Clifford Chance Clifford Chance

  • City Law Firms
  • London

Training Contract

  • Places: Up to 90

Vacation Scheme

  • Places: Up to 90

Firm stats

  • Total employees: 6,100




Who we are

Clifford Chance is a leading global law firm. With offices 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 this year include: when we worked on Toshiba’s $5.4billion share placement deal, helped Postera Capital to launch their innovative cryptoasset fund and advised the sponsors of the first commercial scale offshore wind farm in Asia.

How you can get involved

To secure a Training Contract 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 though – in fact, 50% of our trainees are from non-Law backgrounds. 

There are several other ways for you to get involved before university. We offer everything from informative Open Days to immersive placements, including our bespoke programme for first year students. So whether you’re a Law or non-Law student, there’s an opportunity for you here.

Explore our opportunities and apply at



Training Contract & IGNITE

The Clifford Chance Training Contract gives talented, committed graduates the skills and experience to develop into exceptional lawyers. Join us and you’ll work on high-profile deals across our different sectors. And wherever possible, we’ll tailor your training to reflect your interests and ambitions, helping you to develop into the lawyer you want to be. 

And as new technology begins to revolutionise the legal sector, we now have a brand-new IGNITE Training Contract to help us be at the forefront of that change. 

What you’ll do

Throughout the 24-month contract, you’ll rotate through our 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. The whole time, 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 only 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 understanding 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. 

Our IGNITE Training Contract will give you all the same opportunities, but with a unique emphasis on technology and access to some of the world’s most innovative learning environments. You’ll have the time to develop new skills. To reconsider what tech can do for law. To redefine how Clifford Chance delivers the best results.  

What we’re looking for 

Our Training Contract is extremely 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.  

Our requirements for the IGNITE Training Contract are the same, but we’re also looking for switched-on graduates who have an edge when it comes to technology. You might have completed a STEM degree. Or taught yourself to code in the evenings. Or be developing an app on the side of your law degree. The only extra thing you need for this opportunity is excitement for the possibilities that law and tech meeting could spark.

Application deadlines 

Applications for our Training Contract open on the 1st August and close on the 16th December.  For successful candidates, assessment days will be held week commencing 28 January 2019. 

Are you ready? Discover more and apply at

Vacation Scheme

Our Summer Vacation scheme gives exceptional penultimate-year students the opportunity to experience life at Clifford Chance and interview for a Training Contract.

What you’ll do 

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 alongside 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 plenty of opportunity to network with a variety of representatives from Clifford Chance. You’ll even receive a £450 per week salary for your hard work.  

Vacation Scheme dates

Applications open on the 1st August and close on the 16th December.For successful candidates assessment days will be held week commencing 7 January 2019.

Are you ready? Discover more and apply at

SPARK scheme

Our SPARK 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 on a four-year course), this scheme is the ideal way to learn more about commercial law and secure your future early.   

What you’ll do 

On one of our week-long schemes, you’ll gain invaluable insight through shadowing 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.  

There’ll be support every step of the way – 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. 

SPARK scheme dates

Applications for both our June and July schemes open on the 1st August and close on the 16th December. For successful candidates assessment days will be held week commencing 14 January 2019.

Are you ready? Discover more and apply at

Open Days

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

We'll be holding seven Open Days at our Canary Wharf headquarters. We welcome applications from any students of any discipline and year (including graduates). 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 won’t be able to submit another Open Day application 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. 

Open Days 2018

We are holding Open Days in September, October, November and December. Applications for all open on the 1st August and close c. 2 weeks before each respective Open Day. 

Are you ready? Discover more and apply at



Clifford Chance is proud to be a founding member of PRIME – an alliance of UK law firms who are working to make the legal profession more accessible through work experience. It’s just one of the ways we’re committed to making sure that anyone who wants to enter the world of law has an equal chance, no matter their background. 

Until recently, securing work experience in the legal sector depended on who you know rather than what you know. We’re changing that by offering fair access to work experience schemes – just like our PRIME placement.

This placement is open to state school students who have the academic potential to be a successful lawyer, but haven’t had the opportunities they needed. Until now. 

What you’ll do 

Join us on the PRIME placement, and you'll spend four days at our Canary Wharf headquarters. You’ll meet and interact with professionals from every level of our firm – from trainees and recently qualified associates to partners and recruitment specialists.

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

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

What we’re looking for

To join our PRIME placement, you should:

·      Attend a state (non-fee paying) school

·      Be in year 12 to 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

PRIME Placement dates

Applications for our April scheme open on the 7th January 2019 and close on the 24th March 2019 and applications for our August scheme open on the 23rd April 2019 and close on the 7th July 2019. 

Are you ready? Discover more and apply at

If you’re in year 13, but not eligible for PRIME then you should apply for one of our Open Days. 

Salary & Benefits

First year trainee: £46,600

Second year trainee: £52,00

Newly qualified: £91,000

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