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

Vinson & Elkins Interview

When was your Vinson & Elkins interview? 

March 2016

What was it for? 

Summer vacation scheme

Please describe the interview process at Vinson & Elkins.

It was just a single interview for the vacation scheme. It was conducted by two senior associates in the firm. It was very straightforward and short- lasted about 30 minutes in total. We covered why I wanted to work for Vinson & Elkins (this is very important as they are a tiny London office and not your standard American outfit either), some competency questions and finished with a general chat about my hobbies. It was a very enjoyable experience and I actually found the interview interesting- an advantage of interviewing for such a small office I think.

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Vinson & Elkins interview?

Be very very clear about why Vinson & Elkins over other firms- there are lots of distinguishing features. Firstly they have a non-rotation training contract so you stay in one department the whole time. Secondly, the energy focus of the Firm globally, and how that translates into the work of the London office where energy is not such a big priority. Thirdly the advantages/disadvantages of being in such a small office for your training contract.

When was your Vinson & Elkins interview?

2016

What was it for?

Summer vac scheme

Please describe the interview process at Vinson & Elkins.

In general, it was a pretty standard interview split into a case study and then just your standard competency interview. In regards to the case study, this is given to you before your interview begins and you get given about 30 mins to read it and highlight any key legal areas you should discuss. The scenario itself is based on a project finance scenario and it is a simple matter of spotting the potential issues based on the facts you are given. From memory, I believe there were a number of projects for the company to pick from (e.g. wind, solar, etc).

What advice would you give to future applicants for the Vinson & Elkins interview?

As a project finance focused firm they want you to talk about the funding of these projects and what type of vehicle you may use, alongside stuff like potential regulatory sanctions they may face. It is all rather self-explanatory when you get into the interview, and they will just push you a bit further on the issues you spot. In regards, to the competency part of the interview, this was your standard why law, why Vinson & Elkins etc. I would say you need an interest in project finance, however you need to be aware of how their other departments feed off this and whether they only have an energy focus – e.g. M&A which also has an energy focus vs dispute resolution department that has less of a focus on energy and tries to cover all forms of dispute resolution.