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Clifford Chance:
The Real Contract

When it comes to ensuring that the best candidates pick Clifford Chance, how can we make them not only prepared for the rigours of a training contract, but actively motivated by the gritty, honest truth?
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The training contract is one of the greatest challenges a young lawyer can take on.

That’s why they apply.

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The Clifford Chance training contract is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for aspiring lawyers, opening a door to countless opportunities that will allow you to flourish into a best-in-class professional. But signing your contract is only the beginning. It takes commitment, dedication, and perseverance to complete.

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Our challenge?

When it comes to ensuring that the best candidates pick Clifford Chance, how can we make them not only prepared for the rigours of a training contract, but actively motivated by the gritty, honest truth?

We asked ourselves: what if we spoke to real trainees, and asked them what got them – or is getting them – through their contract? What motivates them? What do they tell themselves at their lowest moments, that inspires them to keep pushing? What do they reflect upon in their moments of triumph?

We found that the people who really succeeded were the people who didn’t just endure the pressures of a law career, but thrived in it. The pressures and expectations that brought out the best in those people weren’t the demands of the people around them – but were the result of how hard the trainees push themselves.

The concept for ‘The Real Contract’ was born.

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When beginning a training contract, the real contract is not something you sign. The real contract is the one you enter into with yourself – the commitment you make at the start of your journey to see it through to the end, and the promises you keep to yourself along the way that push you to your true potential.

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We spoke to seven past and present trainees at Clifford Chance and asked them to write a letter to their past selves. This would be their ‘Real Contract.’ What do they wish they had known at the start of their journey? What advice would they pass on to the next generation of trainee lawyers?

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Each individual was filmed reading their Real Contract in a location that was important to them in their journey, whether it was the park they would retreat to during a difficult day, or the office they would seek refuge in during a difficult moment. We sought to emulate what it was really like for them in those moments of struggle and self-doubt – but we also strove to capture the feeling of hope, those small wins that make it all worth it.

Finally, we combined all the letters together to create one master ‘Real Contract’, a window into the reality of being a trainee, told by many people as one united voice.

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The result is a powerful and moving message that feels both intimately emotional and universally resonant. Accompanied by individual interviews with five of the participants and a booklet that gathers their real contracts and stories together, we believe this project will make a real difference to current and future trainees by preparing them for the journey the face and the life-changing experiences that lie ahead.

Just as diamonds are formed under pressure, these are the stories of how the training contract will transform you into someone truly exceptional.

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