ELSA Traineeships

A traineeship in your field that accumulates international experience! The ELSA Traineeships application is held twice a year, in fall and spring.

ELSA Traineeships is an international traineeship programme that offers law students and recently graduated lawyers an opportunity to do a traineeship abroad. The purpose of the traineeships is to support judicial training and understanding.

During the traineeship the local ELSA group helps the trainee with all practical matters and introduces them to the local culture. This means that the trainee won’t need to worry alone about finding an apartment, applying for the possible visa or other practical issues. Some ELSA Traineeships are also offered fully digitally which entails the traineeship being conducted remotely and possibly without any need to travel to the traineeship’s destination.

ELSA Traineeships was formely known as STEP (Student Trainee Exchange Programe) and for this reason you may still come across terms like STEP progamme or STEP traineeships in ELSA’s international websites.

Reasons to apply to a ELSA Traineeship

ELSA STEP traineeship meant for me simply my dreams becoming true - I got a trainee position in a dream team of a company I respected. This experience taught me so much about work as a legal counsel in an international tech company, threw at me unbelievable challenges and made me stronger in every possible way. Also, it gave me the chance to experience life in another amazing country and meet people who have now a special place in my heart.

- Getter, STEP-trainee in Finland

Formerly ELSA Traineeships was known as STEP (Student Trainee Exchange Program)

About ELSA Traineeships

ELSA Traineeships range from two weeks to two years, but generally last a couple of months. There are traineeships available for students at all stages of their studies and also to recent graduates. Most of the traineeships are paid, and the salary is often relative to the cost of living. There are plenty of traineeship opportunities across Europe and, for example, in South America. There are a number of placements in various sectors of employment such as courts, international institutions, universities, and law firms. There are approximately 200–300 traineeships per application period, so everyone will find a suitable traineeship to apply to.

Discovering ELSA Traineeships

Traineeships application periods take place twice a year for one month at a time. Traineeships start all year round, and many law students have gained their first work experience e.g. as a summer trainee via ELSA. Traineeships are published in March–April and October–November at the application page.

Check out the traineeships available after they have been published on the application page website. Once published, you can use the search functionality to find the training places that are best for you! You can apply to up to three locations per application period.

Traineeship application process

Applying to ELSA traineeships is easy! You can apply to traineeship if you are a member of ELSA, whether you are a law student or a recent graduate. If you are not yet a member, you can join us now online!

Traineeships are published in due time at traineeships.elsa.org

The Professional Development team at your local group goes through your application. You will be informed when we have forwarded your application for international processing.

Traineeship providers may organise interviews. However, many employers choose not to organise them. 

The applicants will be informed of the results.

Read the instructions for filling out the application form, and if you have any questions, please contact our Professional Development team. The application form contains a prompt to contact your local Professional Development representative before submitting the application; however, if you have discovered the instructions and read them thoroughly, it is not necessary to separately contact us before submitting your application.

For traineeship providers

ELSA’s local groups acquire ELSA Traineeships employers from their area. ELSA Traineeships benefit both the employer and the trainee; ELSA takes care of the traineeship place’s promotion, pre-selection of candiddates and all practical arrangements such as apartment searching, visa applying and even some free time programme planning. The emlpoyer defines the content and the duration of the traineeships and the skills criteria for the trainee. For example the criteria for a traineeship place can be a certain skill level of german or french and broad knowledge of business law or EU law. The trainee will gather during the traineeship international work experience and the possibility to get to know a new business culture.

Local groups search for ELSA Traineeships employers during the whole year – in practice the employers for autumn are searched during the beginning of the year and employers for spring and summer are searched during autumn. The employer decides the length of the traineeships according to their needs. Typically ELSA Traineeships last from 2 to 4 months. The trainees are paid a remuneration covering the general costs of living (this has normally been in Finland around 1000-1500 €/month). The exact amount of remuneration is, however, decided by the employer because they will make a working contract with the trainee without ELSA’s involvement and as such the traineeships programme is quite flexible. More information about ELSA Traineeships you can read from the international website of the programme. If you got interested, don’t hesitate to contact us!


If you have any questions about ELSA Traineeships, please contact the national or local Professional Development representatives (former title STEP representative).

ELSA Finland:

Janita Kärkkäinen

Vice President for Professional Development


ELSA Helsinki:

Sokorey Mohamed

Vice President for Professional Development, ELSA Helsinki


ELSA Joensuu:

Niko Hannolainen


ELSA Rovaniemi:

Ali-Al Maiali

Vice President for Professional Development, ELSA Rovaniemi


ELSA Turku:

Aino Aro

Vice President for Professional Development, ELSA Turku