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Overview

Introduction

 

As a global force, it’s no surprise Clifford Chance seeks candidates with international aspirations and foreign language skills. This Magic Circle firm offers a welcoming culture and interesting work, and it genuinely supports pro bono and diversity. Today, Clifford Chance has 32 offices spanning key markets across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with a particularly strong reputation in the financial sector. The firm offers substantive experience in a wide array of practice...

Firm Stats


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Total No. Attorneys (2021)


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No. of Partners Named (2021)


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Featured Rankings

Vault Law 100...


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No. of 1st Year Associates Hired (2020)



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No. of Summer Associates (2021)



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Base Salary

All offices...

Vault Verdict

In addition to intelligence and enthusiasm, Clifford Chance seeks associates with an interest in international work—and foreign language skills are a plus. Associates describe the firm as “warm and welcoming” throughout the staff, associate, and partner ranks. Partners value associates and are generous with feedback—junior associates receive quarterly reviews before moving to an annual schedule as fourth years. Town halls and associate meetings provide insight into decision-making, and associates consider the firm to be relatively transparent. While some long hours come with the territory, associates feel the workload is reasonable and report a high degree of flexibility. Associates are very pleased with compensation, which is market, lockstep, and has recently included market-mat...

Firm's Response

A law firm’s culture is defined in many ways: geographic reach, substantive strengths, client focus, inclusion, and core values. Candidates carefully weigh these qualities throughout the recruitment process, but once our associates arrive and become a member of the team, a key factor in their development is mentorship. Our partners and sen...

About the Firm

 

With 2,500 lawyers across more than 30 offices around the globe, Clifford Chance is a legal behemoth. The firm boasts a growing practice in the U.S. and a global reputation that shines.

Brits and Yanks

The modern Clifford Chance was created in 1987 when giant U.K. firms Coward Chance and Clifford Turner merged, creating an entity The Times of London called “the country’s first mega law firm.” Indeed, Clifford Chance was twice as large as the firm that had previously been the U.K.’s largest: Linklaters & Paines. Over the years, Clifford Chance has opened offices and built client lists around the world, adopting a cross-border focus well before such an outlook became commonplace. At the same time, the firm grew from hundreds of attorn...

Associate Reviews


  • “CC has a very warm and welcoming culture. Everyone is encouraged to speak their mind; mentorship begins early on, both formally and informally; and the office feels like a real team.”
  • “We have [an] associates lounge open 24/7 to all associates throughout the week. We have a social event every month where all partners and associates are invited and socialize together.”
  • “Given the unique circumstances posed by COVID-19, things are much different than when I summered at the firm. Even so, everyone makes an effort to be in touch regularly and to check in with me to be sure that I'm not feeling overwhelmed or underworked. We have a true cooperation with staff at all levels—from janitorial staff to secretarial staff. It's a genuinely congenial and convivial atmosphere, and it's a pleasure to work with every member of our team.”
  • “Colleagues at my firm are some of my best friends. We frequently socialize outside of work.”
  • “Partners are great; they value the associates and treat them as human beings! They personally care about their teams, and it shows. The firm has annual review processes and holds periodic meetings to keep everyone updated on the firm’s finances and progress.”
  • “Associates in my group regularly work one-on-one with partners, so there is a lot of partner visibility, even at the most junior level. Interim performance reviews are conducted quarterly for junior associates, and reviews are conducted annually for fourth-year-plus associates.”
  • “Everyone is very pleasant. As is typical, some partners are more demanding than others, but everyone is respectful. The firm is very transparent, with decision-making through town halls and annual associates’ meetings. …”
  • “I already have multiple great relationships with partners that began during my summer associate experience. They went out of their way to catch up with me when I re-joined the firm as a first-year associate and have taken a genuine interest in my professional development. These are relationships that I could see lasting well into the future, and they are a huge part of why I love my job. We have ongoing feedback, with formal feedback meetings on a quarterly basis.”
  • “While we've been very busy, the demands never seem unreasonable or overwhelming.”
  • “I feel like the work is exactly what one would expect from a BigLaw environment, but associates, partners, and counsel do a great job of checking in and making sure that you aren't too overwhelmed. The firm puts people and families first!”
  • “I think the firm is pretty good at distributing work between the team, and partners are generally flexible in terms of location and working schedules.”
  • “The firm is generous in giving billable-hour credit for pro bono and client pitch work. I feel very lucky to have the flexibility in the hours I work and where I work from.”
  • “The firm consistently matches market compensation and bonuses, including COVID bonuses.”
  • “The firm not only considers billable hours, but also takes into account our performance in each assignment. I believe this is very fair.”
  • “CC learned from the financial crisis. I felt confident the firm would endure the pandemic without serious cutbacks, thanks to the thoughtful financial decisions it has made over the years. At the same time, CC follows the market and is generous with associates.”
  • “Clifford Chance has been one of the first firms to adapt a number of recent bonuses. Further, those who didn't make billable targets during the pandemic year were given substantial leniency.”
  • “As a transactional first year, I've had the opportunity to run calls with clients, supervise paralegals, draft contract provisions from scratch, and manage projects with a lot of moving parts. While senior associates provide supervision, they don't micromanage; I feel real ownership of the work I do.”
  • “I believe I spend most of my time performing work that is appropriate for my level. I predominantly run certain client relationships and manage the work produced by more-junior associates. Given the nature of Clifford Chance's position in the market, we are often engaged with interesting U.K./EU matters.”
  • “Within my first year at the firm, my billable work included legal writing; legal research; document productions and reviews; interviews; and meetings with clients, opposing counsel, and regulators. The business development work has been manageable. The pro bono cases the firm takes on are fascinating. Many matters allow juniors to exercise foreign language skills.”
  • “As a member of the regulatory team, my work assignments trend towards high-level substantive work. Our team really doesn't have junior associates, so there is occasional low-level work that flows upward, but the content of our work is generally interesting and substantive.”
  • “The firm has had a tech stipend for associates ($1000 every three years), even prior to the pandemic.”
  • “Clifford just updated its document management software, which I and other associates are really liking. I have been thrilled with how easy it is to work remotely for Clifford and am looking forward to future flexibility to work remotely.”
  • “On top of our tech stipend, the firm and the IT team are always ahead of the competition. We are now a cloud-based firm and each of us has the full capability of working from anywhere in the globe. Hard to beat us on the tech side really.”
  • “I think transition to remote work has been as seamless as it can be. There are always technological issues with anything that is new, but the firm has handles those challenges well.”
  • “The firm puts a great deal of effort into encouraging the use of various wellness initiatives, especially now with the remote working environment.”
  • “We are often given opportunities to participate in remote workout classes and various wellness initiatives. One other helpful thing our firm does is offer a few free appointments with a mental health professional.”
  • “Tons of efforts including coaching/counseling apps, financial wellness apps, and the like. I feel very supported overall.”
  • “Besides the large amount of formal training sessions that are scheduled on a regular basis, I found that a lot of the mentoring I've enjoyed the most comes from informal mentoring opportunities with the colleagues I work with. Everyone is really generous and happy to help fellow associates.”
  • “The firm offers a 'traditional' mandatory training program for all incoming lawyers. Trainings are all now run virtually and the format varies from breakfast/lunches to more formal settings. In addition, each practice offers their own specific trainings on matters that relate to such practice.”
  • “Each associate is assigned a career development partner, although most associates have informal mentors within the firm as well.”
  • “Partners serve as career development partners for associates and there is also a reverse mentorship program where associates can mentor partners on issues related to diversity. Mentorship is more informal than it is formal.”
  • “Partnership is possible depending on the group, luck, and how long the associate is willing to wait. The firm gives an annual talk explaining the partnership process to associates. If you don't make equity, the firm offers alternative tracks or allows seniors time to plan their next move. Associates tend to go to other firms, in-house, or the government.”
  • “Our team has both promoted associates to partner this year as well as created roles for senior associates who were not on track for partnership. The firm is also open to sending associates on secondments or helping to place them in in-house roles if they wish to exit private practice.”
  • “There are strong exit opportunities. The path to partnership is longer at this firm than others.”
  • “Pro bono hours count as billable hours—however, they are not included as a KPI for bonuses (although the firm states this is taken into consideration). I have worked on a number of pro bono projects in the past year, including in immigration and estate planning. The access to Paladin [pro bono platform] has facilitated these engagements.”
  • “I worked on a compassionate release filing due to Covid-19. The firm will allow you to bring in any pro bono work that meets the general requirements. It's an incredible and well supported program.”
  • “The firm is highly committed to pro bono work—we have a broad range of alternative cases to work on and are even encouraged to find causes that are especially important to us. …”
  • “The firm has [a] platform to present pro bono opportunities, and the work is billable. I worked on two projects: one about a lawsuit filed by a group for disabilities, and the other about women immigrants seeking asylum.”
  • “The firm highly prioritizes diversity. Most of the associate class in the Americas is women, and new female partner initiatives are working on retention and child care benefits.”
  • “The firm has set inclusion and diversity targets on the regional and global level for 2025 and 2030. I think we are one of the few law firms that is taking its commitment on these matters to the next level by publicly announcing the numbers.”
  • “The firm does not offer billable credit for diversity-related work. That said, they are conscious of the need for more diversity in the legal field and are active in outreach to diversity groups on law school campuses, and initiatives at the firm promote diversity in hiring and promotion.”
  • “Diversity was one of the most important considerations for me when deciding where I wanted to practice. My group is small and tight-knit, so I wanted not only to have diversity in the HR-sense of the term, but also diversity of experience and perspective. Within my practice group, both expectations were met. The firm also has robust diversity committees that are active and vocal.”

Why Work Here


Clifford Chance led the way for international firms when it started practicing US law in the 1990s. Now a thriving, full-service domestic Firm, Clifford Chance US operates from offices in New York and Washington, DC, and we were the first international firm to open an office in Brazil more than 20 years ago. The US Firm's 300 lawyers have a deep understanding of US, Latin American and global markets, and they routinely advise clients on high-profile matters across our transactional and litigation practices.

We offer clients the benefit of seamless access to Clifford Chance's elite global network spanning 32 offices in 22 countries. Collaboration is fundamental to our lockstep culture, and no firm is better placed to advise leading businesses on their complex domestic and cross-border matters.

For our candidates, we offer the opportunity to practice US law at the top level and to work on challenging matters in a supportive team-based environment, where the collective goal is to help our clients – elite US and multinational companies – succeed in a global marketplace.

Diversity at Clifford Chance US LLP

"At Clifford Chance, we are committed to enhancing diversity at the Firm and to fostering a supportive work environment in which all employees - regardless of racial or ethnic background, sexual orientation or gender - can develop to their fullest potential and contribute their best work to the success of the Firm and its clients. The Firm's success is built on the unique skills, perspectives, experience and values of our lawyers and staff. It is the Firm's policy to provide equal opportunity and equal terms and conditions of employment to..."

Getting Hired Here


  • “The firm has pulled from a wide variety of schools. The hiring process was fair and painless. Interviewers were kind and real. I believe the firm is looking for intelligent and well-rounded individuals.”
  • “[The] firm looks at the candidate's attitude and willingness to work hard. Furthermore, if a candidate is interested in cross-border, multi-jurisdictional, international legal work, such interests would align with the work that the firm does.”
  • “International work experience and foreign languages are extremely important, particularly in our DC office.”
  • “I'm very happy that CC isn't a firm that looks only to certain schools with respect to hiring. The summer class isn't just a collection of T14 or T25 law students, and I think we are better for that since it allows for a diverse set of perspectives and life experiences to be brought to our practices. In my view, the single most important trait for a prospective CC associate to have is dynamism. When you join, it's likely you won't know exactly what's going on or what is expected of you (especially if you join a specialized practice group), but if you demonstrate genuine interest, curiosity, and willingness to learn, you'll be perfectly positioned to start off on the right foot.”
  • “Questions related to law school activities/performance. Lots of questions and discussions about personal interests and hobbies.”
  • “Why do you want to work for Clifford Chance? What are your specific interests in your legal practice?”
  • “There is a focus on finding out if they are committed to New York and what they find advantageous to working at a Magic Circle firm.”
  • “Standard questions along with a few behavioral questions thrown in.”
  • “From day one, the firm treats lateral associates as associates that have been with the firm [for] much longer than they [have]. [The] firm is very encouraging in supporting new hires coming from other places.”
  • “There is an informal associate mentorship program to integrate associates into the firm.”
  • “The firm treats laterals the same as summer associate joiners in that you receive the same training and welcome. It can be tough to achieve the same mastery of firm resources as a summer.”

Practice Area Q&A’s


Greg Jehle & Jessica Springsteen

Associate & Partner

Clifford Chance US LLP
Kevin Lehpamer

Partner

Clifford Chance US LLP
Cliff Cone & Ashwini Habbu

Partner & Counsel

Clifford Chance US LLP

Perks & Benefits