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

Travers Smith Interview

When was your Travers Smith interview? 

February 2018

What was it for? 

Vacation scheme

Please describe the interview process at Travers Smith.

A partner interviewed multiple applicants at my University. The interview lasted around 30 minutes and it felt very relaxed. For all of the firms that I interviewed for, this is the only application process that I actually genuinely enjoyed. There is a good balance between challenging you, and having a genuine interest/respect for the applicants.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Travers Smith interview?

During the interview the partner didn’t write anything down, I don’t know if this is common practice elsewhere but I have never had this experience before. For me, this made the interview feel a lot more personable than others I have done, in that there was obviously certain set questions that had to be asked, but for the most part it felt like a conversation. With that being said, though it felt relaxed there was a strong emphasis on commercial knowledge. Most of the interview centred on one commercial issue which was big at the time, in my case the Carillion collapse. There were no questions on my previous experience, extracurriculars, or when I have ‘worked in a team’. I talked about the commercial issue that the partner raised by offering perspectives from places I had done work experience for previously. I felt like it was advantageous to have a lot of general knowledge and interest in the law, some of the questions were random and there certainly is not a lot of specific preparation that can be done for them. It would be incredibly useful to know how to structure an argument and be able to think on your feet because when an answer was satisfied, the interviewer would then try to question you further or from a different angle.

When was your Travers Smith interview? 

February 2018

What was it for? 

Training Contract

Please describe the interview process at Travers Smith.

There were two interviews. The first was offered over Skype because I am an international candidate. It was with one partner, and had a very relaxed feel. Probably one of my favourite interviews over the entire process. We discussed why I wanted to practice law in the UK, why law in general, what did I feel were the negatives of a law career, what company would I like to be the CEO of and why. The second interview was with two partners in their office. It began by going over my CV, then getting into more technical questions about the different practice areas and the advice I would give to clients if I were a lawyer in those practice areas. Then we discussed the ethics of giving monetary incentives to people with addictions. Finally we went over any questions I had about the training contract or the firm.

What advice would you give to future applicants about the Travers Smith interview?

Travers Smith:

  • First interview: expect the unexpected! be ready to roll with any moral / ethical / philosophical question they give you
  • Second interview: don’t expect it to be like the first. much more traditional in terms of expecting you to have a high degree of knowledge about the practice areas and well thought out answers to “why law” and “why travers smith”

When was your Travers Smith interview? 

January 2018

What was it for? 

Training contract

Please describe the interview process at Travers Smith.

It is an interview with one partner which consists of motivation questions e.g. why law and why Travers Smith, then some ethics scenario questions and Prior to the interview starting, I had a brief chat about why I support Arsenal and recent results

What advice would you give to future applicants about the Travers Smith interview?

On the motivation questions make sure you structure your answers well and that everything you say flows logically. Stay aware of the business news, I was asked about what stories I was following. The professional ethics questions are challenging and you cannot really prepare for them, make sure you justify the arguments you make when questioned further. I was asked if I had received other TC offers so be prepared to be asked that.

When was your Travers Smith interview? 

January 2018

What was it for? 

Training Contract

Please describe the interview process at Travers Smith.

Interviewing at Travers Smith was by far the most enjoyable, relaxed law firm interview experience I have ever had- largely due to the complete lack of ‘exercises’. They do however have two rounds of interviews and that can be quite nerve-racking. The first interview was so different from any I have had before. It was with one partner, and consisted almost entirely of ‘moral dilemma’ questions- I was asked about the gay bakery case and quotas for female partners in firms. There was only a little bit of discussion at the beginning about why I wanted to work for Travers Smith and any competency/explicitly legal questions.

On successfully getting to the second round of interviews, I was called to a final training contract interview with two partners this time. They were the head of recruitment for the firm. This interview was similar to the first, consisting of several moral questions but I felt that these were more explicitly geared towards legal issues. I was asked about the right to privacy in various scenarios. Also, I was asked a lot more about my interest in law and the legal work that travers smith did, and more competency questions.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Travers Smith interview?

Travers Smith interview an extremely small percentage of applicants so if you get to interview you are so close to getting that offer! Go in with some confidence :) (If you haven’t been offered an interview, make sure that your cover letter is the absolute best and most specific it could be- otherwise you won’t get an interview- they have to narrow down so much that qualifications alone won’t get you anywhere)

Also, I got rejected post-app for the winter vac scheme (having sent my application on the last day) and just reapplied the next day for a Training Contract with the same application and got an interview: so applying early makes a huge difference! Also clearly don’t be scared of applying twice.

In the interviews themselves, I think the most important thing is to have a personality and be able to see many sides to the moral questions they are asking you- I think they are looking for people who can keep a cool head and be able to put across different ways of interpreting this emotive questions. Further, given that Travers Smith is a small firm in London with specialised departments, make sure you have a clear reason for wanting to work there as opposed to somewhere else where you might get a broader training experience.