Working at Government Legal Department |

Government Legal Department Overview

London, England
1001 to 5000 employees
Unknown / Non-Applicable per year
This is law like nowhere else, at a time like never before.

For lawyers in Government, the scale, reach and complexity of our work are unparalleled. Ultimately, we don’t just interpret the law, we make it, re-imagine it and pilot it through areas ... Read more

Mission: Our Vision is to be an outstanding legal organisation, committed to the highest standards of service and professionalism. A brilliant place to work, where we can all thrive and fulfil our potential.

Company Updates

  • April is #StressAwarenessMonth and this is a great opportunity to take a moment to think about your wellbeing and get advice on managing stress.

  • The #CoronavirusBillUK has received Royal Assent and is now an Act and therefore law, having successfully passed through both Houses of Parliament. Department for Health and Social Care Legal Advisers led the legal work and co-ordinated the other lawyers involved across Whitehall. The Department for Health and Social Care Legal Advisers’ Director is Mel Nebhrajani, who has worked for GLD for 20 Years and leads a team of over 80 people.

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Government Legal Department – Why Work With Us?

This is an opportunity to do something different and give something back.

We offer unique and high-profile work, helping the government to govern well, within the rule of law.

We are a non-ministerial government department with more than 2,600 employees, around 1,800 of whom are solicitors or barristers. The department is based primarily in London, but has teams in other locations including Bristol, Manchester, and Leeds. 

We are the largest provider of legal services across government, working with all the main Whitehall Departments. From roads to rivers, and health to human rights, our work touches on most aspects of public life.

Our lawyers provide legal advice on the development, design and implementation of government policies and decisions, draft secondary legislation and work with Parliamentary Counsel on primary legislation.

We also have a range of other professions that that are essential to GLD achieving its vision to be an outstanding legal organisation. These include HR, finance, IT, operations, communications and business management.

GLD has 14 client-facing advisory teams, along with cross-cutting expert service groups for Litigation, Employment and Commercial Law.

The actions and decisions of government are under increasing scrutiny and challenge. Military action overseas, Brexit, immigration policy, welfare reform, climate change and energy policy are just a few of the issues that generate legal challenges that can hit the headlines. GLD litigation lawyers conduct a wide range of often high profile cases, frequently involving questions of constitutional importance

Government departments need to draw on the skills of advisory lawyers to bring to life policies for which Ministers are accountable to Parliament and the electorate. The legal issues are often complex, novel and politically sensitive. The legal approach may be scrutinised by Parliament, the media, courts and other institutions.

Commercial lawyers provide non-contentious commercial legal services to a number of Whitehall departments, through our commercial transactional and ligation and dispute resolution teams.

Our employment lawyers act as a shared service centre for advice and litigation across almost all government departments, covering the full spectrum of employment work. This ranges from day to day support for HR colleagues, through to advice on large-scale employment policies affecting every civil servant.

We are living in unpredictable times and GLD lawyers deal with arising issues on a daily basis.

The work of GLD lawyers is incredibly varied, offering the opportunity to work on high profile cases that make newspaper headlines every day. From advising ministers to drafting legislation, this type of work is simply not available in the private sector. Government lawyers have to consider wider interests when creating law, taking into account larger political and reputational issues in a way that assures the long-term future of the United Kingdom.

GLD lawyers are involved in around 1/3 of all UK Supreme Court cases, including; litigating at the CJEU; return of art stolen in the Nazi era; national security & counter-terrorism; benefits & pensions; railways; legislating against voyeurism; plastic waste; state aids.

GLD lawyers obtain a broad range of legal skills, through our CPD-accredited legal training and supportive environment. Our employees often rise to challenges and work collaboratively on cross-cutting cases, creating an enthused and motivated workplace.

We are an employer that promotes equality and aims to reflect the diversity of the society in which we live.

GLD supports the Civil Service vision of being recognised as the UK’s most inclusive employer, by setting stretching diversity and equality objectives for our organisation. 

At the heart of making GLD a brilliant place to work, where we can all thrive, is ensuring that we can work in a safe, supportive and inclusive environment where everyone’s talent and contribution is recognised and rewarded and we all have a meaningful voice on matters that affect us. There are now ten vibrant and engaged diversity networks in GLD, where our people share experiences and support GLD to build a strong culture of collaboration, inclusion and improvement.

Through our work, we are proud to have been recognised by Stonewall, the Social Mobility Index and Business in the Community as a Best Employer for Race Equality, as well as winning a Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Award.

Qualified Lawyers - Westminster, London

Are you a qualified lawyer? Do you want to be involved in law like nowhere else? To deliver unique and high-profile work? 

If the answer is yes, the GLD has an opportunity like no other. To join a truly diverse environment in every sense of the word and be involved in career defining, public serving, nation changing work. Visit our recruitment microsite and apply today. 

To find out more about this great opportunity, please visit

Government Legal Department Reviews

  • Featured Review

    "Great place to work"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lawyer
    Current Employee - Lawyer
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Government Legal Department full-time (More than a year)


    The opportunity to be involved in advising Government on a range of legal matters that make news headlines, particularly Brexit-related work – you simply don’t get to work on these areas of law in the private sector.

    There are also a range of family-friendly policies that support a positive work/life balance for all colleagues, along with generous leave allowance.

    Staff and line managers are really supportive, creating an inclusive and collaborative working environment.

    Professional development and progression within the organisation is actively encouraged – several recruitment exercises are held on an annual basis providing both promotion and development opportunities.


    Although the public sector may not be able to rival the pay of City law firms, other benefits (including significant employer pension contributions) do alleviate this somewhat.

See All 55 Reviews

Government Legal Department Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Featured Interview

    Helpful (2)  

    Grade 7 Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview


    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Government Legal Department (London, England) in January 2019.


    Process was efficient and i felt like they cared about me as a candidate. Application required a personal statement and CV tailored to criteria listed on the job advert. Make sure you read about success profiles as this has replaced 'competencies' which the civil service has used until now.

    The interview was a 3 person panel. The woman who chaired it was from HR and very friendly and professional, made me feel at ease. Questions were diverse - some you could prepare for and others designed to test your thinking on the spot. At the end the panel told me about their careers and experiences at GLD which was nice. The interview seemed to go very quickly.

    I received an offer the following week.

    Interview Questions

    • Make sure you really want to work for Government as you may be asked about this   Answer Question
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Government Legal Department Awards & Accolades

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