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

Latham & Watkins Interview

Latham & Watkins Interview 2018

When was your Latham & Watkins interview?
Mid-November 2018

What was it for?

Winter Vacation Scheme

Please describe the interview process at Latham & Watkins.
The assessment centre had three components to it; the first was a written exercise, and the next two were interviews (one was the general interview and the other was a commercial awareness interview). The AC in general was very small but they were running quite a few AC’s so I guess it keeps it more personal when it is small.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Latham & Watkins interview?
The written exercise – this was a case study where by we were tasked with writing a proposal (I think to a client) on what acquisition they should go ahead with. There was a choice of two companies, and you could choose the first, second, both or none. The exercise lasted for 45 minutes and you were given a pack of information. Getting through the information was the hardest because a lot of the information seemed relevant and seemed like things you could easily apply to your justification of a particular acquisition or no acquisition. They also had a few documents with currency conversation rates, balance sheets, and some other very very basic financial documents.

The competency interview – this was by far the most unpredictable element. Some people in my AC got the standard Why Latham, Why US, tell me a time etc. The only general question I got was why Latham (which was a bit annoying because I had prepared some really good answers for all the other interview questions you can predict). The rest of the interview was literally focused on my previous experiences, thoughts and what I had listed about my CV. It is a very very conversational interview and it makes the time go really quick. I truly felt like the Partners wanted to get to know me and I really enjoyed this aspect of the AC.

The commercial interview – As you know we were asked to present. The presentation went fine as you can practice this one as much as you want. After the presentation the partners have free reign to ask whatever they want about your presentation and again, what you will get asked varies from partner to partner. I was asked about specifics on my particular presentation e.g. one of my questions was regarding a point (literally one bullet point) on my 16/17 page presentation, so I would make sure that whatever you do you presentation on, make sure you know everything you need to know about it inside out. I also think a lot of this is thinking on the spot and just trying to remain composed.

Latham & Watkins Interview 2018/19

When was your Latham & Watkins interview?
November 2018

What was it for?

Winter Vacation Scheme

Please describe the interview process at Latham & Watkins.
The assessment day was incredibly small, it was only myself and two other candidates. I believe all of the assessment days they hold have a very small number of candidates on them.

There was no introduction or icebreaker exercise, so be prepared from the second you walk into the office to dive straight into assessments – this threw me a little, as I know many will have a short introductory activity where you can talk to other candidates on the assessment day, which is not the case at Latham.

The assessment was comprised of three parts:

First was a written exercise which involved reading a 40-page document comprised of numerous sources (from newspaper articles to exchange rates, correspondence) which is very daunting. The task is to reach a decision on which investment opportunity should be taken up by an imaginary investor; there were three options, and you had to justify reasons why one option was the best choice for them. You need to have an appreciation of the pros/con of each option and reach a reasoned conclusion as to which business proposal is the best investment opportunity.

The second part of my assessment (although the order of the next two parts varies) was an interview with two Partners. This is a one hour long general interview. The Partners used my full application form in order to conduct the interview and went through numerous sections. I was asked about an exceptionally broad range of topics, from my grades (be prepared to justify why your performance may not have been as strong in some examinations, if this is the case).

The final exercise is the delivery of a presentation. The question is sent to you before the day and you must prep in advance. There is the option to provide a handout to those you are presenting to. You deliver the presentation to two Partners. In my case, it was not in a formal presentation format, but working through what I had researched and my thoughts on the question.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Latham & Watkins interview?
I was not offered a place on the vacation scheme but I have since received feedback from the firm on my performance at the assessment centre. Having reflected on what I was commended for doing well and areas where I was weaker, I would advise the following for future applicants:

The written exercise: the exercise is EXCEPTIONALLY time pressured, and by far the most challenging I have come across having attended a few assessment days. Graduate recruitment are very aware of this. I think if you are able to cover a g having attended a few assessment days. I think if you are able to cover a great deal of the content within a small space, this certainly impresses. However, the main pitfall is focusing on coverage of all the information given at the expense of the quality of the written document you produce. This was certainly the issue I had. Ensuring the arguments you produce are coherent, well-reasoned and very analytical seems to be crucial with this exercise. Do not panic about not being able to cover all of the content provided. Advice given was that it can be bullet-pointed, but I feel perhaps this is best avoided for the sake of ensuring coherence. Focus on having a very well-developed and logical argument. Do ensure that every point given is analysed and explained well. I feel this is the key to doing well in this exercise.

The interview: I was asked some incredibly challenging, and at times seemingly obscure questions – be prepared to be asked anything. Most definitely ensure you have solid answers to ‘why Latham’, ‘why law’ and knowledge of their competitors and what makes Latham different.

The presentation: I recommend dedicating a lot of time to researching the topic in advance, gaining a real understanding of the choice you have made and being able to explain it well and answer follow-up questions well (I was asked a LOT of questions and had to really justify my choice). Consider a broad range of factors – economic, political, commercial, etc. It does not matter where you choose (hint hint), but I would ensure it is a ‘sensible’ choice – nothing too rogue! Look up relevant statistics/news stories you can bring in to demonstrate commercial awareness and back up arguments you make.

Current fourth-seat trainee at Latham & Watkins

The Latham & Watkins interview process may have changed since I had mine.
From what I remember it was two interviews, one about the personal statement and one commercial.
The commercial required an analysis of a contract and general commercial awareness on the market, some commodities, thoughts on how the profession was going to change and why. It also included an awareness of how Latham set itself apart in a saturated market and how it distinguished itself from magic circle counterparts and American counterparts alike. The personal interview was personable. Interests, pastimes, why Latham, competencies etc. Mine was like a conversation – we had a great chat about English lit!

Latham & Watkins Interview 2018

When was your Latham & Watkins interview? 

Mid-November 2018

What was it for? 

Winter Vacation Scheme

Please describe the interview process at Latham & Watkins.

The assessment centre had three components to it; the first was a written exercise, and the next two were interviews (one was the general interview and the other was a commercial awareness interview). The AC in general was very small but they were running quite a few AC’s so I guess it keeps it more personal when it is small.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Latham & Watkins interview?

The written exercise – this was a case study where by we were tasked with writing a proposal (I think to a client) on what acquisition they should go ahead with. There was a choice of two companies, and you could choose the first, second, both or none. The exercise lasted for 45 minutes and you were given a pack of information. Getting through the information was the hardest because a lot of the information seemed relevant and seemed like things you could easily apply to your justification of a particular acquisition or no acquisition. They also had a few documents with currency conversation rates, balance sheets, and some other very very basic financial documents.

The competency interview – this was by far the most unpredictable element. Some people in my AC got the standard Why Latham, Why US, tell me a time etc. The only general question I got was why Latham (which was a bit annoying because I had prepared some really good answers for all the other interview questions you can predict). The rest of the interview was literally focused on my previous experiences, thoughts and what I had listed about my CV. It is a very very conversational interview and it makes the time go really quick. I truly felt like the Partners wanted to get to know me and I really enjoyed this aspect of the AC.

The commercial interview – As you know we were asked to present. The presentation went fine as you can practice this one as much as you want. After the presentation the partners have free reign to ask whatever they want about your presentation and again, what you will get asked varies from partner to partner. I was asked about specifics on my particular presentation e.g. one of my questions was regarding a point (literally one bullet point) on my 16/17 page presentation, so I would make sure that whatever you do you presentation on, make sure you know everything you need to know about it inside out. I also think a lot of this is thinking on the spot and just trying to remain composed.