Starting at Cleary

While our search for candidates is broad, our focus is narrow: hiring lawyers who thrive in a firm that emphasizes excellence and collegiality.

Cleary Gottlieb has developed a diverse, first-rate firm by recruiting in Italy and abroad, without pre-conceived notions of what makes a first-rate lawyer. The common thread that ties together all our hires is talent.

Seeking Excellence and Creativity

We seek lawyers who are confident in their abilities and creative in their thinking. To find these attributes in a lawyer, we look for academically excellent candidates who are enthusiastic about practicing law in a challenging and dynamic international setting.


We recruit qualified lawyers and stagiaires throughout the year.

We are looking for candidates who have obtained an Italian law degree (Laurea in giurisprudenza), with top marks. Fluency in English is essential.


For associate positions, we generally look for candidates admitted to the bar in Italy, with an LL.M. degree from outside Italy, preferably from an English-speaking law school or, for candidates interested in practicing antitrust law, from the College of Europe, Bruges. In exceptional cases, we also consider outstanding candidates without an LL.M. degree.

We also welcome applications from lawyers with relevant professional experience. We make lateral hiring decisions based on current needs.


Our stagiaire program is primarily for Italian law graduates who are doing the legal training required to become Italian qualified lawyers (the pratica legale). The program provides an introduction to the practice of law at Cleary.

We aim to involve our stagiaires in the firm’s practice as much as possible. Tasks may include drafting memoranda, briefs, or contract clauses; participating in due diligence and client meetings; and doing legal research.

Stagiaires are initially hired for a period of six months. At the end of that period, stagiaires are evaluated and may be invited to continue their work for an additional period of time.

A significant number of our stagiaires become associates at the firm after having been admitted to practice law and having obtained an LL.M.

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.

Candidates trained in Italy who have successfully interviewed with us and have received and accepted a permanent offer to join one of our Italian offices as associates may be eligible to begin their career with the firm in either our New York or Washington, D.C. office for a period of one year following graduation from a U.S. LL.M. program.

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.