We have insight events and vacation schemes. A need for ambassadors on key campuses. Training contracts that start in February and August each year. Plus, alternative routes for law and non-law students. 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.

Clear what you want to apply for? Then give yourself the best possible chance by telling us what sets you apart and what you can bring to the firm.

The application process

It's wise to spend time getting your application 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. Do well at each stage we’ll invite you to the next.

1. Online application form

2. Online critical thinking test

3. An assessment day (unless you’re applying for an insight day) that includes another critical thinking test plus face-to-face interviews 

Contextual Recruitment System

To make our opportunities accessible to as wide a group as possible, we use a specially developed tool that measures students' relative disadvantage as well as their performance. It helps us compare applicants fairly with peers from a similar background. For instance, we might consider: 

• a candidate's home postcode

• their school

• whether they were eligible for free school meals

• if they are the first generation in their immediate household to go to university 

• whether they were ever in care or once a refugee or asylum seeker.

Find out more about how contextual recruitment works in practice, read about Kye's journey to a career in law at Hogan Lovells here.

What happens at an assessment day?

Our assessment days help us decide if we’re right for each other. We run them at Atlantic House, our London office. So, you’ll be able to see exactly where you could work and get a feel for the atmosphere.

Apply for an insight day and you won't take part in an assessment day. Apply for a campus ambassador role and your assessment day will include a critical thinking test, an interview and a presentation skills exercise. 

To talk to us about a disability or long-term health issues, including any needs you might have during our application process, please email Jen Baird at and we will arrange a time to contact you.

We asked Lydia, a senior associate and Sheri, an HR Manager to explain how an assessment day works. Take a look. 

For vacation schemes and 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, to assess how well you work in a team

• an interview with two partners, a partner and a senior associate or a partner and a member of graduate recruitment to probe your reasons for wanting a legal career and check how well you know the legal and business worlds

• a situational interview with a senior associate and a member of the graduate recruitment team to assess how well you might handle the common situations that trainee solicitors deal with.

Get advice from two of our partners, Louise and Jon, on how to shine at interview.

How to prepare

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
  • 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
  • our online application form includes a section where you can tell us of any modifications you need to our recruitment process because of a disability or a long-term health condition. Be sure to use it if you need to.

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

Be commercially aware

These are some things to consider ahead of your interview:

  • Think of a recent business story – what does a successful business look like? Where can things go wrong?
  • What is the purpose of business – is it about more than making a profit?
  • Why do businesses use law firms?
  • How do law firms win businesses as clients? How do they retain them?
  • Are law firms businesses? Does this matter?
  • When advising a client, what else matters other than knowing the law?
  • How do law firms charge clients for their services?
  • Why do clients employ in-house lawyers?
  • How do clients like their external law firms to work with them?
  • How is legal practice changing?

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 assumptions.

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.

Hear trainees Cynthia and Gaspare outline thier experience of the application process – including the Watson Glaser test. 

Key dates

First year insight events

2 January 2020
Applications open.

29 February 2020
Applications close. 

9 and 10 April 2020
Spring insight events for both law and non-law students take place

10 and 11 June 2020
Summer insight events for both law and non-law students take place 

Campus ambassadors

2 January 2020
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 and University of Warwick.

29 February 2020
Applications close.

April to July 2020
Assessments days held in our City offices.


Vacation schemes

16 September 2019
Applications open for all our vacation schemes.

31 October 2019 
Applications close for our winter vacation scheme

2 – 13 December 2019
Our winter vacation scheme takes place at our City offices.

5 January 2020
Applications close for our summer vacation schemes for all students from penultimate-year onwards and graduates.

15 June – 3 July 2020
First summer vacation scheme takes place at our City offices.

13 July – 31 July 2020
Second summer vacation scheme takes place at our City offices.


Training contracts

16 September  2019
Applications open for training contracts starting in February and August 2021.

31 January 2020
Applications close for non-law students and graduates.

January to April 2020
Interviews for non-law students take place.

31 July 2020
Applications close for law students.

August 2020
Interviews for law students begin.