Herbert Smith Freehills Tokyo is offering internship opportunities to current law and non-law students as well as graduate and post-graduate students who are interested in getting first-hand experience in a leading global law firm.

You will work alongside our partners and associates on tasks and projects for our clients, giving you a chance to gain a real insight into the depth and breadth of our practice areas. In addition, you will also be involved in workshops and presentations and will be invited to a range of formal and informal social events where you will have the opportunity to meet other interns, partners, associates, and trainees. By the end of your internship, you should have a good idea of whether a career with an international law firm is right for you – and whether you could be a part of Herbert Smith Freehills. 

Note that our Tokyo office operates as a Gaikokuho Jimu Bengoshi Jimusho (registered foreign law office), and hence we do not practice Japanese law and do not employ bengoshi. All our lawyers are qualified in jurisdictions outside Japan (England & Wales, one of the Australian states, etc.), and it is an international work environment.

In order to be eligible for our Tokyo Internship Scheme, you must:

  • currently be a student or a recent graduate (studying/having studied law is preferred but not a pre-requisite).
  • be fluent in English and have a high level of competency in Japanese.
  • be able to live and work legally in Tokyo (Herbert Smith Freehills will not be able to assist with or sponsor your application for a permit to live and work in Tokyo).
  • commit to a minimum of four weeks of internship in order to maximise the benefits of this scheme. However if for any reason you require any adjustments in order to be able to participate, please let us know in your application form.

You should be a self-motivated individual with outstanding achievements in academic and extra-curricular activities. You should also be a team player with excellent organisation and communication skills.

You may choose to work in our Corporate Practice Group or our Dispute Resolution Practice Group or split your time in both Practice Groups. You should indicate your preference in your application. Each Practice Group will host one intern at any time.


Herbert Smith Freehills is a market leader in high value, complex and multi-jurisdictional corporate non-contentious work. Ranked consecutively for five years in Tier 1 by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific rankings since 2018, we have one of the largest international M&A teams in Japan and advise on matters throughout South East Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa and the Middle East.  Our Tokyo practice focuses on outbound cross-border M&A transactions for Japanese clients, with a strong sector focus on TMT, energy and natural resources, manufacturing and industrials, and infrastructure.


Herbert Smith Freehills is a world leader in dispute resolution.  We bring international expertise and experience to bear on the resolution of disputes for leading Japanese and international corporations including trading companies and financial institutions. The Tokyo practice specialises in international arbitration, commercial litigation and other forms of ADR, and are trusted advisors on construction and real estate disputes across the world. We also frequently assist our clients with corporate crime and investigation matters.  We have been ranked top tier in Dispute Resolution in Japan by Chambers Asia-Pacific since 2009 and Asia Pacific Legal 500 since 2003 and have been the winner of International Arbitration law Firm of the Year by ALB Japan Law Awards for 11 consecutive years since 2011.


The internship scheme runs through June to August every year with a minimum duration of four weeks.


Applications for the internship scheme will open from 1 March to 30 April 2022.

If your initial application is successful, you’ll be interviewed by the partners or associates in our Tokyo office.

We interview on a rolling basis, so please apply early to avoid missing out on an opportunity.


  • Opportunities may be paid or unpaid.
  • Placement in our Corporate and/or Dispute Resolution Practice Groups for an agreed period (minimum four weeks).
  • Insight into the work of a global international law firm.
  • Diverse, friendly and engaging working environment.

Your application

Get an understanding of what it takes to make a great first impression and take the first step to a rewarding career with us.