Training contracts

Becoming a trainee at Bird & Bird is the first step to fulfilling your potential and shaping your long-term career. You’ll have real responsibility from day one – working for exciting clients across a range of sectors in a number of practice areas.

Your relationship with the firm starts from the moment we make you an offer. We maintain close links with with you throughout your time at Law School to ensure that your transition from study to training contract is as smooth as possible. You can expect regular contact, input and tailored seminars from the firm before you even begin your formal career.

During your two-year training contract you will spend six months in four of the following practice areas: Aviation,  Banking, Commercial, Corporate, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Intellectual Property, Real Estate and Tax. We listen to your department preferences and ensure, wherever possible, that you have either an international or client secondment to enrich your learning.

You’ll take part in a business-skills development programme that will provide the basic building blocks for your future development within the business of law. Additionally, we encourage trainees to get involved in corporate responsibility initiatives, join our Bird & Bird sports teams and take part in various social events. You’ll find we offer an environment in which people genuinely enjoy working together and learning from each other.

It’s a rich learning experience, in which you’ll be given accountability for important pieces of work and have the opportunity to attend client meetings and court hearings.

What we’re looking for

Our lawyers are commercially-minded and at the top of their game technically. Clients also expect, however, that they will offer something more: a passion for their particular industry and the technologies that are transforming it. We’ll need to know you’re excited by the high quality work at Bird & Bird and have a strong international perspective. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll speak a variety of languages or have visited every corner of the globe, you’ll take a keen interest in different cultures and understand the importance of multinational co-operation. You’ll also have an interest in our sector specialisms and a willingness to learn more about them as you progress at the firm. You’ll have a creative approach when responding to challenges and be a well-rounded team player who can demonstrate that you fit with our open, fast-paced culture.

We accept applications from both graduates and undergraduates who have secured, or will secure, as a minimum, a 2:1 degree and AAB at A-Level. However, whilst academic achievements are important to us, we do understand that you may not have received the grade you hoped for due to extenuating or mitigating circumstances. If this is the case, don’t be discouraged, you can detail any relevant information in your application form and we will review any potential mitigating circumstances alongside your application.

When to apply

 Applications for our 2024 Training Contract will open on 1st April 2022 and close on 31st May 2022.

Please note that we recruit the majority of our future trainees from our vacation schemes and would therefore urge you to apply for that route. Whilst we do still offer a direct training contract route, it is aimed at career changers or those who are prevented from attending a vacation scheme for any other reason.

Application process

Your application will be screened by a member of the graduate recruitment team.

If you are successful, you will be invited to complete an online test. Successful candidates are then invited to the next stage in the process which is a video interview. Selected candidates are then invited to an assessment day. Assessment days will be held in Summer 2022.

Please note that law students should apply from their penultimate year onwards, and non-law students should apply from their final year. Graduates can apply at any time.