Early Careers

early careers Germany – graduate programme

Our Frankfurt and Munich offices have lawyers who combine extensive business experience with profound legal knowledge. Whatever your current business challenge, we will cut through the complexity, get to the heart of your legal needs and deliver the clear, practical, commercial advice you need to move your business forward.

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A variety of experience is essential in developing the kind of expertise that will set you apart. At Ashurst, you won’t just be learning from the past or from specifics. You will also be developing the instincts to tackle the most complex issues in international law, and building an understanding of each client's business.

The ways in which we support you to do this are equally varied. Structured training helps you develop the highest standards of technical legal knowledge. Honest, transparent conversations ensure you know exactly what we expect from you. Useful, constructive feedback helps you learn. And a network of highly respected figures will not only inspire you, they will actively mentor your development.


Career journey

This is where it begins. There’s a place for every background, interest and academic pursuit at Ashurst. The only difference will be the route you take to get here.


Research law firms, apply for an internship of four to six weeks and gain first-hand work experience in a top tier law firm. You may choose a particular field of law or take the opportunity to get an overview of the various areas of law we practise. Right from the start, you will be involved in the everyday life of our business and will work together with our lawyers on real projects for our clients. A mentor will support you in all professional matters, and provide guidance. 


Our Referendar programme offers a blend of work experience, mentoring support and training to give you the tools you need to make career decisions. In addition to your everyday training, we will support you with a package of Jura Intensiv tests in preparation for the upcoming exam. Following your placement at one of our German offices, the opportunity of an internship abroad awaits you. There are also several social events for you to get to know our partners, associates and current trainees away from the hustle and bustle of the working day.

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeit

Working as a wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter is a great way to understand what it feels like to work for us. You may use the time between exams, before starting the Referendariat or your doctoral thesis to gain valuable work experience. This time may also help you to decide whether this is the right career for you.

When starting your career with us as an associate you will be well looked after. You will be supervised by a partner or associate who will work closely with you and provide guidance, reviewing your progress as you go along and helping you to pinpoint your successes and develop in areas that need work. Equally, there’s a great deal to be learned from others you work with in the practice area. And, at every step, we’ll make sure you feel involved not just in the effort behind our successes but the exhilaration that follows them.


Whether it’s to a client or one of our international offices, secondments are, in our eyes, a pivotal aspect of your development. We’ll encourage you to take one if you can. Trainees and associates who’ve experienced one come back with a better appreciation of different cultures and approaches, greater understanding of the client and the way they work, finely tuned relationship skills and feedback on their experience that in the past has included the words “invaluable”, “mind-blowing” and “uplifting”!

After qualification

Even partners with 30 years’ experience still have their "aha!" moments. While the training contract will have given you a solid foundation of skills and a knack for disentangling complexities, your experience continues to evolve. Every case, client and colleague will give you the chance to set off on a new learning curve – so keep an open mind. Our global skills development programme, along with regular updates to your legal knowledge, will hone your ability and expertise, and we’ll continue to give you a broad range of work after qualification to help you avoid over-specialising too soon. At key stages in your career, you can take advantage of our formal development programmes. These offer you coaching and tailored training that will boost your business development and leadership skills.

I was impressed with the culture at Ashurst from the start. Everyone is very cordial and you always find support when you need it. Isabell Pöller, Senior Associate


Curious? Excellent – come and meet us at any one of our careers events, seminars or drop-in sessions.

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Application process

In your application we want you to express yourself: tell us why you want to be a trainee or a lawyer – and why you’d like to join Ashurst in particular. To start you off, we’ve highlighted some hints and tips:

Prepare before you begin 

Get to know us (if you haven’t already) by reading through our website and talking to people who work here. This is to make sure we’re interviewing people who have researched us carefully and understand why we’re different. Just as importantly, get to know yourself: make an honest assessment of what you do well and not so well.

Detail your strengths and weaknesses

We don’t ask specific questions on the competencies we’re looking for, but that isn’t because we don’t want to know that you have those competencies. We just prefer to give you the space to tell us about them in your own words. In your application, be sure to include those qualities and examples of your achievements.

Write clearly 

We will be most impressed if you explain yourself simply and clearly with the use of evidence. Also, please avoid clichés. Lots of applicants tell us they want to be a lawyer because the law shapes society or they want to work at Ashurst because they would relish the chance to work on cutting-edge deals. Find a way to express this clearly and in your own words.

Use the application to shape your interview

Your interviewers use your application as a basis for the interview and are likely to ask you about the things you have highlighted. Use your work experience to full effect – it doesn’t matter whether your work experience is in a legal or non-legal role. Put it in and tell us what you learned from it.

Deadlines for applications for interns and trainees

You can apply at any time. For planning purposes and to increase your chance of being selected please allow sufficient time between your application and the start of your internship or traineeship. For your application please use our online form.

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To search and apply for graduate vacancies and read more detailed job descriptions, visit our jobs portal.

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