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Cooley Interview 2022

Elizabeth K

Esteemed Member
Gold Member
Premium Member
Jul 6, 2021
Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.

March 2022

Please specify what the interview was for.

Summer Programme 2022

Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

9:30-12:30 - Group Exercise.
12:30-13:00 - Group presentations and networking for those not yet presenting.
13:00-14:00 - Break (at 13:30 candidates are informed whether they passed the group exercise and will be allocated interviews or not)
14:00-17:15 - Two interviews at allocated slots sometime throughout this period.

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

1) Group Exercise (supervised by x 2 senior/special counsels)
3 minute mini-introduction (tell us about yourself, your interest in Cooley and a hobby)
15 minutes to read through a brief and 3 news articles
60 minutes group discussion (including creating a PowerPoint using a provided template) with the central objective being to suggest 3-5 legal tech ideas and the pros/cons for Cooley)
10 minute presentation to supervisors and 1 additional partner, with follow up questions tailored specifically to our presentation. There was one default question asked to each team member: "What were you thinking about and what was in the forefront of your mind when approaching this group exercise?"

2) Interviews 25 minutes each
1 with a partner
1 with a senior associate
Relaxed interviews focusing heavily on competency questions
The questions asked to each candidate were the same to make the process fair.

Please list any interview questions you were asked.

Why Cooley?
Why commercial law?
Tell me about yourself.
What led you to study your degree?
What have you thought about the assessment day so far?
Why [anything on your application form - these interviews are not CV-blind]?
Tell me about a time you had to explain something and it was difficult to get across your meaning.
Tell me about a time you received negative feedback.
Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult team member.
Tell me about a time you were entrepreneurial, innovative or went above and beyond your role.
Tell me about a time you dealt with differing viewpoints as part of a team.
Tell me about a time you worked as part of a team and had a disappointing result.

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.

1) Group Exercise
My advice would be to act natural and have the goal in the forefront of your mind. It is always unnatural and obvious who is not really listening to other candidates and is trying too hard to get across knowledge of the firm (even if irrelevant) because they are conscious that they’re being assessed. Similarly, it is difficult for assessors to grade you if you are too nervous and stay quiet. I think what allowed me to pass this round is not that I knew the most about technology or the firm (because other candidates knew more than me), but that I genuinely did forget the assessors were there, I listened to each team member very closely, took notes on what they said, responded to them and interacted with everyone as a team. When things went wrong, I reminded my group (e.g. time running low, misinterpreting instructions, miscommunication etc.) because I was making an effort to listen. If you try to be less concerned about what you say and more concerned about understanding and interacting with what other people say, you will do well even if you don’t have good ideas yourself, because you are proving that you are invested in the team.

2) Interviews
The interviews did not involve any commercial awareness related questions and not much of a motivational discussion. Practice competency based questions as much as possible as these form the basis of the interviews. An excellent resource is the TCLA 260+ Training Contract Interview Questions. Try to think about different issues/troubles you've encountered in all your experiences and how you resolved them. Try to be personable and show that you're listening by asking questions about the individual interviewers. It also doesn't hurt to slip in some commercial knowledge into your questions or to demonstrate why you like the firm in your answers (e.g. "how is X affecting your work?" or "...so, this experience really taught me to value different opinions and that's another reason why I'm drawn to Cooley, as the firm XYZ..." etc.)

Were you successful?

Waiting to hear back

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