Vacation Schemes

We offer a four-week vacation program for law undergraduates or JD students who are in their penultimate year of study, or to those candidates who are seeking a training contract commencing two years after the placement.

We generally recruit our trainees from those who have completed our Vacation Schemes.

The Vacation Scheme aims to provide potential trainee applicants with a practical insight into life as a Cleary Gottlieb lawyer, and our aim throughout the scheme is to involve participants directly in client work.

There are also organized social events throughout the scheme so that participants can get to know the current partners, associates, and trainees of the firm outside the office.

  • Qualification Requirements. We seek individuals who are confident in their abilities, creative in their thinking, and enthusiastic about the practice of law in a challenging and dynamic international setting.

We normally expect candidates to have demonstrated the ability to attain a high 2.1 (or equivalent) degree from a leading university in a common law jurisdiction. In addition, we expect successful candidates to be fluent in English as well as Mandarin. Cantonese skills are desirable but not necessary.

We are looking for candidates having not only the necessary academic qualifications, but also the ability to work in a team with colleagues and clients in a professional and convivial way.

  • Application Deadlines. We offer summer placements in June, July, and August; and a winter placement in December or January.

Deadline for Summer 2025 Vacation Scheme: February 1, 2025.

Participants in the placements in June, July, and August 2025 will be considered for 2027 training contracts.

Deadline for Winter 2024/25 Vacation Scheme: October 1, 2024.

Participants in the placements in December 2024 and January 2025 will be considered for 2026/2027 training contracts.

  • How to Apply. All candidates should submit a cover letter and full curriculum vitae via the Current Opportunities link, including a breakdown by subject of all degree results where known.
  • Trainee Solicitor Brochure. Click here to view our current Trainee Solicitor brochure.

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.