Bird & Bird Bird & Bird

  • International Law Firms
  • London

Training Contract

  • Places: 18

Vacation Scheme

  • Places: 40

Firm stats

  • Total employees: 600




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 1300 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, Retail & Consumer, 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.

Training Contract

Becoming a trainee at Bird & Bird is the first step to fulfilling your potential and sharing 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 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, Finance & Financial Regulation , 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. 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 but at Bird & Bird, we're able to offer the best of both. Our lawyers enjoy the opportunity to work in a fast-moving, challenging and rewarding environment and 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.

We encourage trainees to get involved in corporate responsibility initiatives and 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.

Vacation Scheme

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, North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

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 two vacation schemes each year. The first takes place in Spring, and the second in Summer. Both are two weeks long. There are up to 40 positions available across the two schemes. We pay the London living wage.

In 2020, our two vacation schemes were online experiences due to Covid-19. Each virtual scheme was a week long and carried out using a video conferencing platform. The schemes involved practical skills sessions, insight presentations, and interactive Q&A sessions. Participants were given the opportunity to speak to and network with partners, associates, trainees and the graduate team, and participated in a virtual social event. The vacation scheme still formed part of our recruitment process for a training contract and we held individual interviews throughout the week. Participants also received a task to complete during the scheme.

Vacation Scheme dates:

Spring Vacation Scheme: 12 April – 23 April 2021

Summer Vacation Scheme: 21 June – 2 July 2021

How to apply 

You will need to complete and submit your application form by 13 December 2020 if you are applying for the Spring Vacation Scheme, and by 31 December 2020 if you are applying for the Summer Vacation Scheme or Training Contract.

Early Bird Virtual Workshop 

Our Early Bird Virtual Workshop is a 2 day experience for those in the early stages of their career who aren’t yet eligible to apply for a vacation scheme or training contract. It’s an opportunity to explore your interest in the legal industry and kick-start your career. You’ll have access to our Partners, Associates, Trainees and Business Services teams, as well as hearing from our Graduate Recruitment team.

Workshop dates:

13 January – 14 January 2021

How to apply

You will need to complete and submit your application form by 15 November 2020. 

Bursary Scheme

In 2009, we launched our Bursary Scheme. It seeks to address the financial hurdle that often deters bright people from socially deprived areas of the country from attending University.

Our Bursary Scheme offers:

- An award paid in instalments over your three years at University to help with living expenses or other expenses incurred whilst studying.

- A mentoring scheme with our current trainee solicitors to give support and career guidance during your studies.

- Three workshops a year throughout your University course

- A week's work experience during your first year of University

How to apply

Please review our Bursary? Rules ?to confirm that you meet our criteria to apply for a place on the Bursary Programme. You must be in your final year at school or college and have an offer to study law at University.

Please send your CV and academic reference together with thecompleted application? form? to the Corporate Responsibility team. Please keep an eye on our website and social media to see when applications open.

Salary & Benefits

1st year trainee salary: £40,000

2nd year trainee salary: £44,000


  • 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 
  • Two days paid volunteering opportunities


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.

It is 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. Whilst 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. 


The Times Best Law Firms 2020:

Commended in:

Commercial Dispute Resolution


Entertainment & Sport

Intellectual Property 

Technology, Media & Telecoms

-UK Diversity Legal Awards 2019: Outstanding Multi-cultural / BAME Employee Network Award Training & Recruitment Awards 2019: Best Trainer - Large City Firm

- Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Awards 2019: Most Admired Firm

AllAboutLaw Awards 2018

Runner Up -  The Diversity & Inclusion Award


Training Contract deadline: Opens on 3rd September

Vacation Schemes: Opens on 3rd September - deadline Friday 11 December 2020

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