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

At DLA Piper, we know that diversity and inclusion isn't just about each and every one of us having a voice. It's about the collective power of bringing those many, varied and different voices together. Harnessing the differences in who we are, what we've experienced and how we think, for the better. Promoting equality and progressing because of it.

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

To support with building an inclusive culture, DLA Piper 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 (Leadership Alliance for Women):

LAW, our gender-balance network works internally and externally to strengthen the influence, leadership and voices of women at our firm. LAW also plays a key role in helping the firm review processes that improve gender equality.


Iris is our LGBTQ+ network for employees and allies. In addition to providing welcoming support to its members, the group serves as a forum and advisory body on matters of concern to DLA Piper's LGBTQ+ employees. The network, through 'Iris represents' delivers pro-bono outcomes specifically aligned to LGBTQ+ NGOs, individuals and organisations.


Mosaic is our ethnicity and cultural heritage people network. The overall aim of Mosaic is to ensure all DLA Piper employees, regardless of their heritage, culture, ethnicity and background feel valued, supported and able to achieve their full potential.

PACT (Parents and Carers Together):

PACT is our people network for anyone with caring and family responsibilities of any kind, and anyone who wants to find out more about how to support those who do.


Ability is committed to ensuring people with disabilities, and those who care for someone with disability, feel they belong.

Visit the blog section to read more about how DLA Piper trainees get involved with the firms people networks.

Visit our Diversity and Inclusion page to learn more about why this is important to DLA Piper.

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