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Ashurst Interview 2021

BK

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Staff member
Future Trainee
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M&A Bootcamp
Aug 26, 2020
194
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Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.
May 2021

Please specify what the interview was for.
Direct Training Contract

Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

1pm -1:20pm - Welcome
1:20pm - 2:20pm - Written Exercise
2:30 - 3:30pm - Q&A with Trainees
3:30pm - 4:15pm - Interview

Please provide a summary of each assessment on the day with approximate timings.

- Welcome - A Graduate Recruitment executive ran through the day
- Written Exercise - A case study written exercise which tested analytical ability, commercial instinct and written communication skills. No preparation was required for this. It was a commercial (rather than legal) scenario and I had to justify a recommended course of action from the information you are given, in a business report format.
- Q&A with Trainees - A trainee meet and greet session where you can hear first-hand from our trainees at the firm and will have an opportunity to have your questions answered.
- Interview - An interview with a member of the Early Careers team and a fee-earner.

What is your best advice for each aspect of the assessment on the day? Please break this down for each assessment. This can include advice for preparation, as well as tips for the day.


With the written exercise, give yourself about 20 minutes to read and spend the rest writing Ask a lot of questions during the Q&A
Prepare thoroughly for the interview

Were you successful?

Waiting to hear back
 
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BK

Legendary Member
Staff member
Future Trainee
Gold Member
Premium Member
M&A Bootcamp
Aug 26, 2020
194
87
Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.
February 2021

Please specify what the interview was for.
Summer Vacation Scheme 2021

Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.
Commercial awareness exercise at 2pm and Interview at 3:30pm.

Please provide a summary of each assessment on the day with approximate timings.

Commercial awareness exercise. You had an hour to read through a business profile and write recommendations to a group of investors.

Interview with a member of Grad Recruitment and a Junior Associate.

What is your best advice for each aspect of the assessment on the day? Please break this down for each assessment. This can include advice for preparation, as well as tips for the day.

The commercial awareness exercise was a written task where you had to analyse some documents and write a report to a client. It was relating to a client's gourmet dip business and they wanted advice on their business strategy in advance of a meeting with investors. There was generally enough time as there were not too many documents to read so I spent most of the time planning and writing. I wrote about 3 sides of a4 in Arial 12 font. I think my approach of having headings for each point the client wanted advice on worked well. Writing in short, easy to understand sentences would be the best approach. Try to link some of your own commercial awareness to any analysis but generally stick to the information you have been provided as this gives you enough to form an opinion/your recommendations.

The interview had some pretty standard questions on teamwork and organisation. They asked me why Ashurst but they did not ask me why law so it would be a good idea to always link your skills to what commercial solicitors actually do. There were some commercial awareness questions which I found more difficult, so research on who the firm's clients are and what particular stories are affecting them, and why, would be useful. Generally, I recommend practising a range of motivation, competency and commercial awareness questions.

Were you successful?
Yes
 

BK

Legendary Member
Staff member
Future Trainee
Gold Member
Premium Member
M&A Bootcamp
Aug 26, 2020
194
87
Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.
February 2021

Please specify what the interview was for.
Summer Vacation Scheme 2021

Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.
10am Arrival and talk from Grad Rec
10:30am Group Exercise,
11:45 Commercial Awareness exercise,
1:45 Interview with Senior Counsel and individual from GR,
3pm Farewell from Grad Rec

Please provide a summary of each assessment on the day with approximate timings.

Taken from the firm's correspondence:

'Group exercise – 1 hour
Consider both your own priorities and the teams in working on the best way to move forward. This exercise is looking at your team playing skills.

Commercial awareness exercise – 1 hour
You should aim to display your commercial awareness and your ability to consider the business implications of your advice to a hypothetical client. This exercise is not designed to test your legal knowledge

Competency based interview – 1 hour
Consider specific situations from your past experience and be ready to describe, in detail, what you personally did. The examples can be from different areas of your life. We will be looking to find out more on your motivation for a career in law and at Taylor Wessing, your team playing, communication and organisational skills.'

What is your best advice for each aspect of the assessment on the day? Please break this down for each assessment. This can include advice for preparation, as well as tips for the day.

Group exercise:
We were in a group of 6 and each had some different information relating to the overall task so it was key for everyone to speak equally. We had to decide between us what type of witness a new Life Sciences tech company should use in a particular scenario. It was quite difficult over teams for everyone to speak and agree on things. 6 people in a group seemed like a lot to me and made it hard for everyone to contribute equally. We were quite tight for time and had to present for 5 minutes at the end and take questions from the two assessors. Not everyone had time to say something in the presentation so I would recommend you spend more time deciding on this and being really strict with how long each person is talking for.

Commercial awareness:
The commercial awareness activity required you to spend 25 minutes completing a task and answering 3 lengthy questions. Your notes on the questions were not assessed - I made sure these were quite thorough but allowed me room to speak naturally rather than reading off a script. It was essentially analysing different modes of investment for a start-up business. I recommend that basic commercial concepts on costs, profits etc. are brushed up on in advance as well as basic aspects of debt/equity. The rest of the time was spent on presenting your answers to two partners and they would ask you follow up questions or probe you on anything you said. It was quite tough and I was occasionally interrupted. However, the partners seemed to be asking questions where they would give you hints on what they wanted you to address, so I would say they were not trying to catch you out at all.

Interview:
The interview was on standard competencies for commercial law like teamwork, organisation and time management, as well as motivations. One interviewers was a member of the talent team and one senior counsel at the firm. The latter is TW's name for senior lawyers who are not partners but are higher than senior associates (I felt silly as I did not know what this was so I had to ask!). The interviewers were really nice and genuinely wanted to know more about you. Again, they never tried to trip you up and were more than happy to clarify any questions they asked. I would prepare competency and motivational questions only as no commercial awareness was tested given the separate exercise for this.

Were you successful?
Yes