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Professional Development

Articled Clerk Training Programme - Cayman Islands

Harneys conducts an articled clerk training programme which is open to those holding either Caymanian status or else a dispensation from the Attorney General.  The aim of the programme is to give each articled clerk the opportunity to develop their legal skills and to produce an attorney fully capable of practising Cayman law having had experience of the key practice areas. Our programme is approved by and operates to the standards set by the Attorney General  and Legal Advisory Council.
Harneys’ comprehensive 18-month articled clerk programme provides continuous practical training and assessment with an end of seat review and the maintenance of a training checklist by the articled clerk. We believe that we provide an ideal environment for the development of articled clerks by placing them with senior attorneys with a high level of expertise in their respective fields. Clerks have an opportunity to work on client matters under the supervision of experienced senior lawyers, and are expected to learn the critical skills required of a successful lawyer, including developing and maintaining client relationships and learning about the expectations and demands of global clients who operate at the highest levels of business, finance and law in all major financial centres, across time zones and cultural backgrounds.  Clerks also participate in in-house training workshops covering areas such as business knowledge, negotiation and presentation skills through which they can refine and develop their professional skills. Accordingly, candidates must be motivated to succeed.

Articled clerk positions typically commence in the fall with an application process taking place in the summer. Please call our Cayman Islands office or email hr@harneys.com for more details.

Professional Development Programme - British Virgin Islands

Harneys Professional Development Programme derives from our philosophy that continued growth and success depend on recruiting the brightest and best young legal talent available, and that a dedicated programme of professional development is the best way to ensure that such talent is developed to its full potential.

The professional development programme recognises that the successful completion of academic training is only the first step in equipping young lawyers to operate at the extremely high level required by leading global businesses. It further recognises that making an informed choice about an area of specialisation is virtually impossible without first having gained some practical experience. The programme is designed to achieve the twin aims of enabling participants to become a commercial lawyer of the highest calibre and enabling them to make choices as to specialisation from a position of practical experience.

The programme has its origins in the training contract system as implemented by English law firms and comprises a 4 or 5 "seat" system to give participants the best possible chance of finding the most appropriate area of the firm in which to pursue their career. During a two-year contract participants rotate through the major departments of the firm. Participants in the programme will usually have 6 month rotations, or seats, in four of the following departments: Corporate and Commercial, Banking and Finance, Investment Funds and Regulatory, Litigation, and Private Client.

Seats in most departments will involve sharing an office with a partner or senior associate and in all cases the head of the department is directly responsible for participants’ development. It is daily exposure to how more experienced lawyers operate that is at the heart of the programme, but participants will also have the opportunity to participate fully in the firm's seminar programme. Workshops are offered which not only address technical legal skills, but also build on commercial awareness, and business, finance and management skills essential to a well-rounded legal career. The aim is constant feedback on performance and progress but a formal appraisal process towards the end of each seat is designed to enable the review of participants’ development and to make any adjustments which may be necessary.

What happens when the programme ends?

During the fourth seat, consultation takes place between the firm and the programme participant to determine whether extension of the contract is available and if so in which department of the firm your future lies. Whilst the preferences of programme participants will form a part of that decision making process the personnel needs of the departments and offices of the firm are of primary relevance. It may be that either the participant or Harneys decide that extension of the contract is not appropriate. There are a number of factors that might contribute to this decision but even if a participant’s career is not to be with us we believe that the programme provides an extremely solid foundation and an experience which will have been rewarding in itself. Part of our commitment to participants is working with them to plan and attain in the next steps in their career. The programme is not a competition between participants for jobs and given our emphasis on teamwork such competition is discouraged.

The Application Process

Initial interviews are conducted in May. You are advised to send your résumé to the Human Resources Director well before this time. Final decisions are usually announced in July, and the programme starts in October. We are looking for intelligent and focussed lawyers. Perhaps the most critical characteristics are a genuine interest in commerce and a recognition that the very best lawyers strive to provide practical solutions. Very good academics are a prerequisite but alone they are not sufficient; we need evidence of an ability to take responsibility and lead (be it at school or elsewhere). We also look extremely carefully at all work experience; the ability to deal with people is as important as mental agility. Anything which demonstrates communication and public speaking skills, leadership qualities, commercial awareness and the ability to persuade is relevant.

Preparing for the interview

You may be tempted to see the interview as a one way process, simply a question of persuading us to take you on, but we do not see it that way. The interview is as much an opportunity for you to discover whether we are the right career choice for you as anything else. For that reason as much as any other there is no excuse for not coming to the interview prepared. Information about the firm and its practice is available from many sources including the internet and a candidate who has not done his or her homework is unlikely to have convincing reasons for applying to us.

Programmes for Students - British Virgin Islands


The following programmes for students at various stages of their academic careers are available in the firm's British Virgin Islands office. For more information or to apply please contact our Human Resources Department at hr@harneys.com. Interested candidates should submit a full resume with a covering letter no later than 30 March.

Legal Internships for College Students

Harneys offers summer internship placements to students in the first and second year of their legal studies from July to August. The summer programme lasts for 4 weeks, and is an excellent way to learn about the firm and our various practice areas. Any student who thrives in the internship is also likely to do well in the firm’s Professional Development Programme.

Non-Legal Internships for College Students

A summer internship is a great opportunity to gain insight into any of our various professional and support careers. Placements last for 4 weeks between June and August.

Secondary School Job Training

For many years, Harneys has been a proud supporter of the BVI Government’s On-the-job-Training Programme which facilitates the placement of secondary school students with local businesses for an on-the-job training experience. This structured programme provides students with an opportunity to gain practical experience and work-based training. The programme takes place from July to August.