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Application Information

To be considered for a vacation scheme place or to apply directly for a training contract, please complete our online application form.

Key Dates - Vacation Scheme Applicants

  • October 4, 2018: Process opens for 2019 summer vacation schemes
  • January 18, 2019: Application deadline
  • February 2019: Assessment day (exact dates to be confirmed nearer the time)
  • Summer Scheme One: June 17-28, 2019
  • Summer Scheme Two: July 1-12, 2019    

Successful applicants will be invited to an assessment day, involving an interview with two partners and the Professional Development team, and group activities. Candidates will be invited to an informal lunch during which they can meet with other Covington lawyers.. There is also an office tour.

Please note that we recruit trainees predominantly from our summer scheme intake. We therefore strongly advise any candidates who are interested in the training contract to submit an application for the summer scheme in the first instance.

Key Dates - Training Contract Applicants

  • October 4, 2018: Process opens for the September 2021 intake
  • July 12, 2019: Application deadline
  • Late July 2019: First round interviews (exact dates to be confirmed nearer the time)
  • Early August 2019: Second round interviews (exact dates to be confirmed nearer the time)

The interview process has two rounds. The first round interview involves a single, 45 minute interview with two partners and the Professional Development team. Candidates will also be invited to go on a tour of the London office, as well as attend an informal lunch during which they can meet other Covington lawyers. The second round selection process lasts a half-day and involves a written task, a presentation/discussion exercise and a panel interview.

Please note that we recruit trainees predominantly from our summer scheme intake. We therefore strongly advise any candidates who are interested in the training contract to submit an application for the summer scheme in the first instance.

Law Fairs and Events

Please see below for details of the law fairs we will be attending in 2017. Please check this page regularly for any upcoming events the firm will be attending or hosting over the next few months. Our events offer you the opportunity to find out more about us and meet some of our trainees, associates and partners in a more informal setting. For further information on any of our future events, please direct your enquiries to graduate@cov.com.

  • October 11, 2018 - University of Bristol
  • October 18, 2018 - University of Cambridge
  • October 22, 2018 - Queen Mary University
  • October 23, 2018 - University of Warwick
  • October 25, 2018 - Kings College, London
  • October 29, 2018 - University College London   
  • October 30, 2018 - London School of Economics  
  • November 3, 2018 - University of Oxford   
  • November 13, 2018 - University of Exeter
  • November 20, 2018 - University of Durham
  • November 21, 2018 - University of Birmingham

Insight Days at Covington are aimed at candidates who are still researching their legal careers. The one day programme provides an insight into the firm, its practice areas and the skills you will need to develop in order to become a successful lawyer. They are a perfect opportunity for candidates who are not yet eligible to apply for our summer schemes, but who wish to get a head start in gaining some legal experience. 

Our Insight Days run in April every year and provide candidates with a range of informative sessions. These include an introduction to some of our key practice areas, an information networking lunch with some of our trainees, associates, and partners, as well as various skills sessions.

Our next Insight Days will take place in April 2019.

How to apply

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter to the Graduate Recruitment Team (graduate@cov.com), explaining the reasons why you would like to attend.

Applications are open from February 1-28, 2019 and candidates will be informed if they have been successful in gaining a place by mid-March, 2019. Eligible candidates will need to be in the first year (or second year of a four-year course) of a law degree, or the second year of a non-law degree.

Compensation and Benefits

A brief summary of the salary and benefits currently available is outlined below:

  • Successful training contract applicants will receive payment of tuition and examination fees for both the GDL (for non-law graduates) and the LPC. We do not pay fees retrospectively for completed courses.
  • Successful training contract applicants will also receive a maintenance grant of £8,000 for their GDL year (if applicable) and their LPC year. We do not pay grants retrospectively for completed courses and may pro-rate grants for students who are part way through a course of study or who have partial exemptions.
  • We pay a trainee salary of £40,000 per annum for the first year and £44,000 per annum for the second year. Newly qualified solicitors are currently paid £80,000 per annum.
  • Trainees have access to a full benefits package including: pension scheme, health insurance, life assurance, independent financial advice, 25 days’ holiday per year, an employee assistance programme, child care vouchers, a dental plan, emergency care cover and interest-free season ticket loans.
  • There is an active social calendar which includes regular office events and sports activities. Trainees also have their own social budget to organize trainee-specific events.

Please note that the salary and benefits offered can change from time-to-time and are subject to the then applicable rates of tax and national insurance.

Please note that upcoming trainees are expected to pass all modules of the GDL (where applicable) and the LPC on the first attempt and before they start at the firm. We also require sponsored students to maintain a satisfactory attendance rate during each course.

Should you have any questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact our Graduate Recruitment Team.

I have BBB at A-level; can I still apply for a vacation scheme or training contract at Covington & Burling LLP?

We will only accept applications from candidates who meet our minimum academic requirements (ABB/128 UCAS points or equivalent and a minimum 2.1, expected or obtained, in their first undergraduate degree). If you have extenuating circumstances which means you do not meet this requirement, you may still apply.

I did not study in the UK; how do I complete the application form?

Please include all equivalent qualifications (e.g., GCSEs, A-levels and undergraduate degree) in the relevant section of the application form, providing as much detail as possible as to how the qualifications and grades compare.

Who is eligible to apply for a place on one of your vacation schemes?

Our vacation schemes are open to candidates from any degree discipline. Law students can apply in their penultimate year (and above), whilst students from all other disciplines can apply in their final year of study (and beyond). They are also open to GDL and LPC students, as well as candidates who are further down their career path.

Candidates studying for the two-year senior status LLB can apply in their first year, however they must provide a detailed breakdown of all modules from their previous undergraduate degree (which must meet our minimum academic requirements).

Do I need to complete a legal work experience placement or vacation scheme before applying for a training contract?

No, you do not need to have completed legal work experience or a vacation scheme before applying to Covington, as long as you can demonstrate the qualities we are looking for in our trainees. These qualities and skills can be displayed in a variety of ways, not just by completing legal work experience. However, vacation schemes offer an excellent insight into a firm, as well as enabling candidates to determine whether or not a career in law is right for them. We would therefore encourage all candidates to complete some form of legal work experience ahead of applying for a training contract to ensure they fully understand the career path they have chosen.

Who do I address the covering letter to in my application form?

Please address the covering letter to ‘The Graduate Recruitment Team.’

Do you review applications on a rolling basis?

We review all applications once the application deadline for the position has passed (currently 18 January for vacation schemes and 12 July for training contracts). However, we recommend that candidates apply well within the application period.

When can I expect to hear the outcome of my application?

You will receive an instant acknowledgement of receipt of your application upon submission. We aim to review all applications within three weeks after the deadline and therefore candidates can expect to hear from us again in early February (for vacation scheme applications) and mid-July (for training contract applications).

Can I receive feedback on my application if I am unsuccessful?

Due to the large number of applications we receive, we are only able to provide detailed feedback to candidates who have attended an interview or an assessment day. We recommend that unsuccessful candidates revisit our graduate recruitment website where we outline the qualities we look for in our trainees.

I attended an interview for a vacation scheme last year but was unsuccessful. Can I apply again?

Candidates who have previously applied (and who meet our minimum academic requirements), including those who have previously attended an interview, can reapply the following year. However, candidates must be able to demonstrate how their application has significantly developed since they last applied to the firm. Realistically, if you have not been successful in a previous year, it is unlikely that a repeat application will succeed, unless there have been significant changes in the application.

I attended an interview for a training contract last year but was unsuccessful. Can I apply again?

Candidates who have previously been interviewed for a training contract and were unsuccessful are unlikely to be successful in a later application, unless they can effectively demonstrate how they have developed since their last application.

Recruiting Contact

Claire Astbury
Legal Recruiting and Professional Development Manager
+44 20 7067 2099

Covington & Burling LLP is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in any aspect of employment, including hiring, salary, promotion, discipline, termination, and benefits, on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, sexual orientation, family responsibility, disability (including physical handicap), or any other improper criterion.

At Covington, we strive to maintain the highest standards of integrity to ensure the commercial success and reputation of our firm. One means by which we do this is through conducting routine background checks, which is a requirement of joining Covington. The standard pre-employment background checks we may conduct on prospective partners, lawyers, and employees include checks relating to public social media presence, criminal records, education and employment history. Additional checks may be undertaken appropriate to the requirements of the role. All background checks are conducted in accordance with applicable local laws.