Vacation Schemes

We actively encourage all candidates who are considering applying to us for a trainee solicitor position to undertake a two-week vacation placement with us, as almost all our trainee solicitors have done.

We offer around 70 vacation places each year (across winter, spring, and summer schemes) and pay £500 per week.

The vacation schemes aim to provide potential training contract applicants with a practical insight into life as a Cleary Gottlieb lawyer. Our objective throughout is to involve participants directly in client work. In addition to providing hands-on experience, the scheme incorporates a series of practice overview sessions designed to ensure exposure to the full range of work that we undertake in London. We also organize a number of social events to help participants get to know our partners, associates and trainees outside the office.

  • Qualification Requirements. We receive a very high number of applications for vacation scheme placements and training contracts each year. To succeed, candidates need to demonstrate exceptional academic ability. We normally expect candidates to be on course to attain a high 2.1 degree or better from a leading university and to have achieved at least AAA at A-Level or the equivalent. Alongside academic ability, we value evidence of extra-curricular achievement. Foreign language skills are a valuable asset, but are not essential. We are proud to be using Rare Recruitment’s Contextual Recruitment System (CRS) which allows us to consider your achievements in the context in which they were gained. We understand that not every candidate’s achievements look the same on paper – and we want to recruit the best people, from every background.
  • When to Apply. Applications for all vacation scheme placements will open on 18 September 2023. Successful applicants will be invited to join an assessment day programme.
  • 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 A-Level (or equivalent) results and 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.