We have insight events and four different vacation schemes. A need for ambassadors on key campuses. Training contracts that start in February and August each year. Plus alternative routes depending on whether you’re a law or non-law student. So before you dive into an online application form, have a look at the ‘your journey’ tool to work out which is the best option for you.

Once you're clear what you want to apply for, give yourself the best possible chance. We want to know about you and what you can bring to the firm. So do your research and work out what sets you apart.

The application process

It's wise to spend time making sure your application is spot on. But it's also wise to get it to us early. We don’t wait until the application deadlines to screen and interview candidates.

The process for all insight events, campus ambassadors, vacation schemes and training contracts is similar. If your online application impresses us, we’ll ask you to complete an online critical thinking test. Do well and the next stage is a 30-minute telephone interview featuring questions that investigate your motivations, capabilities and commercial judgement. After that, we'll invite you to an assessment day that includes another critical thinking test plus face-to-face interviews (not applicable for Insight Events).

Contextual Recruitment System

We want our opportunities to be accessible to as wide a group as possible. So we use a specially developed tool to measure students' relative disadvantage as well as their performance. Meaning we can compare applicants fairly with peers from a similar background. For instance, we might consider a candidate's home postcode, school attended, whether they were eligible for free school meals, if they are the first generation in their immediate household to go to university, and whether they were ever in care or once a refugee or asylum seeker.

What happens at an assessment day?

Lots. All of it designed to help you decide if we’re right for you and you’re right for us. We run our assessment days at Atlantic House, our London office. So you’ll be able to see exactly where you could be working and get a feel for the atmosphere.

If you apply for an insight day for first-year students, you won't need to take part in an assessment day. For all other vacation schemes and our training contracts the day involves:

  • an introduction to the firm by a partner or graduate recruitment
  • a paper-based critical thinking test – a different version of the online test
  • an informal lunch and a guided tour of Atlantic House with trainee solicitors
  • a commercial business exercise, if you’ve applied for a training contract, designed to assess how well you work in a team
  • an interview with a partner or senior associate and a member of graduate recruitment, if you've applied for a first year vacation scheme. This interview will probe your reasons for wanting a legal career and check how well you know the legal and business worlds
  • two interviews: one with partners and one with associates and graduate recruiters. These interviews probe your reasons for wanting a legal career, check how well you understand the legal and business worlds, and assess your ability to handle the kind of situations our trainee solicitors face.

Apply for a campus ambassador role and your assessment day will include a critical thinking test, an interview and a presentation skills exercise.

If you would like to talk to us in relation to any queries you may have on disability or long-term health issues, including any requirements you may have in respect of our application process, please email Jen Baird at and we will arrange a time to contact you.

How to prepare

When competition is tough, preparation is key. Luckily, there’s plenty you can do to make sure you’re primed and ready to secure a hotly contested place at our firm.

Submit a first-class online form

  • read it through before you start to complete it. Print off a copy and draft answers first
  • use legal placements, law fairs, legal open days and information from universities (career advisers, law students, student law society events) to highlight how well you’ve researched – and understood – the law and a legal career. Use the information to back up statements on your form
  • aim to be engaging and interesting – think what will make you stand out from the other 2,500 applicants
  • don’t undersell yourself. If you match what you’ve achieved to what you know we’re looking for, and give examples of when you’ve used your skills, you won’t come across as big-headed
  • check your spelling and grammar. The law is a detail field and good communication skills are vital. Make sure yours are up to the mark
  • don’t use jargon. Your goal is to be clearly understood
  • use any work placements (legal or non-legal) to show you understand business, time management, and how to work with people and meet deadlines
  • please note that our online application form includes a section in which you can tell us of any modifications that you require to our recruitment process, as a result of a disability or a long-term health condition.

Take a good look at yourself

  • check out the qualities we look for in our lawyers and work out how you can show you have them
  • know why you want to be a City lawyer
  • think about what makes a great City lawyer and whether you have the potential to develop those qualities
  • be clear about why you want to pursue this career at our firm.

Impress your interviewer

  • do your research. Read up about us – check the website for current news. And read the business and legal press to keep pace with the latest issues and developments. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to speed with our work
  • think carefully about what the role involves, then have examples at the ready that show how your skills and qualities will make you effective
  • aim to do about 80% of the talking
  • nerves can strike the very best candidates. Try to breathe deeply, stay calm and look confident. We need people who will come across well in front of clients and inspire confidence in others. Good eye contact and a firm handshake at the start of the interview will help
  • if you need time to think during the interview, ask for it. We’re more interested in what you say, not how quickly you manage to say it
  • be honest and be yourself. Don’t try to conform to what you think the interviewer expects. You’ll probably be wrong. Focus on all the good things you want to get across about yourself instead
  • ask questions. Make sure they’re relevant, cover things you really want to know and aren’t already answered elsewhere. Asking a question that can be answered by reading this website for instance won’t help your chances of joining the firm. But if, say, you want an insight into the firm from a senior person’s perspective, you could ask your interviewer what they like about Hogan Lovells and their job.

Brush up on business

  • stay on top of the news and regularly read relevant stories on news websites. Following the same story in a few different publications will help you get a more complete picture
  • analyse the strategic reasons behind a particular business story – why are the main players involved and what do they hope to get out of it?
  • scan the Financial Times and/or the finance and business pages of the Economist. If the FT seems daunting, the business pages of The Times are good and often easier to understand
  • choose stories that interest you. It’s much easier to talk about something that has grabbed your attention.

Critical thinking test

Critical thinking tests assess how well you can absorb and analyse information. They measure your ability to evaluate assumptions, arguments, deductions, inferences and conclusions. They’re good predictors of success in roles where you need to see things clearly from many angles and separate facts from assumption.

To get a feel for the intellectual demands you’ll experience from day one, take our sample test now. We use the Watson-Glaser critical thinking test. Each question takes around five minutes. These are just sample questions though. We won’t use any of your answers in any part of our selection process.

Be sure to read the feedback that follows the test. It will help you with the formal assessments you’ll take if you apply for one of our training contracts.

Key dates

First year insight events

2 January 2019
Applications open.

28 February 2019
Applications close. 

10 and 11 April 2019
Spring insight events for both law and non-law students take place

12 and 13 June 2019
Summer insight events for both law and non-law students take place 

Campus ambassadors

2 January 2019
Applications open for campus ambassador roles at University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, Durham University, University of Exeter, Kings College London, London School of Economics, University College London, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, Queen Mary University, University of Warwick and University of York.

28 February 2019
Applications close.

April to July 2019
Assessments days held in our City offices.


Vacation schemes

17 September 2018
Applications open for all our vacation schemes.

31 October 2018 
Applications close for our winter vacation scheme for all final year students and graduates

3 – 14 December 2018
Winter vacation scheme takes place at our City offices.

6 January 2019
Applications close for our summer vacation schemes for all students from penultimate-year onwards and graduates.

17 June – 5 July 2019
First summer vacation scheme takes place at our City offices.

15 July – 2 August 2019
Second summer vacation scheme takes place at our City offices.


Training contracts

17 September  2018
Applications open for training contracts starting in February and August 2021.

31 January 2019
Applications close for non-law students and graduates.

January to April 2019
Interviews for non-law students take place.

31 July 2019
Applications close for law students.

August 2019
Interviews for law students begin.