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Covington & Burling LLP

9 vacancies
18 trainees
33 partners
219 staff
Covington was founded a century ago. We advise clients on their most challenging matters, drawing on the diverse experience of lawyers across the firm globally.

Remember to cite LawCareers.Net on your application form if you apply to Covington & Burling LLP.

More info

Our two-week vacation schemes are a great way for students to get a ‘taster’ of the firm and decide if a career at Covington is for them. Our vacation schemes provide an opportunity to become integrated into the firm and gain an insight into the work of a Covington lawyer.

Your journey to becoming a trainee at Covington begins with our vacation scheme assessment centre where students undertake an interview and group exercise. Towards the end of the vacation scheme, all students are assessed for a training contract. We aim to recruit trainees predominantly from our vacation schemes. The candidates we choose are sharp, articulate, and quick thinking. They have confidence and composure, but also honesty and humour.

Applications to

Graduate Recruitment Team

Method of application

Online application form

Method of assessment

  • Assessment centre

Our distinctively collaborative culture allows us to be truly one team globally, drawing on the diverse experience of lawyers and advisors across the firm by seamlessly sharing insight and expertise.

What sets us apart is our ability to combine the tremendous strength in our litigation, investigations, and corporate practices with deep knowledge of policy and policymakers, and one of the world’s leading regulatory practices.

This enables us to create novel solutions to our clients’ toughest problems, successfully try their toughest cases and deliver commercially practical advice of the highest quality.

The firm has over 1,000 lawyers globally, in offices in Beijing, Brussels, Dubai, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai and Washington DC.

We offer trainees the opportunity to work on complex projects for clients such as Microsoft, AstraZeneca and Meta, and engage in cutting-edge pro bono matters.  We have advised pharmaceutical manufacturers on purchase and distribution agreements relating to manufacture and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, acted for ACWA Power in relation to the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project in Saudi Arabia, and represented Ukraine against the Russian Federation at the International Court of Justice.

Areas of work

Corporate advisory (capital markets, M&A, finance, private equity, venture capital and funds), commercial litigation, data privacy, competition, employment, financial services, insurance coverage disputes, intellectual property, internal investigations and compliance, international arbitration, life sciences, project development and finance, tax, technology regulatory. In addition, all our lawyers, are encouraged to undertake pro bono work.

We are offering up to 10 vacation placements on our one-week winter vacation scheme this year and up to 20 placements on our two-week summer vacation schemes. Students will gain an insight into the practice areas of the firm and also get involved in a research project, participate in group activities and attend a series of presentations. We will also organise a number of social events so that students can have some fun and get to know us.

Trainee profile

We are looking for strong academic performers, (on target to achieve a 2.1 or above), commercial awareness, strong interpersonal skills and the ability to be a team player. The candidates we choose are sharp, articulate, and quick thinking. They have confidence and composure, but also honesty and humour.

Training environment

The training contract in London comprises of four six-month seats, all trainees will undertake a seat within our corporate and dispute resolution practices. We currently offer optional seats in the following areas: employment; life sciences regulatory; technology regulatory; life sciences transactional; project development and finance; competition; business; and human rights. We offer secondments to our Brussels office sitting within our competition and anti-trust practice and a secondment to our Dubai office which offers exposure to corporate; project development; and finance and white collar crime work. Client secondments may also be available. We aim to distinguish our trainee programme by offering a genuine support network which includes assigning associate mentors and trainee buddies and conducting regular performance reviews. We have an excellent record of retaining trainee solicitors on qualification and we aim to recruit trainees who are interested in making a long term commitment to the firm.

Covington will be moving to the SQE model from our 2024 intake. 

At Covington, we believe that excellence in the practice of law knows no racial, ethnic, gender, religious, sexual orientation, ability, or other boundaries. We view diversity and inclusion (D&I) as an essential element of our culture and community, and are committed to monitoring progress to drive change within our firm. Covington’s culture is underpinned by its single-tier equity partnership, a compensation system without origination or billing credits, and an expectation of senior leaders to create opportunities for junior colleagues. As a result, we are actively supporting the growth of a new and increasingly diverse generation of leaders. 

Our D&I focus is on our talent, our clients, and our marketplace. The firm has implemented a comprehensive D&I approach that includes 1) leadership commitment that ensures this is a priority for the firm, 2) a strategic action plan with goals to guide our efforts, and 3) a team of dedicated D&I professionals who ensure we make progress every day.

Our management committee (MC) is intentional in ensuring that Covington’s leadership groups are diverse and reflect the diversity of our firm. The eight-person MC includes four women, two of whom are Black women. All of Covington’s 60+ practice and industry groups include diverse teams.  

Our assignment partners and practice group chairs work together to staff matters to meet the needs of clients while also ensuring meaningful development opportunities (i.e., work assignments and participation in client relationship building). Our efforts have resulted in a strong representation of women, racial/ethnic minorities, and LGBT+ associates in our senior review process, which is a gateway to partnership promotion.

We hold partners accountable for their role and responsibility in fostering diverse talent and cultivating an inclusive workplace. We recently implemented the following firm-wide D&I initiatives and efforts:

- Launched D&I billable credit hours policy

- Signed the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s “Leaders at the Front Diversity” Initiative

- Furthered Unconscious Bias education and offered bias training for hiring partners

- Focused on building inclusive leadership skills

- Championed development opportunities for underrepresented lawyers

- Facilitated forums to strengthen connections within affinity groups

- Hosted speakers, celebrations, and events

In September 2022, we look forward to hosting the inaugural Lawyers Diversity Summit, which will bring together our racial and ethnic minority and LGBT+ lawyers across the firm’s 13 offices. The Summit will provide an opportunity for these colleagues to network and engage in meaningful in-person dialogue to enhance inclusion and belonging at Covington.

The firm is committed to meeting our colleagues where they are to recognize their contributions and support their wellbeing. We have seven firm-wide Affinity Groups for both lawyers and staff, including: Black, Asian Pacific Islander, Latino, LGBT+, Middle Eastern/North African (MENA), Veterans, and a Women’s Forum. Over the past year, we also formalized several interest groups, including CovFamily, Social Mobility, and Disability & Wellness. Additionally, we evolved the firm’s mental wellbeing and emotional support resources by introducing the option to text message a licensed counselor through our Employee Assistance Program for dedicated counseling, in-the-moment support, and therapy.  

Covington continues to receive external recognition for its commitment to D&I initiatives. Highlights include:

- Ranked first in Law360’s Inaugural Pulse Leaderboard

- Named one of the top 50 Best Law Firm’s for Women by Seramount

- Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) Gold Standard Certification in the U.S. and the U.K., based on our actions to integrate women into the equity partnership and top firm leadership positions.

- Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: North America, Outstanding Veterans Program

- Perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index for the 14th consecutive year

- Diversity Lab “Mansfield Rule Certification Plus” every year since 2018

We are proud of the meaningful strides we have made in advancing D&I within our firm, but recognize that much work still remains. Covington remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering an environment where everyone feels they belong and can thrive. 

For more information on D&I at Covington, please go here.

Covington will pay tuition and examination fees and a maintenance grant will be paid at the current rate of up to £12,500 per annum.

  • Corporate
  • Dispute resolution (commercial litigation & white collar crime & investigations & international arbitration)
  • Employment
  • Life sciences regulatory
  • Life sciences transactional
  • Technology regulatory
  • Project development & finance
  • Competition
  • Business & human rights
  • Client secondment
  • Secondments to Dubai & Brussels offices
  • General Practice
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • General Commercial
  • Niche

Practice Areas

Extra info

22 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4BQ
Phone: 020 7067 2000
Email: [email protected]
Work placement: Yes
Number of work placements: 30
Minimum qualification: 2.1 degree and ABB at A level (or equivalent)
Start salary: £50,000
Fees paid for:
  • LPC
  • SQE
Turnover: £390,166,028 (2012)
Training contract applications: 228 (2021)
Retention rate: 85% (2022)
Partner diversity:
  • 52.0% male (2021)
  • 48.0% female
Lawyer diversity:
  • 42.0% male (2021)
  • 58.0% female
Has client secondments: Yes
Client secondments:
  • Media and TV organisations
  • Pharmaceutical companies
Has overseas secondments: Yes
Overseas secondments:
  • Brussels
  • Dubai
  • London
  • Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
  • LawWorks
  • TrustLaw Connect
  • Aspiring Solicitors
  • Black Solicitors Network
  • Bright Network
  • DiversCity
  • InterLaw Diversity Forum
  • Social Mobility Foundation
  • University of Warwick Multicultural Scholars programme
  • Warwick University Multicultural Scholars Programme