Your future

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

What to expect

The training contract comprises four six-month 'seats' in different practice groups. These 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 training contract, 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.

Life as a trainee

At DLA Piper, you'll have many experiences. Our trainees here reveal just how varied they can be.

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.

Benefits

We offer a comprehensive benefits package, which includes:

  • Pension
    scheme
  • Life
    assurance
  • Private
    medical
    insurance
  • Critical
    illness
    cover
  • Income
    protection
    insurance
    scheme
  • 25 days'
    holiday
    (plus bank
    holidays)
  • Dental
    insurance
    cover
  • Employee
    assistance
    scheme
  • Childcare
    voucher
    scheme
  • Cycle to
    work
    scheme
  • Season
    ticket
    loan
  • Give as
    You Earn
    charitable
    giving

A day in the life of a trainee

So what's life like at DLA Piper? Serena – a first-year trainee 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 the other trainees at Noble Street Kitchen, 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 a crucial part of what we are expected to do as trainees, 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 have made good friends with many of the trainees in my year, 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

    Trainee

    "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

    Associate

    "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

    Partner

    "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

    Management

    "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.

    Scaling Snowdon

    Four of our future trainees, who are joining the firm in September, recently climbed Mount Snowdon for Muscular Dystrophy UK. Finishing the climb in around seven hours, they raised over £2,000 for a fantastic cause.

    Perfect recipe for UNICEF

    Our UK offices recently 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.

    Great Manchester Run

    A group of trainees in our Manchester office completed the Great Manchester Run: Europe's biggest 10km race with over 300,000 runners.

    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 recently 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.