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Bird & Bird

  • Up to 18 vacancies
  • 36 trainees
  • 361 partners
  • 3002 staff

About Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird is an international law firm serving clients from 29 offices across Europe, North America, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.

Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Bird & Bird.

More info

The application process is the same whether you’re interested in applying for a training contract or a vacation scheme with us, please apply at

We hold two vacation schemes each year, one in spring and one in summer (both two weeks long). There are up to 30 positions available across the two schemes. Applications open for our spring vacation scheme on 2 September 2021 and close on 30 November 2021. Applications open for our summer vacation scheme on 2 September 2021 and close on 15 December 2021. Applications open for our direct training contract on 1 April 2022 and close on 31 May 2022.

Applications for our open day and STEM specific open day open on 2 September 2021 and close on 15 October 2021.

Once you have submitted your online application, your application will be reviewed and shortlisted candidates will be invited to complete an online test. Once we have received your completed test we will review your application form and online test in detail. Successful candidates are invited to the next stage in the process which is a video interview. Selected candidates are then invited to an assessment day.

Applications for our open day and STEM specific open day open on 2 September 2021 and close on 15 October 2021.

Applications for our 'Early Bird Virtual Workshop' open on 2 September 2021 and close on 15 December 2021.

To attend an open day or the 'Early Bird Virtual Workshop', you need to submit an application form.

Applications to

Graduate Recruitment and Trainee Development team

Method of application

Online Application Form

Method of assessment

  • Assessment centre
  • Panel interview
  • Psychometric testing
  • Video interview

Bird & Bird is an international law firm, with a rare and invaluable grasp of strategic commercial issues. We combine exceptional legal expertise with deep industry knowledge and refreshingly creative thinking, to help our clients achieve their commercial goals. We have over 1300 lawyers across 29 offices globally, as well as close ties with firms in other parts of the world.

At Bird & Bird, the flavour is definitely international - 75% of our major clients will deal with more than one of our 29 offices. Our lawyers know their local legal frameworks in exceptional detail and we work collaboratively across all our offices. It's why we're able to manage complex, cross-border projects and deals seamlessly and successfully, working closely with our clients to deliver high-quality service.

In 1998, we became one of the first law firms to organise itself around key sectors so that we could share our in-depth industry knowledge more effectively across the firm. Today, we're involved in a broad range of sectors, from aviation and defence through to communications and technology, energy and utilities, retail and consumer, financial services, as well as IT, life sciences, media and sport.

Our professionals don't just understand the law in these sectors, they enjoy learning about the wider context of their clients' businesses so that they can apply their skills to the commercial challenges of some of the world's most exciting companies. We understand the trends that are shaping the markets, and the technological and regulatory issues that are transforming industries.

We offer an 'Early Bird Virtual Workshop' for first year law students. This is a two-day work experience programme for those in the early stages of their career who aren’t yet eligible to apply for a vacation scheme or training contract. It’s an opportunity to explore your interest in the legal industry and kick-start your career, taking you straight to the heart of a global law firm. You’ll have access to our partners, associates, trainees and business services teams, as well as hearing from our graduate recruitment team who will be able to give you application tips and advice. During the virtual workshop, you’ll have a schedule packed with practical skills sessions, insight presentations and interactive Q&A sessions.

If you’d like to apply for our 'Early Bird Virtual Workshop', applications open on Thursday 2 September and close Wednesday 15th December 2021.

'Early Bird Virtual Workshop': Tuesday 11 January – Wednesday 12 January 2022

We also offer a spring and summer vacation scheme. A vacation scheme with Bird & Bird is more than just work experience. It’s an opportunity to discover your potential and kick-start your career in law, taking you straight to the heart of a global law firm.

With access to people across the company including partners and our CEO, you’ll have a chance to live and breathe the brand, experiencing the business from the inside out. You’ll also see first-hand the impact of client relationships and how we work seamlessly between 29 offices across Europe, the Middle East, North America, Asia-Pacific and Americas region.

You’ll be working on client projects from the outset: our vacation schemes are designed to strengthen your knowledge and give you an unfiltered look at the way people work on an international level. At the end of each placement we’ll be recruiting the best performers for our training contracts.

But there’s no work without play which is why you’ll experience the Bird & Bird social life too. Get to know the people who may eventually become your colleagues and immerse yourself in the friendly and vibrant culture that makes Bird & Bird, and our people, so unique.

We hold two vacation schemes each year, one in spring and one in summer (both two weeks long). There are up to 30 positions available across the two schemes. We pay the London living wage.

Please apply for all opportunities by visiting

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.

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.

From autumn 2021, the route to qualification as a solicitor is changing. The GDL and LPC will cease to exist in the current format and will be replaced by two centralised assessments, the SQE1 and the SQE2. You will need to pass these exams, gain two years of qualifying work experience (such as a training contract) and satisfy a character and suitable test in order to qualify as a solicitor.

We know that employing a diverse group of people from different backgrounds is key to our future growth and ongoing success. We strive to create and maintain an inclusive work environment in all our 29 offices where all of our people are seen as individuals and are each supported and encouraged to achieve, regardless of any difference.

Aspiring Solicitors

We were one of the first law firms to sign a partnership agreement with Aspiring Solicitors when the organisation formed in 2013. The primary aim of Aspiring Solicitors is to increase diversity in the legal profession, specifically underrepresented groups through skills workshops, mentoring schemes, assistance with training contract applications and events with partner firms. A significant number of our trainees have been recruited through the Aspiring Solicitors partnership and we continue to work closely with Aspiring Solicitors to ensure we are recruiting from the widest talent pool possible.

Bursary programme

In 2009, we launched our Bird & Bird Bursary programme, which aims to address the financial hurdle that often deters bright young people from socially deprived areas of the country from attending university. Our trainees are encouraged to get involved with this initiative by acting as mentors to our bursary students, guiding them through university and offering career advice and support. Now in its 12th year, this is one of our most successful programmes at the firm and helps us to recruit from the widest pool possible to ensure we are hiring the best talent!

City Parents

We pride ourselves in being a family friendly firm, where we appreciate that people have commitments outside of work. To support this, we encourage an agile working environment which helps people balance the demands of work and family. We offer parental coaching to those going on and returning from maternity and paternity leave. We also run family focused seminars throughout the year which are very well attended.


We have an award winning Black, Asian and minority ethnic network, Embrace, which aims to promote and celebrate racial  and cultural diversity in the workplace.

Embrace is a non-exclusive community that welcomes both members and allies of all cultural and racial backgrounds. The network provides a supportive community for our employees who relate to, identify with, appreciate or celebrate culture, religion, history and experience.


Bird & Bird is committed to a culture of equity, inclusion and belonging. We proudly partner with EmployAbility as a Next Generation Inclusive Employer to ensure all applicants and employees have a level playing field for accessing and growing their careers.

We run various seminars throughout the year on the topic of mental health to raise awareness and educate. We have also introduced training for all line managers and partners and have wellbeing officers in place throughout the London office.

We also partner with Employ-Ability to provide us advice on adjustments for all candidates engaging in our recruitment process, vacation scheme students and trainees who may need adjustments in the workplace to ensure they are set up for success from day one at the firm.

Global women's development programme

In 2016, we introduced our global women’s development programme to help retain our high-performing female associates, develop a global network of women across the firm, to encourage more role model behaviour and most importantly, inform us as a firm of any gender specific barriers to progression.

Race Fairness Commitment

We are signatories of the Rare’s Race Fairness Commitment which promotes fairness at work for people of all ethnic backgrounds so that everyone has an equal chance to succeed.

Rare Recruitment Contextual Recruitment System

We introduced the Rare Recruitment Contextual Recruitment System (CRS) in August 2018. The Rare Contextual Recruitment System uses big data to help organisations identify candidates with the greatest potential despite their significant academic, personal or socio-economic disadvantage. The system works by combining publicly available information with candidates’ application responses. We use information from bespoke databases that we have built. For the UK, the first database contains the exam results of more than 4,000 secondary schools and sixth form colleges nationally; the second contains 2.5 million residential postcodes. The Contextual Recruitment System delivers two outputs to employers: flags to measure disadvantage and Performance Index (PI) to measure outperformance against students at the same school. Since its launch in 2015, the System has processed over 100,000 applications. Firms using the system see an uptick of 50% in the number of people they hire from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Social Mobility Business Partnership (SMBP)

We are founding members of the Social Mobility Business Partnership (formally known as the Legal Social Mobility Partnership) initiative to provide a second week of work experience for the Pioneer students, visiting a different commercial organisation each day.


We have an active LGBTQ* group in place, StandOut, who run various internal and external events and initiatives to raise awareness and educate all employees about our LGBTQ* community.

The StandOut network provides a supportive framework for our LGBtQ*+ staff and Allies by representing their views and promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion both internally and externally.

We are also a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

Once you have accepted a training contract with us, we’ll support you financially too and will pay course and examination fees, as well as a maintenance grant of £8,000 for each year of full time study to help with living costs.

  • Aviation
  • Banking
  • Commercial
  • Corporate
  • Dispute resolution
  • Employment
  • Intellectual property
  • Real estate
  • Tax
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • General Commercial

Practice Areas

Extra info

12 New Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1JP
Phone: 020 7415 6000
Email: [email protected]
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 30
Minimum qualification: AAB/2.1
Start salary: £40,000
Fees paid for:
  • LPC
Turnover: £273,800,000 (2015)
Profit per partner: £515,000 (2012)
Training contract applications: 1,000 (2018)
Retention rate: 79% (2021)
Partner diversity:
  • 80.0% male (2021)
  • 20.0% female
Lawyer diversity:
  • 42.0% male (2021)
  • 58.0% female
Has client secondments: Yes
Client secondments:
  • Banks
  • Media and TV organisations
  • Sporting bodies
Has overseas secondments: Yes
Overseas secondments:
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Brussels
  • Budapest
  • Copenhagen
  • Düsseldorf
  • Frankfurt
  • Hamburg
  • Helsinki
  • Hong Kong
  • Lyon
  • Madrid
  • Milan
  • Munich
  • Paris
  • Prague
  • Rome
  • San Francisco
  • Shanghai
  • Singapore
  • Skanderborg
  • Stockholm
  • Sydney
  • The Hague
  • Warsaw
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Amsterdam
  • Beijing
  • Bratislava
  • Brussels
  • Budapest
  • Copenhagen
  • Dubai
  • Düsseldorf
  • Frankfurt
  • The Hague
  • Hamburg
  • Helsinki
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Luxembourg
  • Lyon
  • Madrid
  • Milan
  • Munich
  • Paris
  • Prague
  • Rome
  • San Francisco
  • Shanghai
  • Singapore
  • Stockholm
  • Sydney
  • Warsaw
  • LawWorks
  • Own It
  • Prince’s Trust
  • South Westminster Legal Advice Centre
  • Aspiring Solicitors
  • Lawyers in Schools
  • Legal Apprenticeships
  • Social Mobility Foundation
  • Stonewall
  • The Citizenship Foundation
  • Windsor Fellowship