Training Contracts

Cleary Gottlieb offers an informal and collegial working environment that fosters the professional and personal growth of our lawyers.

We seek individuals, both law and non-law graduates, whom we believe have the exceptional qualities to become the leaders of the profession in the next generation. We look for candidates who are enthusiastic about the practice of law in a challenging and dynamic international setting. Whilst academic excellence is a pre-requisite, we place particular emphasis on recruiting candidates we and our clients will enjoy working with. A sense of humour is as important as the ability to think critically and creatively about cutting-edge legal issues.

We deliberately limit our graduate intake to around 4 trainees each year so as to ensure our ability to offer bespoke training that is individually tailored to the interests, experience and aptitudes of the exceptional individuals that join us.

Salary and Benefits

We offer a market-leading salary and benefits package that reflects the premium nature of our practice and is commensurate with our aim to recruit the best lawyers of the future.

In addition, trainees receive a discretionary, year-end bonus. In keeping with the fundamental principles of the firm, the level of any bonus paid, whether to trainees or associates, depends solely on seniority.

We fund the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) for all our future trainee solicitors. We will also provide a maintenance grant of HKD50,000 for this period of study.

Additional benefits includes:
  • Private healthcare cover

  • Life insurance

  • Long-term disability insurance

  • Employee assistance programme

Qualification Requirements

We receive a very high number of applications for training contracts each year. To succeed, candidates need to demonstrate exceptional academic ability. We normally expect candidates who demonstrate the ability to attain a high 2.1 degree or better from a leading university and who have achieved at least AAB at A-Level or the equivalent. We look beyond pure exam results to consider other relevant factors. Alongside academic ability, we value evidence of extra-curricular achievement. In addition, we expect successful candidates to be fluent in English as well as Mandarin. Cantonese skills are desirable but not necessary.

When to Apply

Candidates for trainee solicitor positions should apply, two years in advance of the year in which the training contract is due to commence.

How to Apply

All candidates should submit a cover letter and full curriculum vitae via the firm’s website or via email directly to Samantha Bell ( ), including a breakdown by subject of final year school academic results and degree results where known.

Trainee Solicitor Brochure 

Click here to view our current Trainee Solicitor brochure.