Competition for our programmes is extremely fierce so we’ve put together these hints and tips that will help you to make your application stands out. We’ve included some of the questions we’re most often asked as well.


We’re big on spotting potential and the sooner we see it the better. We have a number of student programmes for everyone - from first years to graduates, for people who are studying law and for people who are studying non-law subjects. So there’s a very good chance we’ll have something to suit you. The application process varies slightly from programme to programme, but generally speaking this is what you’ll need to do:

Explore the programme specific information throughout this website to understand which opportunity is the right one for you.


For all programmes, you’ll need to make your application online via our online application system.


Depending on which programme you’ve applied to, you’ll have a telephone interview and or an assessment centre to find out more about your motivation to join the firm.


We’ll keep you posted of your progress and, if you’re successful, it could lead to more and more opportunities with us.

The Early Careers Recruitment Process

Learn about the step by step process of Early Careers recruitment - and some hints and tips of what makes a great application.

Hints & Tips for your Application

Do your research

Spend time researching the firm – start with our website but also try to attend law fairs, webinars, insight days and other virtual events to get a real feel and culture for the firms you’re applying to.


Ask good questions

Ahead of law fairs and events, make sure you prepare some intelligent questions to ask. We take note of individuals who have impressed with good questions.


Plan your responses

Take the time to read through the application form, establish what each question is asking and plan your responses. This is an excellent opportunity to draw upon your previous experience and show us your personality.


Be specific

Tailor your application form and be specific. If you can replace Clyde & Co with another firm’s name and the answer still applies, it isn’t specific enough.


Be distinctive

Think about what makes you different. Your aim is to get whoever reads your application to want to meet and interview you.


Tell a story

Consider the experiences you’ve had both at work and elsewhere. What did you learn from these experiences? Why are you telling the reader about them? What does it show about you?


Your transferable skills

Have you had any non-legal work experience? What transferable skills have you obtained that are relevant for a career as a lawyer?



Make sure you proofread your application before submitting it. Spelling and grammar mistakes do make a difference – for lawyers in particular, attention to detail is key.

Academic history

Put this in chronologically, starting with your most recent studies.


Work experience

Include both legal and non-legal work experience. We recognise that not everyone will have had an opportunity to secure work experience in a law firm before applying. That's ok. What we are really interested in is the skills, experience and knowledge that you've gained along the way and why this would make you a successful lawyer.


Application questions

We’ll be asking you questions around your commercial awareness, motivations and achievements. There are word limits for all questions, so make sure you keep your answers concise and to the point. 


Rare Contextual Recruitment System

We use this for all our roles. It helps us identify high potential individuals by putting candidates’ grades in the context of their social and educational background.

Our assessment centres are designed to test your commitment to a career in law and whether you have the skills and attributes we look for in our future talent.


Before you attend…

Review your application and do some fresh research. Find out about any recent deals that we’ve been involved in and why you find this interesting. Be prepared to talk about your motivations for joining us and why you’re keen to embark on a career in an international law firm.


Talking through your application

Revisit your application ahead of any interviews as we’ll be asking about your answers – be prepared to elaborate on any part of them. This will also show the interviewer that you haven't just copied and pasted from a generic covering letter.


Be yourself

Simply reciting information from our website or giving generic answers won’t show us why you want to join our firm over any others. Our interviewers want to get to know the real you, so be confident in yourself and let your personality shine through on the day.


Argue your case

During an interview, you might be asked to express an opinion and have that opinion challenged. Acknowledge both sides of the coin, but if you have a strong view on the subject, stick to it – as long as you can justify it.


Be varied

Remember to use different examples in your answers – these can be from your work experience, extra circular activities or university. If you’ve had relevant non-law experience or undertaken any volunteering work, talk about this too – they all hold transferable skills.


Know your law firm

Demonstrate an understanding of how a law firm works, thinking about what clients want from a law firm, the pressure firms and clients are under, and how a firm can help alleviate some of those pressures and achieve a client’s goals. Interviewers will know that you are unprepared if you’re unable to speak about key stories or cases that the firm’s been involved in.


Don’t stress

Most importantly, interviewers want you to succeed so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Relax and try to get a good night's sleep the day before your interview.

Research the firm and the sector

You need to be knowledgeable about the clients’ business and industry and have an awareness of key issues which may affect it. You also need to have a basic understanding of how a law firm operates and the challenges the legal sector may face.


Research the business world more broadly

You can build your knowledge by staying up to date with news and developments in the business and commercial world by reading newspapers like The Financial Times or The Economist.


It’s good to talk

Conversing with your friends about things that are happening in the news and commercial world will build your confidence. If you can, take part in debates or sit in the audience to listen to the conversations.


Stay on top of things

If you are attending an assessment centre a few months after submitting your application form, make sure you have continued to stay up to date with any developments in relation to the commercial awareness example you gave – your interviewer might ask you about it.

Application Advice

Hear about Catriona's journey at Clyde - and her tips on how to submit a great application.

Got Another Question?

If you have any questions, either about applying to join us or anything else, check out our Frequently Asked Questions or please get in touch. Our Early Careers team are here to help.

Contact Us