August 27, 2021
ACCESS by Clifford Chance is an award-winning two-year development programme, which prepares students for university and the world of work. Read on to find out more about the programme and hear from ACCESS alumni, Ilijah Gibbs about his experience on the scheme.

Breaking Down Barriers Into Law

It is quite well known that obtaining work experience in the legal sector usually depends on who you know rather than what you know. Anyone who wants to enter the world of law should have an equal chance to do so, irrespective of their background. Through the ACCESS Scheme, Clifford Chance is committed to levelling the playing field by providing fair access to work experience.

Enhance Your Personal and Professional Development

ACCESS is a tailored, award-winning, two-year development programme for year 12 or equivalent students, which focuses around specific core areas of your personal and professional development, culminating in the opportunity to secure a place on the ACCESS SPARK programme and ultimately a Training Contract.

Elements of the programme include:

  • ACCESS Coaching: students will receive executive coaching, including small group discussions on current affairs, application advice and one-to-one interview coaching.
  • ACCESS Uni Prep: designed to support students during their transition from school to university. With workshops delivered by a number of experts and university admission teams, students will be well equipped to tackle their UCAS applications.
  • ACCESS SPARK: you’ll experience an intensive schedule of classroom-based learning, complemented with time spent work shadowing lawyers, with a £450 stipend for the week. Following the scheme, there will be an opportunity to attend a bespoke assessment day to secure a training contract with Clifford Chance.

ACCESS Alumni Experience

Ilijah Gibbs, former RAF cadet, ACCESS alumni and now a Clifford Chance future trainee shares his experience:

“The first time I came up out of the tube station at Canary Wharf, I felt a bit lost. Everything was moving so fast. But then I arrived at ACCESS, and I met other students just like me. Right away, we all knew this was going to be a really fun, positive experience. We were given so many opportunities to realise our potential and grow, both professionally and personally. ACCESS gave me the confidence I needed to secure my dream career in law – I am so glad I applied.”



Where Like Minds Meet

Find Out How We’re Breaking Down Barriers Into law

Learn More

Interested? You’ll Need To Be…

  • In Year 12 (England and Wales), S5 (Scotland) or Lower Sixth (Northern Ireland)
  • Attending, and have attended from age 11, a state-funded, non fee-paying school/college
  • From a household where no parent or guardian attended university

You must also meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Currently in receipt of, or have previously received, free school meals, Pupil Premium, Education Maintenance Allowance and/or a 16 to 19 Bursary
  • Attending a school or college with a:
    • below average A-level or Higher point score; and/or
    • 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 To Apply

Applications open on 1 September 2021, and will need to be made via Clifford Chance’s website. Once you have submitted your application you will receive a link to complete the Watson Glaser test.

Applications deadline: 20 March 2022

Good luck!

More Questions?

Further information on the firm and the opportunities that they offer can be found on their website.


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