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The first step in securing a training contract at Covington is to complete an online application form. We recruit for our trainees exclusively via our vacation schemes.
Candidates should demonstrate they understand what makes Covington unique and explain why this appeals to them. Candidates should describe their legal and non-legal experiences and explain how these transferable skills would make them a great trainee at the firm.
We want to see strong written communication skills demonstrated throughout the application form. As a lawyer you will need to communicate complex ideas clearly and succinctly, show us that you are already developing these skills throughout your application form.
We want to recruit team players. Their trainee intakes are small and trainees play a significant role within the practice groups from an early stage of their career.
Finally, we look for trainees who are well rounded, so don’t be afraid to let your personality and passions shine throughout the application process.
Interviews and assessments
Successful candidates are invited to attend an assessment centre which comprises a group exercise and an interview with two senior lawyers. Candidates will also have the opportunity to meet with some trainees on an informal basis.
How to applycov.grad.allhires.com
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Graduate Recruitment Team
Method of applicationOnline Application Form
Method of assessment
- Assessment centre
- Partner interview
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.
The firm has over 1,000 lawyers globally, in offices in Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Dubai, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai and Washington DC.
Our trainees tell us that they were attracted to Covington because we provide the responsibility and opportunity of a close-knit office, combined with the resources and prestige of a leading international firm.
Above all, though, we recognise the importance of a great firm culture. At Covington you will find a firm with values of collegiality, high standards of lawyering, respect for others, a dedication to public service and a commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion. We have some of the best lawyers in the world because we understand that excellence in legal practice involves effective teamwork, clear and shared values and generosity to colleagues and clients as well as preeminent legal skills.
Our clients include technology giants Microsoft and Meta, and we represent leaders in life sciences including AstraZeneca and Oxford Biomedica. We have advised pharmaceutical manufacturers in relation to the manufacture and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, acted for ACWA Power on the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project in Saudi Arabia, and we engage in cutting-edge pro bono matters, such as representing Ukraine against the Russian Federation at the ICJ.
Vacation schemes (winter 2023 and summer 2024)
Our winter and summer vacation schemes are a great way for students to really learn about the firm, its people and decide if a career at Covington is for them.
Over the one week (winter) or two week (summer) schemes students have the opportunity to become integrated into the London office and gain an insight into the work of a Covington lawyer.
Students have the opportunity to participate in:
- a series of interactive presentations from practice groups and international offices;
- a group activity;
- networking sessions with trainees, associates, and partners;
- an independent research project focusing on a practice area of interest; and
- social events to help you get to know the firm.
Eligible applicants will be in their final year of a non-law degree or penultimate or final year of a law degree. We also welcome applications from graduates and career changers.
Applications for the winter vacation scheme close 20 October 2023.
Applications for the summer vacation scheme close on 12 January 2024.
CovInsights (first-year programme)
Our CovInsights programme is aimed at first year law students and second year non-law students who are still researching their legal careers.
This two day interactive programme provides a valuable insight into the firm, its practice areas, and the skills you will need to develop to become a successful lawyer. The programme is the perfect opportunity for candidates who are not yet eligible to apply for our vacation schemes.
The CovInsights programme includes:
- an introduction to our key practice areas;
- a group exercise;
- an application skills workshop; and
- networking with trainees, associates and partners.
Applications are open from 7 September until 9 February 2024. The programme will take place on 3-4 April 2024.
During your two years as a trainee solicitor you will spend time in a variety of practice areas (seats).
To ensure you get the best experience from your time our professional development team will work closely with you to design a training programme which best suits your preferences (and the business needs).
All trainees complete a transactional and contentious seat. Trainees are able to choose two seats from five practice areas.
Trainees are able to sit within the following specialist areas:
- dispute resolution
- life sciences regulatory
- technology regulatory
- project development and finance
- life sciences transactional
We will ask you about your seat preferences before you join the firm. To help you decide you will be invited to a live discussion (seat spotlight) to give you further information on the seats available. During each seat you will share an office with a partner or an associate (supervisor) and you will also have an additional supervisor on hand to help guide you through your time and your work in the relevant practice group. You will receive regular informal feedback as well as a formal mid-seat and end of seat review.
As a trainee you will also have the chance to apply for an international or client secondment, which is an excellent opportunity to develop an understanding of the global nature of our work and to experience working in a different cultural environment. Our client secondments offer the opportunity to deepen relationships and to really develop an understanding of what clients want from their lawyers. Secondments are not compulsory and there may be visa restrictions.
A secondment to Covington’s Brussels office provides an opportunity to work in our EU Competition law practice group. Ranked among the top antitrust and competition firms in the world, the team advises clients on a range of issues – cartels, abuse of dominance, mergers, and State aid, and represents them in front of the European Court, the European Commission, national competition authorities, and national courts.
A secondment to Covington's Dubai office provides an opportunity to work with Covington's project finance, corporate, global dispute resolution, government affairs and public policy, and regulatory practices across the firm in a challenging and rapidly evolving market. Our lawyers in Dubai provide advice to business entities, government agencies, sovereign wealth funds and private investors in the Middle East and those based outside of the region to navigate a wide array of business opportunities and respond to complex legal challenges throughout the Gulf.
Opportunities are provided to trainees to undertake a six month client secondment, which typically takes place in the second year of their training contract.
During your final seat (if not before) we will open up discussions with you regarding your qualification preferences. We are happy to say that most of our trainees stay with us upon qualification. Our professional development team will support you on your journey to becoming a newly qualified solicitor and you will also participate in the newly qualified solicitors transition programme.
The firm has now moved the SQE route to qualification. We sponsor all non-law students to complete the PGDL prior to commecing their SQE studies.
At Covington, we strive to put our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) values into action every day. We recognize that diversity enriches our culture, enhances our work with clients, and strengthens the profession. Covington lawyers bring a wide variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences to our practice. The firm emphasizes DEI principles in its recruitment, retention, development, and promotion practices. We are intentional, deliberate, and focused on what we want to achieve – a diverse, equitable, and inclusive firm. Learn more at cov.com/diversity-equity-and-inclusion.
Comprehensive financial support for tuition fees for the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) and
SQE, and maintenance grant of up to £15,000 for the PGDL and up to £17,000 for the SQE.
- Dispute resolution (commercial litigation & white collar crime & investigations & international arbitration)
- Life sciences regulatory
- Life sciences transactional
- Technology regulatory
- Project development & finance
- Client secondment & secondments to Dubai & Brussels offices
- General Practice
- Corporate & Commercial
- General Commercial
Banking & finance
Sponsored by Milbank LLP. Banking and finance involves many financial products, from bank loans to companies to highly structured financing arrangements across multiple jurisdictions.
Capital markets lawyers work with transactions involving the issue of debt or equity securities to the public or investors.
Commercial property/real estate
Sponsored by Mills & Reeve LLP. Commercial property lawyers work on a wide range of transactions including offices, retail developments and infrastructure projects.
Competition & EU law
Sponsored by Ashurst LLP. Competition and regulatory work includes merger control, regulatory and court proceedings, issues arising from sector-specific regulation and utility procurement issues.
Corporate finance/mergers & acquisitions
Corporate finance lawyers advise companies on all aspects of the buying and selling of whole businesses or business assets.
Corporate tax involves involves advising clients on the tax risks associated with acquiring, selling or restructuring assets.
Sponsored by RPC. Commercial litigators represent and advise commercial clients when disputes arise from joint venture projects, civil fraud, commercial and banking transactions, corporate governance, financial services regulation and professional negligence.
Employment, pensions & incentives
Sponsored by Lewis Silkin. Employment lawyers work across all areas of employment law, including handling discrimination, staff restructuring and whistleblowing issues.
Energy & natural resources
Sponsored by Norton Rose Fulbright. The energy sector is an important part of the legal landscape and is making more headlines than ever before.
Sponsored by Osborne Clarke LLP. Issues such as biodiversity loss, climate change, the demand for global sustainability and the need for alternative energy sources make environmental laws more important than ever.
Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, the covid-19 pandemic and various financial scandals, there is always lots going on in this area.
Restructuring and insolvency lawyers are necessary when a company, individual or other organisation is in financial difficulties.
Sponsored by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Insurance and reinsurance is an integral part of commercial activity throughout the world.
Sponsored by Bristows LLP. Intellectual property is an umbrella term for a variety of different rights which protect intellectual creations, such as inventions, brands, designs, and literary and artistic works.
Sponsored by Bristows LLP. The life sciences sector combines a range of legal practice areas, demanding expert advice from lawyers with detailed knowledge of the relevant trends and innovations in areas including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, healthcare, MedTech, veterinary and food.
Media & entertainment
Among the different types of client in this area are performers, managers and agents, artists, theatres, broadcasters and publishers.
Large projects involve lawyers specialising in finance, construction and corporate law.
Sponsored by Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP. Sports law involves the legal issues at play in the worlds of both amateur and professional sport.
|Training programme applications:||486 (2014)|
|Retention rate:||100% (2023)|
|Has client secondments:||Yes|
|Has overseas secondments:||Yes|
- Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
- Aspiring Solicitors
- Black Solicitors Network
- Bright Network
- InterLaw Diversity Forum
- Social Mobility Foundation
- University of Warwick Multicultural Scholars programme
- Warwick University Multicultural Scholars Programme