Instructions for filling out the STEP application form

Make yourself familiar with these instructions before submitting the STEP application form for important information and useful tips.

The Student Trainee Exchange Programme (STEP) is an international internship programme organized by ELSA. STEP offers law students and young lawyers with valuable opportunities to work abroad.

Read more about STEP

This instructions page contains information on how to fill out the STEP application form, step-by-step.

Before filling out the STEP application form

  • Learn about STEP and the application process in general
  • Make sure that you are an ELSA member
  • Browse the available traineeships and choose 1–3 traineeships you prefer most (you have to fulfill the minimum requirements of the traineeships before the traineeship starts)
  • Familiarize yourself with these instructions and contact your local STEP officer if you have any questions or want more information

The application form step-by-step

The application form consists of several parts. Carefully fill out the fields with personal and background information. In addition, please take the following details into consideration at each step.

General Information

Local Group: ELSA Helsinki / ELSA Rovaniemi / ELSA Turku / ELSA Joensuu

National Group: ELSA Finland

STEP traineeships you want to apply for

In order of preference, mark 1–3 traineeships for which you want to apply.

The applicant is simultaneously reviewed for each traineeship he or she has entered. If the applicant is selected for more than one traineeship, he or she can accept one or more traineeships, but at least one must be accepted. The STEP application is therefore binding.

Please note that in general, to be eligible, the applicant must fulfill all language and legal skills requirements. Before sending the application form, make sure you fulfill the minimum requirements of the traineeships you are applying for. Otherwise the application will not be approved.

Educational Background

The applicant should be prepared to deliver a copy of his or her transcript of studies to the local STEP team, as well as certificates of employment or any other material that verifies the competence of the applicant, showing that the applicant meets the traineeship provider’s requirements. The transcript of studies or other possible certificates will not be forwarded to anyone, so only the local STEP team will evaluate the applicant's legal and language skills.

If you have not yet completed a bachelor’s or master's degree when you apply but it is required by the traineeship provider, you can specify that you are on the required study level, if you will have the required degree by the start of the traineeship period.


Use the following guidelines to evaluate your language skills:

  • Fluent: Fluent written and oral language skills
  • Good: Good written and oral language skills
  • Basic: The basics, some studies completed

The language skill level is also defined according to the skill level that the applicant will have at the beginning of the traineeship. It is not possible to mark in the form that you speak a language as your mother tongue. The highest language skill level is “fluent”. You can mention your native language in the application or CV.

Legal Skills

Use the following guidelines to evaluate your legal skills:

  • General: Completed basics studies or other similar studies or other experience
  • Advanced: Completed basics studies and some elective studies, seminars, work experience or some other relevant experience

In addition to the legal performance shown in the transcript of studies, relevant work experience or other related experience (for example summer law schools, seminars etc.) can also be taken into consideration when evaluating the applicant’s legal skills. Legal skills are also marked according to the starting point of the traineeship. If it is unclear what’s your skill level, please contact your local STEP team.

Please note, you can mark only maximum of 9 advanced legal skills to the application form. If you mark more than 9 advanced skills, your local STEP officer will ask you to change some of them to general level before approving the application.

CV & Motivation Letters

A spot for the CV is reserved in the application. Spots for each motivation letter are also reserved for your chosen traineeships in the application, and therefore it is intended for the applicant to write separately the motivation letter for each traineeship.

All information must be written in English, even if the traineeship provider has not required English as a language skill that the applicant should know. Due to information technology reasons, we encourage you to avoid using quotation marks (“”) as well as other special characters and special letters (e.g. é) in this section of the application. Applications may include links for example to LinkedIn.

General Terms of Participation

Read the application terms and conditions properly. Please note that by ticking the box, you are agreeing to accept a traineeship that is offered to you. The application is binding.

Contact us

If you have any questions about STEP, please contact the national or local STEP representatives.

ELSA Finland:

Emma Kuusela-Opas

Vice President for STEP, ELSA Finland


ELSA Helsinki:

Ajdina Zec

Vice President for STEP, ELSA Helsinki


ELSA Joensuu:

Laura Merisaari

President, ELSA Joensuu


ELSA Rovaniemi:

Sofianni Apaja

Vice President for STEP, ELSA Rovaniemi


ELSA Turku:

Otto Ahtola

Vice President for STEP, ELSA Turku