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Early Careers UK - FAQs

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

We are 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.

2. How do you become a commercial solicitor at Bird & Bird?

At Bird & Bird, there are different routes to qualification – as a solicitor apprentice or as a trainee solicitor. If you intend to or have studied a university degree, you can become a trainee solicitor by attending a Vacation Scheme or applying directly for a training contract. If you are a school leaver and have not attended university yet, you can become a solicitor apprentice by applying to our Solicitor Apprenticeship Programme.

3. For the trainee solicitor role, can I apply to the two training contract routes at the same time?

No. You cannot apply for a Vacation Scheme and directly for a training contract in the same recruitment year. You can also only apply to either the Spring or Summer Vacation Scheme.

4. When is the best time to apply?

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

5. I am 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 directly for a 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.

6. 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). For our Solicitor Apprenticeship Programme, we accept applications from those who have at least 5 GCSEs at grade 4-9/C-A*, including Maths and English. For our Early Bird Scholarship, we accept applications form those who have at least 5 GCSEs at grade 7/A, including English and Maths

7. I do not 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 a Contextual Recruitment System (CRS) 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.

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

We partner with the University of Law for our future trainee PGDL and SQE programmes, as well as our solicitor apprentice LLB and SQE programmes.

9. If I’m successful in securing a training contract, will I study the LPC or SQE?

At Bird & Bird, our preference is that our future trainees study the SQE route. However, we will not 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 will discuss individual circumstances with all those offered a training contract.

10. Do you financially assist students in their studies?

Solicitor Apprentices
We pay for your university tuition fees and course materials for your LLB and SQE studies. We partner with the University of Law for the LLB and SQE programmes.

Trainee Solicitors
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 for future trainees yet to gain these qualifications. We partner with the University of Law for our PGDL and SQE programmes. We do not offer retrospective funding, we only fund those yet to study their PGDL and/or SQE. Unfortunately, we cannot reimburse you for your PGDL, LPC or SQE if you have completed these before securing a training contract with us.

11. 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.

12. 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