Answering your frequently asked questions
I am an international student, can I still apply?
We hire globally, so all students are welcome to apply.
Please note that ahead of commencing a Training Contract, anyone who does not have an English and Wales qualifying law degree must complete the PGDL (Post Graduate Diploma in Law) along with the SQE.
I am a non-law student, can I still apply?
Yes. There is no requirement to have studied law to apply for a Training Contract, but you will be required to complete the PGDL and SQE which we fully fund for our future trainees.
What are your undergraduate academic requirements?
We require a minimum of a 2:1 at university. We do not have specific A-Level grade requirements because we use a contextual based recruitment system, although these are considered.
Can I start my Training Contract earlier than the advertised intake?
No – the intake you apply for is the intake in which you will join Clifford Chance. However, you can join our waitlist but there is no guarantee that a space on an earlier cohort will become available.
Do you use contextual information when considering A Level results?
Yes, as a firm we recruit contextually therefore we consider many factors such as the school you attended and the average grades your school achieved on that particular year, (not just the grades you achieved).
What role am I eligible for?
You can find the eligibility criteria for each role we recruit for on our website. Please take a look at our What we offer page and click on the role you are interested in.
Can I apply for more than one grad role?
No – you can only apply for one role per year and you should not apply for a Training Contract with the firm in more than one location in the same recruitment year.
If I am rejected for a role this year, can I apply next year?
Yes, absolutely. If you are unsuccessful in applying for a Training Contract, you are welcome to re-apply the following year.
I studied abroad so do not have UK exam results, what should I do?
Please enter your grades into our application system as normal. You do not need to convert your grades to the UK equivalent, we will do this.
What is the application process?
You can find our more by visiting our How we hire section.
How do I make my application stand out?
We receive thousands of applications every year, so it is important to take the time to reflect on what value you can bring and research the firm and role. We not only want to hear about your academic achievements, but your personal achievements and hobbies. What makes you different? And why would this make you a great lawyer at Clifford Chance?
We want to see that you have an interest and good understanding of Clifford Chance, the type of work we do, and our clients. Show us that you have done your research and make your application Clifford Chance specific. Ask yourself, why Clifford Chance? And how can you demonstrate the skills we need in our trainees?
I have mitigating circumstances, are they taken into consideration? And where can I detail these on my application?
Should you have mitigating circumstances, you can declare this on your application form and they will be taken into consideration.
How far back should I go with work experience, and does this need to be legal work experience?
We would like to hear about any relevant work experience, and this does not need to be legal work experience. Focus on examples which showcase your transferrable skills and how your input made a difference. Think carefully about the examples you use – how does your experience align with the skills required to be a great lawyer at Clifford Chance? Whether you worked in a busy coffee shop, or did a volunteering role, we want to hear about your individual experience and what value you added to the role.
How can I prepare for my application?
Global Virtual Internships: Our lawyers across the global network have put together a series of Global Virtual Internships to provide you with skills and knowledge that will help you take the next steps in your career. You don't need to apply for these as they are open access and can be completed at your own pace in the comfort of your own home. They are a brilliant insight into trainee-level tasks and will give you insights into our clients, global network, and practice areas. Once complete you will receive a certificate from the Clifford Chance Academy which you can upload to LinkedIn and mention / discuss during future application processes. If you are in Year 12 or 13, we recommend you start with 'Ready Set Law'.
Online Events Hub: Over the last few years we have built a great hub of content that you can watch in your own time. Our practice area insight series here is particularly useful if you're looking for more insights into the work we do.
Social Media: YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram are also great sources of information. We'd particularly recommend watching our 'In Conversation' series and our 'Real Contract' campaign on YouTube as they both give you a great insight into life as a lawyer at Clifford Chance, if that's what you're looking for. Our YouTube channel includes some really useful videos on application tips and techniques and goes into some of the details of what we look out for!
How can I prepare for the Watson Glaser test?
You can practice the Watson Glaser test here. You can also find plenty of free resources online or speak with your careers services team for support. The test focuses on your ability to draw inferences, recognise assumptions, make deductions, interpret information, and evaluate arguments. They are essential skills to a career that requires legal thinking.
If I have passed the Watson Glaser test within the past two recruitment cycles, do I need to take the test again?
Once you successfully complete a Watson Glaser assessment, we save your score for 2 recruitment cycles so there is no requirement to re-complete the test within this time frame.
Middle East opportunities
I would like to apply for the Middle East Training Contract or Vacation Scheme. Who can I contact about this?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for all Middle East related opportunities.
Work experience or shadowing opportunities
Do you offer work experience/shadowing? How can I apply?
We don't offer bespoke work experience or internships outside of our advertised schemes for undergraduates and graduates. We really believe the fantastic range of open access resources we have available online will be hugely beneficial to future applications or interviews, and online experiences can also be referred to on applications and discussed in an interview.
If I am studying law outside of the UK, do I still need to complete the PGDL?
(This includes Scots and Irish law degrees)
Although recent changes by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) now allow individuals who have an international law degree or are a foreign qualified lawyer to complete the SQE without having to complete a conversion course, at Clifford Chance, we seek to provide individuals with the foundation knowledge to not only pass the SQE assessments but thrive during their Training Contract. With this in mind, we have continued to adopt the PGDL.
Without completing a conversion course to gain an in depth understanding of the foundations of English law, we feel that individuals would be at a significant disadvantage as they begin their SQE and Training Contract. It is for these reasons that despite there being no regulatory requirement, we are continuing to fund the PGDL for all those who do not have an English law degree.
What is the PGDL?
The Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PDGL) is a law conversion course that provides a pathway for individuals without law degrees to learn the academic law necessary for a future career as a solicitor. The course covers the fundamentals of law including case law, legal analysis, and oral argument. It also provides an opportunity to focus on key skills and competencies which will be crucial for your future development as a lawyer.
What is the preferrable university to complete the PGDL?
You may study the PGDL at the provider of your choice; however, we would encourage you to consider completing this with University of Law as we may not be able to fully cover all course fees at other training providers.
If you are completing or have completed the PGDL, it may be possible for us to contribute to the fees you have already incurred.
I have already studied/passed the LPC – can I apply? Will I be reimbursed? And will I still need to complete the SQE?
Anyone who has previously completed / passed the LPC is still eligible to apply for a Training Contract, however, you will still be required to complete the SQE. We will not be able to offer reimbursement of the LPC.
If you have previously completed the LPC and would like to apply for a Training Contract, you will still be required to complete the SQE. The SQE will be funded and organised by Clifford Chance.
Can I study the SQE abroad?
No. All students complete the SQE at the University of Law, Moorgate. You will study alongside your Training Contract cohort. We have partnered with the University of Law to deliver our bespoke, innovative and dynamic Clifford Chance LLM Legal Practice SQE1 and SQE2. It has been designed to not only rigorously prepare you for the academic aspects of the SQE but you can be confident that you will emerge with the fundamental skills and technical excellence required to meet the challenges of working as a lawyer at Clifford Chance.
Do you sponsor the SQE?
For all successful Clifford Chance training contract applications, we will sponsor the SQE fees. In addition, all students will receive a maintenance grant to help cover the costs of rent, accommodation, relocation etc.
What is the SQE?
The SQE is the centralised assessment for anyone who wants to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. It is split into 2 sections (SQE1 and SQE2). In SQE1 you will be tested on ‘functioning legal knowledge’ which tests your application of law based on realistic client-based scenarios in multiple choice questions. In SQE2 you will be tested on the practical legal skills required for practice.
How long is the SQE?
The SQE is one year long.
When do I need to apply for the SQE?
You will be contacted by the Early Talent Development Team along with the guidance document to help you make your application. This is around 6 months before the SQE takes place.
Which is the preferred campus to apply for the SQE?
If you are self-funding your SQE, you can decide which campus you would prefer to study at. However, Clifford Chance future trainees will study at the University of Law, Moorgate campus.
International student queries
When will I be provided with my skilled worker visa?
The skilled worker visa can be issued 3 months before commencing your Training Contract.
How do I apply for a skilled worker visa?
A guidance document and certificate of sponsorship will be provided by the firm. Following receiving these documents, it is the sole responsibility of the future trainee to apply for the skilled worker visa.
Who will be sponsoring my student visa whilst I complete the PGDL/SQE?
Student visas will be sponsored by the University of Law and you will have an option to reimburse your student visa fees with Clifford Chance.
What events will you be hosting and when?
Please check out our full calendar of events.