Legal traineeships

We are committed to recruiting and developing people who have a passion for providing justice in Scotland.

Our legal traineeship offers an exciting, varied introduction to working as a solicitor. This role is perfect for those interested in a career in public prosecution.

Programme details

A legal traineeship is the final stage of qualifying as a Scottish solicitor and consists of a two-year supervised period of in-office training. We employ trainee solicitors on a two-year, fixed-term contract.

First year

During your first year you will experience different placements and undertake a broad range of activities providing a thorough grounding in COPFS’s work. Placements may include:

  • Local Court
  • Appeals
  • Civil Recovery
  • High Court
  • International Cooperation
  • Policy and Engagement
  • Proceeds of Crime
  • Crown counsel
  • Scottish Fatalities Investigations
  • Litigation

During your first year you will shadow experienced legal staff. You may carry out legal research, work with evidence, and prepare appeals. You may start appearing in court from around 10 months into your role. You could even be cooperating across borders.

Second year

In your second year you will explore the role of a prosecutor in depth. You will prepare and present cases in the Justice of the Peace Court or Sheriff Summary Court.

Throughout your first and second year you will receive dedicated support and a structured training programme to enhance your legal skills and experience.

Why train with COPFS?

COPFS is the largest employer of lawyers in Scotland. It is also Scotland’s sole prosecution authority. With support and structured learning, our trainees make a meaningful contribution to court cases. They are trusted with a high level of responsibility, and often progress to leading roles at COPFS and beyond.

You will work for the public interest and alongside senior members of Scotland's legal profession.

Entry requirements

You will need to have the following to apply:

  • LLB in Scots Law
  • Diploma in Professional Legal Practice
  • Entrance Certificate from the Law Society of Scotland

How to apply

We recruit for our legal traineeship once a year. Keep an eye on our vacancies page for the next intake. You can also submit a speculative application at any time and we will keep you informed when we are recruiting.

The application process involves competency-based questions. If you are invited for interview, you will be asked further competency based questions and you will also be expected to present your views on a specific topic which you will be told prior to the interview. Every candidate will be asked to present on the same topic. The topic will be relevant to Scots Law.

Find out more

If you would like to talk to us about the legal traineeship please contact our recruitment team: