Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

  • City Law Firms
  • Manchester, London

Training Contract

  • Places: 35

Vacation Scheme

  • Places: Approx 30

Firm stats

  • Total employees: 1,600




We are Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. If you're looking for the most invigorating and inspiring start to your career in law, there's no other firm quite like us.  

BCLP is where 1,400 talented lawyers in 31 offices around the globe come together to provide clear, connected legal advice to high profile clients in every time zone. Unlike many other global law firms, we are truly one firm with one profit pool, rather than a Swiss Verein.

It's where cutting-edge technology meets true thought leadership and where everyone from the newest trainee to the most senior partner contributes to a culture that's friendly, supportive and hugely rewarding. 

If you share our progressive attitude and fresh-thinking approach, BCLP is where your ambition meets the future of law. 

There's any number of reasons to choose BCLP. And you'll discover many more over the following pages. But wherever you join us, you'll also find that:

We give you exposure to high-profile clients

We work with household names like Deliveroo, Nike, Goldman Sachs, Heathrow, EDF, BT, Deutsche Bank, Tesco and eBay. And you will too. In some cases, you might even have the chance to spend time with them on a client secondment. 

We're big on technology and innovation

We were the first major law firm to use AI, and we’ve won the Legal Week AI Innovation Award two years running. We were also the first firm to use Predictive Coding (a form of machine learning) in a case that went to trial in the High Court. Our commitment to technology also allows our lawyers to focus on exciting work rather than being bogged down in document reviews.

We team our trainees up with partners

Every new trainee is allocated a partner mentor to help them find their feet and offer support and guidance throughout their training contract.   

We have an outstanding reputation 

Our Real Estate Finance team, for instance, is ranked Tier 1 by both Legal 500 and Chambers. And the firm as a whole has earned a top 20 spot in The Lawyer UK 200 rankings.

We provide an open platform for growth 

It's something everyone at BCLP benefits from. But when you're just starting out, we work particularly hard to strike the perfect balance between real responsibility and the support you need to develop and grow. 

We offer a tremendous variety of work 

The breadth of clients we work with and the range of projects we undertake present countless challenges, countless opportunities and countless industries to immerse yourself in. 

  • Named 'Private Client Team of the Year 2019' at the Legal Business Awards

  • 4X Winners for Legal Innovation – 'Leader in Law Firm Innovation' (, 2018), '#1 Most Innovative Law Firm' (Legal Business, 2017), ‘World's Most Innovative Law Firm’ (ILTA, 2014) ‘World's Most Innovative Law Firm’ (ILTA, 2011)

  • 40% of the Fortune 500 rely on us to support their business goals and protect their interests

  • Named 'Energy and Infrastructure Team of the Year 2019' at the Legal Business Awards

  • We represent 30 of the top 50 banks in the world

We have advised on $75 billion worth of real estate projects in the past two years

Training Contract

At BCLP we are fully committed to providing continual, high-quality training and support to our trainee cohort. We offer four seat rotations of 6 months, with flexible seat choices across all core departments and a wide range of practice areas in the business. Each trainee receives regular 1:1 support from the Graduate Recruitment team and the Training Principal, a Partner mentor to provide wider career guidance and a designated supervisor within each department. 

Trainees have access to individual coaching and training from the Learning & Development team, as well as quarterly ‘Lunch and Learn’ updates. We aim to continuously improve our trainee experience and accordingly run a Trainee Discussion Forum with representatives from each trainee intake to facilitate active information sharing between management and trainees. We also have an active Trainee Social Committee to organise regular opportunities for trainees to get together outside of the office.

When and how to apply

The firm is aiming to recruit approximately 40 trainees in the UK and Asia to commence their training contracts in 2022 and 2023. 

Applicants can apply through our online application form, which can be found on our website alongside full eligibility information and details of each stage of the recruitment process. 

Vacation Scheme

There is no better way to experience Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner than to join us on one of our vacation schemes. We run two summer vacation schemes in London which are two weeks in length, we typically take 15 students per scheme. In our Hong Kong office, we run two-month-long internships each year and typically take 5-8 students per scheme. 

Our two-week London Vacation Schemes give you the chance to gain some first-hand experience of life at BCLP and the work we do. You'll be very much part of the team, doing live work, and getting involved in everything from research and client meetings to court runs and presentations. (Recent topics have included advising a charity on how they could help prevent the use of the death penalty in Sri Lanka, and delivering a mock M&A pitch to a client.) You'll also get to attend a series of partner-led talks and workshops which we try to keep very interactive throughout. 

It is very much the same in Hong Kong and we want you to learn about the firm as well as the culture that we pride ourselves on. There will be client meetings and talks lead by Partners where you can learn about the different practice areas and ask them questions. We also ask our Hong Kong interns to present at the monthly ‘In the Know’ sessions where BCLP trainees and associates usually give presentations on hot topics relevant to their departments and the legal sector as a whole.

For all of our vacation schemes you are allocated buddies from your department,  you will have exposure with trainees, senior associates and partners who will be on hand to answer any questions that you have. 

It isn’t just all work and no play, our schemes have a real social element so that you can network with fee earners from across the business. We have speed networking lunches, external evening events, CSR days and in Hong Kong, you might even be treated to Yoga on a Friday with happy hour drinks and ping pong tournaments. 

Scheme dates, eligibility, application questions and hints and tips for the assessment centre can all be found on our graduate recruitment website. 



Legal Apprenticeships

Joining Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner as a Legal Apprentice could be your first step in the beginning of a rewarding legal career with us. Partnering with BPP University who will deliver the Paralegal Apprenticeship, you will combine working in our successful Manchester office as part of one of our legal teams alongside studying for nationally recognised qualifications. Our rotation based programme provides the opportunity to work across a number of our departments and with colleagues across the firm.

We are recruiting a number of apprentices to join our firm this September 2020 and are looking for ambitious and motivated individuals who are passionate about starting their career in law. These are great opportunities and should you choose to continue studying after completing the Paralegal Apprenticeship, there will be opportunities to move onto the Solicitor Apprenticeship.

So what are the benefits of joining?

•Gain excellent legal skills without the expense of years of studying and earn a top market salary at the same time

•One day off every week on a consistent basis for you to focus on your studies and off-the-job learning

•Excellent networking opportunities eg. speaking at Westminster or presenting to local schools

•The opportunity to gain relevant apprenticeship and other qualifications

•For those apprentices who show great potential, the opportunity to ultimately qualify as a solicitor

You can download our apprenticeship brochure to discover more about this route to qualification: 

The deadline to apply is 31 March 2020, all applications must be made online: 

Salary & Benefits

We fund the GDL and LPC courses, and also offer a maintenance grant of £7,200 annually.

Trainee solicitors are paid a competitive salary which is reviewed annually, please see individual job postings for salary information (which differs for each office).  

Other benefits include flexible bonus schemes, contributory pension scheme, discounted club and restaurant rates, health checks, season ticket loan, concierge services, insurance and employee assistance programme.


We are looking for 32 trainees in the London office and we typically take 2-3 trainees per year in Manchester and Hong Kong.  

We seek applicants with an ABB at A Level or higher and those that are on track or have achieved a 2.1 or higher. That said, we take mitigating circumstances into account and every applicant is screened without there being minimum academic criteria. 

There is no typical BCLP trainee. Our trainees come from a variety of degree disciplines and backgrounds. 


Our website has a full list of deadlines, eligibility criteria, frequently asked questions, videos and hints and tips on the assessment centre process. This is also where all applicants can make an application for any of our live opportunities. 

Recruiting? We can help