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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, with 30 offices across the globe and advising clients from over 120 countries within the last year.

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

More info

For our vacation schemes and training contracts, the application process typically includes an online application form on Apply4Law, a psychometric test, a video interview, and an assessment centre. Once you have applied, you will receive a confirmation of your received application form. You will be notified if your application has been unsuccessful or receive an email regarding the next stage of the application at each stage.

We accept applications from those who have, or will expect to have, a minimum of AAB at A level and a 2.1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent). However, we do understand that you may not have received the grade you hoped for due to extenuating or mitigating circumstances. Please detail any relevant information in your application for us to take into consideration. We also use RARE Contextual Recruitment System to enable us to recruit people from all kinds of backgrounds, and help us understand your achievements in the context in which they were gained.

Apply here: www.apply4law.com/twobirds.

Direct training contract

Applications to our 2024 direct training contract open Friday 1 April 2022 and close Tuesday 31 May 2022. 

You are eligible to apply if you can commence a training contract in 2024. This means you will be in your penultimate-year of a law degree, final-year of a non-law degree, or already graduated by Autumn 2022. Please note, 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, we will prioritise applications from career changers and those who are prevented from attending a vacation scheme for any other reason.

Vacation scheme

Applications to our 2023 vacation schemes will open in Autumn 2022. You are eligible to apply if you can commence a training contract in 2025. This means you will be in your penultimate-year of a law degree, final-year of a non-law degree, or already graduated by Autumn 2023. If you have previously completed a vacation scheme with us, you must wait one recruitment year before re-applying. 

Bursary scheme

Applications to our bursary scheme open Friday 1 April 2022 and close Tuesday 31 May 2022.

Flying start programme

Applications to our 2023 flying start programme will open in Autumn 2022. This workshop is for those who cannot yet apply to our vacation schemes or direct training contract. You are eligible if you are a first-year law undergraduate, or first- or penultimate-year non-law undergraduate student.

Open days

Our STEM open day and all degrees open day will be in Autumn 2022.


Applications to

Early Careers

Method of application

Online application form

Method of assessment

  • Assessment centre
  • Psychometric testing
  • Video interview

Bird & Bird is an international law firm, with 30 offices across the globe and advising clients from over 120 countries within the last year. London is the biggest office in our international network and our London lawyers get to work with a diverse range of clients and on some great work. It is fast-paced and can be demanding, but we work as one firm across our international network so we never lose sight of the bigger picture.

We ask the right questions to shape the right objective and we provide, sensible insightful advice on how to get there. We use our sector understanding and legal expertise to unlock the issues and we take a commercial approach when applying the law. We roll up our sleeves and get on board and we are good people to do business with. If that sounds like you, why not join us?

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For more information, please visit our website.

Flying start programme

Our flying start programme is a two-day experience for those in the early stages of their career, consisting of practical skills sessions, interactive group tasks, insightful talks and presentations, networking events, and Q&A discussions. It is an opportunity for you to explore your interest in the legal industry. You will develop lawyer-specific skills and commercial awareness, network with our lawyers, and add valuable experience to your resume.

Applications to our 2023 flying start programme will open in Autumn 2022. This workshop is for those who cannot yet apply to our vacation schemes or direct training contract. You are eligible if you are a first-year law undergraduate, or first- or penultimate-year non-law undergraduate student.

Virtual work experience

Our virtual experience programme, in partnership with Forage, is an opportunity for you to immerse yourself in the world of an international law firm and discover what life is like as a trainee solicitor. You will complete three modules that will encourage you to: apply law theory to work situations at Bird & Bird; develop your commercial awareness, skills, and knowledge; and practice reviewing, drafting, and analysing legal documents for clients. The programme takes six to eight hours to complete. You will gain real work experience and learn directly from us, which you can use on your resume, in interviews, and in your future work as a lawyer. You will earn a certificate to share with prospective employers and your professional network.

To complete this programme, you need to create a free Forage account, which also gives you access to other programs, jobs, and opportunities. Complete the free, self-paced programme online here.

Vacation schemes

Our vacation schemes are an opportunity to discover your potential and kick-start your career in law, by strengthening your knowledge, law-specific skills and experience of the legal sector. You will have an unfiltered look at the way people work in a law firm and the impact of client relationships, globally. As a sector-focused firm, you will learn about our clients across a range of sectors in your department. You will experience a variety of training, skill sessions, insight talks, and Q&As from a breadth of people at the firm, including our lawyers, early careers, diversity and inclusion, risk and compliance, and IT teams. You can network and socialise with colleagues through our socials and events, immersing yourself in our friendly, vibrant culture.

It is both an opportunity for you to showcase your potential as a trainee solicitor and decide whether Bird & Bird is the right firm for you. At the end of the scheme, the top performers will be recruited for a training contract.

There are 30 positions available across two schemes: Spring and Summer.

Applications to our 2023 vacation schemes will open in Autumn 2022. You are eligible to apply if you can commence a training contract in 2025. This means you will be in your penultimate-year of a law degree, final-year of a non-law degree, or already graduated by Autumn 2023. If you have previously completed a vacation scheme with us, you must wait one recruitment year before re-applying. 

Becoming a trainee at Bird & Bird is the first step to fulfilling your potential and shaping your long-term career. You will have responsibility from day one, working for stimulating clients across a range of sectors, in a number of practice areas. However, your relationship with us starts from the moment we make you an offer. We maintain a close relationship with you before starting, so the transition into your formal career is as smooth as possible. You will experience four seats for six months each over your training contract, giving you a rich learning experience and development opportunities. You may also experience an international or client secondment to enrich your learning. Alongside your seat rotations, you will take part in a learning and development programme which will provide the basic building blocks for your future development within the business of law. You can also get involved in corporate responsibility initiatives; help with early career programmes; join our firm-wide sports teams; and become a member of our networks and socials.

Applications to our 2024 direct training contract open Friday 1 April 2022 and close Tuesday 31 May 2022.

Please note, 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, we will prioritise applications from career changers and those who are prevented from attending a vacation scheme for any other reason.

You are eligible to apply if you can commence a training contract in 2024. This means you will be in your penultimate-year of a law degree, final-year of a non-law degree, or already graduated by Autumn 2022.

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 will not base our decision on who to recruit for our training contract based on whether they have completed the LPC or SQE, as we will discuss individual circumstances with all those offered a training contract. 

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 30 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 scheme

Since 2009, our bursary scheme has sponsored students in pursuing their career in law. Today, it is a successful pipeline programme to our vacation scheme and training contract. As part of the scheme, you will have support, career guidance and access to mentoring from a trainee buddy at Bird & Bird; workshops and skills sessions delivered by our early careers and diversity and inclusion teams alongside your university studies; and financial assistance paid in instalments over your time at university. You will also have access to our newsletters, networks and events at the firm.

Applications to our scheme open Friday 1 April 2022 and close Tuesday 31 May 2022. To be awarded a place on our bursary scheme, you must fulfil our eligibility criteria.

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.

Embrace

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.

EmployAbility

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 EmployAbility 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.

StandOUT

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. Our 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.

We financially support all of our incoming trainees in their education, by paying for the GDL/LPC/SQE course and examination fees, as well as a maintenance grant for each year of full-time study to help with living costs. We also offer sponsorship to law students through our bursary scheme.

  • Aviation
  • Banking & finance
  • 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]
Web: www.twobirds.com/en/careers/united-kingdom
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 30
Minimum qualification: AAB at A level (or equivalent) and 2.1 degree
Start salary: £45,000
Fees paid for:
  • CPE/GDL
  • LPC
  • SQE
Turnover: £273,800,000 (2015)
Profit per partner: £515,000 (2012)
Training contract applications: 1,000 (2018)
Retention rate: 83% (2017)
Partner diversity:
  • 80.0% male (2018)
  • 20.0% female
Lawyer diversity:
  • 42.0% male (2018)
  • 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
  • Casablanca
  • 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
  • Oxfam
  • Prince’s Trust
  • South Westminster Legal Advice Centre
  • Aspiring Solicitors
  • Lawyers in Schools
  • Legal Apprenticeships
  • PRIME
  • Rare Recruitment
  • Social Mobility Foundation
  • Stonewall
  • The Citizenship Foundation
  • Windsor Fellowship