More about Cripps
The trainee experience
Trainee contracts at Cripps are far broader than most training schemes. This diversity will stand you in good stead for the rest of your career. Because you’ll develop a better understanding of the law outside your specialism, you’ll be better equipped to help clients on a wide range of problems.
We’ll expect you to express your opinions and be yourself throughout your contract. If you’re enthusiastic and tenacious, you’ll have endless opportunities to develop your career and make a difference from day one.
Before you join
We’ll stay in touch in the two years between you accepting your training contract and your start date. This will help you to feel comfortable when you join.
We’ll introduce you to a buddy, usually a trainee who started the year before you, so they can offer advice and answer any questions you might have. We’ll also put you in touch with the other trainees starting at the same time as you. This means you’ll have a network of contacts from the beginning.
In the summer before your contract begins, you’ll visit our offices and meet the other trainees in person. You’ll learn about things like accommodation, what Tunbridge Wells and Kings Hill are like, and find out more about the Cripps culture.
The weekend before your contract starts, the current trainees will organise a get-together meal for the new group. You’ll also come to our lively ‘end of quarter’ drinks. These are either held in-house or at a nearby venue. Everyone is invited so it’s a great opportunity to meet new people and have fun.
You’ll spend your first two weeks at Cripps on an induction course. There will be interactive training sessions and you’ll also spend part of each day with your supervisor. This will help you to apply and reinforce your learning whilst also developing a rapport with your new colleagues.
Trainees usually start in mid-September. You’ll experience four different seats over the course of your contract. Most of these will be based in Tunbridge Wells but one seat is usually located at Kings Hill.
We’ll be in touch before your contract starts to ask which areas of the law interest you most. We’ll do our best to arrange seats in these particular areas but it depends on the availability of supervisors and how busy each department is.
Although you might already know which area you’d like to specialise in, you’ll work for both commercial and private clients to keep your options open. Many trainees change their mind after experiencing something new.
You’ll be able to work on ‘live files’ and have direct contact with clients and other professionals from the word go. Most trainees find this both empowering and rewarding.
You won’t be ‘spoon-fed’ but we’ll give you all the support you need and review your progress on a regular basis.
Training and career development is all-important at Cripps. If there’s anything we can help you with just ask. We encourage you to push us as much as we push you.
You’ll be invited to attend a wide range of training activities. There will be seminars and workshops led by internal or external speakers, IT training sessions, plus skill-boosting training to improve things like time management, negotiation, client care, communication and presentation skills.
The majority of your training, however, will be ‘on the job’ with your supervisor’s help. You’ll be given a checklist for each seat to make sure you cover the necessary ground. You’ll also have monthly meetings with your supervisor to assess progress.
At the end of each seat your supervisor, our Managing Partner, and the Head of HR will appraise your performance and give you friendly, honest feedback.
We prefer our trainees to study BPP’s Legal Practice Course (LPC). Unless you have already completed this elsewhere, we ask that you study the LPC at one of the BPP’s campuses.
If there is no BPP campus near you, or you have already committed elsewhere, please get in touch. We may be able to arrange an exemption.
Please be aware that the “City” LPC, which focuses on large public companies, is unsuitable for graduates joining Cripps. We prefer courses with a “commercial” focus that concentrate on small and medium sized enterprises.
Although we ask to be consulted before you select your LPC options, we never specify which ones you should take. Instead we’d like you to choose subjects that interest you and help with your training.
As one of our trainees, you’ll be able to claim discounted fees.
We have special financial arrangements with the BPP for LPC and PSC studies. We also have a discretionary funding scheme for LPC students: half bursary and half interest-free loan. Unfortunately, we don’t offer funding for the GDL.
Professional skills course (PSC)
We’ll ask you to attend the PSC’s ‘fast-track’ programme at the BPP. You’ll take the core modules ‘advocacy and communication skills’, ‘client care and professional standards’, plus ‘financial and business skills’ in the spring or early summer after you join us. You’ll take the electives, which you’ll choose with our help, once these core modules have been completed.
Start your career on the right foot
If you embrace our culture and work hard, your time as a trainee at Cripps will be fun, fulfilling and rewarding. Many of our trainees stay with us throughout their career. They enjoy the challenging work, our positive work-life balance, and building friendships with like-minded happy and successful people.