Learning and development

We’ve designed our graduate learning and development scheme to treat you as an individual and help you find and meet your professional and business goals. That way, we’ll set you on the path to success right from the start. We recognise that formal academic learning is only part of the picture. Much of your learning will come from our active sector experts and the international network you build up for yourself. Our aim is to provide a rounded package of support that you can draw upon throughout your career.

Keeping track of progress

You’ll have a mid-seat appraisal after three months, at which you can explore your objectives and your supervisor can review your performance. There’s also an end-of-seat appraisal when the six-month period is complete. The Graduate Recruitment and Trainee Development team will be involved in both sessions, to ensure support, continuity and opportunities for personal development. It’s an open dialogue, in which you can talk about your aspirations for the future and identify ways in which the firm can help you to achieve your goals.

A dedicated development department

Promoting our lawyers’ development is so important to us that we’ve evolved our own specialist department focused on organising legal, technical and business skills training and support. It’s your chance to be guided on your way from trainee to partner. Our Graduate Recruitment and Trainee Development team also stays actively involved throughout your journey from trainee to newly-qualified lawyer and beyond – ensuring that you have exactly the opportunities you need to progress. We know there’s a steep learning curve, which is why we believe so strongly in mentoring, hands-on support and delivering our tailored trainee and NQ induction programmes.

Developing your professional skills

At Bird & Bird, we offer a wide selection of learning and career-development opportunities, designed to help you develop your interests and realise your potential. There’s everything from seminars on the latest legal and commercial developments, contract-drafting workshops and mini MBA courses to presentation skills training, negotiation simulations and language training. You will also attend a development programme designed specifically for trainees, which will help you to deal with every aspect of the first stages of your professional life. This programme includes workshops in areas such as marketing, financial awareness, working in legal teams and operating in an international business. There are also options for secondments to our other offices or to our clients’ offices.

In addition, you’ll be briefed on every sector of the firm and we’ll support you through your compulsory Professional Skills Course.