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Applying to us

Application process

Direct Training Contract

Application form  Watson-Glaser test  Video interview  Assessment centre


Vacation Schemes

Application form  Watson-Glaser test  Video interview  Assessment centre


Early Bird Scholarship

Application form  Assessment centre


Flying Start Programme

Application form


Campus Ambassador Programme

Application form through The Lawyer Portal


Open Day

Application form

Trainee Experience

harry

The application process was one of the few that genuinely put me at ease. The Early Careers team were constantly in touch with me regarding the application stages. I felt they were genuinely keen to get to know me and I could always contact them with any queries. 

Harry Kinnings Trainee solicitor

lucy

The application process for Bird & Bird was straightforward. At every stage of the process, it was very clear what was required for each assessment and how to prepare.”

Lucy Bannatyne Trainee Solicitor

Application form

The application form consists of your personal details, education, work experience, and firm-specific and/or strengths-based questions.

We operate blind screening, so all identification details are hidden from our assessors to minimise bias from the recruitment process. We also use the Rare Contextual Recruitment System to enable us to recruit people from different backgrounds and help us understand your achievements in the context in which they were gained. Please detail any relevant information in your application for us to take into consideration.

We operate rolling recruitment, which means we screen applications as they’re received, rather than after our deadline. We encourage you to apply as early as possible.

To stand out at this stage, you should:

  • understand the key skills required for the role of a lawyer, and showcase these in your application;
  • think about how the skills you have gained through work experience are transferable to the role of a lawyer – we don’t expect you to have legal experience, but you should think about how skills other work experience is transferrable to law;
  • do your research, whether this is firm-specific or commercial awareness, you should be clear on why you want to work with us and why you want to be a lawyer;
  • be specific to Bird & Bird, you can reference any articles, podcasts, firm-news, or events you have attended to strengthen your application – don’t copy and paste answers to different law firms you apply to;
  • be concise in your answers, there are only 150 words for the questions, however, you should use as much of the word count as possible in order to write strong answer;
  • show off your personality, you’ll be encouraged to be yourself at Bird & Bird where everyone is different with a diversity of backgrounds, skills and knowledge; and
  • make sure you proofread your application form, it should be as close to perfect as possible.

If you need any disability, neurodiversity or mental health related adjustments to complete the application form, please email our Early Careers team for confidential advice.

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Watson-Glaser test

The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Test evaluates your critical thinking skills. It’s a multiple-choice aptitude assessment widely used by law firms to access the ability to think critically, draw conclusions, assess arguments, recognise assumptions, and evaluate arguments. There are 5 sections to complete: assessment of inferences, recognition of assumptions, deduction, interpretation, and evaluation.

To perform at your best, you should:

  • you should make sure you read and re-read the question before answering. You don’t want to lose marks for misreading the information provided;
  • practice using free resources online to help familiarise yourself with the test, such as videos and guides;
  • make sure you have a device, such as a laptop, PC or tablet to access the test; and
  • you should check your Wi-Fi connection before starting the test;

If you progress to this stage, you’ll have 7 days to complete this test. However, this is not a timed assessment.

If you need any disability, neurodiversity or mental health related adjustments to complete the Watson-Glaser test, please email our Early Careers team for confidential advice.

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Video interview

The online video interview consists of four questions with 60 seconds’ thinking time and 2 minutes answering time. You’ll be asked a range of questions, which you should answer to the best of your ability.

To impress the assessors, you should:

  • you should practice online questions, as the pre-recorded nature of video interviews can be difficult – you can practice prior to the interview at shortlister.me;
  • think about the questions that are likely to come up around key competencies and your motivations – plan how you may draw upon relevant experience, skills and commercial awareness in your answers;
  • make sure you have a device, such as a laptop, PC or tablet with a camera lens and microphone, to access the online video interview;
  • you should check your Wi-Fi connection before starting the interview – don’t use Safari browser to complete the interview, as it’s not compatible with the software;
  • ensure you and your environment are professional, if necessary, blur your background or use a plain background image;
  • try placing your device on top of books or a stand, so your eyes are level with the camera, as this will help with your posture and make you appear more confident;
  • don’t look at your notes or read off the screen, it’ll make you seem unprepared, instead, use your body to express yourself and showcase your passion for law; and
  • use your voice by alternating the tone, pitch and volume to emphasise any points you’re making in your answer – it’s not only about what you say, but how you say it.

If you progress to this stage, you’ll have 7 days to complete this interview.

If you need any disability, neurodiversity or mental health related adjustments to complete a video interview, please email our Early Careers team for confidential advice.

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Assessment centre

The assessment centre consists of an interview and written assessment for the Vacation Schemes and Early Bird Scholarship, as well as a group exercise for the Direct Training Contract. As a candidate, you must be prepared to showcase your skills, own experience, legal knowledge, and commercial awareness in different assessment styles.

We operate blind interviewing, so all identification details and previous assessments are hidden from our interviewers to minimise bias from the recruitment process.

To showcase your best self on the day, you should:

  • practice your interview and written skills, by asking friends, family or colleagues to check your verbal and written answers;
  • develop your commercial awareness and research firm-specific case studies, articles, podcasts and news to use in the assessments;
  • make sure you are on time for each assessment – if you are late or have IT issues, inform the assessors or admin immediately;
  • there’s no cookie-cutter to make a lawyer, so show off your personality and be yourself;
  • try to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep the night before, you need to be energised and alert to perform to the best of your ability; and
  • don’t forget to fuel your mind and body to stay alert, hydrated and energised.

If you need any disability, neurodiversity or mental health related adjustments to attend an assessment centre, please email our Early Careers team for confidential advice.

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Inclusive Recruitment

Inclusivity is integral to us

We know an inclusive culture, alongside a diverse workforce, makes us more innovative and agile. We are keen to create a recruitment process where everyone feels supported to succeed, to ensure that we recruit the top candidates onto our programmes, no matter their background or circumstance. It’s also the right thing to do.

Early Careers UK highlights:

  • To minimise bias, we operate blind screening and blind interviewing, so all identification details and previous assessments are hidden from our assessors and interviewers.
  • To increase support, we offer confidential advice and adjustments to disabled and neurodiverse candidates to ensure they have a barrier-free recruitment experience. If you require adjustments, you can email our Early Careers team.
  • To increase accessibility, we’re recruiting the majority of our candidates online, with online application forms, online Watson-Glaser tests, online video interviews, and (some) virtual assessment centres. Our Flying Start Programme, Virtual Experience Programme and Open Days are entirely online.
  • To increase diversity in underrepresented groups, we introduced the Rare Recruitment Contextual Recruitment System (CRS) into our recruitment process. Since August 2018, we’ve used contextual data to help us identify candidates with the greatest potential despite their significant academic, personal or socio-economic disadvantage. We can recognise the achievements of candidates in the context in which they were gained.
  • To increase diversity in the legal professional, we partner with a number of platforms, networks and initiatives to educate and equip aspiring lawyers with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. For example, we work with 10,000 Black Interns , Aspiring Solicitors, Forage.
Sustainability

Sustainability is a core strategic initiative for us – it’s vital to our people, our clients, and our planet. 

From paper brochures to tote bags, plastic bottles, and travelling across the country, we recognise the impact of recruitment on the environment, and we’re committed to making a greener way of recruiting. The Early Careers UK team are transforming the way in which they recruit, with sustainability in mind.

Early Careers UK highlights:

  • We’re using digital brochures and/or QR codes for people to access our information. You can access all our early career opportunities online, via our social media or website.
  • We no longer travel across the UK to universities to participate in in-person law fairs or events, as part of our sustainability and diversity and inclusion initiative. Instead, we’re adopting a hybrid approach by hosting online events and ensuring that any in-person events are accessible by public transport or are hosted at our London office.
  • We’re reducing our production of merchandise in Early Careers UK, and anything we do produce will be from a sustainable, ethical source.
  • We’re recruiting the majority of our candidates online, with online application forms, online Watson-Glaser tests, online video interviews, and (some) virtual assessment centres. Our Flying Start Programme, Virtual Experience Programme and Open Days are entirely online.
  • We’re reducing the amount of meat served at our events and offering more meat-alternatives for vegetarians, vegans, and those with dietary requirements.
  • You can read more about our firmwide sustainability programme, including our commitment to set science-based net zero targets here

Join us

Apply now