advice and resources to help!
- Don’t just tell us you have the right skills – how can you show us? Demonstrate them and give us tangibles – it all helps you to stand out.
- #BeYourself – we aren’t looking for robots! We are looking for people who know who they are and who aren’t afraid to share what makes them great. What is your USP? Make sure we know it!
Finally, double and triple-check your application before you hit that submit button. You have spent a lot of time on your application, the last thing you want to do is press submit and find out there are a few spelling errors you missed!
From the applications, we will select candidates to attend an assessment centre at the firm. We embrace different ways of working so this may be face to face or virtual. After the assessment centre, strong candidates will be selected for an interview with partners at the firm.
We consider the assessment centre a two-way process – it is as much about working out whether you are right for us, as it is for you to work out whether we are right for you. With this in mind, we fill the assessment days with plenty of opportunities for you to engage with us, providing you with the opportunity to explore the firm and our team and explore whether we are the firm you want to trust to help you develop your legal career.
You can expect a variety of activities that have been designed to test and understand your fit for a role not only as a trainee solicitor, but as a future leader at our firm. We appreciate assessment days can be a daunting prospect, and so if selected to attend, we run a ‘welcome event’ in advance of the day to take you through what to expect and to answer any questions you may have.
When considering how to prepare for your assessment centre, we recommend really understanding our business and our ethos, who we are, and the markets we operate in. Understand the role of a solicitor and the skills needed to operate at a high level, and how this will change over the coming years. We value authenticity at Shakespeare Martineau, so when preparing, think about what you are passionate about, what makes you unique, and how you can demonstrate this on the day.
Finally, if you need any reasonable adjustments, please make sure you share this with us in advance of your assessment day.
We will, of course, provide feedback on your application should you not be successful in progressing to the interview stage from the assessment centre, or be unsuccessful in obtaining a training contract from your interview. You have put a lot of time into us, so we will endeavour to ensure the feedback you receive is not only thorough but also constructive and helpful to you in progressing your legal career.
Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are unable to provide individual feedback to those who have been unsuccessful in obtaining a place at the assessment centre. However, we would like to help you to learn from your experience as much as possible, so we do offer group feedback sessions after our process concludes. If you are unsuccessful with your application, you will be invited to a group feedback session where we will break down the questions, share common pitfalls as well as areas where people scored strongly. We want to help you learn where you went wrong so you can put your best foot forward next time.
No. You will be ready for your Training Contract when you are ready. For some people, it takes longer than others and that is absolutely fine, we are happy to receive your application as many times as it takes. However, we would expect that for each subsequent application, we are able to see how you have taken on feedback and improved yourself over the year.
During the Training Contract
Good question. Location is flexible and you will be able to make use of our empowered work ethos, allowing you to take control of the way you work. However, we would expect you to be able to work from our Edinburgh/ Glasgow base regularly and travel to England every couple of months. We envisage a blend of home-working and office based work on an ongoing basis.
At Shakespeare Martineau Glasgow, our focus is predominantly on Property/ Real Estate Finance work. We are growing as a firm, so this may change in the years to come, however, we expect the majority of work to be done in our 2022 and 2024 Training Contracts, will be in Commercial Property and Banking/ Finance.
You will assist in purchases, sales, leases, corporate assist acquisitions, utilities connections and bank security work. You will have direct contact with clients, and a supportive team, helping you to develop through experience.
For each seat, you will be assigned a training supervisor, whose role it is to make sure you are developing against the PEAT 2 outcomes as required. They will make sure you are involved in a range of exciting work aimed to test you and develop you in that area of law.
As a Trainee at Shakespeare Martineau Glasgow, we support your legal development with other programmes to enable you to become a brilliant lawyer and advisor. Our Trainees are involved in leading business critical projects, helping them to develop their project management, presentation, time management, teamwork, commerciality, and project delivery skills.
As a Trainee in Scotland, as well as working with our team based in the Central Belt of Scotland you will be expected to travel to the Midlands once every other month, to work closely with your supervisor Amal, build your networks, and support your personal and professional development.
Qualifications and after
Whilst we love people to stay with us, unfortunately, we are not able to guarantee a permanent role to trainees.
Appointments to NQ roles depends both on individual performance, and business need. However, our ambition is for our Trainees to remain with us after qualification.
We are new to having Trainees with us in Scotland, however, we have been supporting Solicitor development in England for many years.
Most recently, in 2021, we have retained 87.5% of our trainees in England.
Whilst, you will have formal support through your Training Contract by the way of regular catch-ups and check in’s with your supervisor, and completion of your online development record, we also have plenty of other support to offer as a business.
Firstly, we have thrown away the formal appraisal process for all employees at the firm. Recognising that no two people are the same, we prefer focused and timely conversations, adapted to suit each individual's own developmental goals – helping you get where you want to be!
We know you will want to achieve your best and to help you achieve those goals, we offer support tailored to your needs to help you develop your career, for example, our NQ conference which you will be invited to attend shortly after qualification, mentoring and reverse mentoring opportunities, continued support through our Academy, and through your own line manager.