Back to Solicitors

Cooley (UK) LLP

4-5 vacancies
9 trainees
29 partners
220 staff

Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters and high-stakes litigation, often where innovation meets the law.

Watch now
LawCareersNetLIVE London 2023: partner panel

At our LawCareersNetLIVE London event on 1 December 2023, the panel of top law firm partners addressed the key issues affecting law firms in 2024. The session helped delegates understand how firms operate as businesses and the role they will play as trainees.

More videos

Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Cooley (UK) LLP.

More info

The summer programme is the only route into getting a training place at Cooley (UK). Therefore if you think you might like to train and develop your career at the firm you should apply for the programme. The summer programme is open to law students in their penultimate and final years', non-law students in their final year and graduates/those already at law school. Applications are via the online application system here: Cooley UK trainee application. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to complete an online critical thinking appraisal, those who perform most impressively will be invited to attend a half-day assessment consisting of a commercial case study (group exercise). Those who most closely match what Cooley is looking for will be offered interviews with a variety of the firm's lawyers. 

Please see the firm's trainee brochure here:

Applications to

Ms Sarah Warnes

Method of application

Online Application Form

Method of assessment

  • Assessment centre
  • Partner interview
  • Psychometric testing
  • Video interview

Cooley lawyers solve legal issues for entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions and established companies, with a significant emphasis on technology, life sciences and other high-growth industries. Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters and high-stakes litigation, often where innovation meets the law. The firm has 1,500 lawyers across 17 offices in the US, Asia and Europe. Cooley took home the US Law Firm of the Year award at the Legal Business Awards in 2022 and the London office was recognised by The Legal 500's 2022 Future Lawyer's trainee solicitor survey as a winning firm across eight categories.

Cooley goes to great lengths to maintain a culture of teamwork, collaboration, respect and excellence. Many leading industry organisations say Cooley is a special place, including repeat recognition from Diversity Lab, Working Mother, the Women in Law Empowerment Forum and more. The firm strives to maintain a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment and to create opportunities for professional growth. Cooley considers its commitment to the communities in which it operates to be one of its highest priorities and each year performs thousands of hours of pro bono legal services and other forms of community service.

Cooley’s London office has been named London Office of the Year at the British Legal Awards twice since opening in 2015. Cooley's London team has strengths across many of the firm's core practice areas, working on both UK and US deals in corporate/M&A; venture capital and capital markets.  We also offer expertise in technology and life sciences transactions, IP, complex high-stakes litigation, insurance & reinsurance, product compliance & liability, tax, competition, employment, compensation & benefits, fraud, and data protection and privacy.

Who should apply

If you want to consider joining Cooley you will need to be stimulated by solving business and legal challenges. Academic excellence; requirements are a minimum 2:1 at degree level for any discipline and ABB at A level (128 UCAS points or equivalent not to include points from AS levels or general studies), great analytical skills and a rigorous approach are essential. You should be able to demonstrate plenty of energy, drive and determination. Your understanding of business and commercial considerations, should be of a good standard. You will also be adaptable and capable of thinking on your feet. You should have developed great communication and interpersonal skills from a variety of situations. Understanding teamwork, evidence of leadership and seeking responsibilities are vital. Interesting achievements and making the most of non-academic and work experience (not necessarily all legal) opportunities will help applicants stand out.

Applications welcome from both law and non-law disciplines.

Details of work placements

The firm offers a structured two-week placement for up to ten students in June/July of each year. We limit the number of places in order to give students a really 'hands-on' experience, normally in two differing areas. This enables you to get involved in a variety of work, with a variety of people, giving you the opportunity to really get to know the firm, its collaborative culture and the work it does. Applications should be submitted by 15 January 2023. We do not review applications on a rolling basis but shortlisting may begin ahead of the final deadline.

UK Diversity Fellowship 2023

As part of Cooley’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we are proud to offer Diversity Fellowships to outstanding university students intending to study for qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales. Students who demonstrate a commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion are encouraged to apply.

The Cooley UK Diversity Fellowship is a unique opportunity to gain valuable insights about a career in law with Cooley, with the opportunity to participate in Cooley’s summer programme a year sooner than students are typically eligible to participate.

Meet Cooley events

Our annual 'Meet Cooley' event will take place virtually on 15 December 2022 enabling students to learn more about the firm and meet Cooley lawyers and trainees. The event is aimed at those who are planning on applying for a 2023 summer programme place. We will also be hosting a smaller 'Meet and Greet' event in spring 2023. Priority for these events will be given to those who haven't applied to the summer programme in 2023 but are thinking of doing so for 2024 or beyond.

Period of recognised training programme

Cooley is wholly committed to recruiting and providing excellent training to trainees in London. The hallmarks of the training experience we can offer will revolve around small groups of trainees (currently four places available annually) and really hands-on involvement. We truly believe in learning by doing. You will get real responsibility on some of the highest quality work for the highest quality clients. The smaller teams you will work in will lead to high levels of partner contact but also the sense that you can make a substantial contribution with both your thoughts and actions. There will be plenty of opportunities for client contact. All of this comes in an environment where people enjoy working together as a team and are supportive and respectful of each other. 

Trainees will rotate every six months through some of the firm's contentious and non-contentious specialisms in corporate, regulatory and litigation areas. There may also be opportunities to complete a client secondment which really adds to your development as a truly commercial lawyer.

Supplementing your hands-on learning will be our tailored 'Cooley Uni' trainee development programme. The programme offers regular sessions designed to increase your technical and practice-based knowledge for the work we do. It also gives opportunities to develop your professional skills alongside finance, marketing and commercial skills and understanding.

Cooley will be transitioning to the SQE pathway for those trainees commencing with the firm from autumn 2024 onwards.

Cooley’s commitment to attracting, mentoring and retaining an exceptional team of lawyers from as many backgrounds as possible is embedded in our culture. We are dedicated to maintaining a truly diverse workplace that values and celebrates differences – from the way we relate to and support each other to the way we work together to meet our clients’ needs.

We have several affinity groups at Cooley with active membership in our London office, including the Cooley Inclusion Alliance, Women’s Initiative, and LGBTQ+, Black Attorney and Black Business Professionals, Asian Pacific Islander Attorney, Latinx, and Caregivers Attorney affinity groups. These groups provide resources and networks to support the retention and inclusion of our lawyers. Additionally, a London partner and associate sit on Cooley’s diversity committee, a firmwide committee that meets bimonthly to strategise ways to maintain and strengthen a culture of equity and inclusivity across Cooley.

We’re proud of our annual commitment to Pathways to Law, which provides legal work experience to academically able, A-level students from underrepresented backgrounds. In addition, we review summer programme applications on a name-blind basis and conduct behavioural interviewer and unconscious bias training for all our lawyers, directors and managers. We also implement the Rare Contextual Recruitment System as part of our application system. We are excited about what lies ahead in continuing to attract, develop and retain diverse talent at Cooley. Learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion and Cooley’s DEI action plan:

Period of recognised training

PGDL SQE fees funding plus living allowance.

UK Diversity Fellowship

UK Diversity Fellowship award recipients will receive a paid summer programme position and a bursary of up to £12,000 to assist with university/law school tuition. The bursary will be paid in three instalments: £4,000 upon completion of the first UK summer programme with the firm; £4,000 upon completion of the second UK Summer Programme with the firm; and the remaining £4,000 upon joining the firm as a full-time trainee solicitor.

  • Corporate M&A/PE/VC
  • Capital markets
  • Technology transactions
  • Life sciences
  • Business litigation
  • Product compliance & product liability
  • Employment
  • Antitrust
  • Compensation & benefits
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • General Commercial

Practice Areas

Extra info

22 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4BQ
Phone: 020 7583 4055
Email: [email protected]
Training programmes offered:
  • Training contract/QWE
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 10
Minimum qualification: 2:1 degree, ABB / 128 UCAS points or equivalent
Start salary: £55,000
Fees paid for:
  • LPC
  • SQE
Turnover: £83,213,198 (2021)
Training programme applications: 339 (2023)
Retention rate: 100% (2023)
Partner diversity:
  • 78.0% male (2023)
  • 22.0% female
Lawyer diversity:
  • 53.0% male (2023)
  • 47.0% female
  • London
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Colorado
  • New York
  • Reston
  • Palo Alto
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Santa Monica (LA)
  • Seattle
  • Washington DC
  • Chicago
  • Shanghai
  • Beijing
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Brussels
  • Miami
  • Asylum Aid UK
  • Business in the Community
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Court of Appeal scheme
  • Fair Trials International
  • Fenix
  • Free Representation Unit
  • Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
  • LawWorks (the Solicitors Pro Bono Group)
  • Liberty
  • London Legal Support Trust (LLST)
  • National Deaf Children Society
  • Outright International
  • Own It
  • Plan International
  • Prisoners’ Advice Service
  • Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre
  • RCJ Advice
  • The Access to Justice Foundation
  • The Royal Courts of Justice Advice Bureau
  • TrustLaw Connect
  • UnLtd
  • Whitechapel Mission
  • Zacchaeus 2000 Trust
  • Aspiring Solicitors
  • BITC
  • Bright Network
  • Cooley UK Diversity Fellowship
  • InterLaw Diversity Forum
  • Mindful Business Charter
  • Pathways to Law
  • Rare Recruitment
  • Sutton Trust
  • The Brokerage