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London Graduate Recruitment

Reinforcing Our Commitment to Growth

Exceptional Foundation. Empowering Career.

Vinson & Elkins opened its London office in 1971, putting us among the first US law firms to operate in the city. In the half-century since, we’ve built a dynamic office, developing a sterling reputation for producing excellent work, advising on highly complex matters, succeeding through teamwork, and caring for our clients, colleagues, and communities.

Our strategy for growth in London is simple: build on our strengths and focus on the long term. We believe that hiring talented, driven lawyers — and giving them every opportunity to develop their practice in a supportive environment — empowers them to flourish, and strengthens our firm in the process.

Vinson & Elkins currently offers four-six training contracts commencing in September each year. Training contracts are not run on a rigid seat system, but instead, our trainees will gain wide experience in many different areas simultaneously, working with a variety of associates and partners.

Whilst being based in London, trainees often take secondments in our other offices (particularly our offices in the Middle East and Houston), and travel is a likely part of any training contract with us. Trainees will have the support of an associate mentor to provide an extra, and hands-on, port of call for support and assistance.

Compensation and Benefits

Vinson & Elkins looks to recruit from the best candidates, and we believe our training contracts reflect this — both in quality of training and work, as well as in the highly competitive salary and benefits:

  • £60,000 for first-year trainees (2024)
  • £65,000 for second-year trainees (2024)
  • £173,077 for newly qualified associates (2024)

In addition, we offer funding for V&E preparatory course(s) and examination for the SQE and a maintenance grant of £12,500 for the SQE year.

Benefits Include:

  • Medical insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Travel Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Simply Health Cash Plan (which includes wellness benefits)
  • Subsided Gym Membership
  • Access to Private GPs
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Pension
  • Cycle Scheme
  • Interest-Free Season Ticket Loan

For further information about the training programme and V&E as a whole, please contact us at

How to Apply for a Training Contract at V&E

All students who attend one of our vacation schemes will automatically be considered for a training contract. Applications for the Spring and Summer 2025 Vacation Scheme will open on 1 October 2024 and close on 12 January 2025. We typically recruit all of our trainees from our spring and summer vacation schemes and strongly recommend all candidates to apply for the Vacation Scheme by 12 January 2024 if they wish to be considered for a Training Contract with the Firm.

There will be an opportunity for those who miss the deadline to submit an application to complete a vacation scheme in the Autumn and Winter season, however, these will only take place if there are still training contract positions available following the summer vacation scheme.

We view vacation schemes as an invaluable tool for allowing both the trainee candidate and V&E to assess each other, and accordingly, when considering training contract applications, we offer only to those who have completed a placement with us.

During the course of the one week that candidates spend in Vinson & Elkins’ London office, they will experience firsthand what it is like to be a trainee at the firm. From the clientled tasks, such as research projects, drafting documents, participating in internal strategy discussions, joining calls and meetings with clients and opposing counsel, as well as mentoring, support, and infrastructure the firm provides to ensure lawyers thrive, you will be confident as to whether V&E is right for you. Not only will a candidate share a room with an associate or partner, they will also have the opportunity to meet and work with a variety of different practice groups during the week.

Eligibility Requirements 

Our vacation schemes are limited. To be eligible, applicants should be, at a minimum, in the penultimate year of their degree.

We would expect all candidates to have achieved a minimum of AAB at A-Level (or equivalent) and 60% or above across all first-year university modules or, if a graduate, a minimum of a 2.1 in their undergraduate degree.

Successful applications will clearly demonstrate a genuine commitment to the law and a real interest in V&E’s core practice areas in the London office.

How to Apply for a Vacation Scheme at V&E

Applications for Spring/Summer 2024 Vacation Schemes have closed.

Applications for the 2024 Autumn/Winter Scheme are open and will close on 31 July 2024. Please note, the Autumn/Winter Vacation Scheme will only take place if there are still training contract positions available following the Spring/Summer Vacation Scheme.

Applications for the 2025 Spring and Summer Vacation Scheme will open on 1 October 2024 and close on 12 January 2025.

Applications for 2024 Open Day have closed.

Students in the first year of their degree who would like to learn more about Vinson & Elkins may be interested in attending our Open Day, discoVEr V&E, which will be held at our London office in April 2025.

  • Learn more about V&E and our London office
  • Join an Illustrative Case Study of a Deal
  • Participate in a Commercial Awareness Workshop
  • Hear from the Associates on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at V&E
  • Get practical tips on how to do well in your applications
  • Trainee and Graduate Recruitment Q&A Panel
  • Network with partners, counsel, associates, and trainees in a relaxed environment over refreshments

How to Apply for our Open Day – discoVEr 

Applications for the 2025 Open Day, discoVEr will open on 1 October 2024 and close on 12 January 2025.

Our Graduate Recruitment Team, trainees and associates attend a number of events throughout Autumn where we provide insights into the firm culture at V&E and answer questions you have on our vacation scheme, open day and training contract opportunities.

2024 Recruitment Calendar dates to be confirmed.

University Law Fairs:

2024 Dates TBC

  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Durham
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • University of Oxford
  • University College London
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Exeter

Additional Fairs

V&E will be attending Virtual Fairs below. 2024 Dates TBC

  • Aspiring Solicitors Diversity Law Fair Series
  • Legal Cheek Virtual Law Series

Bespoke V&E Virtual Events & Networking

An Evening with V&E: Energy – Date TBC.

An Evening with V&E: International Disputes – Date TBC.

An Evening with V&E: Meet the Trainees – Date TBC.

Spring/Summer 2025 Vacation Scheme
Applications Open: 1 October 2024
Applications Close: 12 January 2025
Week-long placements will be held between April – August 2025.

Autumn/Winter 2024 Vacation Scheme
Applications Open: 15 January 2024
Applications Closed: 31 July 2024
Week-long placements between October – December 2024

Please note, the Autumn/Winter Vacation Scheme will only take place if there are still training contract positions available following the Spring/Summer Vacation Scheme.

2025 Open Day- discoVEr
(This open day is for students who are due to graduate in 2027)
Event Date: TBC
Applications Open: 4 November 2024
Applications Close: 2 February 2025

London Graduate Recruitment Contacts

Associate Director of International Attorney Development and Recruitment
Grace Gibson-Venner
Recruitment Manager
Aman Khaira
  • Scott Stiegler
    Scott Stiegler
    Partner & Training Principal

    Our mission is to discover and nurture the brightest legal talents, providing them with the experience, training and support they need to qualify as solicitors and have successful careers at V&E. We are devoted to cultivating growth and preserving our inclusive culture, and this journey begins with our future trainees.

  • Celebrating 50 Years in London

    From our humble beginnings at 170 Piccadilly to our location today in the iconic Walkie Talkie building, we want to thank our clients and colleagues for their trust and collaboration over the last 50 years. We look forward to servicing your needs for decades to come.