Where ambitious
minds meet

Middle East

Law graduates and students

As a Middle East trainee at Clifford Chance you will undertake four seats across our different practice areas. You will complete one seat in London and the remaining three across our Middle East offices: Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. Seats choices will be within our core areas of Corporate, Global Financial Markets, Litigation, Real Estate, Projects & Construction, and Dispute Resolution.

You will therefore gain a truly international legal experience working alongside leading sector professionals from across two continents. This will enable you to launch your career as an England & Wales qualified lawyer in the Middle East.

What's on offer?

As a trainee in the Middle East, you will become a valued team member from day one. You will be close to the action with an active role in client relationships and business development early on. You will enjoy the challenge of working on a wide variety of international, market leading and landmark transactions, often collaborating with colleagues from other offices and practice areas.

You will spend one seat of your training contract in London, which will provide you with a sense of the phenomenal scale of our business and give you the opportunity to connect and collaborate with over a hundred of your peers alongside whom you will navigate your career. In all your seats, you will enjoy activities that develop and enhance your legal and business skills, as well as your commercial awareness. The role will be varied day-to-day including tasks such as drafting and proofing documents, attending client meets and you may even run some smaller transactions for our clients.

As a vacation scheme student in the Middle East, you will get the opportunity to experience what a career at Clifford Chance involves. You will gain insights into our exciting, stimulating, and challenging work. You will be close to the action and will have the opportunity to work with experienced lawyers in two of the following practice areas – Corporate, Global Financial Markets, Litigation, Real Estate, Projects & Construction, and Dispute Resolution. It really is a unique learning experience as throughout the scheme, you will receive the support of a supervising associate and trainee 'buddy' who will help support and guide you every step of the way.

What are we looking for in a future trainee?

We are looking for graduates who are genuinely interested in the law and committed to a career in the Middle East upon qualification. Candidates with strong ties to the region and fluent Arabic drafting and speaking skills are preferred for our ME programmes.

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.

Our training contract for 2026/27 is open to all law and non-law students, as well as masters, postgraduate or graduate students who can able to start with the firm in 2026/27. Earlier start dates will be subject to availability only.

You are only able to make one application to a Clifford Chance scheme/role (ME Training Contract 2026 OR Middle East Vacation Scheme OR London Training Contract OR IGNITE OR London SPARK). Multiple applications will not be considered.

The competencies that we look for in our trainees include:

  • Client focus and marketing skills
  • Leadership, community, and collaboration skills
  • Innovation and best delivery skills
  • Strategy and commercial insight skills
  • Relationship building and networking
  • Strong communication skills (oral and written)
  • Ability to identify legal vs business issues

Meet the trainees

Johnson Cansin Cortelek

We caught up with our Middle East trainees to find out more about their journeys at the firm and their biggest lessons so far. Johnson Cansin Cortelek is a trainee solicitor in our Dubai office.

Leen Kayali

We caught up with our Middle East trainees to find out more about their journeys at the firm and their biggest lessons. Leen Kayali is a trainee solicitor in our Dubai office.

The Vacation Scheme

Applications open: 04 September 2023
Applications close: 13 October 2023 at 11.59pm
Assessments held: w/c 6 November 2023
Application process: Online application form, video interview
Assessment process: A competency interview.
Scheme dates: The Winter 2023 Vacation Scheme will be held in our offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi between the 4 - 15 of December 2023.

apply now

The 2026/27 Training Contract

Applications open: 04 September 2023
Applications close: 23 November 2023 at 11.59pm
Assessments held: w/c 15 January 2024
Application process: Online application form, Watson Glaser test, Video interview
Assessment process: A competency interview, a case study interview.

Please keep in mind that we do not hire on a rolling basis and, we won't review applications until after the deadline has passed. We therefore encourage you to engage with our Global Virtual Internships and Virtual Events Hub before submitting your application. Details of all of these are available on our website.

apply now

Preparing for an Assessment Day Interview

Our assessment day interview will take place virtually, and the day will feature either a competency interview or a combination of two interviews with two members of our legal team; a competency interview and a case study interview.

Our interviews will be completely paperless. 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.

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

Global Virtual Internships

Whatever stage you're at in starting your legal career, our Global Virtual Internships will give you the skills you need to take the next step. You'll learn about the legal and commercial implications of risks relating to Climate Change, Cyber Security and Business & Human Rights and will practise advising clients on how to protect themselves.

The content has been created by leading experts from across our global network and will not only expose you to international work in a completely new way, but will also enable you to develop the analytical skills that will turn you into a leading lawyer of tomorrow. You'll have access to inspirational lawyers, exceptional development resources and insights that will guide you for years to come.

Click to begin

Contact Us

We have a dedicated Early Talent team who is available to help guide you through the process. If you have any questions, please contact the team directly via the link below.

Talk to the team