A new way for socially mobile candidates to qualify

Flex Trainee Programme

Our partnership with Flex Legal

A new way to qualify

If you’re from a socially mobile background and want to pursue a career as a solicitor, then listen up, because this one’s for you! STRIVE has teamed up with Flex Legal, who are offering diverse and socially mobile candidates a unique way to qualify.

The Flex Trainee Programme allows you to:

  • Qualify through the Solicitors Qualifying Examination route (SQE)
  • gain a broad exposure to varied areas of law whilst predominately working in in-house legal teams
  • Earn whilst you learn – you will balance your SQE studies alongside working 4.5 days per week, meaning you earn a competitive salary from the outset
  • Start a job in 2024 and qualify earlier – instead of starting a training contract in 2026 (like many firms are currently recruiting for) you could have qualified by the time many others are starting their legal careers
  • Find opportunities across the UK - Flex Legal's clients are based in major UK cities like London, Manchester and Birmingham, as well as other locations like Warwickshire, Cambridgeshire and Cheshire. Wherever you want to work in the UK, Flex Legal are likely to find a placement for you.

Under this innovative programme, you will be provided with two years of Qualifying Work Experience (“QWE”) within the in-house legal teams of some of the top companies in the world. Depending on business need, you may be allocated to one or two businesses throughout the programme. Flex Legal will endeavour to provide you with exposure to different parts of businesses or industries too. For example, your first 12 months may span litigation, employment and immigration, and afterwards you may focus entirely on commercial matters. Flex Legal does its best to ensure that you get a balanced set of experiences across varied parts of legal practice, much like a traditional training contract.

This is truly a game-changer for the industry - and your career too.

Chart your course

Please note, however, that Flex is not an SRA-authorised training provider. Therefore Flex’s Trainee Programme is not a traditional training contract where you can qualify via the LPC and a "Period of Recognised Training". Rather, Flex’s Trainee Programme provides its trainees with two years of QWE so that they can qualify under the SQE route.

A unique experience


will my experience be?

In most traditional training contracts within private practice (i.e. law firms), you would be rotated around four departments within the firm, each rotation lasting six months. If you’re lucky, one of those might be a secondment, either to the firm’s international offices (an ‘international secondment’), or to assist the in-house legal team at one of the firm’s clients (a ‘client secondment‘).

Group of people in front of a fountain in an victorian dockyard setting
Woman with headscarf smiling

“This opportunity is making my dreams of qualifying come true and provided me with two opportunities: to train in-house which is very rare for junior lawyers and to build my legal and commercial network. I am so excited that such an opportunity is available to socially mobile students because at times it can feel like your chance will never come.”

Maab Saifeldin
Maab studied International Law at Lancaster University and abroad in Norway as part of her course. She was a STRIVE Supernova Associate (2018-19), as well as a BPP LPC/LLM graduate with 2 years of work experience as a case handler in litigation. She also runs a legal lifestyle Instagram account (@lifewithmaab) where she shares her journey as a black Muslim in the legal sector and now her journey to qualification.
Woman in headscarf smiling

“Whilst I knew I wanted to have a career in law, being an ethnic minority, socially mobile first gen university student meant that I knew very little about what a legal career entailed and how I could write good applications to really showcase my experiences and skills. For that reason, I joined STRIVE during my second year of university and when the opportunity to apply to the Flex Legal trainee programme came up, I knew I had to take it. I have throughly enjoyed my experience so far and have received quality training to date, learning from the best in the field. I would recommend this route to all aspiring solicitors.”

Ghazal Noory
Ghazal studied at the University of Reading and graduated with a first in law in 2021. Whilst studying, she built up a myriad of experiences as a sales associate, hospital volunteer, human resources administrator and paralegal, all of which helped her learn and develop different transferable skills. Through STRIVE, she secured a place on Flex Legal's new trainee programme and she is currently seconded to The Crown Estate, where she works with a fantastic legal team.
Woman with medium length curly hair smiling

“I've had brilliant opportunities at my placement that I wouldn't have had elsewhere as a first-seat trainee. I truly believe this opportunity with Flex Trainee will put me in good stead for a future in-house career at my dream company. Take new opportunities as they come!

Jordan Yohannes
Jordan is a first-class LLB graduate and enthusiastic trainee solicitor working in financial services. Her experience ranges from providing IP advice to start-ups and SMEs to assisting with financial product transactions for a FTSE60 listed company. Jordan is currently studying towards the Solicitors Qualification Examination at BARBRI while on the Flex Trainee Programme. She is an occasional writer with a keen interest in FinTech, innovation and anything Africa -related.
Key benefits
💌 Why do we love the Flex Trainee Programme?

Where do we start?! There are many reasons, but our favourite ones are:

  • Small tick
    Flex - just like STRIVE - are all about advancing diversity & social mobility in the legal industry. If you've ever felt that your unique background has held you back from a career in commercial law, the Flex Trainee Programme could be just the thing for you - in our world, that's an asset, not a hindrance!
  • It's often difficult to find in-house opportunities at such early stages of the legal career pathway. With Flex's Trainee Programme, not only do you get a much broader range of experiences across varied industries, you could also qualify into a company you completed your QWE with, if it's a good fit.
  • Wherever you go during the trainee programme, your 'home-base' will always be Flex, who will make sure that you're well taken care of in all aspects, including:
  • 1
    The SQE1 + 2 (Barbri course) fully paid for by Flex
  • 2
    A 4-week readiness programme before you start your first placement to allow you to hit the ground running
  • 3
    An in-house supervisor, who will meet with Flex every month to review your progress
  • 4
    Regular 1:1s with a Flex mentor and a legal mentor
  • 5
    Professional development opportunities with Flex, including networking events
  • 6
    Access to the Flex Legal SQE Journal, which is Flex’s proprietary tool to easily record Qualifying Work Experience
  • 7
    4.5-day working weeks, with the remaining half day dedicated to studying for the SQE
Where will I work?
🦄 A career pathway as unique as you.

Flex works with the UK’s most forward-looking legal functions to make sure you are exposed to a wide range of work. Here’s a snapshot of the companies at which Flex’s Trainees previously completed their QWE:

Eligibility Criteria

Are you eligible for the Flex Trainee Programme?


Academic & Membership Requirements

A 2.1 or above in either your undergraduate degree or an equivalent grade in any legal post-graduate qualifications (GDL/LPC/LLM). If you have not achieved a 2.1 but have mitigating circumstances, we encourage you to apply anyway and provide any details you are comfortable with disclosing on your application form.

Before you apply, you must already be approved as a STRIVE Member. You will be asked to provide your Member ID when applying. If you are not already a Member, applying is quick and easy. This requirement helps us ensure that the Flex Trainee Programme is open only to truly socially mobile candidates.


Law-related qualifications

You must have satisfied one of the below requirements by the date you would start as a Trainee, if successful:

  • Small tick
    Completed a UK Qualifying Law Degree from any university
  • Completed a GDL, or
  • Completed your LPC and willing to switch to the SQE route


Right to work in the UK

You must have the continuous right to work in the UK for 2 years from the date you would start as a Trainee, if successful. For example, if you are applying for April 2024 start, you must have the right to work until April 2026. Flex is unable to sponsor visas at this time.

Your path to success

The Recruitment Process


Application Form

On your application form, you will be asked to share details about your social mobility background, and to upload your CV + cover letter. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.



If shortlisted by Flex Legal, you will have a 40-minute Zoom interview with the Flex Legal Team. They may also ask you to complete a written exercise at this stage.


Assessment Centre

If successful after the interview, you will be invited to attend an assessment centre. These are likely to take place both virtually and in person throughout late 2023 and up until the summer of 2024.



If you pass the assessment centre, Flex Legal will discuss with you the suitable placement opportunities they have for you. Should you also think they are suitable placements, you would then be interviewed by the client(s). If successful at this stage, you are then offered a place on the Flex Trainee Programme.

Apply Today

A unique way

to qualify as a solicitor. Only for socially mobile candidates.
Applications are open now for the 2023 cohorts


Is this a training contract?
No, this is not a traditional training contract or “period of recognised training” under the SRA’s definition.  You will therefore not be eligible for this opportunity if you have completed the LPC and do not intend to switch to the SQE route if successful. Flex is not an authorised training provider under the SRA’s “period of recognised training” requirements.
Will I be able to qualify as a solicitor after the programme?
Yes, as long as you successfully complete the two years of Qualifying Work Experience required under the SQE and pass the SQE2 exam.
Will I have to fund the SQE myself?
No - Flex will cover the full costs of the SQE course with BARBRI and pay for the costs of sitting the SQE assessments.
Can I juggle my SQE studies and working?
You will have a 4.5-day work week, with the remaining half day of the week carved out for you to focus on your studies. From our experience, this allows trainees time to dedicate themselves to both the professional and the academic aspects of the trainee programme.
What's the salary?
London: £30,000
Outside of London (Flex offers many positions across the UK): £25,000
Do you have any minimum A-level requirements?
No – Flex Legal only look for a 2.1 or above at degree or post-graduate levels of education. There are no academic requirements for the qualifications you took at school or college.
Can I choose where I am placed?
If you are successful at the assessment centre stage of the recruitment process, Flex Legal will speak to you about the placement opportunities they have and which clients they think you are well suited to. As part of this discussion, you can explain your preferences and if these align to the opportunities Flex Legal think you are suited to, you will then be interviewed by the client or clients. Therefore, you will only be placed with clients that suit your requirements.
Will I be guaranteed an NQ role?
Just like a traditional private practice training contract, you will be offered an NQ position only if, during your time with the team, you have demonstrated that you are a good fit. However, Flex will give you all the support you need to put your best foot forward during your rotations to maximise your chances of being offered an NQ role whether with the clients you were placed with or with other Flex Legal clients.
I'm not ready to apply yet, can I do in the future?
Yes! This is not a one-off opportunity - Flex Legal are now recruiting for three cohorts across 2024 for the Flex Trainee Programme, and it’s only going growing from here. If you are not ready now, keep checking back as we’re constantly on the lookout for diverse talent.
How far in advance do you recruit?
Unlike private practice law firms which recruit 2-3 years in advance, we only recruit 6-12 months in advance. For example, if you would like to start the trainee programme in October 2024, you would need to submit your application by April 2024.
What is the relationship between Flex and STRIVE? How do these organisations work together?
Flex has partnered with STRIVE to select socially mobile candidates for their programme, with the help of our uniquely developed social mobility algorithm. STRIVE reviews applications and refers candidates to Flex for the rest of its selection process. STRIVE then supports their candidates through Flex’s recruitment process with additional guidance and advice.