We're incredibly proud of the Flex Trainee scheme! This page covers everything you need to know about the scheme and the application process.

Ellie Murray McNeive, Talent Manager

Why Flex Trainee

Qualify with Flex Legal

The Solicitor's Qualifying Exam (SQE) route to legal qualification was designed to open the legal profession up to a much wider and more diverse range of people. It represents a significant opportunity for historically under-represented aspiring solicitors to qualify via in-house training.
We are enormous fans of the SQE, and our Flex Trainee programme was designed to help aspiring solicitors make the most of this opportunity. We hire socially-mobile legal professionals, put them through an intensive "readiness programme", and place them one or more with our fantastic clients for two years of on-the-job legal training. On top of that, we fund prep courses for their qualifying exams, and for the exams themselves. At the end of two years, subject to trainees passing their SQE assessments and completing their placements, they qualify as a lawyer. It's a challenging, but incredible opportunity!
A full cohort of Flex Trainees are seen across a sofa in the Flex Legal office. They are as diverse as they are happy, and each bear a warming smile.

What Flex Trainees receive:

  • A salary of £30,000 in London or £25,000 elsewhere.
  • Access to SQE1 and SQE2 preparation courses (additional courses subject to T&Cs) and your first sitting of each SQE exam.
  • A bespoke readiness programme before you start, to allow you to hit the ground running.
  • An in-house supervisor, who meets with Flex every month to review your progress.
  • Regular 1:1s with both a mentor and a legal expert from Flex.
  • Exclusive access to industry networking events.
  • Access to our SQE Journal, to help you easily track your Qualifying Work Experience progress.
  • Other benefits including private health care, a cycle-to-work scheme, and nursery benefits.
Where you fit in

The three "routes" into Flex Trainee

Following the enormously positive reception to Flex Trainee, we recently split the scheme out into three distinct routes. Each route functions a little differently, and your route will depend on where you are in your legal journey.
  • Flex Apprentice: perfect for law graduates just starting their legal journey.
  • Flex Trainee: the route for anyone who has already completed the SQE1 / LPC, and has 6 months' prior legal experience.
  • Flex Talent Development: for paralegals who already work within a legal team, who will sponsor you.
Flex ApprenticeFlex TraineeFlex Talent Development
Who is this route for?Anyone who meets our social mobility criteria, has a legal degree, but does not have the SQE1 or LPC (Masters students are eligible).Anyone who meets our social mobility criteria, has completed the SQE1 or LPC, and already has six months legal experience or more.Anyone who already works as a socially mobile paralegal within an in-house team, who will sponsor your entry to the programme.
Who will employ you?Flex Legal will be your direct employer, and second you to partner organisations for training.Flex Legal will be your direct employer, and second you to partner organisations for training.Your current organisation.
What are the work / study requirements?Over two years, you will work 4 days and study 1 day per week (or equivalent).You will work full time in your first year. You will work full time and study in your second year.You will work full time, with 0.5 days per week study time during the prep course period.
What are the academic / reporting requirements?Apprenticeship portfolio completion check-in sessions with Flex Legal, Damar, and your trainee supervisor. Training sessions with Damar for the SQE1 in year 1 and the SQE2 in year 2.You will record work experience through the SQE Journal, and complete the SQE2 during year 2.You will record your work experience through the SQE Journal, complete the SQE1 in year 1 (optional), and complete the SQE2 in year 2.
Entry requirements

Who we're looking for

Flex Trainees from across multiple cohorts are seated on the central staircase of Gowling WLG's London offices. They are smiling, some are even laughing. All in all it's a very pleasant and warming scene.
We are incredibly keen to help as many aspiring solicitors qualify as possible, but we do still have minimum entry criteria. As mentioned above, the qualifications needed for each route differ slightly. Here's more of an explanation:
  • Flex Apprentice: you will need UK law degree to apply, providing they have at least a 2:1 grade and satisfy the other criteria.
  • For Flex Trainee: you will need to have competed the SQE1 already, or have completed the LPC and are willing to switch to the SQE, providing that you satisfy the other criteria.
  • For Flex Talent Development: you will already need to work in an in-house legal team, who are willing to sponsor your access to the full Flex Trainee support package.
  • All routes: you will need the right to work in the UK for the full two-year duration of the scheme. For example, if you are applying for the March 2024 cohort, you will need the right to work until March 2026.
  • All applicants: you will need to satisfy our social mobility criteria. Flex Trainee has always sought to increase the diversity of the UK's solicitor body. As part of your application, you will fill out an extensive questionnaire that will help us determine your diversity and social mobility circumstances. All of the questions are based on guidance provided by the UK's social mobility commission. To qualify for the scheme, you will need to meet at least two criteria that class you as a "socially mobile" individual.
A vertical flowchart offers a look at the full application process for Flex Apprentice and Flex Trainee, covering all 11 of the essential points during the application process..
Difficulty Level

How challenging is the Flex Trainee scheme?

A spread of Flex Trainees are seen standing in a line, at 2023 event at the House of Lords, London.
It's well-known that qualifying as a solicitor is demanding.
Whether you go down the Flex Trainee or Flex Apprentice route, there will be periods when you are expected to juggle work commitments with fairly intense study (Flex Trainees work full-time in year one and balance work with SQE2 in year two; Flex Apprentices will undertake SQE1 in year one and SQE2 in year two).
During your secondment, you will be gaining QWE with our clients and we expect you to bring your best effort to that experience. The SQE exams are widely regarded as challenging, and will really put your legal abilities to the test. We expect you to keep up with your studies while fulfilling your obligations to your host client - your success on the Flex Trainee scheme will require you to deliver on both the professional and academic aspects of the scheme.
This being said, we want you to succeed! Both Flex Legal and our clients will provide you with regular, on-going support along the way. Alongside supervision at your place of work, Flex Legal will provide you with a dedicated mentor, regular training sessions, and access to the UK’s best SQE preparation courses. If you are ready to take on the challenge, we'd love to hear from you.

Applications open again on Monday 6th May!

We are thrilled to announce that our Autumn 2024 Flex Trainee and Apprenticeship intake is just around the corner! Applications open here on Monday 6th May.
What we're usually asked

Flex Trainee FAQs