Early Careers

Clifford Chance offers an outstanding opportunity to start, grow and develop as a world-class lawyer.

We know there are many of you that have started preparing for the process even before you have gone to university, which is why we've invested in our award-winning ACCESS and SPARK programmes for those exploring a career in law early in their studies. Before applying for a Training Contract or a place on one of our programmes, there are many ways to get exposure to our firm and culture. With our commitment to democratising access to information and skills development, there's an offering for everyone.  

Step into Clifford Chance

Access to opportunities is not universal. Building a career in law is informed by varied factors from networks and location to resources and information, all of which can act as significant barriers to the profession. 

By reaching, identifying and hiring the most exceptional future lawyers, not only do we erode those barriers, we also ensure that we are building a world class team with the very best and brightest minds. That's why we've invested significantly in our virtual toolkit and hybrid events to widen access to our world-class resources and the insights of our leading lawyers globally. 


Our suite of resources are not only created to reach future lawyers spanning the globe, they are designed to prepare, inform and empower you for the realities of a career as a lawyer and for the commitment required to thrive. They are built to help you to explore and to decide whether a career with Clifford Chance is right for you.  

We invite you to start your legal journey by taking a step into the high performing world of commercial law with our industry-leading resources and events.

London Graduate and Student Programmes


ACCESS is our pioneering, two-year development programme open to year 12 students from state schools. It is designed to give you an introduction to law and provide you with the network and resources you need to start a fantastic career.

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Our acclaimed SPARK program spans two years, offering a distinctive opportunity for outstanding first-year law students (three-year degree), second-year law students (four-year degree), or penultimate year non-law students. Combining in-person and virtual components, the program is structured around dynamic pillars aimed at enhancing knowledge, networking, and key skills. Participants receive an immersive introduction to commercial law, engaging in real-world tasks and networking across all levels of our firm. Successful completion can fast-track you to a Training Contract, shaping your career path in law.

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Training Contract

The Training Contract puts theory into practice. It's when you move from learning about the law to actually doing it. You'll transform from a talented beginner into a professional lawyer. We appreciate that investing in making a quality application takes a lot of your time and energy. The landscape within which you are making your application has never been more competitive. Take the time to do your research, engage with our opportunities and be confident that we are the right firm for you.

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Grow with us

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Once you've secured your Training Contract, right up until the point you start as a trainee, we will continue to build our relationship with you and invest in your skill development. By providing meaningful opportunities to engage with the Firm, we can help you grow your Clifford Chance network, meet your peers and develop both personally and professionally. To ensure that you have a smooth and enjoyable transition into life at the Firm, we offer a comprehensive two-year buddy programme. We appreciate that your questions will be varied and may change over time, which is why we will match you with a buddy who is about to start the first seat of their Training Contract, allowing you to see the lifecycle of a trainee in practice. We believe that this will provide you with a unique insight into what a career at Clifford Chance could look like for you.  

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Undergraduate of the Year 

The TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards spotlight the UK's top undergraduate talent. Proudly partnering for the sixth year, we're seeking exceptional LGBTQ+ undergraduates making significant contributions. Whether driving change, breaking barriers, or excelling as role models, we champion diversity and equality. Committed to global advocacy, we work to dismantle discriminatory laws and shift cultural attitudes. We seek fervent individuals dedicated to promoting justice and equality. Through this award, we aim to elevate their efforts and support their causes, fostering future leaders.

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