Where inquisitive
minds meet

London Graduates

Preparation is key. We want to provide you with the support and guidance you need to convey your best self to us.

Identifying talent

We have long been ahead of the curve when it comes to breaking down barriers to the legal profession and over the last decade, we have remained committed to ensuring our processes are as fair and unbiased as possible. In that time, we have made significant changes to our selection and attraction methods to make sure that we are able to access and identify exceptional talent in all its forms. In 2013, we were one of the first firms to introduce CV blind interviewing. In 2015, we took things a step further and worked with RARE recruitment to become founding partner of the contextual recruitment system, allowing us to fairly benchmark candidates against each other and further break down barriers to the profession. In 2017, we made the bold decision to remove minimum academic requirements for our roles. We are confident that the changes we have made allow us access to a much broader pool of talent, whilst allowing each individual to showcase their authentic journeys and experiences through the process.

Online application form

The application process shouldn't be taken lightly. It's your chance to demonstrate what you can bring to Clifford Chance.

It's important to present how unique you are as a candidate, so make sure to prepare by thinking about what makes you stand out. Put thought into your answers. Our application process is rigorous: and with good reason. We've designed it to be as fair as possible without compromising on standards.

The application form is your chance to shine, so think about how you can differentiate yourself from the thousands of other applicants. Include only the strongest and clearest examples to illustrate your answers and make every word count.

We're looking for people who are genuinely interested and motivated by a career in commercial law. We receive a lot of strong applications, so it is essential that your passion and personality come through.

Pay attention to detail. This is a key skill for a lawyer and we'll reject applications that are unclear or contain numerous spelling and grammatical errors. Double-check your answers for errors and clarity.

We require full details of your degree, including module scores for all years of study, even if they don't count towards your overall degree classification. If we ask you for further information, you'll need to return it to us within 24 hours of our request. Any delay will hold up consideration of your application.

We'll take any mitigating circumstances relating to your academic record into consideration only if they've been submitted and approved by your exam board or relevant body. Please give full details in the relevant section at the end of the application form. 

We'll also ask for proof in writing from your exam board and verification by a third party such as your doctor or tutor. This information will usually need to be returned within 24 hours of our request.

Screening of the application forms is handled with great professionalism and we consider each and every application carefully. We're proud to be the first Firm to adopt contextual recruitment within our selection process.

We do not operate on a rolling recruitment basis so you'll only be notified of the outcome of your application after the deadline. Once you have submitted your application, you will not be able to make any further amendments to your submission. We will only review your original application. You'll be informed of whether you are invited to interview by the 22 December 2021 for those applying to a Training Contract and by 21 February 2022 for those applying to SPARK. 

Please note, we cannot accept multiple applications to SPARK and the Training Contract(s). You can only apply to one of these initiatives at one time.

On applying, you will be asked to upload a CV and covering letter – this is a mandatory system requirement but is not reviewed for any graduate roles. Anything you upload here will not be read by the graduate team.

Impactful Applications

It is equally important that you spend as much time understanding yourself and your capabilities as it is researching the law and our Firm. We highlight the important things to consider when approaching your application form so you can ensure you deliver something with impact. 

Watson Glaser test

When you have submitted your application, you will be sent the Watson Glaser test within 2 working days. The only exception is if you are applying for the 2023 Training Contract vacancy, as applicants to this role will only be sent the test after the application deadline has passed, providing your application is being progressed to the next stage.

The questions will focus on your ability to draw inferences, recognise assumptions, make deductions, interpret information and evaluate arguments. These are essential to legal thinking and it's important that you hone your skills as this is the first step of the assessment process. The test lasts 30 minutes and involves 40 questions that assess your critical thinking.

The skills it measures include:

  • Defining a problem
  • Selecting relevant information to solve a problem
  • Recognising stated and unstated assumptions
  • Formulating and selecting relevant and promising hypotheses
  • Drawing valid conclusions and judging the validity of inferences


If you have successfully completed the test before for a previous application, you will not be asked to complete it again if you are submitting a new application. Please note that we do not take the specific test score into account providing you have passed it, therefore there is no benefit in doing the test again if you have previously passed it.

You will have five days to complete the test and there will be no flexibility around this. Please factor this in when deciding to submit your application, as you will have to complete your test within these timeframes. If you need additional time or any adjustments,  please factor this in and submit your application prior to the deadline.

If you apply for SPARK, 2024 Training Contract or IGNITE Training Contract in the week leading up to the deadline, or on the deadline, you will have fewer days to complete the Watson Glaser test. You will be sent the test within 48 hours of submitting your application and will be given until 23.59pm on Sunday 12th December to complete the test. If you are applying to London Training Contract 2023 we will send you the Watson Glaser test after your application deadline if your application is being progressed further - you will have 5 days to complete the test.

Watson Glaser practice test

Before you take the Watson Glaser test, it's a good idea to practise as much as you can so you are familiar with the format and the type of thinking involved.

You can click below to practise as many times as you need. Your practice attempts do not form part of the assessment and Clifford Chance will not see the results. As well as the practice test, there are lots of other online resources that you may wish to use. Some of them are free, but some require payment. Click here for additional resources.

Try a test


There will be the option to attend our interviews virtually or in person allowing individuals the flexibility to manage any uncertainty around covid-19, travel distance, work and academic commitments.

We have adapted our recruitment process to suit either format, for example, streamlining the process to one 75 minute interview to account for virtual fatigue but also allowing individuals the opportunity to build a strong rapport with their interviewer.

Our interviews will be completely paperless and managed via a digital assessment day platform. This is part of our commitment to contributing to a greener way of recruiting and in line with signatory status of the Sustainable Recruitment Alliance.

Preparing for Interviews

Interviews require a lot of preparation not only for the case study element but also for the competency aspects. Here we take you through what to expect from the process, as well as provide you with essential advice on how to get ready to showcase your strengths and potential.

Pre Assessment Day support

Once you have secured your place on one of our assessment days, you will have access to a wealth of additional support and guidance to help you best prepare. Individuals will be invited to a pre-assessment day live chat where trainees and Graduate Recruitment will provide information and guidance to enable you to approach the day with confidence.

We will also share virtual assessment day tips to those interviewing virtually and we will provide everyone with interactive tools and e-learning materials to assist you in your learning and skills development in the lead up to the day.

What happens next?

We will always endeavour to let you know the outcome as quickly as possible, sometimes within 24 hours, although it can depend on when you're applying.

If successful at securing a Training Contract offer, you'll receive our comprehensive offer pack which includes your offer letter and all the information you'll need to help make your decision.

Read more

Keeping in touch

We are committed to helping you build meaningful relationships within us from the start. That is why we offer an extensive suite of opportunities designed to assist you with your personal and professional integration into the Firm.

This begins with our two-year buddy programme, where you are assigned your own trainee buddy from the moment you are made your offer. They are there to offer you support, guidance and advice and right the way through until you start at the Firm. They will be a new trainee, so you will be in touch with them throughout their Training Contract, enabling you to gain invaluable insight into their journey.

We also invest heavily in your professional growth in a number of ways ranging from invites to attend our internal Thought Leadership events, business awareness courses and of course through LIFT. Our award-winning Learning Internships for Future Trainees programme, will prepare you for your Training Contract in a way like no other.

We will also invite you to take part in a broad and varied range of events to help you cultivate your social network at the Firm ahead of commencing your Training Contract,  so you can really start to feel embedded in to our culture.