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About Cooley (UK) LLP

Cooley LLP is an international commercial law firm whose history extends back nearly 100 years. Cooley lawyers solve legal issues for entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions and established companies. Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters and high-stakes, complex litigation, often where innovation meets the law. Cooley is one of the preeminent law firms for technology and life sciences and has 1000+ lawyers across 15 offices in the US, Asia and Europe.

In 2015, Cooley established its first European office in London which has enjoyed an extraordinary run of success, being named category winners at the Transatlantic Legal Awards in 2019 and 2018 as well as being crowned London Office of the Year at the 2017 and 2015 British Legal Awards. Other accolades include being named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work For six years in a row, as well as being recognised as an elite Top 5 Innovative Law Firm by the Financial Times. Cooley was also recognised at the Legal Week Innovation Awards for International Law Firm Innovation in 2016 and in 2018 was awarded The Lawyer’s International Firm of the Year.


Cooley is wholly committed to recruiting and providing excellent training to trainees in London. The hallmarks of the training experience we can offer will revolve around small groups of trainees (currently four places available annually) and really hands-on involvement. We truly believe in learning by doing. You will have all the excitement and challenge of working on high-value, complex transactions and disputes. You will get real responsibility on some of the highest quality work for the highest quality clients. The smaller teams you will work in will lead to high levels of partner contact but also the sense that you can make a substantial contribution with both your thoughts and actions. There will be plenty of opportunities for client contact. All of this comes in an environment where people enjoy working together as a team and are supportive and respectful of each other. Cooley is focussed on building something special in London. The opportunities for trainees now and in the future look promising not least because of the amazing clients and work that Cooley already does.


An extensive and detailed induction is how you begin your training. Trainees then rotate every six months through some of the firm's business and litigation practice groups where work could involve general commercial, products, employment, insurance or IP-related matters. Other seats will be in noncontentious corporate commercial/transactional areas, where work could involve M&A, PE, VC, life sciences, finance matters, capital markets, compensation and benefits, or technology transactions. Seat options may evolve over time and in response to Cooley’s commercial business needs, but we work to ensure trainees obtain experience in the areas of greatest interest to them.

Supplementing your hands-on learning and development will be our comprehensive trainee training programme. The aim is to enable trainees to develop practice-based skills and knowledge in our key areas in addition to professional skills covering areas such as business development and finance.

Working alongside and learning from some of the best lawyers in their fields will give you a fantastic start to your professional life. The support network at Cooley is extensive – trainees have an assigned supervisor, a trainee buddy in the year above, a partner mentor, the legal talent team, professional development team and the trainee principal, all there to help and encourage progress and growth.

What we look for

To apply you will need to demonstrate academic excellence (minimum 2.1 and 128 UCAS points or 320 points under the pre-2017 tariff - not including general studies), great commercial awareness, an understanding of teamwork and the ability to take on responsibility. You should be able to demonstrate plenty of energy, drive and determination as well as an appreciation of how to develop effective business and working relationships.

You will also be adaptable and capable of thinking on your feet. You should have developed great communication and interpersonal skills from a variety of situations. Understanding teamwork, evidence of leadership and seeking responsibilities are vital. Interesting achievements and making the most of non-academic and work experience (not necessarily all legal) opportunities will help applicants stand-out.

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    The facts

    Organisation's locations: 
    Employer size: 
    1001 to 5000 employees
    Number of graduate vacancies per year overall: