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Contract Type
Defence & Security
Central London
Expiry Date
MI5 helps safeguard the United Kingdom against threats to National Security including terrorism, espionage, sabotage, cyber attacks and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Job Description

Over the next 18 months we have a number vacancies coming up within our legal team for qualified lawyers able to deal with complex and challenging legal issues arising out of MI5's work.

This is a unique opportunity to make a real difference to the safety of the country and its citizens, with immediate responsibility coupled with plenty of on-the-job support.

The Role

You will be part of a team that works collaboratively to find practical solutions to complex legal problems and deal with high profile litigation. Due to the importance of the work, you will need to be a quick thinker, show balanced judgement, breadth of perspective and an appreciation of the policy context of the work. You will advise MI5 colleagues in relation to highly sensitive investigative and operational matters and be involved with legal challenges covering the full range of MI5's responsibilities.

Legal work is rarely as varied as this and working in this stimulating environment will test your legal expertise and knowledge to the full.

The Person

You will be a qualified Solicitor or Barrister and be able to demonstrate either post­ qualification experience in at least one of the following areas:


  • National Security Law 
  • Public Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Human Rights Law
  • Immigration Law

or experience of advising clients in relation to complex and challenging legal matters.

Before you apply

Honesty and integrity are crucial if you want to work at MI5. You should read about the vetting process hereand satisfy yourself that you meet the criteria outlined in the vetting pages of the How to Apply section prior to submitting an application.

Giving misleading information or omitting or concealing information during the recruitment and vetting process is viewed very seriously.  You should ensure that you follow our guidance from when you apply.
Recruitment Process

The first thing we will ask you to do is to complete our pre-screening questions to find out if you meet our initial criteria. If you do, we will then invite you to begin an application. The first step will require you to create a login. You can do this by providing your full name, email address and a memorable password. Once you have successfully created a personal account, you will be required to complete a basic application form and equal opportunities monitoring information.

After submitting this form you will be sent an e-mail asking you to take an on-line verbal reasoning test, which forms part of the formal assessment process. On receipt of this invitation e-mail, you will have up to one week to take the test. If you do not complete the test within this timeframe we will assume that you no longer wish to proceed with your application.

This test is designed to assess the key skill of reasoning with verbal information, which is essential for the role with MI5. You will be given 25 minutes to complete the test and you will need to do this in one sitting.

Full instructions will be provided for the test before you sit it. We operate a strict re-testing policy and your skills will be tested again further through the process.

We strongly encourage you to complete some practice questions for the verbal reasoning test.  The practice questions are untimed, are not a compulsory part of the assessment and will not affect the outcome of your application. However they are there to give you a good flavor of the sorts of questions you will be presented with in the actual test itself and therefore very useful preparation for this element of the assessment process. To complete the practice questions for the verbal reasoning test please click on the link below and you will be redirected:

Should you require reasonable adjustments with regard to the online tests due to a disability or learning difficulty, please ensure you contact the recruitment team prior to attempting the tests by following the instructions provided at that stage.

If you pass the test, we will invite you to complete and submit our full application form where you will be asked to explain your motivation for applying to MI5, as well as competency and capability questions to explore your suitability for the role.  You will also be requested to provide a copy of your current CV.

We will complete a CV and application sift to assess how far you meet the job requirements. The next stage of the process will be a telephone interview and assuming you pass this, you will be invited to attend an assessment centre which will include a face to face interview. Successful candidates will then have a security interview with a vetting officer.

Your CV

It is essential that you’re CV covers:

•    The last 10 years of employment and/or education, clearly specifying job and/or course 'from' and 'to' dates in month and year details
•    Clearly demonstrates the key activities and responsibilities you have performed in each role detailed
•    States what academic and professional qualifications you possess
It is essential that your CV includes the above information in order for us to process your application.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

As a Disability Confident employer we offer an interview to all candidates with a disability who meet our minimum criteria for the job vacancy that they are applying for. This is known as the Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS).

Along with the standard eligibility requirements for the post, your application will be assessed on how far you meet the job requirements based on your CV and application form. Your application must score the minimum amount of points set. On successful completion of this stage, you will be invited to interview. This will be a telephone interview and is our guaranteed interview.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply you must be a British citizen (either born here or naturalised) and one of your parents must be a British citizen or have substantial ties to the UK. Due to vetting requirements you also need to be 18 years old or above.

Candidates must normally have been resident in the UK for nine out of the last 10 years. This is particularly important if you were born outside the UK.  We will still consider you if you have, for example served overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of Her Majesty's Government, studied abroad, or lived overseas with your parents.


Owing to the sensitivity of our work, we do not publicly disclose the identities of our staff.  Discretion is vital.  You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or close family member.  You should not post on social media sites about your application or discuss it with anyone else at this stage.  You will receive further guidance during the recruitment process.

You should not launch an application from outside of the UK as it will impact on our ability to progress your application.

All applications will be considered on merit. MI5 is committed to reflecting both equal opportunities and the society we protect.