Who can participate in the programme?


Law students, graduates and young lawyers, who are current ELSA members.

Where do the traineeships take place?

The traineeships take place in any law-related area, e. g., in law firms, in-house legal departments, courts, governmental, nongovernmental and international organizations. The geographical scale is not limited only to European countries; occasionally traineeships are offered in other parts of the world (e.g., USA, Pakistan, India, Dominican Republic, Morocco).

When do the traineeships take place?


The traineeships can take place during the whole year. Traineeships last from two weeks up to two years. Average length of a traineeship is four weeks. Most of them take place during summer holidays.

What are the advantages of going on a traineeship abroad?

1. You will gain practical experience in a legal field of your choice, get to know how law is applied abroad, you can compare the legal system of the country of your origin and foreign legal systems.
2. Another advantage is the achievement of invaluable experience and new contacts in the legal environment as well as new friendships. Moreover, you get to know different cultures. In the end you will simply bring home many unforgettable memories.
3. To all of this ELSA International adds the Certificate of participation in our programme.

How can I apply for STEP?

1. Contact your local ELSA group and STEP officer in particular to check/obtain your ELSA membership status and get more information about STEP.
2. Choose up to 3 traineeships from the list and fill in the online application form on the STEP Portal step.elsa.org;
3. Ask for a meeting with the local STEP officer to proceed with the verification of the the data contained in the application before the application deadline. After verified and approved by the local STEP officer this form goes via ELSA International to the STEP employer who makes the final selection.

How much does it cost to apply for the programme?

Participation in STEP is free of charge, you do not pay any arrangement fees to ELSA International. However, if your Local or National Group has a membership fee, there might be a STEP fee as well.

Are the traineeships paid?


Details about the salary are specified for each traineeship individually. There are both paid and unpaid traineeships. If the traineeship is unpaid, accommodation and/or food are usually provided.

How is the local ELSA Group involved?

The local group:
1. Stays in contact with the employers for you at all times.
2. Supports you with finding accommodation, obtaining visa, buying mobile phone sim cards etc.
3. Organises social events and meetings with local students, so you can see the respective country through the eyes of a local.

How do I find out that I am selected for the traineeship?


In case you are selected, you will be informed via e-mail. You will be asked to fill in the Traineeship Confirmation Form, where you provide binding confirmation of your participation in the traineeship. After that your hosting ELSA group will prepare you properly for you arrival.

Can I cancel my application?

During the application process you can cancel your application by informing ELSA – without stating a reason.
After the deadline for the application has expired you can decline the traineeship only because of valid reasons which are stated in the general terms of participation. These you can find at the end of the online application form. Your reasons must be supported by relevant documents (e.g., medical report).

What happens if I don’t want to do the traineeship I have been selected for?

First of all, do not apply if you are not sure you will be able to attend the traineeship once you are selected! After the deadline has passed you can cancel the traineeship only with valid reasons, you did not know about before the deadline. In the case you cancel the traineeship for any other reason, you will have to cover all caused damages.

When are the new STEP traineeships usually published?


STEP traineeships are published twice per year, usually in November/December and April/May.

Can I apply for more than one traineeship at the same time?


You can apply for up to three traineeships at the same time. In the application from you should list these in accordance to your preferences.

Shall I attach certificates and diplomas to my application?


You should just send additional documents to the application form (e.g. certificates, diplomas, letters of recommendation) if such are required by the employer in the traineeship description. Otherwise, none of these documents is needed and therefore will not be forwarded to the employer.

What classifies as ‘advanced’ under legal skills (and similarly, what would ‘general’ be)?

Please, note the following transcription of the legal skills:
N – None (the applicant has no/very limited knowledge of this legal subject.)
G – General (the applicant has completed an introductory course in the subject and has a general overview of the topics. He/she has knowledge in this field and is familiar with the topic).
A – Advanced (the applicant has a deeper knowledge in this topic, meaning that he/she has studied it for a longer period and done some extra activities on this subject, for example participated in some seminars or written his/her thesis on this topic. In addition, a student can have attended internships, essay competitions, moot courts or done some published research on the legal topic. Please, keep in mind that it is not possible to be advanced in every single legal subject and the fact that if you have succeeded in some legal topics with the highest grades in the respective country does not make it advanced. Also, the employer will not judge an application reliable, if a student claims to be advanced in every single legal subject).

What supporting documentation do I need to supply ELSA with?


You should be able to provide the documents you based the information in the application on (diplomas, certifications, honours) to your local STEP Officer upon their request. Any additional documentation should only be provided if it is directly required by the employer in the traineeship description.

Will there be interviews?


In some cases an interview may be arranged by the employer. You will be informed about this beforehand via email or telephone.

How do I submit my application?


You will send your application via an Online Form. This you can find by clicking on Traineeships at this portal and then either select a specific country or choose All Traineeships. There you will find the button APPLY ONLINE on the left side of the page.

The dates for the traineeship do not suit me entirely, am I able to negotiate on this issue if selected?


The dates of the traineeship are only subject to negotiation if this is stated in the traineeship description. Otherwise you shall not apply if the offered dates don’t suit you.

What basis should I decide my traineeship preferences on: what I am most qualified for or which I like the most?


You should take both factors in consideration whilst identifying the order of your preferences.

Who selects the trainees?

The employer select the trainees. ELSA officers are not involved in the decision making process.