Hiring Process

Candidates interested in a career with us are welcome to apply for a position via our online application tool.

Please click here to apply.

If your application matches the profiles that we are looking for (please refer to the various sections on this Legal Recruiting page), you will be invited to our office for a full round of interviews in order for you to meet partners and possible future colleagues. A full interview schedule often includes a lunch with stagiaires or associates so that you are given the opportunity to ask all possible questions in a more relaxed environment. After collecting interview feedback, hiring decisions are made by the Recruiting Committee promptly following your visit to our offices.

We take part in job fairs organized in Belgian, German and UK universities and we participate in career days organized by the College of Europe in Bruges and by the European institutions. We also organize in-house recruiting events for applicants enrolled in US and UK LL.M. programs as well as for DG Competition trainees at the European Commission. These in-house events are typically organized between October and February of each year.

Furthermore, each year the firm participates in the New York University International Student Interview Program and the Columbia Overseas-Trained LL.M. Student Interview Program held at the end of January in New York for applicants enrolled in the U.S. LL.M. programs nationwide. In addition to hiring applicants from these interview programs to begin work in the Brussels office, we also select students to participate in our firm’s International Lawyer Program in New York or Washington before transferring to the Brussels office.

Positions at Cleary Gottlieb. The Brussels office recruits throughout the year and is looking for candidates to fill the positions listed below. Please apply by clicking directly on a position.

Associates (qualified lawyers)
Summer Associates (law students)

Please note that there are no current positions available for Project Attorneys in the Brussels office.

To find out more about these positions, please refer to the various sections on this Legal Recruiting page.

Associate Profile. The Brussels office is looking for candidates who want to become outstanding lawyers and who have a keen interest in practicing European Competition law or Belgian Corporate law.

We are looking for candidates holding a LL.M. degree from a leading U.S. or U.K. law school or the equivalent from another country’s leading academic institution or candidates who are prepared to commit to obtain one. Associate candidates must also be qualified, or in the process of qualifying with a bar association.

We require excellent academic credentials, and fluency in spoken and written English language is essential.

Applicants must be team players, highly motivated and internationally oriented.

Referendar Program. The Brussels office offers highly qualified German Referendare (a legal clerk in between the 1st and 2nd German legal state exams) the possibility to spend a stage (Referendarstation) at the Brussels office. The aim of a stage is to give the Referendar a chance to work with and get to know us - and vice versa - with a view to possible permanent employment as an associate of the firm. Candidates should be able to demonstrate high academic achievement and a genuine interest in international business law and fluency in spoken and written English language is essential.

Our Referendare work closely with our lawyers on ongoing projects to give them the best possible insight into the European law practices of the Brussels office, and primarily competition, intellectual property, trade, state aid, environmental regulation, and customs law. The tasks may include drafting briefs and memoranda, attending meetings with clients or the European Commission, making internal presentations, and doing legal research. Our Referendare often work in diverse teams, with lawyers of more than 25 different nationalities working in our office.

Stagiaire Program. The stagiaire position is one of limited duration, usually one year. Candidates for this position can either be qualified or non-qualified lawyers.

The aim of a stage is to give the stagiaire a chance to work with and get to know us - and vice versa - with a view to possible permanent employment as an associate of the firm. Candidates should be able to demonstrate high academic achievement and a genuine interest in law and fluency in spoken and written English language is essential. Our stagiaires work closely with our lawyers on ongoing projects to give them the best possible insight into the Belgian and European law practices of the Brussels office. The tasks may include drafting briefs and memoranda, attending meetings with clients or the European Commission, making internal presentations, and conducting legal research.

Our stagiaires often work in diverse teams, with lawyers of more than 25 different nationalities working in our office.

Summer Program. Each year we offer a limited number of students (usually in their last or second-to-last year of law school depending on their country of education) the opportunity to spend a month in our office during the summer period.

The Summer Associate Program provides an introduction to the practice of law at Cleary Gottlieb. It gives you an exposure to practical aspects of legal problems, an opportunity to experience life within a leading international law firm and an introduction to the way law is practiced in our firm.

This means that you will work in our office on a broad range of assignments and at the same time you are encouraged to participate actively in the ‘Summer Associate Training and Events Program’ organized in the Brussels office for all summer associates. This program includes training sessions in both EU and Belgian law as well as many different social events for the summer associates to enjoy.

We are looking for students with excellent academic credentials and fluency in spoken and written English. Applicants must be strong team players, highly motivated and internationally oriented.

We offer compensation in line with these requirements.

The Brussels Summer Associate Program welcomes both students from Belgian universities as well as international students. Moreover some students are seconded to us by our London, Frankfurt, New York and Washington offices. The program runs from June until the end of August.

Belgian law students are recruited for the Summer Associate Program in late October/early November of the preceding year in which the program will be held. These students will receive a notification from us (usually via their university) inviting them to send in their applications.

International students should send their applications in by February 15 of the same year in which the program will be held

U.S. LL.M. Recruiting. Each year the firm participates in both the New York University International Student Interview Program and the Columbia Overseas-Trained LL.M. Student Interview Program held at the end of January in New York. In addition to hiring applicants from these interview programs to begin work in one of our European offices, we also select candidates to begin their careers with the firm in New York or Washington.

Candidates trained in European jurisdictions who have successfully interviewed with us and have received and accepted a permanent offer to join one of our European offices as associates may be eligible to begin their career with the firm in either our New York or Washington office for a period of one to two years following graduation from a U.S. LL.M. or M.C.J. program. Candidates from other jurisdictions may also spend one to two years with the firm before returning to their home countries to work with clients or in local law firms.


Equal Employment Opportunity

From its inception, Cleary has strived to maintain a friendly and collegial atmosphere that makes our offices a positive and supportive place in which to work. We believe strongly in the desirability of a work environment that is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment, where all of us observe the highest professional standards and treat each other with civility, respect and dignity. Consistent with these goals, the firm has a policy prohibiting any form of discrimination or harassment based on actual or perceived age, alienage or citizenship, ancestry, arrest or conviction record, color, creed, disability, domestic partnership status, gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or expression, genetic predisposition or genetic carrier status, marital status, military status, national origin, partnership status, pregnancy, childbirth- and pregnancy-related medical conditions, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation or preference, status as a victim of domestic violence, status as a victim of stalking or a sex offense, unemployment, veteran status, or any other category protected by law. This policy applies to all employment-related matters, including recruitment, hiring, placement, assignments, training, compensation, promotion and termination.