Interview experiences for vacation schemes and training contracts. Law firms are sorted alphabetically.
When was your Morrison & Foerster interview?
What was it for?
Vacation scheme/training contract
Please describe the interview process at Morrison & Foerster.
There are essentially two rounds of interviews at Morrison & Foerster – the first one with the recruitment team and two associates, and the second with two partners (one of whom will be the training principal) and a trainee.
It was the usual experience at the law firm but I feel the division between the two days is unnecessary.
What advice would you give to future applicants for the Morrison & Foerster interview?
In the first interview, the process is very straightforward I would say – I was asked why the firm, why law and common competency questions. Because I had studied law, I was also asked a specific contract law question (essentially, what constitutes a contract, pretty basic stuff) as well as a commercial law question, focusing on restructuring a company. This is truly an introductory interview and the firm wants to get to know the candidate better. All throughout, I felt they really valued extra-curricular activities, as they would constantly ask me what I had done in X and Y activity, which I had mentioned on the application form.
If successful, you’re invited to a second interview. Unsurprisingly, this is materially more challenging. There was a five-minute presentation, and you will be given a selection of topics to choose. You are not given them before the day, so you will have to prepare them on the spot = you need to keep up to date with the news. The topics are wide enough to give you a fair shot, i.e refugee crisis, Brexit, China’s slower economic growth etc. Choose whichever you feel most comfortable with because after your presentation you will be asked specific questions on it – thankfully I had covered China’s slowdown (back then it was, at least), meaning I had some stats to throw around too. They were surprised at this so I guess it adds up to how they perceive your effort.
Following this, you will be given a case study. This is again a commercial awareness exercise – the topic is not legal, focusing on a specific company trying to do X. The content of this will vary, but will usually centre on restructuring and capital markets – I would suggest brushing these up in the coming up of the interview.
Overall, I would strongly advise looking into Morrison & Foerster’s specific areas are these will always feature throughout the process – they really do expect you to have put in some time learning about their practice. The deeper the detail of your knowledge, i.e deals, names of partners of these deals etc., the more impressed they will be. In the first interview, finally, make sure you really do use your extracurricular activities – they loved hearing about specific examples, i.e playing volleyball, volunteering in the law clinic of the university and so on. If anything, because they do develop their questions on your experiences, you are given the chance to answer something you will be familiar with rather than random competency questions – essentially, try leading the discussion yourself!