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Early Careers

Grow to your full potential at Clifford Chance.

Make the most of your talent as an integral part of our global community. Our teams work together across different roles and countries, sharing their knowledge, ideas and experience to deliver legal advice and client services that are second to none. We encourage creativity and diversity of thought, in a learning culture where you can flourish. From training contracts for aspiring lawyers to Global Virtual Internships and the Clifford Chance Academy, we provide a wide range of learning and development opportunities for everyone in every role. So, bring a collaborative approach and an open mind and we’ll empower you to explore every opportunity – to make the progress you want. 


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.

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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 we are 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 2027 is open to all law and non-law students, as well as masters, postgraduate or graduate students who are able to start with the firm in 2027. 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 IGNITE OR 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

Jacob Bruchez


We caught up with our Middle East trainee Jacob to learn more about his journey and experience at the firm so far. 

Yara Hage


We caught up with our Middle East trainee Yara who gained a training contract through the Vacation Scheme, to learn more about her journey and experience at the firm so far. 

Johnson Cansin Cortelek


We caught up with Johnson to find out more about his journey at the firm and his biggest lesson so far. *Johnson has since qualified as an Associate in the Real Estate and Construction team in our Dubai office as of September 2023. 

Leen Kayali


We caught up with Leen to find out more about her journey at the firm and her biggest lessons so far. *Leen Kayali has since qualified as an Associate in the Corporate team in our Riyadh office as of September 2023. 

Our Vacation Schemes 

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, projects, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, and Real Estate & Construction. It 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.

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Summer Vacation scheme

Applications open: 5th March 2024

Applications close: 1st April 2024 at 11:59 pm 

Assessments held: w/c 22nd April 2024

Application process: Online application form, pre-recorded video interview, and assessment day

Assessment process: A competency interview 

Scheme dates: The Summer 2024 Vacation Scheme will be held in our offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi between the 3rd - 14th June 2024

The Training Contract

Applications for our Training Contract are closed and will re-open in September 2024.

 

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. 

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The Training Contract 

Applications are now closed.

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. 

Preparing for an assessment day

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.


During the interview, the interviewers will be looking for these skills:

  • Oral/written communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Client focus
  • Understanding the firm – our strategies and focus
  • Leadership/collaboration skills
  • Curiosity
  • Organization/time management
  • Attitude and approach to wor

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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.

Global Virtual Internship

Whether you’re a first-year student or a recent graduate, our global virtual internships will give you the skills you need to take that next big step in your career. The content has been created by leading experts from across our global network. It will not only expose you to international work in a way that has never been done before, but also enable you to develop the analytical abilities that will turn you into a leading lawyer of tomorrow.

This internship will offer you the chance to:


Upskill yourself by completing trainee-level tasks Gain an insight into challenges facing our clients around the world Learn first-hand from our trainees and lawyers around our global network. The moment to take control of your future has arrived. By giving you access to inspirational lawyers, exceptional development resources and insights that will guide you for years to come, this is an internship that could make your career.

Register today

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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. 

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