Vacation Schemes

Discover your potential and kick-start your career in law.

A vacation scheme with us is much more than just work experience. It is an opportunity to discover your potential and kick-start your career in law, taking you straight to the heart of our global firm.

Develop your knowledge of our firm through introductions to different areas of law and business services. Immerse yourself in a department and have an unfiltered look at the way people work in a law firm and the impact of client relationships, globally.

Our vacation scheme is both an opportunity for you to showcase your potential as a trainee solicitor and decide whether Bird & Bird is the right firm for you.

There are up to 30 positions available across two schemes: Spring and Summer.

Spring Vacation Scheme

Monday 8 April to Friday 19 April 2024

Summer Vacation Scheme

Monday 24 June to Friday 5 July 2024

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Life of a Vacation Scheme Attendee


When sitting in dispute resolution during the vacation scheme, I was able to support trainees and associates with real work and I could see how my tasks fed into supporting the work of the wider team. I also went to court for the first time, which was a highlight.

Hiba Abdi Trainee Solicitor

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It was incredible to have the opportunity to get involved with real-life client work. If I was given a task, people were happy to explain both the context and relevance of the task to the client’s matter which really aided my learning. The vacation scheme provided an excellent insight into the life of a trainee lawyer.

Moona Malik Trainee Solicitor

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From the very first day, everyone I interacted with was passionate about their area of law and excited to speak to you. The open culture meant I could be myself and really make the most out of my time at the firm.

Julia Swietek Trainee Solicitor

Applying to us

To become a trainee solicitor at Bird & Bird, you can apply through two different routes: attending a Spring or Summer Vacation Scheme or applying directly for a training contract.

Applications are closed to our 2024 Vacation Schemes and 2026 Training Contract.

You can apply to our 2025 Vacation Schemes and 2027 Training Contract when applications open in September 2024. You can apply if you are in a penultimate-year of a law degree, final-year of a non-law/STEM degree, or a graduate.

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

Build your employability skills, search for events and law fairs, and take part in online work experience before applying by visiting our online resources here.

Please note that 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.

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.

Entry 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). However, we do 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 for us to take into consideration. We also use a Contextual Recruitment System (CRS) to enable us to recruit people from different backgrounds and help us understand your achievements in the context in which they were gained.


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Inclusive Recruitment

Inclusivity is integral to us.

From attraction and marketing to recruitment and selection, and HR and development, the Early Careers team is committed to diversity and inclusion, social mobility, and equality. We know an inclusive culture, alongside a diverse workforce, makes us more innovative and agile as a firm. 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 is also the right thing to do.

Our 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 to candidates with a disability, neurodiversity, mental health, and long-term health problems on adjustments at each stage of the recruitment process 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 a Contextual Recruitment System (CRS) into our recruitment process. Since August 2018, we have 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 InternsAspiring Solicitors, and Vantage.

Sustainability is a core strategic initiative for us – it is 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 are 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 are 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 are reducing our production of merchandise in Early Careers UK, and anything we do produce will be from a sustainable, ethical source.
  • We are 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 are reducing the amount of meat served at our events and offering more meat-alternatives for vegetarians, vegans, and those with dietary requirements.