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There are certain things you need to be a lawyer. You’ve got to be determined, hard-working, switched on to the world around you. At PRIME, we know these are traits anyone can have. They can’t be bought. They don’t come from private school education, or your parents’ finances.

They’re part of who you are, and the person you want to be. So if you want to work in law, you can come from any background, culture or social group. If you’ve got the right attitude, you can become a great lawyer. It all starts here, with legal work experience from PRIME.

What does it mean to be a lawyer?

Before you go looking for legal work experience, you might want to know more about what it means to be a lawyer. Here are the three main roles in the UK and Republic of Ireland:


The experience you’ll find with most of our firms is the kind of work you’d do as a solicitor. It’s typically all about working with businesses to provide legal advice. If a client wants to build a skyscraper or copyright a piece of technology or open shops in a new country, they’ll come to you as a solicitor.

In-house counsel

Most solicitors work for a law firm, but if you’re in-house counsel, you’ll do the same work for just one company. It might be a bank, a search engine, a TV company – all kinds of businesses have in-house teams. Instead of working with lots of different clients, you’ll work only for your company, specialising in their industry.


If you’re thinking of lawyers in terms of making an argument in court, those are usually barristers. They’ll generally only get involved once a case has to go to court, and they’ll be hired by solicitors to represent their client.

What kind of prospects can you expect in Law?

If you enjoy your work experience and want to take it further, you might pursue a career as a solicitor or a barrister. If you end up with a firm like those who make up PRIME, then you’ll start as a trainee solicitor for two years, then work your way up to associate. Then, for those ready to be challenged at the highest level, you could even aim for partner. At every stage in your development, you’ll become a more senior lawyer, known in your field. You might even become a judge one day.

What we look for

In order to apply to a PRIME work placement, you must meet the following qualifying criteria

School age

You’re in one of:
  • Year 9 to Year 13 (England & Wales)
  • S2 to S6 (Scotland)
  • Year 10 – 14 (Northern Ireland)
  • 4th Year to 6th Year (Republic of Ireland)
At a state school

You’re attending, and have always attended, a state-funded, non-fee-paying school/college.
You must also meet one or more of the following

  • You have been, or are currently, in local authority care.
  • You are currently in receipt of, or have previously received, free school meals, Pupil Premium, Education Maintenance Allowance and/or 16 to 19 Bursary.
  • You are, or have been, a full-time or part-time carer.
  • You came to the UK as a refugee or asylum seeker.
  • The occupation of your main household earner is categorised as a routine or manual occupation. A summary of this can be found here.
  • You are attending a state school or college with:
    a) below average A-Level or Higher point score and/or
    b) low rate of progression to higher education
    (PRIME Work Experience School Eligibility Criteria).
  • You grew up in a household where no parent or guardian attended University.
Note: young people who meet the local authority care criterion do not need to meet any other criterion.
These criteria are not exhaustive and may be amended over time.

Application advice

The application process will vary depending on where you are applying, and you’ll find out how to apply on the profile of each of our members. That said, there are some tips we can give you, no matter where you go:

Be yourself 
Our member law firms and in-house legal teams aren’t expecting you to have any legal experience – they are looking for enthusiasm and ambition to succeed.
Check the finer details
As much as you can, double-check your application for spelling and grammar. If that’s not your strong suit, ask a parent, a teacher, a sibling – anyone who can be a second pair of eyes.
Read any instructions carefully
Chances are, you will be asked some pretty straightforward questions – but it never hurts to make sure you’ve checked. Did you answer the right question? Is there anything you’ve missed?

Search for work experience

There are more than 60 law firms involved in PRIME, providing legal work experience up and down the UK and Republic of Ireland. That means whether you want to travel or stay at home, there’s an opportunity for you. Just tell us an area below, and we’ll tell you where the nearest firms are and how to apply. You can also filter your results to see which firms also offer apprenticeship opportunities.

Search Note: Please add your full postcode in format NN1 1XX as an example.

Alternatively, you can register for our Virtual Legal Work Experience Programme.

Watch Karishma’s PRIME Story

Take all of the opportunities PRIME gives you, because there’s a lot.

Karishma Khosla, PRIME Alumna

Watch Josh’s PRIME Story

Regardless of your background, a career in law can be achieved.

Joshua Redman, PRIME Alumnus

What do our students say?

There is no more important an impact than the one that PRIME work experience has on our students. Since PRIME launched in 2011, over 10,000 students have been able to access quality work experience at a host of law firms across the country.

PRIME student at Slaughter and May

It was a privilege to be able to speak to some of the firm’s partners and discuss current affairs with them. I also particularly enjoyed the office tour with one of the firms’ trainees who was extremely enthusiastic about his work and answered any questions we had regarding the firm’s practices. I also enjoyed the unexpected career journeys panel as it gave an insight into other areas of the firm and it also sparked my interest in Legal Technology.

PRIME student at       Fried Frank

My work experience placement at Fried Frank was truly one of the most exciting and enjoyable experiences I’ve had. A huge part of what made this experience so good for me was the welcoming and friendly community at Fried Frank; during my time there, I formed bonds with almost all of the people I met, and it was inspiring to witness first-hand the passion that everyone there has for the law.

PRIME student at Freshfields

One of the most insightful weeks, the prospect of meeting new people was very daunting at first but… we are actually very good friends now and talk on a daily basis. This programme not only lets you experience a top-quality law firm’s environment, but makes you feel a part of it, like your opinion matters to them and you feel valued most of all. A wonderful experience and I’d do it again.

Watch Emma’s PRIME Story

The PRIME Programme has made me realise it doesn’t matter what background you come from, what school you come from – it’s about you as a person and what abilities you bring

Emma De Costa, PRIME work experience student at Brodies

For more information please email us or visit the contact us page

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