• Legal Cheek

  • Aspiring Solicitors

  • Nottingham University Law Fair

  • London – LSE Law Fair

  • Oxford University Law Fair

  • Bristol University Law Fair

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    “When we interview we look for applicants who have got to know our business and understand the kind of work we do. Then we look for their excitement about doing it.”

    More Than Just A Lawyer

    Quality is about attracting the best applicants and helping them develop to their full potential as lawyers. We see it as a virtuous circle: if we train the best lawyers, we can continue to undertake the highest quality work for the highest quality clients which in turn helps us attract the highest quality applicants.

    That’s why we try to filter as much work and responsibility down from the partners as possible. We believe it’s the best way for our younger lawyers to learn and to develop.

    A Firm With Its Door Open

    It’s part of the firm’s culture. If you have a question or need some insight into a problem, you can walk through anybody’s door and get some answers. It’s an ethos we work very hard to maintain.

    There is one thing that we cannot teach our lawyers, however, and that is intelligence. So we look for candidates who are naturally bright. You will need a strong academic record. You will need to be motivated and ambitious. Above all, you must want to learn.

    The kind of work you will do is not restricted by the year you qualified. If you are capable of doing the work, we let you get on with it – giving you all the support and training you need along the way.

    It means there are more opportunities to do interesting work, more opportunities to grow as a lawyer, more opportunity for client contact, and more responsibility at an early stage of your career.

    Leading From Day One

    Our lawyers need to be comfortable as leaders, too. You need to be able to galvanise and collaborate with your colleagues and take the initiative when required. We work in small teams and across practice areas. We try and maintain a culture where everyone knows what everyone else is working on and feels free to help.

    It’s a much more collaborative approach, which means we need people who can work well in teams and who treat one another with respect – at both junior and senior levels. These are the people who will make partner at around six years post qualification experience.

    View Your Career page >

    Meet Us

    Getting first-hand insights into what it is like to be a trainee at Kirkland is one of the best things you can do. That’s why we’ve got a number of current and former trainees lined up to answer your questions. You can meet them at the many careers events and law fairs we attend.

    How will Covid-19 affect recruitment activities?
    Kirkland are closely following government advice and adhering to social distancing guidelines to ensure the safety of our people and candidates. We have therefore decided to move all our on-campus and open day/presentation activities to a virtual setting this autumn. Please see below for details.

    Maybe you would value a chat with some of our existing and former trainees about the experience of launching their careers with Kirkland.

    Every year we are busy attending careers events and law fairs to get to know some of our potential recruits face-to-face.

    There are ten places available for our 2023 Training Contracts. We are eager to meet you, so come along and say hello at one of the events listed below.

    For further details on any of these events, or to register for one of our presentations, please contact us at

    We also run Open Days which will take place in November 2020 and March 2021 (the March Open Day is specifically targeted at First-Year Law Students) – click Apply Now to see details.

    Apply Now >

    Application Timeline

    At Kirkland & Ellis we offer training contracts and vacation scheme places. The application timeline below applies to both law and non-law students currently studying at university.

    Application Process

    Vacation Schemes

    Before joining our firm as a trainee, you can get to know us on one of our two-week Vacation Schemes. They’re designed to give you valuable hands-on experience across a range of practice areas, as well as crucial insights into how our London team operates. We offer around 30 vacation placements each year, throughout April and June. Most importantly you come away with a crucial network of contacts. Applications close 3rd January 2021.

    Training Contracts

    We are recruiting ten trainees for 2023, with vacancies open to both law and non-law students and graduates. Applications open on 1st April 2021 and close on 11th July 2021.

    Apply Now >

    Law Fairs

    8 October 2020 Legal Cheek


    14 October 2020 Aspiring Solicitors


    19 October 2020 Nottingham University Law Fair


    20 October 2020 London – LSE Law Fair


    21 October 2020 Oxford University Law Fair


    21 October 2020 Bristol University Law Fair


    22 October 2020 Cambridge University Solicitors Event


    29 October 2020 London – King’s College London


    2 November 2020 London – UCL Law Fair


    10 November 2020 Legal Cheek


    18 November 2020 Durham University Law Fair


    25 November 2020 Exeter University Law Fair


    3 December 2020 LawCareers.NetLIVE


    4 December 2020 LawCareers.NetLIVE



    Awards & Recognitions

    Trophy Cup

    LawCareers.Net – Best Work Placement Scheme (Vacation Scheme) – City Firm 2020

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    LawCareers.Net – Best Trainer – US Firm in the City 2019

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    Lex 100 – Quality of Work 2019/2020

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    Lex 100 – Living Up To Expectations 2019/2020