Clifford Chance Clifford Chance

  • City Law Firms
  • London

Training Contract

  • Places: Up to 80

Vacation Scheme

  • Places: Up to 80

Firm stats

  • Total employees: 6,171




Who we are

Clifford Chance is a leading global law firm. With offices spread across five different continents, we provide exceptional commercial law solutions to clients all around the world. And it’s not just the scale of our operation that sets us apart: it’s our people too. We’re committed to bringing together extraordinary, diverse talent and fostering a culture of collaboration to achieve the best results.

What we do

Our clients look for expert advice and solutions across many different commercial issues, which we divide into six key practice areas: Corporate; Finance; Capital Markets; Real Estate; Litigation & Dispute Resolution; and Tax, Pensions & Employment.

A few recent examples of our high-profile work include: when we advised LV= on its joint venture with Allianz in August 2017, creating the UK's third largest personal insurer with other 6 million customers and over £1.7 billion annual income. In July 2017, we worked to advise China's leading artificial intelligence (AI) firm SenseTime Group Inc. on its US $410 million Series B round of investment.

 How you can get involved

To secure a training contract with Clifford Chance or a place on one of our vacation schemes, you’ll need to show a strong and consistent academic track record throughout your degree. This certainly doesn’t have to be in Law, in fact, 50% of our trainees are from non-Law backgrounds.

 There are also ways you can get involved before university. PRIME is an innovative scheme that gives year 12-13 students the chance to spend time at our Canary Wharf headquarters. We also hold immersive, informative Open Days throughout the year.  

Training Contract

The Clifford Chance training contract

On the Clifford Chance training contract, we give talented, committed graduates the skills and experience to develop into exceptional lawyers. Join us and you’ll work on high-profile deals and gain experience right across our different sectors. What’s more, wherever possible, we’ll tailor your training to reflect your interests and ambitions, helping you to develop into the lawyer you want to be.

What you’ll do

Over the course of the 24-month contract, you’ll rotate through our four core areas: Finance, Corporate, Capital Markets and one other of your choice. The fourth rotation might involve working in a different practice, a different team or an international assignment. In each seat, you’ll have in-depth, sector-specific training, which will bring you up-to-date with the latest trends, ideas and innovations in that area. You’ll have the support of our Graduate Development Team and a dedicated supervisor.

The support doesn’t end there. You’ll also have access to not just a Legal Support Manager and a Career Development Partner, but also the award-winning Clifford Chance Academy. This acclaimed centre works to develop innovative learning tools and offers exceptional training courses, led by internal and external experts. The Academy also holds regular talks with clients to give you an idea of the wider industry.

And it’s not just training and development. Like all our world-class lawyers, you’ll receive a host of other exceptional benefits, including a highly competitive salary, free gym membership, dental plan, private healthcare scheme and pension scheme.

What we’re looking for

Our training contract is highly competitive. We’re looking for applicants with a strong and consistent academic background who can demonstrate a real passion for law, irrespective of degree discipline.

Non-Law graduates will need to complete a one-year Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) before starting the new LLM Commercial Legal Practice Course (LLM CLP), which has replaced the Legal Practice Course (LPC). Throughout the GDL and LLM CLP, we’ll pay your fees and give you a significant maintenance grant.  

Applications open: Monday 25th September 2017

Applications close: Tuesday 3rd January 2018

Assessments held: w/c 5th February 2018

Vacation Scheme

The Clifford Chance Summer Vacation Scheme

Our Summer Vacation Scheme gives exceptional penultimate-year students the chance to experience life at Clifford Chance and to interview for a training contract.

On this two-week scheme, you’ll have the chance to gain unparalleled experience of commercial law in two practice areas. Not only will you do real work with experienced lawyers of all levels; you’ll also have the guidance and support of a supervising lawyer and a trainee ‘buddy’. If you’re preparing for a career in law, irrespective of your degree discipline, this could be a step towards securing a training contract with us before you graduate.  

While you’re here, you’ll have full access to our facilities, including our swimming pool, fitness centre and restaurant. Through both your work and a number of bespoke social events, you’ll have ample opportunities to network with a variety of representatives from the Clifford Chance community. You’ll even receive a £450 per week salary for your hard work.

Runs from: Monday 2 July 2018 – Friday 13 July 2018

Applications open: Monday 25th September 2018

Applications close: Tuesday 3rd January 2018

Assessments held: w/c 15th January 2018 

Springboard Scheme

The Clifford Chance Springboard Scheme

The Clifford Chance Springboard Scheme is designed to give an insider’s view into what it’s like to work for a leading global law firm. If you’re an exceptional first year student or second year student set on a career in commercial law, this scheme is the ideal way to learn more and secure your future early.  

On one of our week-long schemes, you’ll gain invaluable insight through shadowing some of our lawyers. You’ll even get to spend a day at one of our European offices to show you how Clifford Chance interacts globally. And it’s not just experience; we’ll also help you to develop your legal knowledge and commercial awareness through a series of case studies and seminars. A trainee ‘buddy’ will help to ensure that you make the most of the opportunity during and after the scheme. What’s more, you’ll be given a £350 salary for your hard work.

At the end of the scheme, the very best candidates will be invited to apply for a Training Contract conversion interview – an industry first.

Scheme 1:

Runs from: 25th June - 29th June 2018

Applications open: Monday 25th September 2017

Applications close: Tuesday 3rd January 2018

Assessments held: w/c 29th January 2018


Scheme 2:

Runs from: 16th July - 20th July 2018

Applications open: Monday 25th September 2017

Applications close: Tuesday 3rd January 2018

Assessments held: Week commencing 29th January 2018

Open Days

Open Days give you the chance to explore our culture first hand. You'll meet some of our exceptional people including our trainees, our lawyers and our partners, as well as the Graduate Recruitment Team who will go through hints and tips on how to produce the very best application.

We'll be holding six Open Days at our Canary Wharf headquarters. There are up to 45 places available on each and, if you get a place, we'll contribute towards your travel expenses.

Please note that due to exceptionally high application numbers, if you apply for an Open Day and are unsuccessful you will not be able to make an application for another Open Day in the same academic year. You can, of course, apply for any other position, scheme or programme.

Selection process: Online application form followed by a video interview. 

2017/18 Open Days

Applications for all Open Days open: Monday 25th September 2017

10th October

Applications close: Approximately 2 weeks before each Open Day

17th October

Applications close: Approximately 2 weeks before each Open Day

26th October

Applications close: 12th October

7th November

Applications close:  24th October

22nd November

Applications close: 8th November

 6th December

Applications close: 30th November



Clifford Chance is proud to be a founding member of PRIME. Through PRIME, we’re committed to ensuring that anyone who wants to enter the world of law has an equal chance to do so, regardless of their background. For many years, obtaining work experience in the legal sector depended largely on who you know rather than what you know. PRIME members have made a commitment to change this by providing fair access to work experience schemes.

Our PRIME placement is an introduction to a career in law and is open to students from state schools who have the academic potential to be a successful lawyer, but may not necessarily have opportunities to access the legal profession.  

You'll spend four days at our Canary Wharf headquarters, where you'll meet and interact with professionals from every level of our business – from trainees and recently qualified associates to partners and recruitment specialists.

This varied and carefully structured programme is designed to help participants understand what a career in law involves and what it can offer. It's an exceptional opportunity to learn about the industry from one of its best-known firms, and we want to hear from people who'll seize it with both hands.

In your time with us you'll be introduced to the areas of law in which we practice, and hear about opportunities outside of corporate law from a visiting barrister. You'll also benefit from putting presentation skills into practice and complete mock interviews with one-on-one feedback – useful in whatever career path you decide to pursue.

Our PRIME participants should:

  • attend a state (non-fee paying) school; and

  • be in year 12 to year 13 (England and Wales); S5 to S6 (Scotland); or Lower/Upper Sixth (Northern Ireland)

  • be the first generation in your immediate family to attend university or eligible (or have been) for free school meals.


AllAboutLaw Awards 2017

Training Contract Score: 91.8%

Vacation Scheme Score: 94.4%

Winner - Top Law Firm for Training Contracts & Vacation Schemes

Winner- Best Training Contract – International or City Firm

Winner- Best Training - Training Contract

Winner- Best Opportunities for Skills Development - Vacation Scheme

Winner- Best Training Principal

Runner up - Best Training Contract

Runner up- Best Vacation Scheme

Runner up- Best Vacation Scheme – International or City Firm

Runner up- Best Opportunities for Career Progression - Training Contract 

Runner up- Best Level of Support - Training Contract

Runner up- Best Level of Support - Vacation Scheme 

Runner up- Best Opportunities for Skills Development - Training Contract

Finalist - Best Opportunities for Career Progression - Vacation Scheme

Finalist- Best for Job Satisfaction - Training Contract

Finalist- Best for Job Satisfaction - Vacation Scheme

Finalist- Best Company Culture 

Salary & Benefits

First year trainee: £44,800
Second year trainee: £50,500
Newly-qualified lawyer: up to £87,300 total compensation*

You can also expect to enjoy a comprehensive benefits package – one that includes:

  • Free gym membership
  • Pension scheme
  • On-site healthcare
  • Private healthcare scheme
  • Season ticket loan
  • Cycle-to-work scheme
  • Dental plan
  • International secondments
  • Concierge services
  • Free meals (after a certain time)

*includes binary bonus