Ask A Graduate Recruiter Anything!

Jaysen

Founder, TCLA
Staff member
TCLA Moderator
Gold Member
Premium Member
M&A Bootcamp
  • Feb 17, 2018
    4,405
    7,850
    Hi All,

    I'm pleased to say Jessica Booker, a former graduate recruiter for a variety of magic circle firms, has joined our forum team.

    You can use this thread to ask Jess any questions relating to the application and interview process. Jess will also be around to answer questions throughout the forum.

    For more details about her background:

    Jessica Booker started her career in graduate recruitment for law firms. Over nine years, she worked for three Magic Circle law firms and one regional law firm, focusing on bringing candidates through the recruitment process as well as campus marketing.

    In 2014, Jess decided to work as a freelancer setting up her company Star Potential. Since then, she has worked on a variety of legal recruitment and employability projects for a wide range of law firms, universities and other organisations in the sector, like the Law Society.
     

    Alice G

    Legendary Member
    Future Trainee
    Forum Team
    M&A Bootcamp
    Nov 26, 2018
    1,731
    4,161
    Hi All,

    I'm pleased to say Jessica Booker, a former graduate recruiter for a variety of magic circle firms, has joined our forum team.

    You can use this thread to ask Jess any questions relating to the application and interview process. Jess will also be around to answer questions throughout the forum.

    For more details about her background:

    Jessica Booker started her career in graduate recruitment for law firms. Over nine years, she worked for three Magic Circle law firms and one regional law firm, focusing on bringing candidates through the recruitment process as well as campus marketing.

    In 2014, Jess decided to work as a freelancer setting up her company Star Potential. Since then, she has worked on a variety of legal recruitment and employability projects for a wide range of law firms, universities and other organisations in the sector, like the Law Society.

    Hi Jess and welcome to the forum! It’s so exciting to have you join us and we very much look forward to working with you!
     

    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    9,512
    14,209
    Hi, I had a question.
    Will an applicant who did not do any open days in first year but did plenty of extra curriculars be at a disadvantage compared to students to attended multiple open days?

    It isn’t really as simple as that, as those things are directly not inter-changeable, and not the only things to consider in an application.

    Legal work experience and/or a strong and clear motivation for the application are the things a recruiter would “swap” an open day for, in terms of what they are looking for.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Armiie

    BOByrne

    New Member
    Aug 1, 2019
    1
    0
    Hi Jessica - welcome!

    I'd like to understand what the 'unwritten rules' of graduate recruitment are and to find out how much (if any) truth should be given to the myths of training contract hunting i.e. Magic circle firms giving preference to Oxbridge students, the influence of knowing senior figures within the firm etc.

    There is a wealth of information online regarding do's and don'ts for applicants/applications, but from the perspective of the recruiter are there certain attributes, connections or universities that will, by their nature, make a recruiter look more favourably upon their application?

    Thanks.
     

    SCurran96

    New Member
    Feb 21, 2019
    3
    0
    Hi Jessica, welcome to the forum and thank you for taking the time out of your day to do this!

    I was wondering - what are your thoughts on students reapplying to a firm after receiving a rejection the previous year? Is this advisable?

    Further, if one does decide to reapply - would it be permissible to have the same answers to ‘core’ competency questions (why law/why commercial law) as last year’s application?

    Thank you in advance!
     

    Daniel Boden

    Legendary Member
    Future Trainee
    Highest Rated Member
  • Sep 6, 2018
    1,532
    3,816
    Hi All,

    I'm pleased to say Jessica Booker, a former graduate recruiter for a variety of magic circle firms, has joined our forum team.

    You can use this thread to ask Jess any questions relating to the application and interview process. Jess will also be around to answer questions throughout the forum.

    For more details about her background:

    Jessica Booker started her career in graduate recruitment for law firms. Over nine years, she worked for three Magic Circle law firms and one regional law firm, focusing on bringing candidates through the recruitment process as well as campus marketing.

    In 2014, Jess decided to work as a freelancer setting up her company Star Potential. Since then, she has worked on a variety of legal recruitment and employability projects for a wide range of law firms, universities and other organisations in the sector, like the Law Society.
    Great to have you onboard Jess! Very much looking forward to working with you :)
     

    Castelli99

    Esteemed Member
    May 12, 2019
    89
    37
    Hi Jessica,

    I was wondering if non-law interviews are different to ones for law students. I was hearing that some people are asked what trainee tasks they will be doing such as specific contracts, specific legal terms etc., knowledge non-law students may not really know. Will questions be changed for non-law or if not what type of things is it important to specifically learn?

    Thanks
     

    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    9,512
    14,209
    Hi Jess,

    Do graduate recruiters genuinely take into account mitigating circumstances? There are mixed opinions as to whether they are a bit of a double-edged sword.

    Thanks!

    It depends on the mitigating circumstances. If they are appropriate and genuine, yes they do. Vast majority of the genuine and appropriate one should wouldn’t be a double-edged sword at all. One of those weird myths out there that gets perpetuated by very individual circumstances
     

    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    9,512
    14,209
    Are LPC module results given greater weight in regards to the rest of candidate's application

    No. Very small part of an application, with no priority.

    At best a recruiter will expect a minimum grade, or may look for how you have performed in modules more aligned to their type of work/practices. But even then, good LPC grades won’t outweigh inadequate aspects elsewhere in the application.
     

    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    9,512
    14,209
    Hi Jessica,

    I was wondering if non-law interviews are different to ones for law students. I was hearing that some people are asked what trainee tasks they will be doing such as specific contracts, specific legal terms etc., knowledge non-law students may not really know. Will questions be changed for non-law or if not what type of things is it important to specifically learn?

    Thanks

    Such a question is equally applicable to a law student as a non-law student. Loads of law students can’t answer that question.

    I think questions are likely to be the same, but expectations of the answer might be different. But the same could be said for someone who has got work experience, someone who has done a more “financial” degree, someone who has a masters etc.
     

    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    9,512
    14,209
    Hi Jessica - welcome!

    I'd like to understand what the 'unwritten rules' of graduate recruitment are and to find out how much (if any) truth should be given to the myths of training contract hunting i.e. Magic circle firms giving preference to Oxbridge students, the influence of knowing senior figures within the firm etc.

    There is a wealth of information online regarding do's and don'ts for applicants/applications, but from the perspective of the recruiter are there certain attributes, connections or universities that will, by their nature, make a recruiter look more favourably upon their application?

    Thanks.

    Honest and short answer: a well written, well structured, persuasive application.

    Everything else is either myth or individual personal preferences.

    Feel free to provide specific details on what these “unwritten rules” are though and I can explain either their context or why it’s a load of rubbish.
     
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: Alice G and Jaysen

    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    9,512
    14,209
    Hi Jessica, welcome to the forum and thank you for taking the time out of your day to do this!

    I was wondering - what are your thoughts on students reapplying to a firm after receiving a rejection the previous year? Is this advisable?

    Further, if one does decide to reapply - would it be permissible to have the same answers to ‘core’ competency questions (why law/why commercial law) as last year’s application?

    Thank you in advance!

    Only apply if you feel your application is significantly different. There’s little point applying with a similar or the same application. Also make sure you are letting any deadlines/policies as to when you can reapply again.

    It’s fine to have specific answers that are the same, although I would always carefully analyse whether the answer can be improved or updated - has anything you have done since your last application helped to improve your knowledge/skill set. If all the answers to all the competency questions were the same, my initial reaction would be “how has this person developed since their last application? What can I see they have done to develop themselves further?”
     

    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    9,512
    14,209
    Hi Jessica,

    I have always been told that I did not "expand on my points" at assessment centres, do you have any tips on showing this? what should I think about when explaining an idea?

    Thanks in advance!

    You need to show your thinking more - ie showing how you got to that conclusion/decision.

    It really depends on the exercise/questions asked, but the simplest way to think about it would be what if your interviewer/assessor said one of the following to you after you had finished:

    “So what?”
    “Why is this important?”
    “How did you get to that conclusion”
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 7248974268942

    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    9,512
    14,209
    Varies massively from firm to firm, and even within firms (eg by office location).

    Firms will typically invite somewhere between 2.5-3.5 candidates to interview (final round) per vacancy. So easiest way to try and work it out roughly is:

    (Number of vacancies x 3) divided by reported number of applications received

    It’s more complicated if there are multiple stages though - eg a video interview. The above is just on the basis on a face to face interview/assessment centre
     
    • ℹ️
    Reactions: Jaysen

    About Us

    The Corporate Law Academy (TCLA) was founded in 2018 because we wanted to improve the legal journey. We wanted more transparency and better training. We wanted to form a community of aspiring lawyers who care about becoming the best version of themselves.

    Newsletter

    Discover the most relevant business news, access our law firm analysis, and receive our best advice for aspiring lawyers.