Graduate scheme

Clifford Chance is proud to be a founding member of PRIME. Through PRIME, we are committed to ensuring that anyone who wants to enter the world of law has an equal chance to do so, regardless of their background.

For many years, obtaining work experience in the legal sector depended largely on who you know rather than what you know. PRIME members have made a commitment to change this by providing fair access to work experience. Our response to this is our bespoke two-year development programme - Clifford Chance ACCESS. This pioneering programme consists of twelve different components, each focused around specific core areas of your personal and professional development, culminating in the opportunity to secure a place on our SPARK programme which may lead to a Training Contract.

More information about the 12 different components of the programme can be found on our website.


You must be available to attend ACCESS Development from 29th July – 1st August 2024 . This is a four-day virtual work placement where you will take part in a variety of sessions to inform you about a career in law as well as developing skills such as networking, presentation, and teamwork.

To apply to Clifford Chance ACCESS, you must meet the following qualifying criteria:

  • You are in Year 12 (England and Wales), S5 (Scotland) or Lower Sixth (Northern Ireland)
  • You are attending, and have attended from age 11, a state-funded, non fee-paying school/college
  • You grew up in a household where no parent or guardian attended university.

In addition, you must also meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You are currently in receipt of, or have previously received, free school meals, Pupil Premium, Education Maintenance Allowance and/or a 16 to 19 Bursary
  • You are attending a school or college with a:

a) below average A-level or Higher point score; and/or
b) low rate of progression to higher education

  • You have been, or are currently, in local authority care (for a period of three months or longer)
  • You are, or have been, a full-time or part-time carer
  • You came to the UK as a refugee or asylum seeker.

Note: young people who meet the local authority care criterion do not need to meet any other criterion.

How to apply:

  • Complete the online application form
  • Take the Watson Glaser critical reasoning test. Remember to use our practice test and try to prepare yourself as best you can.
  • If you pass the Watson Glaser test, your application form will be reviewed
  • Successful candidates at application review will be invited to a video interview (28-31 May 2024), after which we will determine whether we would like to offer you a space on the programme.

The competencies that we look for in our trainee solicitors include:

  • Business awareness and problem solving with commercial insight and an ability to identify legal and business issues. You will need an inquisitive mind and an ability to articulate apply your knowledge creatively in a solution-focused manner with an ability to explore and analyse ideas.
  • An ability to understand our clients needs and provide exceptional client service, putting clients at the heart of everything you do.
  • Leadership and collaboration skills with a natural enthusiasm for being a team player.
  • An ability to multi-task, remain organised and thrive through challenges in a fast-paced high-pressure and high-performance environment with demanding deadlines.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including being reliable and responsive, and providing regular updates to team members when needed.
  • An ability to demonstrate a real desire to learn from those around you and with an ambition to progress and gain exposure within the firm and with clients.
  • The ability and desire to take pride in your approach to work and your work output, including proactively seeking feedback and taking responsibility for your own career. You will take ownership of your work, being proactive, solution-oriented, accountable, and committed to continuous improvement.
  • Knowledge of and a genuine interest in the role, firm and our clients with an understanding of how this aligns with your skillset and career ambitions.

Equal Opportunities:

At Clifford Chance we understand that our true asset is our people. Inclusion is good for our team and their families, our firm and society. We are committed to treating all employees and applicants fairly and equally regardless of their gender, gender identity and expression, marital or civil partnership status, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, social or economic background, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation, or age. This applies to recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment including pay, promotion, training, transfer, and every other aspect of employment. Our goal is to deliver an equality of opportunity, an equality of aspiration and an equality of experience to everyone who works in our firm.

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