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Careers Guide


Clifford Chance: ACCESS Programme, London

Monday, August 16, 2021

Wednesday, June 30, 2021


Hey! Thanks for checking out this page. Just to let you know that applications for this opportunitiy open on April 1st. We reccomend you having a read of the below, and then reloading this page on April 1st to submit your application. 


Are you interested in a career in Law? 

Clifford Chance is proud to be a founding member of PRIME. Through PRIME, they are committed to ensuring that anyone who wants to enter the world of law has an equal chance to do so, regardless of their background.

For many years, obtaining work experience in the legal sector depended largely on who you know rather than what you know. PRIME members have made a commitment to change this by providing fair access to work experience.

Their response to this is a bespoke two-year development programme...

Clifford Chance ACCESS

This pioneering programme consists of seven different components, each focused around specific core areas of your personal and professional development: 

ACCESS Development, 

ACCESS Mentors

ACCESS Experience

ACCESS Tutoring


ACCESS Coaching

ACCESS Network.

So welcome to ACCESS from Clifford Chance: your introduction to law and your first step towards a training contract. 

This application is specifically for ACCESS Development: your introduction to law and your first step towards a training contract.  This is a four-day work placement where you will take part in a variety of sessions to inform you about a career in law as well as developing skills such as networking, presentation and teamwork.


In order to apply to Clifford Chance ACCESS Development, you must meet the following qualifying criteria:

  • You are in Year 12, S5 or Lower Sixth.
  • You are attending, and have attended from age 11, a state-funded, non-fee-paying school/college.
  • You grew up in a household where no parent or guardian attended university.

In addition, you must also meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You are currently in receipt of or have previously received, free school meals, Pupil Premium, Education Maintenance Allowance and/or a 16 to 19 Bursary.
  • You are attending a school or college with a:

a) below average A-level or Higher point score; and/or
b) low rate of progression to higher education

You have been, or are currently, in local authority care (for a period of three months or longer)

You are or have been, a full-time or part-time carer

You came to the UK as a refugee or asylum seeker.

Note: Young people who meet the local authority care criterion do not need to meet any other criterion.

How do I apply?

Applications for the August scheme open on 1st April 2021. Find the link to apply and find out more information by clicking on the box to the right of this. Please note that you can only apply to one ACCESS scheme a year.  

Useful Information

You need to attend every day of the programme and will need to travel to the offices in London, dependant on changes to government guidelines around Covid-19. Travel expenses will be covered.

Application Tips

When you have submitted your application, you will be asked to complete the Watson Glaser test. Watson Glaser has been used by businesses and in education since 1925 and is a particularly effective way of recruiting lawyers.

The questions will focus on your ability to draw inferences, recognise assumptions, make deductions, interpret information and evaluate arguments. These are essential to legal thinking and it's important that you hone your skills as this is the first step of the assessment process. The test lasts 30 minutes and involves 40 questions that assess your critical thinking.

The skills it measures include:

  • Defining a problem
  • Selecting relevant information to solve a problem
  • Recognising stated and unstated assumptions
  • Formulating and selecting relevant and promising hypotheses
  • Drawing valid conclusions and judging the validity of inferences

Unlike the graduate opportunities, no one will be rejected at this stage so you should not be too nervous about this test but you should try your hardest – the higher your score, the higher your chances of making it on to ACCESS.

Before you take the Watson Glaser test, it's a good idea to practise as much as you can so you are familiar with the format and the type of thinking involved.

You can practise as many times as you need by finding the test area on the Clifford Chance website. Your practice attempts do not form part of the assessment and Clifford Chance will not see the results. As well as the practice test, there are lots of other online resources that you may wish to use. Some of them are free, but some require payment (which we do not endorse in any way). 

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