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First year scheme/Open day application Experience

sarahhhh

Active Member
Jan 24, 2024
11
0
Hi guys,
I want to share my journey apply first year scheme and open day application outcomes and my self-reflection during this cycle. I am going to apply vacation scheme during my penultimate year- so I am welcoming any suggestion on firm selection, how to narrow down my choice and any suggestion on upcoming vacation scheme.

My background:
1. Educated outside UK doing Alevels in an international school in Asia. Non-native speaker but fluent in English
2.Alevels: A*AAA IGCSE: 8A*
3.Currently in a London uni-has experience in a competitive law related society/student ambassador/scholarship winner
4.Three work experience filling in my application form-student ambassador/teaching assitant/shadowing in a law firm outside the UK
5.I knew nothing about law firm applications before I join the uni and I didn't not ask others help me reviewing applications a lot during this cycle. So don't stress too much if you know nothing when you come to the university.

My Application Outcome:
Fieldfisher 1st year scheme-post OT rej


Simmons&Simmons 1st year scheme-post OT rej (A low quality written app+low score in OT)


S&M Open day/work experience scheme- rej


Clifford Chance Spark- passed WGT-rej


A&O First -OT passed rej


Linklaters-Post OT rej (Their test is very long and hard-including work stimulation+verbal reasoning+WGT)


HSF-OT passed -rej (This scheme recruit more students than other firms since it has two time slot- but I wrote a pretty bad application-so make sure you target on written application and practice carefully on mock test on the HSF website: really helpful)


Baker Mckenzie-received video interview- but rej


Latham&Watkins rej


Macfarlanes-post OT rej (Their test is as hard as Linklaters one)


Morgan Lewis Open day (Very competitive- was offered a phone interview- including several competency questions-but still rejected)


Taylor Wessing- rej


Addleshaw Open Day-Offer


Reed Smith 1st year scheme-Offer (It send you test only if your application passed)


DLA piper-did not offered an online test (WGT)-I send the app to late-they send out offers before the deadline.


Covington 1st year scheme-Offer


Kirkland & Ellis Open Day- Offer (Low offer rate than other Open Days)


Freshfields - did not offered an online test (WGT)


White&Case First year scheme- rej (This recruit more people than other firms since it has two time slot-so be very careful on your written application since there is no online test.)


Dentons Open Day- rej


Osborne Clarke-post OT rej


Hogan Lovells- post OT rej (This also recruit more people since it has two time slot)


Skadden Open Day- offer (This app only requires you put what questions you want to ask about Skadden- but still some people rejected.)

Evaluation: 1. Since these are first year opportunities, your competitors won't be fully ready and most people will only apply Big Names (e.g MC firms-they are overly applied and fewer offers than VS).So make sure you do enough research, and don't omit some firms may fit you.
2. Place more focus on schemes that fast track you to Assessment Centre next year-this will alleviate your workload next year:e.g. A&O/CC/Linklaters/Reed Smith/Simmons&Simmons/Hogan Lovells/HSF (only fast track you through online test)
3. Do quality written application (I wasted most of my times copying and pasting from website initially when I am applying - not specifically target what firms want.)
4. Practice online test (Waston Glaser Test- Do the one on CC website-and search answers on Google-you can benefit from this practice test-the one most like the real one)
Situational Judgement Test: Allen&Overy/Simmons&Simmons/Reed Smith uses similar ones- so make sure you familiar with this format if you applying these- they send you a feedback doc after you do the test- take this as a lesson.)
5.Video Interviews/: Only few firms do VI for 1st year opportunity, and generally are common competency questions.
6. Assessment centre: only Spark has assessment centre- and I was rejected- so find someone on LinkedIn to ask will be helpful.
7.Knowing more about the firm: ask someone in your uni who is a future trainee/or using LinkedIn to connect recruitment team, future trainees. Chambers Student/Firm annual report/Legal Cheek/And our lovely TCLA is useful when I am conducting search.
8.There are also other opportunities like: Campus Ambassador/Panel discussion events/Workshops can help you know more about the firms-stay tuned on these and don't miss them out.
9.Forage: Some firms have forage job stimulation-e.g. White&Case- I guess I lost an opportunity showing my interest to the firm since I didn't do this. Sometimes this experience can differentiate you out from other candidates since you took extra effort on this firm.
10. Some schemes require diversity/low income backgrounds-so make sure you check the website.

I am welcoming anyone advising me how to choose and narrow down my choice during next cycle applying VS. And I wish everyone all the best and good luck for your applications.
 
Last edited:

l789

Star Member
Aug 19, 2020
27
8
I just want to say I think you’ve done really well as a first year student, even taking the imitative to apply for open days and insight schemes.

I’ve met third year law students and graduates at general (open to all years and disciplines) law firm open days who have only just found the confidence to write an application for an open day.
 

sarahhhh

Active Member
Jan 24, 2024
11
0
I just want to say I think you’ve done really well as a first year student, even taking the imitative to apply for open days and insight schemes.

I’ve met third year law students and graduates at general (open to all years and disciplines) law firm open days who have only just found the confidence to write an application for an open day.
Thank you for your kind message!
 

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