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. But at PRIME, we know those 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 at all. Any culture. Any 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 3 to 4, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth (Northern Ireland)
  • 4th Year to 6th Year (Republic of Ireland)
At a state school

You’re attending, and have attended from aged 11, a state-funded, non-fee-paying school/college.
First to attend University

You grew up in a household where no parent or guardian attended University.
You must also meet one or more of the following

  • 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 have been, or are currently, in local authority care (for a period of 3 months or longer)
  • You are, or have been, a full-time or part-time carer
  • You came to the UK as a refugee or asylum seeker
  • 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)
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

How you apply will vary from firm to firm, and you’ll find out how to apply on each company’s profile. That said, there are some tips we can give you, no matter where you go:

Be yourself and be honest
Don’t worry about trying to look impressive. Our law firms aren’t expecting you to have experience – but they’ll look 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, your firm will ask you 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?
Keep in mind – Contextual Recruitment System
We use a specially developed tool to help ensure that all participants in PRIME programmes come from less socially mobile backgrounds where access to the profession is particularly difficult. This means we can understand your achievements in the context of your personal circumstances and compare your application fairly with the benefit of more information.
Contextual Recruitment System

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.

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

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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