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About us

Austin & Carnley Solicitors is one of the oldest established firms in Bedfordshire, with our outstanding reputation going back to 1884. 

We have expanded and evolved consistently, and are now one of the leading local firms, specialising in both Commercial and Private client work, including Conveyancing, Estate Management, Employment Law, Commercial Property, Dispute Resolution, Family Law and Private Criminal Defence. 

Our highly experienced legal team have a wide variety of different backgrounds, from partners who started as trainees with us, to those who have worked for big city firms internationally. 

  • Austin & Carnley Solicitors only take on 2 trainees per year, so we can really focus on giving you the best experience. 

  • You will be mentored 1-to-1 by a senior partner throughout your training. 

  • You have almost total autonomy over your training seats.

  • You will receive regular feedback and training sessions, including personal and career development sessions. 

  • There is a real opportunity for rapid career development post-qualification. 

  • We offer conditional study grants for the Legal Practice Course.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for hardworking, client-care focused individuals, who are really looking to make the most of their potential. 

In particular, we look for:

  • An undergraduate degree of a 2:1 or above, ideally in Law;

  • A secured place on an Legal Practice Course (and a GDL course if needed);

  • Self-motivated, ambitious individuals looking to develop a career beyond qualification;

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with considerable experience in customer service and client care;

  • A demonstrated interest in law, and in the local community. 

Why train at Austin & Carnley?


We offer 2 training contracts per year with 4 seats over 2 years.

Our aim is to provide you with hands-on client experience across the firm, so that you can really understand which department you are best suited to. You will be allocated a supervisor in each department, either a partner or senior solicitor, and a senior partner will mentor you throughout.

The current training seats we offer are:

  • Residential Conveyancing

  • Commercial Property

  • Family Law

  • Employment Law

  • Private Criminal Defence

  • Civil Litigation

  • Private Client 

We do also offer conditional study grants for the Legal Practice Course. 

What our current trainees  say

Sarah Baldwin

The best thing about Austin & Carnley is how approachable everyone is. Whether a partner, consultant, solicitor or secretary, if you have a question, need some help, or even just have a bad day, you can email, call or knock on their door, and no one will ever turn you away. 

You are given a great balance of responsibility and support from the firm, and really get to experience what life will be like post-qualification from the first day. 

Chris Heale

Being a trainee solicitor at Austin & Carnley is an all-round great experience.


As a smaller law firm, you benefit from a personal training experience with your supervisors. Another benefit of this is that you gain a ‘hands-on’ experience with work carried out. Having plenty of client-facing interactions, you will quickly see the fruits of your labour.


This forms an experience which balances guidance from experienced professionals with your own responsibilities.


All this is not to mention the incredibly friendly team. You never feel unable to ask questions