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.

The 2023 Training Contract

We appreciate that making applications is a timely process that requires a huge amount of energy and commitment from you. We have always tried to be as honest and transparent in our messaging to candidates, and this year is no exception. Hear Alara, one of our future trainees, talk to Laura Yeates, our Head of Graduate Talent, about the context behind our decision to prioritise the 2023 Training Contract applications for penultimate year law and final year non law students.

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 seven years, 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 10 December 2020 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 21 December 2020 for those applying to a Training Contract and by 11 January 2021 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.

Watson Glaser test

When you have submitted your application, you will be asked to complete the Watson Glaser test. Watson Glaser has been used by businesses and in education since 1925 and is a particularly effective way of recruiting lawyers.

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. If you are unsuccessful in the test, then your online application will not be screened and that will be the end of your application for this cycle.

Once you submit your application you will be sent a link to complete the Watson Glaser test within 48 hours and there will be no flexibility around this. You will have five days to complete the test. 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 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 13 December 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

Virtual interviews

Our new virtual interviews will consist of one 75 minute commercial interview with a written exercise element conducted by our committed team of partners and associates. 

We are proud to have been the first Firm to introduce CV-blind interviewing.

Our interview process is designed to enable you to demonstrate your skills, unique experiences and personality. Please be aware that there is no flexibility with our assessment dates. Make sure that you are available on the assessment dates for the scheme you're applying to before you submit an application. 

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.

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Keeping in touch

Your integration into Clifford Chance starts as soon as you receive an offer. We'll put you in touch with a ‘buddy'. This will be a new trainee so you will be in touch with them throughout their Training Contract- they'll give you advice, answer your questions and even take you out to lunch.

Your start date may seem a long way off, but we'll keep you up to date with developments at the firm. We'll also invite you to lectures, partner presentations and social events so you can start to develop a useful professional network. It's all part of the process to help you feel part of the Firm as you approach the start of your Training Contract.