UK Trainees

Becoming a Trainee

To be considered for one of Cooley's four training places per year, you must participate in our London summer programme, which is designed to give you insight into the work we do, as well as provide you with opportunities to experience the unique culture of our firm. The two-week summer programme, which accepts up to ten people per year, is spent doing real-life work, attending development sessions and connecting with a range of Cooley people both through work and play.

To submit an application, please click on the "Apply to be a UK trainee" link below. You will be directed to review the EU Candidate privacy notice as part of the registration process on the application system.


EU Candidate Privacy Notice (Trainee Recruitment)

Training with Cooley in London will be about a breadth of experience and opportunity; being challenged to achieve more than you may have thought possible and enhanced by being surrounded by a collaborative and brilliant team.
—  Justin Stock, London managing partner

The Upside

Being part of a smaller trainee cohort often leads to a higher degree of hands-on involvement.

Cooley’s two-year training programme is divided into four seats of six months each. It will likely include two litigation seats in business litigation, where your work could span general commercial, insurance, IP, employment and product liability. Other seats will be in corporate commercial/transactional areas, where your work may be a mix of M&A, private equity and venture capital, public companies, capital markets, technology transactions, compensation & benefits, life sciences, competition and tax.

Learn more

Diversity at Cooley

We are involved in a number of firmwide and office-specific diversity programmes which focus on supporting the talent pipeline and development of existing talent, together with recruitment and working practices. One of the ways we do this is by reviewing trainee application forms on a name-blind basis. To help us find the best talent from a range of backgrounds, we implement the Rare Contextual Recruitment System as part of our application system.

In our dedication to fostering a truly diverse workplace that values and celebrates differences, we offer diversity fellowships to outstanding law students who share this commitment. Award recipients will receive paid summer associate positions a year earlier than students are typically eligible to participate and monetary awards to assist with law school tuition.

Learn more

Meet Cooley

The deadline to apply for our virtual 'Meet Cooley' event (taking place on 9 December 2020) will be at midnight on Monday 23 November 2020. This event is aimed at those who are planning to apply for a 2021 summer programme for which the deadline is 31 January 2021.

We will also be hosting smaller 'Meet and Greet' events in early 2021. Priority for these events will be given to those who have not applied for the 2021 summer programme and who may be at an earlier point in their degree pathway.


Training at Cooley has allowed me to grow and develop a great deal as a lawyer in a relatively short amount of time. The small trainee intake means lots of real responsibility from the start, but the inclusive and welcoming culture means that you’re always encouraged to ask questions, with lots of support available if you are ever unsure.
—  Abby Preston, second-year trainee