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

Osborne Clarke Interview

When was your Osborne Clarke interview? 

January 2018

What was it for? 

Vacation scheme

Please describe the interview process at Osborne Clarke.

The assessment centre took place over a full day. It was a friendly and relaxed environment. There were approximately 25 people attending; I think there were several more days scheduled. The structure essentially was: group exercise, written exercise, WG test, and finally, an interview with a partner and legal director.

The group exercise was mainly common sense. It asked you to look at the various aspects of an acquisition, playing the role of trainees doing due diligence. Each person was asked to take one aspect and prepare to talk about it in a certain amount of time. There was a considerable amount of information, but it was reasonably straightforward to pick out the salient details.

The written exercise is just writing up the group task in a letter to the client. Good notes from the group exercise are vital.

I particularly enjoyed the interview. Really fun conversation with people that were interested in you, rather than sticking to a HR script or competencies. They were more than happy to talk in depth about the work they did.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Osborne Clarke interview?

Really know what Osborne Clarke focus on. Genuine enthusiasm about tech, and knowing how it relates to the firm’s practice areas, helped me a lot. Talk about the culture – which should be pretty easy because they are a really decent firm.

In terms of the group exercise, volunteering to be in charge of time-keeping is worthwhile. Be polite and ask the quieter members of the group their opinion. Remember you’re being assessed at every moment, particularly in the lunch with the trainees.

When was your Osborne Clarke interview? 

January 2018

What was it for? 

Vacation scheme

Please describe the interview process at Osborne Clarke.

A full day assessment centre comprised of a group task, a written exercise and an interview with two partners. My feedback was that I came off as a particularly strong candidate but needed to speak up more during the group exercise – so do that. We were given a number of documents to read through and summarise. We then presented this in a role play scenario and were questioned on the answers we gave. Following this, we were asked to then write up our summary and advice under timed conditions. We then sat a critical reasoning test again to confirm our results. Finally, the partner interview was centred around Osborne Clarke and their sector focus, as well as some competency and strengths based questions.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Osborne Clarke interview?

For the interview process, be sure to familiarise yourself with the structure of the partnership at Osborne Clarke and take the time to understand where the value is in their sector approach. This can lead to some very interesting conversations at the interview stage and really show you’ve taken the time to get to know them. Also, for the strengths based question, be sure to understand the scope of a trainee’s authority and do not suggest that you do something to appease a client that could compromise yourself or your firm. They want to see how you can handle pushy clients or a difficult surge of responsibility.

Osborne Clarke vacation scheme interviewee:

Osborne Clarke – around 25 people per intensive, all-day session. There were three sessions AFAIK. Group exercise was a due diligence task. Started with reading through, and then a monitored discussion about the scenario. Each person had to give a four minute presentation about a specific aspect of a proposed acquisition; I covered employment considerations. Tough to know what they want – I followed the usual method of being pleasant, enthusiastic and collegiate. I try to avoid drawing too much attention while demonstrating competence. I kind of think differentiating yourself is quite risky in group scenarios. The next element was to draft a letter to the client, summarising the issues you’ve identified and your responses. 45 mins was just enough.

Followed up by WG test – which is standard. Then a partner interview. This I thought was brilliant. More of a chat. No competencies or HR guff. I was fortunate that I can talk with interest and conviction about how technology is shaping their core sectors. I had a senior RE partner who was impressed about my (passing) knowledge of prop-tech. Your AI write-up from last week was ridiculously helpful when I was asked about the future direction of the legal industry. I asked them what they wanted from trainees – enthusiasm about technology / recognition that law is a people facing / relationship facing role were two things they highlighted. One interesting question that could really catch future applicants out – ‘how would you go about future-proofing your role as a lawyer?’ Luckily, I had read a lot about what their MP Ray Berg expects at some point: lawyers working alongside programmers. Personally, I want to have a decent working knowledge of coding myself, so I said I’d learn that.

Osborne Clarke vacation scheme interviewee:

Quite short. Focussed on the firm and my motivations for joining the firm. One situational question. The rest of the time was dedicated to any questions I had so make sure to prep your own questions.