STEP – Employer’s Guide

What is STEP?

The Student Trainee Exchange Programme is one of ELSA’s core activities. STEP gives law students the opportunity to gain practical experience in companies, organizations, and other legal bodies across Europe.

Our partnership with ELSA has helped us to engage with exceptional candidates from across Europe and the recent success of the STEP programme is demonstrated through feedback from both the business and the ELSA trainee themselves.

CMS Cameron McKenna London, STEP Employer

What roles are suitable for STEP?

STEP traineeships are similar to domestic internships. Participants are typically assigned roles suitable for their level of education and training, with a view to exposing them to the practical aspects of a legal career in their chosen field.

In preparing to host a STEP trainee, it is useful to examine any internship, traineeship, or other entry level roles within your organization. STEP trainees are typically assigned roles similar to the above.

How does the application process work?

To submit a position to STEP, please complete the Traineeship Specification Form and submit it to the Vice President for STEP for ELSA Ireland (Hugh McIntyre – 2015/2016). Hugh can be reached at

You are requested to detail any requirements you might have for your potential STEP trainee. You may specify legal or language competencies, by way of example.

Once your STEP traineeship has been reviewed and confirmed, we will distribute it to the network by way of the STEP Portal. ELSA members may then submit their applications. ELSA will pre-screen applicants, selecting the most suitable for the role.

ELSA will then forward the most suitable candidates for the position to you for review. You may conduct your own screening at this stage, including interviews with candidates. Upon selection of a suitable candidate, ELSA will assist the STEP trainee in organizing travel and accommodation. We will also provide the candidate with a social programme, and ensure their smooth transition into the role with the host organization.

Am I required to pay ELSA and STEP trainees?

ELSA will provide all recruitment and support services during the STEP process free of charge.

It is expected that employers will provide STEP trainees with reasonable compensation whilst participating in the programme. This is to cover the general cost of living of the STEP trainee during the programme. Whilst many participant organizations provide STEP trainees with a stipend or salary, you may also reimburse ‘in kind’, by providing accommodation and food (by way of example).

How long do STEP traineeships last?

The shortest programmes last two weeks. The longest may last up to two years.

When does the programme take place?

STEP traineeships may take place throughout the year. Applications for the first round of positions are accepted during Q4 of each financial year. Further rounds may take place in Q1 and Q2.

Who has previously participated in STEP?

First round STEP employers for 2015 include:

Council of Europe

Deloitte Consulting

Maynooth University 

Albayrak & Arslan Law Firm

K&P Legal Law Firm

ACTECON Competition & Regulation Consultancy

RD Legal

Clifford Chance Prague LLP, organizační složka


PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal s.r.o

The Supreme Court of the Czech Republic

Faculty of Law, Masaryk University

The League of Human Rights

The Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Wolf Legal Publishers

ELSA typically offers over 200 STEP traineeships per year.

Further questions?

If you have any further questions, or you are interested in participating in the programme, please contact the Vice President for STEP (Hugh McIntyre – 2015/2016) at