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Law Firm Application Questions

Dwight

Legendary Member
Dec 21, 2019
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Hi everyone!

I thought to start this thread to share the application questions of different firms for preparation of the 2021-2022 application cycle.

**REMINDER: these will be last years' application questions (2020-2021) so may be different from this year (2021-2022)**

I'll start with CMS:

CMS

Focusing on one or more of CMS’s sectors, what challenges and opportunities for growth do you see presenting themselves over the coming 12-24 months? (200 words)

What does exceptional client service look like from a future facing lawyer? (200 words)

How would you describe the relationship between law and business? (200 words)

@Jaysen any chance this thread gets pinned
 

Jaysen

Founder, TCLA
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  • Feb 17, 2018
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    Hi everyone!

    I thought to start this thread to share the application questions of different firms for preparation of the 2021-2022 application cycle.

    **REMINDER: these will be last years' application questions (2020-2021) so may be different from this year (2021-2022)**

    I'll start with CMS:

    CMS

    Focusing on one or more of CMS’s sectors, what challenges and opportunities for growth do you see presenting themselves over the coming 12-24 months? (200 words)

    What does exceptional client service look like from a future facing lawyer? (200 words)

    How would you describe the relationship between law and business? (200 words)

    @Jaysen any chance this thread gets pinned
    Hey - have PM'd you about this.
     
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    Jaysen

    Founder, TCLA
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  • Feb 17, 2018
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    Hey @Jaysen -

    Was wondering whether there was a bank of application questions somewhere on the Forum? I seem to remember one but not sure if there is one for the 2020/21 cycle that just went past.
    Hey - yep we do have an older one in the premium forum. We'll look to update this for the upcoming cycle as soon as applications reopen.
     
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    Jessica Booker

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    Hi @Dwight and @SLKEJRWOI97

    You are more than welcome to use this thread as a way of gathering the question information though in a similar way to what Dwight has done above for CMS.

    We’ll keep an eye on this thread purely because if people do contribute to it a lot with other firm’s questions, I suspect they will be in the running for our weekly forum winner award where it will be of great help to our members.
     
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    Penelope

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  • Aug 14, 2019
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    I have quite a few firms' questions saved (I didn't apply to most of these!) - hope this is helpful:

    Allen & Overy
    Q1 If you could introduce a new law what would it be and why? (250)
    Q2 Describe a challenging situation you have faced, what made it challenging, how did you respond and what did you learn in the process? (250)
    Q3 As the world of law evolves, adaptability is a crucial attribute for future lawyers to have. Describe a time you had to demonstrate adaptability to reach a positive outcome. What role did you play in the scenario and what was the outcome? Did you do anything you would consider innovative as part of the solution? (250)
    Q4 Please bullet point anything else you’d like to add which you think is relevant to your application. This can be positions of responsibility, extra curricular activities and achievements or academic awards or scholarships (100)

    BBC Apprenticeship
    Q1 Tell us about any skills, experience, or interests you have that make you a good fit for the BBC Legal team (300)
    Q2 What do you think are the main challenges the BBC is facing is 2021? (300)
    Q3 Tell us about a recent BBC radio/TV/internet programme that has interested you and explain what issues the BBC legal teams may have encountered in bringing that programme to audiences or after it has been aired? (500)

    BCLP
    Q1 What do you find attractive about Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s sectors/ departments and which area(s) are you interested in having exposure to in your Training Contract and why? (500)
    Q2 Please detail any academic awards, positions of responsibilities and/ or any interests or hobbies outside of academics and work experience (please list in bullet points). (300)
    Q3 In your first 3 months as a trainee at BCLP, who would you seek to build relationships with, and what strategies would you implement to ensure that these relationships are long lasting? (300)
    Q4 Imagine you are a trainee at BCLP and you have been working on a task for an associate in the Finance department. The associate is away and a partner in the department urgently wants a summary note of the research to send to a client, and has asked you to send it to them by tomorrow morning. How would you react? (300)

    Faegre Drinker
    Q1 What attracts you to this firm? (250)
    Q2 Please give brief details of any interests including hobbies and sports. (250)
    Q3 Please provide any additional information that you think is relevant. (400)

    Farrer & Co
    Q1 Covering letter (350)
    Q2 Please provide details of your activities and interests (300)
    Q3 Please provide details of your positions of responsibility (300)
    Q4 Please list anything else you believe strengthens your application (300)
    Q5 Describe a time you had a good idea and made it happen (300)
    Q6 Why are you applying to Farrer & Co? (300)
    Q7 Describe a particularly challenging experience you have faced and the way you dealt with it (300)

    Fried Frank (no word limits)
    Q1 Please give details of any club/societies/voluntary organisations you attended from university onwards, including any positions of responsibility held.
    Q2 Cover Letter (This section is a free text section).
    Q3 Please describe an achievement of which you are most proud. What challenges did you face?
    Q4 Please tell us why you believe commercial awareness is an important skill for a successful lawyer.
    Q5 What do you think are the main challenges facing Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson in the next 18 months? How can Fried Frank successfully meet these challenges?

    Harbottle & Lewis
    Q1 Please provide details of any interests you pursue outside work and/or study. You should highlight any positions of responsibility held or other achievements you believe are noteworthy. (250)
    Q2 Why are you applying for a training contract at Harbottle & Lewis? (250)
    Q3 What distinguishes you from the other applicants applying for this position? (250)
    Q4 Please set out below any additional information which you feel is relevant to your application. (250)

    Lewis Silkin
    Q1 What skills/knowledge have you gained from your previous work experience that will help you become a successful lawyer? (200)
    Q2 Why are you and Lewis Silkin right for each other? (200)
    Q3 Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is an essential business practice that high-performing companies prioritise. What should law firms be doing to help create a more diverse and inclusive workplace? (200)
    Q4 Describe a time when you had to be careful talking about sensitive information. How did you do it? (200)
    Q5 Lewis Silkin prides itself on delivering excellent client service. What do you think clients tell us they value most in their lawyers and why? (200)
    Q6 Is there anything else that you would like us to consider when reviewing your application? What makes you stand out from the crowd? Don’t feel obliged to answer this Q (200)

    Macfarlanes (VS)
    Q1 Why Macfarlanes. Please explain why you are applying to Macfarlanes (300)
    Q2 Your achievements. Please provide details of 1-3 achievements or activities that demonstrate the qualities we look for in a Macfarlanes trainee. You may include both academic and non-academic achievements (300)
    Q3 Resilience & growth. Please detail a specific example or instance where you have demonstrated resilience. This example can be either academic or non-academic (300)
    Q4 Your interests. Use this section to provide details of your non-academic interests (300)
    Q5 Please give details of one area of your course which you found particularly interesting and explain why? (50)

    Mishcon de Reya
    Q1 Beyond looking for a challenging career, why do you want to be a lawyer? Why do you want to be a lawyer at Mishcon de Reya? (300)
    Q2 Please could you discuss a legal case that recently caught your attention. Why did this interest you and what were the implications? (300)
    Q3 If we were to invite you to interview what is the issue that you would most like to talk about? And why? This can be a non-legal issue that you would happily discuss with your friends and should be something you genuinely feel passionate about. (300)

    Simmons & Simmons
    Q1 Please give details of your interests and activities, positions of responsibility, skills and achievements. Please also include any other information relevant to your application (250)

    Taylor Wessing
    Q1 Please tell us about your personal interests, positions of responsibility, scholarships, awards or prizes that will enhance your application to Taylor Wessing. (250)
    Q2 What is your most significant achievement to date outside of your academic career? (250)
    Q3 What is your most significant achievement to date within your academic career? (250)
    Q4 We strive for excellence for our clients and people. What will drive you to succeed at Taylor Wessing? (250)
    Q5 Working with innovative and fast paced clients means our lawyers need more than just legal expertise. What other key attributes would you bring to the firm? (250)
    Q6 Inclusion is at the heart of everything we do. Why is inclusion important to you? (250)
    Q7 What types of innovation will drive growth at Taylor Wessing? (250)
    Q8 Please use the below section to summarise three key skills that you feel you have gained from your work experience to date. How would these skills help add value to our clients at Taylor Wessing? (250)
     

    RoughWood

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    Feb 24, 2021
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    I have the following firms on file from direct TC's this cycle (trying not to duplicate the above):

    Barcan+Kirby
    1. Please describe what excellent client service means to you in the context of a law firm.
    2. Tell us about the most rewarding experience you have had working in a team environment. Why was it so rewarding?
    3. Please explain what attributes, systems and processes are needed to be introduced and maintained in order to ensure a firm like Barcan+Kirby is commercially successful.
    4. Please describe how you personally build effective working relationships. Why is this important?
    5. Tell us about a time when you were asked to do something that conflicted with your own opinion. What was the outcome? What did you learn?

    Bevan Brittan
    1. Why do you want to work for Bevan Brittan over our competitors?
    2. What do you think are the greatest challenges facing law firms over the next 3 years?
    3. Give an example of a recent legal decision that is relevant to Bevan Brittan's business which you strongly agree or disagree with. Why?
    4. Give an example of a time when you were a member of a team which worked especially well with another team to accomplish a goal. Describe your role, the outcome and what you learned.
    5. Give an example of a situation in which on reflection, you wish you had acted differently. What would you do differently next time and why?

    Blake Morgan
    1. What is it about Blake Morgan that stands out to you as an employer of choice?
    2. In the space below please state why you decided to pursue a career as a solicitor.
    3. Give an example of how you have developed your commercial awareness and how you think this is relevant to a career as a solicitor at Blake Morgan.
    4. What steps have you taken to enhance your employability in preparation for a career as a solicitor at Blake Morgan? What obstacles have you had to overcome?
    5. Give an example of a time that you have had to work with a new team. How did you establish rapport with the team and what was it about the team collaboration that made it a success?
    6. Give an example of a scenario where things did not go to plan. What did you learn from the situation?
    7. In the space below give some examples of what you enjoy doing in your spare time, and why this is important to you.

    Browne Jacobson
    1. We've recently refreshed and relaunched our firm strategy. This is now known as our National Powerhouse strategy. As part of the strategy we've managed to 'bottle' what it means to work here in a set of new values. These are: Inclusive, Ambitious, Collaborative, Pragmatic, Fair and Down to Earth. Please pick the two values that you feel most closely align to your own values, and describe how you would 'live' these values during a career at Browne Jacobson (max 250 words)?
    2. Our National Powerhouse strategy is made up using three separate pillars: 1) Being at the forefront of societies biggest issues, 2) Our personality, approach & values and 3) Making Connections. The third pillar, Making Connections, will see our firm encourage all employees to build an active network of contacts. Internally that means working more closely and making wider referrals to colleagues, but externally it means helping make connections between clients (for example we introduced one client, a PPE equipment provider, with a healthcare client desperately in need of PPE supplies) or making connections within the communities we operate in. Please can you give an example where you used your own network or contacts to make an introduction to a 3rd party that lead to positive action (that would not have happened without you intervening) (max 250 words)?
    3. Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on the world in 2020. That's not up for debate. There are however a few silver linings in terms of how businesses operate. What opportunities has Covid-19 created for a law firm like Browne Jacobson? And secondly, what are some of the long term permanent changes likely to be within the legal industry as a result of Covid-19 (max 250 words)?
    Burges Salmon
    1. Why are you applying to Burges Salmon for a training contract?
    2. As an independent UK firm what do you think are the main challenges and opportunities that Burges Salmon could face over the next five years?
    3. Burges Salmon operates in seven key sectors. Which of the sectors do you think will generate the most work for the firm in the next financial year and why?

    Fieldfisher
    1. From your research, what have you learned about Fieldfisher and why do you want to train as a solicitor with the Firm?
    2. What are the top five skills you believe a trainee needs to be a successful commercial lawyer and why?
    3. What do you understand to be the biggest opportunity for one of our key sectors and how the firm should pursue this. Our key sectors can be found here: https://www.fieldfisher.com/en/sectors

    Michelmores - all questions max 1500 characters
    1. Please explain why you want to be a solicitor and why you are applying for a training contract at Michelmores?
    2. What key attributes do you think make a solicitor successful in the current market? Why?
    3. Taking into account what you have learnt about Michelmores and our position in the marketplace, what items do you think should feature on the agenda for our Strategic Board over the next few years?
    4. We would like to know how you spend your extracurricular time, including your contribution to any clubs or societies.

    Penningtons
    1. Covering letter - please use this opportunity to tell us about yourself and your reasons for applying to Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP.
    2. What qualities do you think Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is looking for in a solicitor and explain why you match those requirements.
    3. Please tell us about a challenging situation you have found yourself in and what you learnt from it.
    4. From the research you have done, what do you think Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP will need to do to stay competitive in the legal market?
    5. Why do you think it is important for law firms to focus on diversity?
    6. Please describe your hobbies, interests and extra-curricular activities, highlighting any positions of responsibility held.

    Pinsent Masons
    1. What are your main spare time interests? (Max 4000 characters including spaces)
    2. Describe your greatest non-academic achievement of the last two years and why this achievement is important to you. (Max 4000 characters including spaces)
    3. Please explain why you have decided to pursue a career in commercial law + why you are applying to Pinsent Masons (Max 4000 Characters)

    Wiggin
    1. Please provide details of any interests you pursue outside work and/or study. You should highlight any positions of responsibility held or other achievements you believe are noteworthy.
    2. Why are you applying for a training contract at Wiggin?
    3. What distinguishes you from the other applicants applying for this position?
     
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    SLKEJRWOI97

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    Ashurst
    1. Please address your cover letter to Nick Wong, Graduate Recruitment Partner. This is an opportunity to tell us about yourself, your skills, achievements and why you want to train as a solicitor. (1000w)
    2. How is Ashurst different to the other firms you have applied to? (250w)
    3. How is the legal landscape changing and what are the challenges facing Ashurst? (250w)
    4. What qualities does a successful lawyer of the future require? (250w)

    Freshfields

    Please write about yourself in the space provided below. You may wish to mention any positions of responsibility held at school or subsequently, any regular employment or other work experience and any achievements, interests and personal qualities which are relevant. Please also state briefly why you are making this application. You must stay within the word limit for the vacancy that you are applying for:
    850 words: Training Contract; London-Asia Training Contract; Vacation Scheme

    White & Case

    Cover Letter (recommended 1 pg)

    Debevoise

    1. Please detail any extra-curricular activities and leisure interests, including any relevant responsibilities and achievements. (250w)
    2. Please tell us about a difficult or demanding achievement that you are particularly proud of, with focus on why it was challenging and the contribution you made towards achieving the end goal. (250w)
    3. Please tell us something that not many people know about you. (250w)
    4. Please indicate if there is a preferred practice area that interests you. (250w)
    5. What do you hope to get out of a career at a Firm like ours? (250w)
    6. Please explain why you have decided to pursue a career as a solicitor and what has attracted you to Debevoise? (250w)
    7. Please tell us about a recent commercial deal that has captured your interest. If you could represent a side, which would it be and why? (300 words)

    NRF

    1. Please enter your cover letter below. In your letter you need to include why you think you will be a good commercial solicitor and why you are applying to Norton Rose Fulbright. (750w)

    Covington
    1. What achievement in the past 5 years are you most proud of and why? (250w)
    2. Please outline your main interests and social activities, including any positions of responsibility you currently hold (or have recently held). (250w)
    3. What key attributes do you believe are necessary to become a successful lawyer? (250w)
    4. Please give an example of how you made a positive contribution to a team. (250w)
    5. In your covering letter, please explain your reasons for wishing to pursue a career as a solicitor, as well as your motivation for applying specifically to Covington & Burling LLP. You should also use the covering letter as an opportunity to include any additional information that you feel is relevant to your application but is not covered in the rest of the form. (500w)
    6. If you could experience first-hand one historical event, what would it be and why? (250w)
    7. Discuss a current business news story which has attracted your attention recently. (300w)

    Orrick
    1. Please paste your covering letter here. Please address your covering letter to Sushila Nayak. (500 words)
    2. Describe your involvement and positions of responsibility in any extra-curricular activities including societies, sports, charitable and voluntary work. (200 words)
    3. Please detail academic awards, prizes or scholarships and non-academic achievements at school, university and law school (if applicable). (200 words)
    4. What would you say has been your greatest success to date and how did you achieve this? (250 words)
    5. Have you been following any recent news stories or events that have attracted your attention and you think would have an impact, or be of interest, to Orrick? (250 words)
    6. Why have you decided to pursue a career as a commercial lawyer working in an international law firm? What factors and influences have affected your decision? (250 words)
    7. Why specifically are you interested in training at Orrick? What makes us different to the other firms you have applied for? (250 words)

    Morgan Lewis
    1. Why have you applied to Morgan Lewis? What do you think are the skills and attributes you possess that distinguish you from other applicants? (300 words)
    2. Discuss a news story that interests you. What do you think are the implications of the story for a law firm like Morgan Lewis? (300 words)
    3. Please give us an example of when you have learned from a mistake. What was the mistake you made, and what did you learn from it? (300 words)
    4. How do you ensure that you are a valued member of the team? Please provide an example where you have been able to contribute to the team’s success. (300 words)
    5. Please provide details of your interests and extra-curricular activities - including any positions of responsibility you have held at school, university or otherwise - and an achievement of importance which you are most proud of. (300 words)
     
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    Alison C

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    A couple more:

    Dentons
    • Please tell us about your extracurricular activities and any positions of responsibility you've held as part of these. - 250
    • Tell us about a challenge you have overcome that showcases your ambition and drive. – 250
    Career Motivation (I think this must include notes from an event they did)
    • Please explain why you have decided to pursue a career in commercial law. – 250
      • 3 REASONS – roles and responsibiliites, skills
      • with each paragraph, link it to the firm and say what they are doing
      • ALSO certain practise areas
    • Why have you chosen to apply to Dentons and why in this location? – 250
      • Any further motivations
      • MOST of wd count on why them
      • 50-75 on why that location
      • VALUES – what are they known for? Working culture?
      • TC program – why of interest?
    Osborne Clarke
    • Osborne Clarke is renowned for working across eight core sectors – Energy and Utilities, Financial Services, Life Sciences and Healthcare, Real Estate and Infrastructure, Recruitment, Retail and Consumer, Tech, Media and Comms, and Transport and Automotive. Please describe a current business issue or opportunity for organisations operating within one of these sectors. Why is this topic of particular interest to you? How can Osborne Clarke assist our clients with this? (500 words max)
    • How is Osborne Clarke different from the other firms to which you have applied? (250 words max)
    • Please outline the reasons why you wish to pursue a career in commercial law at Osborne Clarke. Within your answer you should also include details of how you have developed your skills through your hobbies and interests. (500 words max)*
    • What are the most important aspects of a career for you? What makes you feel motivated and fulfilled? (250 words max)
     
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    Dwight

    Legendary Member
    Dec 21, 2019
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    Managed to find these out:

    DLA Piper

    Which business news story has interested you the most in the last 12 months and why? (Maximum 1500 characters / approximately 250 words)

    Weil

    Why have you decided to pursue a career as a commercial solicitor? (250)

    Please explain what attracts you to a career at Weil. (250)

    Think of a current commercial issue that has recently attracted your attention. Why does it interest you, why do you consider it to be significant and how do you think this will impact Weil’s clients? (300)
     
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    Asil Ahmad

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    I just wanted to add some also:

    Bird a d Bird

    Based on your research, what do you understand to be the biggest opportunity for one of the sectors in which we specialise?

    In your view, what will be the greatest innovation to influence the firm in the next 5 years and why?

    Lawyers at Bird & Bird are all individuals and come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and experiences. One thing that they all have in common is a determination to achieve their goals by working hard and having a positive 'can-do' attitude. Please tell us about the key event or experience that has influenced you to develop yourself as an individual. As we are interested in learning about your non-academic experiences, try to use an example from your extra-curricular activities (music, sport etc) or your work/voluntary experience. What was the key event/experience and how did it come about? What obstacles did you have to overcome? What was the key learning for you?

    Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF)

    Introduce us to a topic you know about and explain why it interests you. (We are looking for structure and succinctness in your answer. Your answer does not need to be related to law or HSF and it is a chance for us to find out more about you and your interests)

    Why are you interested in pursuing a career at Herbert Smith Freehills?

    What skills, qualities and attributes would you bring to the role?


    These two firms have had the same application questions for the past 2 years so they will be the same questions this year I suppose.
     

    Jessica Booker

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    @Jessica Booker I am applying for Weil FastTrack Scheme, However I lack any experience in their practice areas, so how should I proceed with showing my interest in their practices areas and answer the question WHY WEIL?
    Your interest doesn’t have to stem from working in those areas. You might have an interest from your studies, or from what you read in the papers, you might just have a connection to that type of area (eg you have worked in real estate before, or have studied financial modules).

    Your interest in the firm also doesn’t have to wholly stem from their practice areas. There could be other aspects of the firm that appeal to you.
     

    Jessica Booker

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    So being from a minority community I can talk about their initiatives towards diversity and inclusion.
    That can be one aspect you talk about. Reasons for applying to the firm are often multi faceted, and it’s typically a mix of the type of work they do, the firm’s culture, the opportunities they provide to their trainee hires etc. So if diversity is important to you and you feel the firm’s approach to diversity aligns with your attitudes then it should be something you mention alongside other aspects.