Fresh approach to hiring

Watermans’ innovative legal trainee recruitment drive

Watermans trainees
Seven trainees joined Watermans last year.

Watermans, the Edinburgh-based solicitor and estate agents, has launched its latest legal trainee recruitment campaign as it continues to modernise the sector.

The firm, which has its head office in Leith, is making a name for itself as one of Scotland’s most forward-thinking practices, a reputation enhanced by the modern process by which it attracts aspiring legal graduates.

Aware that the standard recruitment process to secure one of the limited trainee placements in the country can be tedious, Watermans is doing things differently.

Traditionally, law graduates would be expected to pass formal assessments during their quest to kick-off their legal careers with conventional firms. However, Watermans is encouraging applicants aspiring to break the traditions of the legal industry to showcase their personalities either through a video, presentation or art.

The owner-led firm, which also has offices in Glasgow and Dundee, prides itself on providing clients ‘straightforward legal advice’ and aims to onboard the right people by getting to know the individual behind the law degree through a simple yet innovative recruitment process.

Watermans trainees practise law from day one and are trusted with their own caseload, all the while being supported by their peers to ensure they gain the necessary experience to begin their legal careers confidently.

Last year’s inaugural programme saw seven law graduates join the business. Applications for the 2024 Legal Traineeships for anyone holding a Diploma in Professional Legal Practice run until Monday, 28 January, with a similar number of places available this summer.

Managing director Scott Whyte said: “Following the success of our 2023 trainee recruitment campaign, we are delighted to launch our plans to take on further trainee solicitors in 2024.

“Our approach to recruitment isn’t just out of the box – it throws the old traditional box in the bin and takes a completely fresh approach.

Personalities: Scott Whyte

“To start with, we give students the credit they deserve. They are intelligent, ambitious and high achieving individuals to have already achieved their LLB. We don’t need to test their maths or reasoning skills with assessment centres or psychometric testing.

“We are interested in the personalities of the people we bring into the business. How will they interact with their colleagues and our clients? That is what will define a Watermans trainee and ultimately make them a well-rounded and ‘human’ solicitor in the years to come.”

Recent research by The Law Society of Scotland shows that smaller, 1 to 5-partner firms, are responsible for training 32% of Scotland’s young solicitors.

“At Watermans we also take our commitment to developing the legal profession very seriously,” added Mr Whyte. “We love providing an environment where trainee solicitors can come and develop their skills and take the first steps on their career journey. Law firms have a duty to play an active and positive role in ensuring the next generation are well equipped to take the whole profession forward.”

Evie Brown was one of last year’s intakes and she said: “I am a first-year trainee in the conveyancing team and it’s safe to say that no two days are the same. What I love most about Watermans is the amazing team that I work with who are very encouraging and supportive. Beginning your legal career can be a very daunting experience but I have been made to feel incredibly welcome.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Kate Murray, who was also part of the 2023 cohort.

“Personal Injury is a fast-paced area of law, with a consistent workload, and I have felt nothing but support from my colleagues. I have found Watermans to be a firm that doesn’t just advertise their company values, they actually reflect those values in practice which makes it a great place to start any legal career.”

Applications can be made via

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