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Become a Trainee Solicitor

No Law degree? No problem. All you need to apply are strong problem-solving skills and a commercial acumen. 

Location: London

What you will be doing

  • Summary   
  • Clifford Chance is one of the world's leading law firms, offering local and global clients expert advice on all aspects of commercial law. The firm has unrivalled scale and depth of legal resources across five continents and seven practice areas.
  • You will undertake seats in at least four of these practice areas. Three of your seats will be in our core areas of Finance, Corporate and Capital Markets. One seat could be an international secondment, client secondment or split seat. You will therefore gain wide exposure to our business which will allow you to determine which area you would like to qualify into as an England and Wales qualified lawyer.
  • Responsibilities   
  • You will develop your legal and business skills, gain insight into our high profile clients and enhance your commercial awareness. The tasks you undertake could include: drafting and proofing documents, conducting due diligence on a client's acquisition target, attending client meetings, preparing documents for a court hearing, researching titles and leases on a real estate portfolio or creating a data room ahead of a major transaction. You may even run some smaller transactions for our clients.
  • You will receive learning and development support from the Clifford Chance Academy, arguably the legal sector's leading in-house learning and development facility. At the start of each seat you will receive specialised training in that sector and a dedicated supervisor.
  • You will be closely supported, both informally and through formal mentoring, by the Graduate Development Team, Legal Support Manager and your monitoring partner.

What you will have

Whilst you do not need to have prior legal experience or a law degree to apply to us, we expect our trainees to be problem-solvers with strong communication skills and commercial acumen. The competencies that we look for in our trainees include:

  • • Business awareness
  • • Leading and managing
  • • Problem solving with commercial insight
  • • Relationship building and networking
  • • Strong communication skills (oral and written)
  • • Ability to identify legal vs business issues
  • Our Training Contract is open to Law and non-Law students. If you have not studied a qualifying Law degree (as specified by the SRA) then you will be need to complete a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) prior to joining us as a trainee.
  • All future trainees will complete a LLM Commercial Legal Practice (LLM CLP) prior to starting their training contract. Both the GDL and LLM CLP are funded by Clifford Chance and we will provide a maintenance grant to use during your studies.

Application process:   

We do not recruit on a rolling basis and we do not review applications until after the deadline has passed.

Shortly after submitting your application, you will receive an email from us asking you to complete an online Watson Glaser critical reasoning assessment. This takes approximately 30 minutes and should be completed within 5 days of receiving our email with instructions.

The assessment days for Training Contracts will take place in London from the week commencing 6th January 2020.

Onwards to our company and culture…

We are Clifford Chance

We’re a leading global corporate law firm. But we’re not a typical one. Far from it. Life here means doing the best work for exceptional clients while being yourself.

Who we are

As a leading global firm, we service clients from all over the world. In order to meet their demands and find solutions to their most complex challenges, we must build the best team, made up of people with a diverse range of backgrounds, cultures and perspectives. 

We look for individuals, not for ‘typical lawyers’. We’re focused, but we know how to have fun. And we collaborate. At every level. Which makes this a brilliant place to learn. To find your feet quickly. To get ahead.

Our culture

We embrace a learning culture, where individuals are supported in their pursuit of opportunities for their professional and personal development.

What we do and where

We offer legal expertise across a broad spectrum of commercial issues. And we have a diverse mix of clients. They include everyone from governments, regulators and trade bodies through to big corporates, global banks and not-for-profit organisations.

That variety definitely makes life here interesting. As does the scale and scope of what we do. Our work covers Corporate; Global Financial Markets; Real Estate; Litigation & Dispute Resolution; and Tax, Pensions & Employment.

And when it comes to where we are, we work in major financial centres across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

How you can get involved

You don’t need a law degree to join us. (About half of our trainees come from non-law backgrounds.) What matters is that you’re resilient, curious, creative and open to new challenges. You’re someone who loves to learn. A great problem solver. A smart thinker. You’re commercially-savvy, solutions-oriented and up for working as part of a close-knit team.

One of the ways you can show us you have what it takes is to experience life here before you apply for your Training Contract. Take a look at our website to explore our different programmes for students – they range from Open Days through to summer schemes and virtual events.

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