Bird & Bird is an international law firm, with a rare and invaluable grasp of strategic commercial issues. We combine exceptional legal expertise with deep industry knowledge and refreshingly creative thinking, to help our clients achieve their commercial goals. We have over 1200 lawyers across 29 offices globally, as well as close ties with firms in other parts of the world.
At Bird & Bird, the flavour is definitely international - 75% of our major clients will deal with more than one of our 29 offices. Our lawyers know their local legal frameworks in exceptional detail and we work collaboratively across all our offices. It's why we're able to manage complex, cross-border projects and deals seamlessly and successfully, working closely with our clients to deliver high-quality service.
In 1998, we became one of the first law firms to organise itself around key sectors so that we could share our in-depth industry knowledge more effectively across the firm. Today, we're involved in a broad range of sectors, from Aviation and Defence through to Communications and Technology, Energy and Utilities, Food and Beverage, Financial Services, as well as IT, Life Sciences, Media and Sport.
Our professionals don't just understand the law in these sectors; they enjoy learning about the wider context of their clients' businesses so that they can apply their skills to the commercial challenges of some of the world's most exciting companies. We understand the trends that are shaping the markets, and the technological and regulatory issues that are transforming industries.
Becoming a trainee at Bird & Bird is the first step to fulfilling your potential and shaping your long-term career. You'll have real responsibility from day one - working for exciting clients across a range of sectors in a number of practice areas.
Your relationship with the firm starts from the moment we make you an offer. We maintain close links with BPP Law School to ensure that your transition from study to training contract is as smooth as possible. You can expect regular contact, input and tailored seminars from the firm before you even begin your formal career.
During your two-year training contract you will spend six months in four of the following practice areas: Commercial, Employment, Corporate, Banking, Intellectual Property, Tax, Dispute Resolution and Real Estate. We listen to your department preferences and ensure, wherever possible, that you have either an international or client secondment to enrich your learning.
You'll take part in a business-skills development programme that will provide the basic building blocks for your future development within the business of law. Additionally, we encourage trainees to get involved in corporate responsibility initiatives, join our Bird& Bird sports teams and take part in various social events. You'll find we offer an environment in which people genuinely enjoy working together and learning from each other.
It's a rich learning experience, in which you'll be given accountability for important pieces of work and have the opportunity to attend client meetings and court hearings.
Lawyers often feel they have to choose between quality of work or quality of life. At Bird & Bird, we're able to offer the best of both.
On the one hand, our lawyers enjoy the opportunity to work in a fast-moving, challenging and rewarding environment. As a result, we strongly value energy, tenacity and creativity.
At the same time, however, we're proud of our long-standing reputation as a supportive firm. Our structure means that you're given the support to be able to take on greater responsibility at an earlier stage, and to work alongside experts who are renowned in their field. You are never far away from constructive guidance, support and insight.
You'll quickly find that you're part of the active social life of the firm too. Whether you're musical and think you could make a contribution to our band, have a sporting talent and would like to play on one of our sports teams, or you're simply someone who enjoys winding down with your colleagues after a busy week at work, you'll find there's always something going on.
A vacation scheme with Bird & Bird is more than just work experience. It’s an opportunity to discover your potential and kick-start your career in law, taking you straight to the heart of a global law firm.
With access to people across the company including partners and our CEO, you’ll have a chance to live and breathe the brand, experiencing the business from the inside out. You’ll also see first-hand the impact of client relationships and how we work seamlessly between 29 offices across Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.
You’ll be working on client projects from the outset: our vacation schemes are designed to strengthen your knowledge and give you an unfiltered look at the way people work on an international level. At the end of each placement we’ll be recruiting the best performers for our training contracts.
But there’s no work without play which is why you’ll experience the Bird & Bird social life too. Get to know the people who may eventually become your colleagues and immerse yourself in the friendly and vibrant culture that makes Bird & Bird, and our people, so unique.
We hold three vacation schemes each year. One in spring (one week long) and one in summer (each two weeks long). There are 30 positions available across the two schemes. We pay the London living wage.
Vacation Scheme dates:
Spring Vacation Scheme: April 2018
Summer Vacation Scheme: June/July 2018
How to apply
You will need to complete and submit your application form by 28 December 2017.
In 2009, Bird & Bird launched the Bird & Bird Bursary Programme. It seeks to address the financial hurdle that often deters bright people from socially deprived areas of the country from attending University.
The effect of this hurdle is perceived by the firm to be a contributing factor in the under-representation of people from disadvantaged backgrounds within the legal profession; the objective of this scheme is to encourage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter the legal profession. The firm provides a grant on the following basis:
- the Award will be granted at the start of University, typically for a period of up to three years - paid in instalments at the start of each University term for living expenses or other expenses incurred at University. the Award will be granted on the basis the Candidate continues to follow a law or law-related degree course; if the Candidate ceases to follow that degree course, the Award will cease.
In return for the Award, the successful candidates agree to:
- study and complete a law or law-related degree at a recognised UK university; and
- participate in the firm’s mentoring scheme and attend work experience at the end of the second year of attendance at University.
A mentoring system with our current trainees is established to give support and career guidance to the successful Candidates during their studies.
For more information, please visit our website.
Salary & Benefits
1st year trainee salary: £38,000
2nd year trainee salary: £40,000
- 25 days’ paid holiday annually
- 5% pension contribution
- private medical insurance
- permanent health insurance
- life assurance
- interest-free season ticket and computer loans
- corporate rate with Virgin Active and Fitness First
Our lawyers are independent thinkers who are commercially-minded and at the top of their game technically. However, clients also expect us to offer something more: a passion for their particular industry and the technologies that are transforming it.
A first-class or 2:1 degree and excellent A-levels are a must. But it's just as important that you're inquisitive with a curiosity to learn and develop your skills. You'll have a creative approach when responding to challenges; and be a well-rounded team player who can demonstrate that you fit with our open, fast-paced culture.
We'll need to know you're excited by the high-quality work at Bird & Bird and the prospect of learning about our clients' industries. We also want you to have a strong international perspective. While this doesn't necessarily mean that you'll speak a variety of languages or have visited every corner of the globe, you'll take a keen interest in different cultures and understand the importance of multinational co-operation. You'll have an interest in our sector specialisms and a willingness to learn more about them as you progress at the firm, developing a deep understanding of the wider economic and cultural context and using your knowledge to the best possible effect.
AllAboutLaw Awards 2017
Training Contract Score: 83.6%
Finalist - Best Company Culture
Finalist - Best Website
Training Contract deadline: Open now – deadline 30 April 2018
Summer Placement Scheme: Open now – deadline 28 December 2017
Fill in online application form.