The European Law Students' Association (ELSA) is the world's largest network of law students and young lawyers. ELSA is present in 44 countries in Europe with over 400 local chapters and nearly 70,000 individual members.


ELSA is politically impartial and independent. Through its activities, ELSA promotes inclusive legal education and social responsibility of the next generation of legal professionals globally in the spirit of mutual respect and cultural awareness.


ELSA Traineeships is ELSA's oldest Flagship Project. ELSA Traineeships provide law students and young lawyers with legal work experience. These opportunities are offered by Traineeship Providers active in different jurisdictions and legal sectors.


ELSA Traineeships is administered by ELSA which includes:


• Receiving and verifying all Traineeship Specification Forms submitted by Traineeship Providers;

• Promoting the Traineeship vacancies twice a year;

• Verifying all Application Forms submitted by applicants;

• Communicating directly with Traineeship Providers and applicants;

• Facilitating the initial contact between Traineeship Providers and applicants;

• Assisting the Trainees before and during the Traineeship.


* The final choice of Trainee candidates is always made by Traineeship Providers.


ELSA supervises the proper execution of ELSA Traineeships.


Trainees are supported before and during the Traineeship vacancy. Each Trainee is assigned to a hosting ELSA Group that is in charge of proper reception of the Trainee before and during the vacancy.


ELSA Traineeships are offered in different jurisdictions around the world.


ELSA Traineeships provide a cross-cutting picture of the true diversity of the legal profession. ELSA Traineeships may be offered at any organisation active in the legal sector, e.g. law firms, non-governmental organisations, intergovernmental organisations, legal clinics, courts, consultancy firms, publishing houses, research institutes, law faculties...


In the autumn application cycle of 2019, ELSA provided over 250 STEP Traineeship vacancies at over 170 Traineeship Providers operating in 33 different countries in and outside of Europe.



Trainees are adopted in the work environment as the Traineeship Provider's team members.


The tasks of each Traineeship may vary. They are decided by each Traineeship Provider respectively. Traineeship Providers may seek Trainees for general supportive tasks or specific projects requiring specific skills.


The details of and requirements for each Traineeship vacancy are explained in the publication of the vacancy during the application period on the ELSA Traineeships website.


Providing Traineeships through ELSA is free. The only requirement is that the Traineeship Provider must provide sufficient remuneration for the Trainees for their work.


ELSA members may apply for free for ELSA Traineeships.


External Applicants, i.e. individuals based in a country where no ELSA Group exists, may apply for STEP Traineeships against the payment of a €25 fee to ELSA International via PayPal.


There are two application periods per year in the spring and the autumn, respectively.


The start dates and duration of ELSA Traineeships varies dependent on each Traineeship Provider. These details are explained for each STEP Traineeship in the publication of the vacancy during the application period.


Can I apply despite the coronavirus?

During the 2021 application period for ELSA Traineeships, ELSA offers both "normal" on-site Traineeship vacancies, which require physical presence throughout the Traineeship period, and online Traineeship vacancies, which are done remotely from the Trainee's home office.


The start dates of on-site Traineeships are often negotiable directly between the Trainee candidates and the Traineeship Providers.

This way, the start of the on-site Traineeships requiring physical attendance in the given location can be adjusted to the prevailing circumstances rather flexibly.


Additionally, certain on-site Traineeships are offered flexibly online.

This means that the final decision whether a Traineeship is conducted on-site or online is negotiated directly between the Trainee candidates and the Traineeship Providers.

This way, the execution method of the Traineeship can be adjusted to the prevailing circumstances rather flexibly.


ELSA does not promote or encourage defying restrictions on international travel and social distancing.