Clifford Chance pioneer future trainee development with LIFT programme

Clifford Chance is pioneering an innovative programme called LIFT (Learning Internships for Future Trainees) that provides future trainees with personal and professional development in areas such as technology, marketing and business operations. By going further to invest in their future talent, Clifford Chance is revolutionising legal training. 

  • Last updated Nov 26, 2020 4:19:49 PM
  • By Raphael Jucobin
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Clifford Chance is pioneering an innovative programme called LIFT (Learning Internships for Future Trainees) that provides future trainees with personal and professional development in areas such as technology, marketing and business operations. By going further to invest in their future talent, Clifford Chance is revolutionising legal training. 

The end result? Clifford Chance trainees arrive into the legal profession as a more well-rounded professional with experience of the business environment. 

What does LIFT consist of?

LIFT allows future Clifford Chance trainees to develop all-important core business skills needed for a long and successful career in the law. Through this award-winning scheme, future Clifford Chance trainees are given the opportunity to gain paid work experience with a partner organisation, allowing them to experience other businesses, industries and working environments throughout eight weeks in the summer. 

This opportunity is the only one of its kind for future trainee solicitors and shows the commitment and investment that Clifford Chance are prepared to make in their future talent. This ensures that trainees enter the legal profession with an awareness and knowledge that goes beyond the traditional vacation scheme and knowledge gained from textbooks.

What are the benefits of the programme?

Future trainees have the opportunity to take the lead on projects that involve high-quality work – no photocopying, no tea-making. Alongside this exposure, there is the opportunity to gain qualifications and certifications. For instance, Saif Jalali, who took part in the LIFT scheme recently with Cloudreach, a cloud computing consultancy, is now an AWS Certified Cloud Solutions Manager. Saif undertook a range of projects whilst at Cloudreach including legal matters such as due diligence but also non-legal work including software implementation. 

Wanipa Ndhlovu is “involved in a lot of the decision making” at their LIFT internship at Crafty Counsel, a start-up that creates commercial awareness content for lawyers and students alike. “I feel really valued and can see that it’s benefitting me as well... it gives me confidence that when I start my training contract I’m not going to be at any disadvantage because maybe I haven’t come from the wealthiest background.” 

Tehzeeb Bukhari spent four weeks at insurance firm Euclid Transactional, who primarily deal with insurance products, working specifically in mergers and acquisitions. Tehzeeb feels that Clifford Chance has helped them “step out of my shell” showing that the firm “are not just invested in you from a professional perspective, but also from a personal perspective”.

A unique opportunity that’s here to stay 

Clifford Chance UK Managing Partner Michael Bates has highlighted the importance of LIFT, identifying the programme as “best way to ensure we have the best team in place to thrive as the way we and our clients work continues to change in the years ahead.” 

With 100% of LIFT interns recommending their peers take part in the programme, and 100% of partner employers wishing to continue to offer internships to future Clifford Chance trainees, it’s clear that LIFT has carved out a unique opportunity for future trainee solicitors to gain invaluable experience. 

If you want to know more about LIFT, you can catch-up with Clifford Chance's autumn 2020 events here.

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