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 over 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

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 four of our core areas: Finance, Corporate, Capital Markets and one other of your choice. 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 also have the support of our Graduate Development Team, as well as a dedicated supervisor.

The support doesn’t end there either. 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 also receive a host of other exceptional benefits, including a highly competitive salary, free gym membership, a dental plan, a private healthcare scheme, season ticket loans and a pension scheme.

What we’re looking for

Our Training Contract is highly competitive. We’re looking for applicants with a strong 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 Legal Practice Course (LPC). During the GDL and as well as paying your fees, we’ll also give you a maintenance grant of £7,000 – £8,000.

Applications open: Monday 3 October 2016?

Applications close: Tuesday 3 January 2017?

Assessments held: 6 February 2017

To find out more and apply, visit our graduate website

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 the world of commercial law during seats 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 is the perfect way to secure a Training Contract 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 also have ample opportunities to network with a variety of representatives from the Clifford Chance community. You’ll even receive a £400 per week salary for your hard work. If you need adjustments made, or financial assistance with either travel or accommodation, please get in touch with our Graduate Recruitment Team. Details can be found on our graduate website.

Runs from: Monday 3 July 2017 – Friday 14 July 2017

Applications open: Monday 3 October 2016

Applications close: Tuesday 3 January 2017

Assessments held: w/c 23 January 2017

To find out more about these schemes, visit our graduate website.


Clifford Chance does not offer an apprenticeship, however there are many ways to experience life at Clifford Chance.

The Clifford Chance Springboard Scheme is designed to give exceptional first year students a taste of what it’s like to work for a leading global law firm. Whether you’ve chosen your career path and are looking for the first opportunity to get ahead, or just wondering if life as a lawyer might be right for you, the scheme is the perfect way to find out about commercial law and secure your future first. 

On one of our week-long schemes, you’ll gain invaluable insight into working life at a busy commercial law firm through shadowing some of our lawyers. You’ll even get to spend a day at one of our European offices and get an idea of 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. Your very own buddy will help to ensure that you make the most of the opportunity before and during the scheme, and you’ll be rewarded with 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.

Scheme 1:

Runs from: w/c 26 June 2017

Applications open: Monday 3 October 2016?

Applications close: Tuesday 3 January 2017?

Assessments held: w/c 30 January 2017

Scheme 2:

Runs from: w/c 17 July 2017

Applications open: Monday 3 October 2016?

Applications close: Tuesday 3 January 2017?

Assessments held: w/c 30 January 2017

To find out more about this scheme, visit our graduate website

Salary & Benefits

First-year trainee: £43,500

Second-year trainee: £47,300

Newly-qualified lawyer: £70,000

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

Computer grants

Concierge services

Free meals (after a certain time)


For some, it’s our award-winning reputation. For others, it’s the quality of our training. For many, it’s the sheer scale of our deals. There are lots of reasons why people are attracted to Clifford Chance. But that doesn’t explain why they stay and build long-term careers here.

We believe it’s because we offer a working life unlike any other. The intellectual challenges at Clifford Chance are extraordinarily rich. Client challenges rarely fall conveniently within one practice area, so our people have to combine their expertise to cut through the most complex of problems.

As a trainee, it means you’ll have to consider every angle. You won’t just think through a problem; you’ll think around it too. You’ll also connect regularly with colleagues around the globe. Collaborating across borders, languages and legal systems, you’ll work together to find solutions.

It’s this sense of collaboration that sets us apart. Our teams are close-knit and clients praise the seamless, integrated service they receive from us. For you, it will make for an exceptionally supportive environment. You can ring someone on the other side of the world and know they’ll be there for you – even if they’re just about to leave the office.

The support doesn’t end there either. As a progressive firm, we’re always looking for new ways to empower people – whether it’s by supporting diversity initiatives, giving our people the time for voluntary work, or by creating innovative training programmes like Springboard.

Clifford Chance is a place where everything comes together.


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 


To apply for any of our programmes, you will need to apply online. Please visit our graduate website to start this process.

The application dates for our programmes vary depending on the degree subject you're studying and the stage you've reached in your studies.

Please note that we do not recruit on a rolling basis. 

School Leavers

Clifford Chance does not offer a School Leaver Programme, however there are many ways to experience life at Clifford Chance.

As well as the traditional Vacation Scheme programme for both Law and non-Law students, we will also be running two Springboard Vacation Schemes aimed at first year Law candidates.

For those of you not studying Law and in your final year of study, our three day Non-Law Insight Scheme will provide you with a secure foundation from which you can launch your career in commercial law.

In addition to all of this, we host a number of Open Days, available to anyone, which offer a chance to get a feel for who we are and whether Clifford Chance is right for you.

We also offer work experience opportunities for school students from a less privileged background through our PRIME programme.

To find out more about PRIME, visit our graduate website.