Your future

Develop your legal expertise. Sharpen your commercial focus. Become a trusted adviser to clients around the globe.

What to expect

At DLA Piper, we pride ourselves on giving new lawyers a truly unique experience when starting their career with us.

Whether it's taking part in our Internship Programme or commencing as a graduate, you'll be given the tools to forge a successful career as a lawyer.

With our buddy-mentor system, you will have the support network to find your feet within our global network and guide you throughout your career.

Your practical experience will see you work alongside people at all levels of the business. Learning through practice and observation, you'll discover first-hand how to deliver legal advice to our high standards.

During your Graduate Programme, you'll also have the opportunity to apply for a secondment in-house with one of our clients or in one of our international offices. You’ll be encouraged to do pro bono and community work; not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it will develop your skills in leadership, teamwork and communication.

Practice groups

Corporate Employment Finance & Projects Intellectual Property & Technology Litigation & Regulatory Real Estate Restructuring Tax

Learning and development

All our people have access to formal training courses – ranging from technical courses, business, systems and skills training, to continuing legal education.

Our award-winning International Career Academies provide our lawyers with an opportunity to learn and enhance professional skills at key stages of their careers, while developing their internal networks across the firm.

Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are an everyday part of who we are and what we do.

We’re a global firm with diverse clients and we know our clients expect us to represent the communities in which we work and value our advice on both local and global markets. Diversity isn’t just about visible differences, it’s the unique blend of talents, experiences and perspectives that make you who you are and we pride ourselves on having a culture and environment where everyone is valued for being themselves.

Wherever you are from, wherever you join and however long you stay, by joining our firm, you join our family. DLA is striving to achieve a culture where everyone’s voice is heard and counts and where everyone can be themselves.

To support in achieving an inclusive culture. DLA has a number of people networks. These networks are internal communities with an interest or focus on a particular topic and are open to everyone.

These are:

  • Law (Gender Balance)
  • IRIS (LGBT+)
  • Mosaic: (Cultural Heritage & Ethnicity):
  • PACT (Family & Carers).

A day in the life of an associate

So what's life like at DLA Piper? Serena – an associate in London – takes us through a typical day.

  • Running: I like to kick off my day with a session at the gym or a run near the office if the weather allows. It wakes me up and gets me energized.

  • Emails: Once in the office, I check my emails and plan for the day ahead. I have received a draft witness statement from an associate in Moscow. I review it and compile a bundle of documents to be exhibited alongside the statement.

  • Research: I have been asked to look into recent developments surrounding a particular legal issue on a civil fraud action I am working on, which involves 11 defendants across seven jurisdictions.

  • Lunch: I usually grab lunch with other associates and trainees in the London office café. If the weather's pleasant, we sometimes eat by the London Wall or the Barbican.

  • Court Hearings: I head off to the Royal Courts of Justice to attend a hearing on another case I am working on, take detailed notes and report directly to the client. On some days, I also file applications with the Court and liaise with the Judge's Clerk if necessary.

  • Meeting with Partner: I meet with my supervisor to discuss the results of my research and decide on our next steps.

  • To-do list: Keeping very organised is crucial, so I always prepare a to-do list for the next day. Before leaving the office, I also check with my supervisor that I am not needed for anything else.

  • Socializing: I made good friends with many of the trainees during my graduate programme, and we often spend time together outside of work.

  • Career progression

    Career progression

    From trainee to the global board

    Tom Heylen trained with DLA Piper and qualified into the Corporate practice. He has since worked on a variety of international mergers and acquisitions. He became a Partner in 2005 and sat on our Global Board until December 2016. Now Managing Partner of the London office, Tom talks us through his career.

    Career progression


    "I chose to train with DLA Piper because it offered more opportunities than other law firms. You have the ability to drive the business in a particular direction."

    Tom Heylen

    Career progression


    "The juniors who you make relationships with when you are young eventually become the seniors. They are the foundations of your network later on in life, so don't ignore that."

    Tom Heylen

    Career progression


    "As a partner, you have more gravitas and credibility with clients. The transition in the work is quite natural, as you are already operating at that level."

    Tom Heylen

    Career progression


    "I sat on the international global board until December 2016, and I am now the London office Managing Partner. There are multiple facets to my career: I haven't done the same thing from day one. That is one of the joys of it."

    Tom Heylen

    More than just work

    As a member of the firm, you will have opportunities to take part in social events, join our sports teams and fundraise for the charity of your choice.

    Perfect recipe for UNICEF

    Our UK offices collaborated to produce a DLA Piper UNICEF cook book. It contained 59 recipes from employees, clients and high-profile figures and all proceeds were donated to UNICEF.

    Trailwalker Challenge

    Three teams from our New Zealand office successfully completed the Oxfam Trailwalker Challenge. Going to epic lengths for a great cause, they traversed 50km or 100km in difficult conditions.

    Race for the Cure

    Our Rome office took part in the Race for the Cure in Rome, in support of the cancer charity Susan G. Komen Italy. The 5km race was the culmination of three days of events around the Circus Maximus.

    Good turn for Marie Curie

    The IPT team in Birmingham got their hands dirty for a good cause. Spending a day in the compost, they did some voluntary gardening work for the Marie Curie hospice in Solihull.

    Trekking the Larapinta Trail

    Ten female volunteers took up the challenge to walk into the centre of Australia, organised by LAW, DLA Piper's Leadership Alliance for Women to raise money for Indigenous Community Volunteers.

    Cycle for UNICEF

    Around 20 offices across Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand compete in the UNICEF Cycle Challenge, raising funds for child justice.

    Law Ski

    A team of 16 Aussie DLA Piper skiers and boarders competed at the LAW SKI event in Thredbo, with around 300 other lawyers from other major law firms, barristers chambers and corporates.