The UK Law Societies' Joint Brussels Office has an exciting opportunity for trainee solicitors, newly qualified solicitors, or paralegals to gain international experience on a three-month secondment at its offices.

The Brussels Office of the three Law Societies (England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) acts as the voice of the solicitors’ profession in Europe. Situated in the heart of the EU district, it is well placed to represent the interests and views of the legal profession to key decision makers and legislators.

The team is currently offering trainee solicitors, newly qualified solicitors and paralegals from the UK a unique opportunity to undertake a three-month secondment in the Brussels office commencing in September 2021.

It is also possible to extend the period, with one month completed remotely. The Brussels office recommends that the secondee starts remotely and then completes the further three months in the office. Working arrangements will be subject to Belgian Covid regulations and are monitored closely.

Following the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, there are additional immigration requirements for seconded employees who come to work in Belgium. The Brussels office will assist successful candidates in the application process. For more detailed information, please contact antonella.verde@lawsociety.org.uk.

The role

As a trainee, you will assist the Brussels team in actively monitoring EU legal developments that range from competition law to criminal justice, public procurement to private international law.

Specific tasks will include: preparing and writing the Brussels Agenda, as well as drafting legislative updates highlighting developments in the corporate client and private client areas. You will also attend high-level conferences and meetings online, offering the opportunity to learn about institutional and business stakeholders, including UK Government departments. You will conduct legal research, assist with the production of guidance for Law Society members and make presentations to the Law Society’s EU Committee. You may prepare briefing notes or provide ad hoc assistance for events organised by the Office or any of the UK Law Societies.

In addition, you will learn a lot about the EU institutions and bring that knowledge back to your firm. We also encourage trainees seconded to our office to pursue subjects that are of interest to them and their firm, even if they are not a priority in our own agenda.

What to expect

The Brussels' office trainees’ program has run throughout the pandemic: its trainees have been working remotely from their own homes and this has not hindered their ability to work on EU matters. All team meetings, Committee proceedings, webinars happen now online. Find out from one of its former trainees what it was like to complete the secondment remotely.

Trainees can expect a warm welcome to the team. At the beginning of the secondment, trainees will be introduced by video call (Microsoft Teams) to each member of the team. This also provides an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the work of the office. A ‘typical’ day working starts with a virtual team meeting whereby the team catch up and discuss their tasks for the day.

Trainees can expect to broaden their knowledge and general legal aptitude, as they will be exposed to a diverse and unfamiliar range of legal areas. Some of the skills that trainees can expect to develop are communication, research, analytical and drafting skills.

It is a busy and exciting time for the office and as such there are many projects for trainees to involve themselves. Trainees work alongside policy advisors and are required to assist with a range of different and varied tasks.

The Brussels office is keen to increase its visibility and impact on social media and so social media skills would be an asset. The candidate can expect to have conduct of the social media accounts, posting daily relevant content.

How to apply?

Anybody interested in applying will need to provide a letter from their firm/employer confirming that it will continue to pay their salary during the secondment.

Candidates are invited to send their application, which should be comprised of a CV and covering letter and confirmation from your firm/employer of consent to the secondment to Antonella Verde at antonella.verde@lawsociety.org.uk.

  • The closing date for applications is Wednesday, 21 July.
  • Interviews will take place the week of 26 July either by phone or by Microsoft Teams video.

If you require an information note or would like to discuss the secondment, please contact antonella.verde@lawsociety.org.uk.

Further trainee and law firm testimonials can also be found on the Brussels office's website.

Brussels office

We have had an office in Brussels since January 1993. It is a joint office which is shared with the Law Society of England & Wales and the Law Society of Northern Ireland.