Where Tech
Meets Law

London Graduates

Tech-focused Training Contracts for people who want to shape the future of law.

Clifford Chance IGNITE

Clifford Chance IGNITE, a pioneering Training Contract which offers applicants with an aptitude for Tech a route to qualify as lawyers.

Watch this video to hear Jonathan Kewley, Midori Takenaka, Herbert Swaniker and Jenni Polson talk through the Clifford Chance IGNITE Training Contract.

The IGNITE Training Contract

You might have studied computer science. Or taught yourself to code in the evenings. Or be developing an app on the side of your law degree. The only thing you must have is an excitement for what the meeting of law and tech can spark.

IGNITE is a Training Contract with a rare emphasis on tech. A new route that’ll take you into some of the world’s most innovative learning environments. No other leading law firm offers anything like it.

It’s still a Clifford Chance Training Contract. You’ll collaborate with, work alongside and be supported by, the brightest legal minds. You’ll have access to an unusual depth and breadth of experience. With secondment opportunities and chances to tailor your development throughout. You’ll be a fully qualified lawyer after two years – and positioned to shape the future.

Beyond that, you’ll have the time and space to develop new skills and solutions. To reconsider what tech can do for law. To redesign and streamline the way we operate. And redefine how we deliver the best results for our clients.

Support and development

To make sure you get the most out of this unique opportunity, you'll benefit from tailored support and development opportunities:

  • Monthly training sessions for IGNITE trainees with internal and external speakers
  • A personal budget to spend on courses and training to support IGNITE projects
  • IGNITE socials to connect with your peers and wider team
  • IGNITE Champions who are people in the firm actively supporting you through your Training Contract and IGNITE-related projects
  • A choice model to the Best Delivery seat – one seat is likely to be with the Best Delivery team

Deadlines

Applications open: 17 August 2022
Applications close: 8 December 2022 at 11.59pm
Assessment dates: w/c 16 and 23 January 2023
Selection process: Online application form, Watson Glaser test and two assessment days.

Our assessment days will take place in person, with an option to interview virtually in some circumstances e.g. if you have a long way to travel.

The first assessment day will consist of a case study including a written exercise, one commercial based interview with a Partner which will include discussions around the case study, and one competency based interview with a Senior Associate. The second assessment day is an IGNITE specific case study and interview with legal-tech lawyers.

We don't, it must be noted, recruit on a rolling basis, but look at all applications after the closing date. Before you apply, have you visited our Events hub? Here you'll find opportunities to equip you with the skills, knowledge and networks to succeed no matter where you are on your journey. 

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Lorraine Chimbga, IGNITE Trainee (she/her)

"I was attracted to IGNITE because of how groundbreaking and different the proposition was; the chance to qualify as a solicitor while helping to shape and drive innovation as part of my role. I originally studied law at UCL and, in my final year, I did Information Technology Law at LSE. I was also on the board for the Society for Computers and Law, alongside figures such as Richard Susskind. When I graduated in 2016, I saw this emerging legal tech sector begin to grow and I knew that this was the career path I wanted to develop as a future lawyer."

"However, at the time, no law firm was offering this non-traditional route quite yet, so I decided to gain alternative experience through the tech industry. Working in FinTech, I coded financial regulations into software that served some of the world’s largest financial institutions. This was followed by a role in LegalTech, where I helped train artificial intelligence to provide risk assessments of commercial agreements.

Once the IGNITE Training Contract was launched, I knew immediately that it was the perfect fit for my skillset and career aspirations. As an IGNITE trainee, I have been able to bring these alternative technical skills into my role and apply them to a traditional profession and serve clients in a new and innovative way."

Elliot Ward, IGNITE Trainee (he/him)

"IGNITE was attractive to me as it represented a credible commitment by Clifford Chance to innovation and continuous improvement. Particularly, as IGNITE provides trainees with a dedicated seat within the legal technology team, enabling those trainees to pursue these goals, it was a convincing signal of the firm's dedication.

My own background demonstrates that nothing more than a strong personal interest in technology is required of an applicant. I read for an LLB at Trinity College, Dublin, and an MSc in Law and Finance at University College, Oxford, but maintained an acute interest in both legaltech and fintech throughout university, having contributed to journal articles on fintech regulation and taught myself (rudimentary) coding, amongst other things."

"My experience of my IGNITE seat was excellent. I was provided with the freedom to identify and pursue my own projects, which were afforded fair hearings by senior staff and supported with suitable resources throughout. Notwithstanding that some of my own projects addressed areas of global significance for the firm, nothing was ever debarred on the basis of it being "too complex" for a trainee to comprehend or contribute to.

IGNITE provided me with an opportunity to experiment and innovate, with an implicit "freedom to fail", enabling the development of skills in project management, team co-ordination and problem identification. Perhaps most valuably, it conferred a far greater understanding of the interface between the often-incongruous realms of technology and commercial legal practice."

Adam Hunter, Lawyer, TMT & Data Privacy (he/him)

"IGNITE gave me the opportunity to work on industry-leading projects with lawyers across our global network and to meet with partners and clients to discuss their legal technology strategy. Whilst on my Training Contract, my IGNITE legal tech projects included designing and developing new solutions for a handful of the firm's global clients. I was also seconded to one of the firm's largest tech clients, where I was able to advise on new tech solutions to some of the client's most pressing challenges.

I was also able to work frequently with our Best Delivery team to make our client matters more efficient, as well as provide training to colleagues, test new legal tech and contribute to client pitches. In March 2020, I was delighted to be recognised as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Junior Lawyers in the UK by The Legal Technologist Magazine. In particular, IGNITE helped me develop the skills that are being demanded by our clients, who are looking for their lawyers to have not only strong technical skills, but also to be commercial and entrepreneurial."

Tech Academy

Our global Tech Academy is a technology-focused element of the firm's central learning and development function, the Clifford Chance Academy. The Tech Academy provides our people with online training and resources and a global programme of face-to-face workshops, ensuring that we remain on top of the latest technology trends and issues our clients are facing.

To understand more about Clifford Chance's tech-related work, visit our Talking Tech site.

Find out more

STEM Lawyers

If you are from a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) background, you might have questions about whether a career in law is right for you. Hear from some of our STEM lawyers, including future trainees, about the exciting opportunities that they have experienced so far and what lies ahead for them. 

INTERFACE

INTERFACE is an exclusive event for students interested in Legal Tech and our IGNITE Training Contract. This event will provide an opportunity to understand how technology directly impacts how we deliver legal services, both now and in the future, and how our IGNITE Training Contract offers applicants with an aptitude for Tech a unique route to qualify as a lawyer.

Through a varied line-up of sessions, attendees can discover:

  • How we collaborate with clients to deliver better outcomes on legal matters.
  • How we create digital solutions to provide legal services in new and innovative ways
  • How technology is changing the law, with a specific insight into IGNITE

Date: 17 November 2022
Time: 2–6pm
Applications open: 17 August 2022
Applications close:
6 November 2022 at 11.59pm
Venue: 10 Upper Bank Street, London
Selection process: open to penultimate year law and final year students and graduates

Apply now

How we hire

We have put together some advice on how best to convey your skills and strengths throughout the application process, including a practice version of the Watson Glaser test, which is the first step of the assessment process.

Find out more