Interview experiences for vacation schemes and training contracts. Law firms are sorted alphabetically.

DLA Piper Interview

AC Jan 2018

I applied for London office but the AC also had people applying to other offices so it the same process for all.

The AC had about 12-15 people on it, and at the start we had about 30 mins to chat and get to know each other a bit.
There were 3 different exercises, and we were split into 2 groups and did them in turn.

Group exercise
I think everyone does the group exercise first. You are given about 15 minutes to read through all the information provided yourself and then have about 40 minutes to discuss as a group.
There was a lot of information to read through, I would first flick through all the pages and decide which to read first based on how important. I managed to at least skim through everything, but some people didn’t get to the back pages. There was a different issue to work through on each page. I think the most important thing is to try and read everything but also jot down some ideas that you can contribute to the group discussion.

The most important thing to remember is that you try and work well with the others, so make sure to include people and listen to what others are saying. But if you have a good point and the others aren’t keen try and defend it a bit.

Case study
You had about an hour prep time to read through quite a lot of documents and come up with recommendations for a client’s business. I would make sure you use the time well, so limit yourself reading to a certain amount of time and then use a decent proportion of it to plan your answer. Try and think broadly and consider the risks and benefits of your approach. Don’t forget to pay attention to the figures!
The presentation is about 10 minutes, just to one partner who then asks a few questions. It was actually quite a fun task.

Partner interview
My interviewer was very nice and it felt like more of a relaxed conversation. He did have some prepared competency style questions and definitely asked a number of those but also asked some questions based on my application form. Have some commercial news prepared, I kept up to date with the commercial topic I wrote on in my application and also had another prepared – I talked about both.
Asked why a global law firm appealed, what my strengths were/what I would contribute as a trainee.

It is quite an intense 1/2 day, but the people were nice and helpful. Make sure you eat something before, they said they would provide lunch but it was just a few biscuit snack type things.

When was your DLA Piper interview? 

February 2018

What was it for? 

Vacation scheme

Please describe the interview process at DLA Piper.

Group Exercise, Partner Interview, Analysis Presentation

What advice would you give to future applicants about the DLA Piper interview?

Interview: very standard questions: Why DLA Piper(and why this specific office), Why commercial law, think of an example of a problem you faced outside of law (and how did you overcome it), when did you show X competency (teamwork, leadership, problem solving etc).

Group Exercise: Deliberately not enough time in which to discuss everything – have to prioritise. Some of the issues had ‘very important’ on them, so maybe suggest that the group discuss these first.

Anonymous, DLA Piper vac scheme interviewee

I was successful for DLA Piper and scored really high in everything so I can give good guidance for that. It consisted of three parts: analysis presentation, group exercise and partner interview.

1. Group Exercise
The usual tips would come in handy like checking the time and prompting the others how long is left, referring to everyone by their names and sustaining open body language. Specific to DLA Piper’s group exercise, there’s a lot to digest so I started from the back and worked my way to the front in the event the others didn’t have time to get to the end. I was marked up on using real life examples (e.g. any bad/good press a company has had for something). I’d also advise not being afraid to stick to your guns to appease the rest of the group, even if it’s not a popular decision. They look out for that.

2. Analysis Presentation
Remain calm during the prep time. They are not expecting a Ted Talk. Do your best to structure it and present it in a coherent manner so the assessor can follow it. If you overthink it you’re likely to trip yourself up and drop in confidence which is another thing you’re being assessed on. You don’t need legal knowledge to complete it but you do need common sense. Try and develop a rapport with the assessor once you are finished and again, don’t be afraid to stick to your guns if challenged at the end.

3. Partner interview
This is a competency based interview which did not deviate from any other style in my experience. I was asked no questions about the firm, just about myself. Be yourself and don’t be afraid to crack terrible jokes because that seemed to work well for me.

4. Generally
When being escorted from room to room be conscious that you’re still being assessed. Take the opportunity to tell grad rec how much you’re enjoying the day, ask them about themselves and just be as enthusiastic as you can.

This is from a future trainee at DLA Piper – Christopher Fajemisin

Yeah of course I can give you a bit of advice for the mentee.

The most important thing is that DLA Piper want well rounded and personable individuals. Your mentee has to display the ability to read the room and adapt to the environment. This certainly helped me in my vacation scheme with them.

Also, DLA Piper has the aim of being a firm a business law firm. Meaning that they see themselves as business partners to clients rather than just their lawyers. If your mentee can understand this concept and relay it back to their interviewer, this will be impressive.

Lastly in the group exercise on the assessment day, make sure your mentee is always involving and bringing in others into the discussion. Being the one that over talks and doesn’t show team work is a huge mistake.

(1) DLA Piper Interview Experience

Anonymous 1 – This is from a future trainee at a different firm, but she interviewed at DLA Piper for a vacation scheme.

Group Exercise

The usual tips would come in handy like checking the time and prompting the others how long is left, referring to everyone by their names and sustaining open body language. Specific to DLA Piper’s group exercise, there’s a lot to digest so I started from the back and worked my way to the front in the event the others didn’t have time to get to the end. I was marked up on using real life examples (e.g. any bad/good press a company has had for something). I’d also advise not being afraid to stick to your guns.