Ask Ropes & Gray Anything! Join Maya Shah to learn about applying to a leading transactional law firm

Ali A

Legendary Member
  • Feb 28, 2022
    247
    883
    Hi Maya, hope you are well!

    The website states the following:

    No, we do not accept students who have completed the LPC. All trainees who join us will have completed their SQE assessments and will qualify as a solicitor via this route.

    Can you clarify if this means that if a candidate has completed the LPC prior to applying they will not be considered? Or will such a candidate still be considered and will have to complete SQE2 before joining the firm?

    Thank you in advance.
     

    NLaw18

    Star Member
    Feb 27, 2020
    29
    9
    Hi Maya,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to our questions and for sharing your knowledge about Ropes & Gray.

    I am keen to find out if Ropes & Gray takes on international candidates as well (that require visa sponsorship).

    Further, does the firm recruit externally at the associate/ NQ level as well?

    Apologies if these are very specific, but would be great to have some clarity. Thanks.
     

    JuliaMConnor

    New Member
    Gold Member
    Premium Member
    Nov 2, 2023
    1
    0
    Hi Maya
    Is there any opportunity for trainees to go on either client or overseas secondments? Could you also tell us about your experience of the culture at Ropes & Gray please.
    Many thanks
     

    sxw517

    Legendary Member
    Gold Member
    Premium Member
  • Sep 20, 2021
    646
    616
    Good morning Maya,

    It's fantastic to welcome another graduate recruiter to this platform.

    I wanted to discuss the commercial application question. Can we tailor it specifically to the challenges that Ropes & Gray is currently facing, rather than addressing issues that are common among law firms in general? Specifically, I'd like to focus on the unique challenges that Ropes & Gray, and perhaps a few other specialised US law firms, are encountering. These challenges could be niche and distinct to Ropes, as opposed to law firms in general.

    Thank you in advance.
     

    Ropes&GrayMaya

    Star Member
    Oct 31, 2023
    27
    37
    Hi Maya,

    I would like to understand the difference between the following questions, please?

    1. Motivations for a career in commercial law with a firm?

    v

    2. Why commercial law career with a firm?

    Thank you.

    3. Would I need to draw out motivations more-so in first question or is question 1 same as question 2 in terms of answering on application form?

    Please advise.

    Thank you.
    I don’t think there is much difference, as both questions are asking you why you want to pursue a career in commercial law.. Interviewers will normally ask you this question to assess your knowledge about the particular firm as well as your commercial knowledge. This could involve your interest for business, and you can showcase your commercial acumen by demonstrating your knowledge about the deals Ropes & Gray has advised on and their clients. This could also show why you want to pursue commercial law with Ropes & Gray in particular. So, this means, what is it about Ropes & Gray that means you want to become a trainee and become a corporate lawyer. Is it the leaner teams or its market-leading private equity practice?
     

    Ropes&GrayMaya

    Star Member
    Oct 31, 2023
    27
    37
    Hi Maya,

    I'm interested in applying to Ropes and Gray, but I've noticed that your recent trainee intake includes graduates from Oxbridge and Russell Group universities. I didn't attend either of these institutions. Would it still be worth my while to submit an application?

    Thank you in advance.
    Yes. Our recruitment process is completely blind. This means that the HR team, associates and partners who review your application will not see your name, school, or university that you attended. This helps reduce any unconscious bias there may be in the application process.
     

    Ropes&GrayMaya

    Star Member
    Oct 31, 2023
    27
    37
    Hi Maya,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to our questions and for sharing your knowledge about Ropes & Gray.

    I am keen to find out if Ropes & Gray takes on international candidates as well (that require visa sponsorship).

    Further, does the firm recruit externally at the associate/ NQ level as well?

    Apologies if these are very specific, but would be great to have some clarity. Thanks.

    Hello! Absolutely. Ropes & Gray sponsors international candidates who we offer a training contract to. Yes. we also recruit at the associate/NQ level. This will be via our lateral recruitment team. Positions we are recruiting for are on our website.
     
    Last edited:

    Aga123+

    Legendary Member
    Gold Member
    Premium Member
  • Aug 2, 2021
    139
    243
    Hello @Ropes&GrayMaya
    I hope you're well! Regarding the application form: There doesn't seem to be a work experience section. Should I place this information in the additional information after submitting my application?
     

    Ropes&GrayMaya

    Star Member
    Oct 31, 2023
    27
    37
    Hi Maya
    Is there any opportunity for trainees to go on either client or overseas secondments? Could you also tell us about your experience of the culture at Ropes & Gray please.
    Many thanks

    Hi Maya, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, just a few from me. In regard to the commercial question, I know you mentioned that it can be about what is going economically and how this effects the legal market, but have you found applicants are rewarded for linking this to the firms practice areas, most specfically PE, or is it sufficient to show an understanding of the the current general commercial and legal issues and how ropes and gray are postioned to tackle these? i.e., should the answer be focussed or more general?

    Also, maybe a sily quesiton, but I know the firm is top in PE, I also have an interest in banking and finance, I know these pracitices are similar, but does ropes and gray have specialities in this practice too?

    Finally, will you be hosting any online events for the graduate recruitment cycle?

    Apologies if this is a lot, but thank you in advance!!
    I think specifically linking how a commercial issue impacts private capital markets and how this in turn will impact Ropes & Gray as it is our core practice group will be a great structure for the question. Whilst general commercial issues are fine – making it more specific and bespoke to Ropes & Gray will make you stand out.

    As well as our focus on private equity, we also have one of the market’s leading finance practices. The firm is a leading legal adviser in public and private high yield and leveraged loan markets, and in fact is one of a select group in London with on-the-ground capability to execute high-yield bond offerings and term loan facilities under both English and New York law. So, if you have an interest in finance, we would be a good firm to consider.

    Additional events will be held in-person. To see where you can network with Ropes & Gray representatives – visit our events calendar on our website here: https://www.ropesgrayrecruiting.com/en/uk/students-graduates/events-schedule
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Sharon Wu and NJS

    Ropes&GrayMaya

    Star Member
    Oct 31, 2023
    27
    37
    Hi Maya, hope you are well!

    The website states the following:

    No, we do not accept students who have completed the LPC. All trainees who join us will have completed their SQE assessments and will qualify as a solicitor via this route.

    Can you clarify if this means that if a candidate has completed the LPC prior to applying they will not be considered? Or will such a candidate still be considered and will have to complete SQE2 before joining the firm?

    Thank you in advance.
    Unfortunately, we do not accept students who have already completed the LPC. All trainees who join us will have completed their SQE assessments and will qualify as a solicitor via this route.
     

    Ropes&GrayMaya

    Star Member
    Oct 31, 2023
    27
    37
    Hi Maya
    Is there any opportunity for trainees to go on either client or overseas secondments? Could you also tell us about your experience of the culture at Ropes & Gray please.
    Many thanks
    Yes - our trainees have the opportunity to go on client or international secondments. We currently have a trainee on a client secondment and we also have trainees on secondment to our Hong Kong, Tokyo and Dublin offices.

    I would describe the culture at Ropes & Gray as collegiate, supportive and high-performing. and, while there is no such thing as a typical Ropes & Gray person, we all have some things in common: we value individualism, we work well as a team, and we are great to work with.

    The most common trait I see in Ropes & Gray trainees is pro-activeness and we expect students to be able to demonstrate this on vacation schemes. For example, taking the initiative to ask associates or trainees for coffee and researching the practice groups they sit in and asking interesting questions.
     

    Ropes&GrayMaya

    Star Member
    Oct 31, 2023
    27
    37
    Good morning Maya,

    It's fantastic to welcome another graduate recruiter to this platform.

    I wanted to discuss the commercial application question. Can we tailor it specifically to the challenges that Ropes & Gray is currently facing, rather than addressing issues that are common among law firms in general? Specifically, I'd like to focus on the unique challenges that Ropes & Gray, and perhaps a few other specialised US law firms, are encountering. These challenges could be niche and distinct to Ropes, as opposed to law firms in general.

    Thank you in advance.
    Hello. I think specifically linking how commercial issues impact private capital markets and how this in turn will impact Ropes & Gray as it is our core practice group will be a great structure for the question. Whilst, general commercial issues are fine - making it more specific and bespoke to Ropes & Gray will make you stand out.
     

    Ropes&GrayMaya

    Star Member
    Oct 31, 2023
    27
    37
    Hello @Ropes&GrayMaya
    I hope you're well! Regarding the application form: There doesn't seem to be a work experience section. Should I place this information in the additional information after submitting my application?
    Hello. We do not have a work experience section on our application form. The additional information section is for details such as a grading explanation. The application asks for your grades and an answer to a commercial question only. Discussion of legal work experience can be discussed at your interview at the assessment centre.
     

    NJS

    Legendary Member
  • Aug 21, 2021
    203
    276
    I think specifically linking how a commercial issue impacts private capital markets and how this in turn will impact Ropes & Gray as it is our core practice group will be a great structure for the question. Whilst general commercial issues are fine – making it more specific and bespoke to Ropes & Gray will make you stand out.

    As well as our focus on private equity, we also have one of the market’s leading finance practices. The firm is a leading legal adviser in public and private high yield and leveraged loan markets, and in fact is one of a select group in London with on-the-ground capability to execute high-yield bond offerings and term loan facilities under both English and New York law. So, if you have an interest in finance, we would be a good firm to consider.

    Additional events will be held in-person. To see where you can network with Ropes & Gray representatives – visit our events calendar on our website here: https://www.ropesgrayrecruiting.com/en/uk/students-graduates/events-schedule
    Very helpful, thank you!
     

    sxw517

    Legendary Member
    Gold Member
    Premium Member
  • Sep 20, 2021
    646
    616
    Hello. I think specifically linking how commercial issues impact private capital markets and how this in turn will impact Ropes & Gray as it is our core practice group will be a great structure for the question. Whilst, general commercial issues are fine - making it more specific and bespoke to Ropes & Gray will make you stand out.
    Nice one, thanks, Maya!
     

    Ali A

    Legendary Member
  • Feb 28, 2022
    247
    883
    Unfortunately, we do not accept students who have already completed the LPC. All trainees who join us will have completed their SQE assessments and will qualify as a solicitor via this route.
    Hi, thanks for the reply.

    Does that mean someone with the LPC will not be considered at all even if they were willing to sit the SQE assessments and qualify via that route?
     

    lonelycruise

    Esteemed Member
    Oct 2, 2023
    78
    340
    Hi @Ropes&GrayMaya! Nice to meet you and thank you for offering this forum to ask questions.

    For the commercial question, should we discuss the most pressing commercial developments at the moment, or could we, generally, talk about any three important commercial topics that interest us as long as they relate to R&G's practice areas? I'm keen to avoid mention of really obvious topics (e.g. AI, ESG) but I also don't want to reinvent the wheel and veer too far away from the question.

    Related to the above, are the most compelling answers the ones that are unique or ones that grasp the essentials?

    Also, final question: I know the application is blind, so should we avoid quoting R&G associates/partners/counsel who have analysed a particular topic, and its importance to the firm, at an in-person event?

    Many thanks in advance.
     

    LegallyBrown

    Distinguished Member
    Premium Member
  • Jun 20, 2023
    72
    469
    Unfortunately not. Ropes & Gray require all trainees to have qualified via the SQE route only.
    Hi Maya,

    Thanks for answering our questions.

    Could you please explain why this is the case. It doesn’t seem logical nor fair for candidates to be penalised simply because they completed the LPC, even if they are willing to do the SQE at a later time.

    I don’t know if I haven’t looked hard enough (so apologies if I’m wrong) but I don’t think I’ve come across another firm who specifically state they wouldn’t consider candidates if they completed the LPC, instead they consider whether they need to sit the SQE2.

    Many thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited:

    Shoval

    New Member
    Nov 24, 2023
    1
    0
    In the University law fair I asked about first year Law undergraduate programs and they said there is a negotiation program. Could not find any information about that on your website and I'm interested to get more information about it. Thank you!
     

    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.