UK Trainee FAQs

Answers to everything you were afraid to ask

When can I apply for a period of recognised training with Cooley?
Law undergraduates: You can apply once you reach the penultimate year of your degree.

Non-law undergraduates: You can apply once you reach the final year of your degree. Post-graduates or those seeking a career change should apply two years prior to the year in which they aim to start their training.

When can I apply to attend a summer programme at Cooley?
See above.

When can I apply to attend a 'Meet Cooley' event?
The deadline to apply for our virtual 'Meet Cooley' event (taking place on 9 December 2020) will be on 23 November 2020.

This event is aimed at those who are planning to apply for a 2021 summer programme for which the deadline is 31 January 2021. Priority will be given to those who have reached at least their penultimate year of a law degree or the final year of a non-law degree.

We will also be running a few smaller 'Meet and Greet' events early in 2021. Priority for these events will be given to those who haven’t yet applied for a 2021 summer programme and who may be at an earlier point in their degree pathway.

What are the academic requirements for summer programmes and periods of recognised training?
Cooley requires a minimum of a 2.1 at degree level (any discipline) and 128 UCAS points or equivalent, not to include points from AS levels or General Studies (320 points under the pre -2017 UCAS Tariff). We will accept applications from individuals who do not meet these requirements where an individual has clear and valid mitigating circumstances and has otherwise demonstrated excellence at another point in their academic or professional history.

What do we look for?
Cooley trainees need plenty of motivation and initiative and should be adaptable and capable of thinking on their feet. You should have developed great communication skills from a variety of situations and understand the importance of teamwork. Cooley will look for evidence of taking on leadership and seeking responsibilities. Interesting achievements and making the most of non-academic and work experience (not necessarily legal) opportunities will help applicants stand-out.

Are there any compulsory seats during the period of recognised training?
You will complete a mixture of contentious and non-contentious work as part of your four seats (a mixture of litigation and transactional work), therefore you will likely do seats in a mix of Cooley’s litigation and corporate/commercial practices.

If I am offered a period of recognised training, will Cooley provide sponsorship towards GDL and/or LPC studies?
We offer financial assistance for law school (both GDL and LPC) in addition to a living allowance while studying. We do not currently have a preferred law school.

How much contact do you have with future trainees whilst they are completing their GDL and/or LPC studies?
Future trainees are sent regular updates of firm events. We also invite our future trainees to a number of social events, such as the summer and Christmas parties.

If I am offered a period of recognised training, can I defer my start date to the following year?
Cooley has a small intake and will usually need those offered training places to commence in the year they are due to start.

Deferral requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What are the salary and benefits?
First year trainees earn £50,000 and second year trainees earn £55,000. 

Other benefits include 25 days annual leave, private healthcare, STL, pension scheme (with firm contribution), life assurance, critical illness cover, subsidised café, cycle to work scheme, wellness programmes, great social events and sports activities.

If you require any more information please send an email to