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Applying to Bird & Bird

I have a disability and require adjustments, what do I do?

We’re a disability*, neurodiversity and mental health inclusive employer and want to ensure that you have a barrier-free recruitment experience. If you need adjustments during the recruitment process or require assistance completing an application as the result of disability, you can get confidential advice from our Early Careers team. 

*disability includes: physical impairments, sensory impairments (for example: visual impairment, hearing impairment), neurodivergence (for example: autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and ADHD), mental health (for example: anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, panic attacks, bi-polar) and long-term health conditions (such as kidney, heart or other organ conditions, diabetes, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV)

How many trainees do you recruit each year?

There are up to 18 Training Contracts available each year, which we recruit from two routes: Vacation Schemes and Direct Training Contracts.

Can I apply to the two Training Contract routes at the same time?

No. You can’t apply for a Vacation Scheme and a Direct Training Contract in the same recruitment year. You can also only apply to either the Spring or Summer Vacation Scheme. If you’ve been unsuccessful, you must wait another year to apply again. If you’ve attended our Vacation Scheme before, you must wait one recruitment year before reapplying.

When is the best time to apply?

We recruit on a rolling basis, which means we review and progress applications as they’re received. We encourage applicants to apply as early as possible.

I’m an international student, can I apply?

To apply for our Vacation Scheme, you need the right to work in the UK and will need to check the conditions of your visa. If you require support to get a visa in the UK, we recommend applying for our Direct Training Contract. If you are successful in securing a Training Contract, we will offer reasonable assistance with obtaining the necessary work permits and visas where required.

When will I expect to hear back from you?

Once you have applied, you’ll receive a confirmation of your received application form. You’ll be notified if your application has been unsuccessful or receive an email regarding the next stage of the application at each stage. We receive a number of applications and operate on a rolling basis, please bear with us.

Do you offer feedback to unsuccessful applicants?

Unfortunately, we’re not able to disclose individual reports or identify your application due to our blind screening process and high volume of applications. You only receive feedback if you reach the assessment centre stage. 

How many applicants apply each year, and how many are successful?

Over 2,000 candidates apply each year for our early career opportunities (Direct Training Contract, Vacation Schemes, Early Bird Scholarship, Flying Start Programme, Open Days). Each year, there are up to 18 Training Contracts and 30 attendees on our Vacation Schemes.



What are your minimum academic requirements?

We accept applications from those who have, or will expect to have, a minimum of AAB at A-Level and a 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent).

I don’t meet the minimum academic requirements; can I still apply?

We understand that you may not have received the grade you hoped for due to extenuating or mitigating circumstances. Please detail any relevant information in your application form for us to take into consideration. We also use the Rare Contextual Recruitment System to enable us to recruit people from all kinds of backgrounds and help us understand your achievements in the context in which they were gained.

Do I need to study my PGDL/SQE with a preferred provider?

We partner with the University of Law for our PGDL and SQE programmes. Our future trainees who are yet to study the PGDL and/or SQE will do so at the University of Law.

If I’m successful in securing a Training Contract, will I study the LPC or SQE?

At Bird & Bird, our preference is that our 2024 Training Contract cohort onwards will study the SQE route. However, we won’t base our decision on who to recruit for our Training Contract based on whether they have completed the LPC or SQE, or if they have or have not studied a PGDL, LPC or SQE at all. We’ll discuss individual circumstances with all those offered a Training Contract.

Do you financially assist students in their PDGL and/or SQE studies?

We provide £10,000 maintenance grant and all fees covered for the PGDL and £15,000 maintenance grant and all fees covered for SQE studies prior to the Training Contract start date. We don’t offer retrospective funding, we only fund those yet to study their PGDL and/or SQE. Unfortunately, we can’t reimburse you for your PGDL, LPC or SQE if you’ve completed these before securing a Training Contract with us.

Does my previous work experience count as Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) at the firm, and if so, does this shorten the length of my training contract?

At Bird & Bird, we ask that all trainees complete the entire two-year training contract, composed of 4 seat rotations, despite any previous work experience/QWE undertaken elsewhere.

Other questions

What other recruitment opportunities do you have at Bird & Bird?

All of our current vacancies can be found on our website. Please use the search function to assist you in identifying roles that may be of interest to you. Should you find a role that you feel you would be suitable for, then please apply via our careers page

What events will you be hosting or attending?

We host and/or attend a number of early career events and law fairs. Please check out our website for upcoming events or follow our social media (@twobirdsgrads) for more information.

Do you offer sponsorship to universities or societies?

No, we don’t offer sponsorships at this time as we don’t target individual universities or societies.

When can I expect to be reimbursed for an expense claim I have submitted?

If you’ve a pending expense claim with us, please note that it can take up to three weeks from the date of submission of the claim. Please contact us again in three weeks if you’ve not received reimbursement of your claim. Thank you for your patience.