4th September 2017

Applications are now OPEN!

We are very pleased to announce that we have opened applications for the City Solicitors Horizons 2017 – 2020 cohort!

Am I eligible for the programme?

To be eligible for the programme you must meet the following criteria:

  • Attend a university in south east of England OR attending university outside the south east but be based in London outside of term-time
  • Be in the first year of three or four year law or non-law degree, second year of a four year law or non-law degree, or second year of a three year non-law degree
  • Meet our social mobility criteria, which can be found here

What is the application process?

Once your application is submitted, one of our team will screen it. If your application is progressed to the next stage, we will ask you to complete a video interview to demonstrate your interest in a career in the legal profession. You will then need to provide an academic reference.

What will I gain from the programme?

  • Training days and one-to-ones delivered by a range of experienced lawyers, graduate recruitment and our team of diversity professionals
  • Mentoring from professional solicitors
  • Work experience at one of our sponsor firms

Next steps

Please click here to submit your application form.

If you have any queries about the programme, please contact csh@seo-london.org.

29th June 2017,

​Vacation Scheme applications: How to make your summer work for you 

By Meredith Hughes

Now is the time to start preparing to write your vacation scheme application ahead of the 2017-2018 academic year. Once the autumn term starts, things will get very busy with your studies and university life and it may become difficult to find time to fit in writing your applications. So here’s a list of things to consider, research, and work on over the summer so that when the autumn term comes, you’re as ready as you can be to get your applications sent in!

General Research

-What type of firms are you interested in?

  1. Large vs. small intake
  2. How extensive is their training?
  3. Particular type of culture (friendly, high pressure, rigorous, accommodating)
  4. How much responsibility are you likely to be given as a trainee? How much responsibility do you want?
  5. Strong reputation for particular practice areas/sectors
  6. Is pay important to you?
  7. Are the target hours important to you?
  8. Do they offer an international seat?
  9. How much choice do you have over the seats of your training contract? Is this important to you?
  10. Can you see yourself working at the firm?​

-Which schemes are you eligible for?

-What will you need to do in your application? (i.e. is it a cover letter or an application form? Will you have to do psychometric testing? Will there      be a video interview after the application stage?)​​​

Specific Research

-Who are the firm’s biggest clients?

-What big deals has the firm been working on?

-Where are their offices? Have they opened any new offices?

-Which current affairs stories are relevant to the firm, and how might they be interacting with these stories?

-What is the firm’s business development plan? (i.e. expanding offices/jurisdictions, growing certain practice areas, rebranding etc.?

Practise psychometric testing

-There are loads of free resources online – find them and use them!

-Read up on what the test is looking for – understanding the test will help you know how to answer the questions

-The more you practise the better you will get (trust me!)

Preparing application/interview answers

-Most applications will ask some variety of these two questions, so start thinking about them now:

  1. Why do you want to be a commercial solicitor?
  2. Why do you want to work at this firm?

-Competency questions:

  1. Make a list of all the possible competency questions you can think of
  2. Come up with one or two examples for each
  3. Try applying different techniques to answering them – i.e. STAR technique
  4. Practise writing and verbalising these answers

-For interviews: prepare the questions YOU want to ask your interviewer

Get in front of the firms:

-Work out when there are open days that you can attend

-Will the firms you are interested in be going to your university’s law fair?​Prepare the questions you want to ask them – ask personal and interesting questions that show you have done your research on their firm

-Note down the names of people you’ve spoken to – you can use them in your applications to say something along the lines of ‘I’m really interested in Firm X because Person Y told me about their experience Z at the firm’

Be aware that some firms won’t have updated their graduate recruitment pages yet for the new academic cycle (2017-2018). You may have to wait a few months for some of the information mentioned above to be available.

​​1st March 2017

​Hear what it's like to attend a CSH training day from Joshua Killalea, who provides a personal insight into the CSH programme and the 27th February event. 
by Joshua Killalea  ​

Why I’d recommend the CSH programme
I applied for the CSH programme because I wanted to make new contacts in the legal field. I also felt I needed more of an understanding of exactly how law firms operate. Fortunately, as time went on, I realised the programme is so much more than that. 


In the afternoon we had the opportunity to hear from Anthony Van Hoffen of Eversheds Sutherland, a real estate partner of the firm, and from Samuel Thampapillai, who is an associate at Eversheds Sutherland and works in litigation. We also had the chance to network with a variety of solicitors during lunch, all of whom were visiting from firms across London. 

My takeaways
This experience exposed me to the realities of working in a city law firm. We learnt exactly what departments are involved with a large scale real estate deal for example, as well as various aspects of litigation and how we can develop ourselves if we wish to work in this area in the future.

The alumni panel at the end of the day was inspirational. Each of the SEO alumni held training contracts with top city firms and they were incredibly descriptive about their experiences during the application process and interview. This was one of the most useful sections of the day, as each of us were able to gain a better understanding of exactly what it takes to become what we all aspired to be. Solicitors. 

Overall, the entire workshop was incredibly informative. I feel better equipped and prepared to start building my career. I would recommend the programme even after the first day, and I look forward to my future with CSH.

Following our welcome, we were tasked with completing a commercial awareness quiz that asked a variety of questions revolving around Brexit, developments in international business and recent political events. This really set the tone for the sort of depth of knowledge CSH wanted to help us develop. 

12th August 2017,

​Logo Competition – Winner Announced!

​​After much consideration, we have selected a final design for the City Solicitors Horizons logo competition winner. We were very impressed with the calibre of all of the entries, and the amount of work and thought that had gone into them. There were some really incredible designs and we were pleasantly surprised by the artistic flare demonstrated in some of the submissions.

We are very pleased to announce that the winner

of the competition is Alexandra Gaynor!

​Congratulations, Alex!

We all thought it was a great design as the shape is reminiscent of a beckoning hand, emphasising the importance of inclusion, openness, and a willingness to share. Moreover, Alex explained in her brief that the three main strands of the graphics represent inclusion, diversity and opportunity. We were also very keen on her distinctive pastel palette. We think the logo is a great choice to represent the City Solicitors Horizons Programme.

Check out our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages to see how we’ve used the new logo.

11th July 2016,

City Solicitors Horizons students complete a three day residential training event ​

Following the successful launch of City Solicitors Horizons, the first cohort of 50 City Solicitors Horizons students attended three-day residential training in June/July 2016 as part of the scheme. The three training days were hosted by leading City law firms Macfarlanes, Baker & McKenzie and Addleshaw Goddard on June 28th, July 7th and July 8th respectively.


The training covered a wide range of topics to help students develop their industry knowledge, commercial awareness and the relevant employability skills (both technical and soft) that leading law firms will expect from future vacation scheme and training contract applicants.
The training was delivered by SEO London staff (including qualified solicitors), third party training experts, and volunteers from sponsor law firms. Students were also given the opportunity to network with participating firm representatives (including lawyers mentoring for City Solicitors Horizons) during lunch. The consistent priority was to ensure the training was as interactive as possible to maintain engagement and ensure training materials were effectively covered. The feedback received from students on the delivery and contents of the different training days was very positive.

​19th June 2017,​

City Solicitors Horizons Logo Competition 

CSH Logo Competition has officially begun! Start getting creative and submit your logo design to CSH for a chance to win an amazing prize! ​So don't miss the chance to have one of your own designs become the official CSH logo! Check out this poster for more information. We're looking forward to seeing your logo designs!

​​My first day on the programme
Our first day of training was dedicated to getting an insight into the practical side of law – the skills and knowledge we need, as well as how we might start building networks in the legal profession even during our time at university. It was immediately clear that the CSH team were ready to drop us into the deep end in order to provide us with an idea of what prestigious law firms expect from us. This is exactly what we needed! 

April 6th 2016,

​​Launching our City Solicitors Horizons Programme

SEO London is proud to announce the launch of the City Solicitors Horizons (CSH) programme - a pilot social mobility initiative to improve access to the legal profession for first year undergraduates from disadvantaged backgrounds. The scheme’s sponsors include the City of London Solicitors’ Company, City Solicitors’ Educational Trust (CSET), The Legal Education Foundation (TLEF), the City of London Law Society (CLLS) and 18 leading City law firms.

It is a great opportunity for any first year student looking to pursue a career in law. Candidates who are accepted onto the CSH programme will benefit from comprehensive classroom and one-to-one training sessions, personal mentoring from experienced lawyers, and work experience placements with sponsoring firms.

Candidates must study in participating universities in London and the south east of England. Detailed information about the programme and a list of participating universities can be found here: http://www.citysolicitorshorizons.org/faqs.html

Applications are screened on a rolling basis and places will be confirmed in May 2016.  Candidates are encouraged to apply to the CSH programme as soon as possible.