Linklaters Vacation Scheme Interview 2019

Discussion in 'Interview Experiences 2018/2019' started by Jaysen, Dec 3, 2019 at 10:42 AM.

  1. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
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    Linklaters Winter Vacation Scheme 2019

    Assessment Centre

    There were three parts to the AC – Graduate Recruitment Interview, Case Study and Partner & Managing Associate Interview. When we arrived, we were given a program and told the order of the day (it was 4 of us). We had the GR interview first, then case study and then a partner interview last, but groups that arrived at different times had it differently. I liked that the group was small as it felt more personal and less stressful!

    1. GR Interview – 45 minutes

    The interviewer was very nice to talk to, and I generally enjoyed this interview. It was more like a conversation based on my three work experiences that I submitted prior to the AC. Many of the questions were quite visibly testing my competencies, and often there were direct scenario-based/competency-based questions (resilience, teamwork, my contributions to the team, how I dealt with a difficult person). From the more difficult ones that came later, I was asked what my values are and how I have demonstrated those (I found it very difficult to explain how I demonstrated them). I was also asked who I thought was an excellent leader and why. Then there were general questions about my motivations for Linklaters and commercial law (why Linklaters, why commercial law) and what other firms I applied to (I mentioned two, but there were not really any follow-up questions on this).

    (15-minute break)

    2. Case Study – 1 hour 30 minutes

    The case study was split into two parts and was done on laptops. They use Think Pads, which I found very challenging as I am not accustomed to typing on this specific type of keyboard and lost so much time deleting information and editing. I believe this was one of the reasons why I had so many typos and was running out of time, so be prepared for this and leave enough time to check.

    Part 1 – online exercise on the laptop (30 minutes)

    There was a contract review exercise, where we were given a confidentiality agreement to review and answer questions in relation to this (e.g. do they have to tell the client if they have done this, can they disclose info to this person) and SJT-type questions reflecting Linklaters’ values.

    (5-minute break)

    Part 2 – M&A case study (1 hour)

    We were given a booklet of documents to review (term sheet, e-mails, press release, pie charts) for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, we were given an e-mail from our supervisor that “just arrived” asking us to send them an e-mail highlighting key issues that he could send directly to the client (and telling us that the client would like one of the issues to be commercial). We had 30 minutes to do this.

    I found this very difficult (probably as I did not practice before) as even though I knew what issues were in the documents, I was panicking a bit and did not know how to organise this information into the e-mail. So, my tip would be to know your M&A terminology (TCLA’s course is excellent) and practice!

    3. Lunch with Trainees & Tour of the Office

    4. Partner and Managing Associate Interview – 45 minutes

    This was a tutorial-style interview based on the case study. You also receive a “surprise” about 5 minutes before the interview; it is an e-mail telling you about a different issue relating to the client that you just advised. I think it tests how you think on your feet and that you consider broader business/commercial issues when advising a client, not only legal.

    We talked through my case study answers, and I was asked to explain my reasoning as I went along. Whenever I mentioned specific terms (e.g. possible types of financing), I had to explain what it is and why it would be a good option. Also asked some questions about what shareholders would rather like etc. I had the opportunity to build on my answer and correct some mistakes that I made (I misread the pie chart). Then we talked about the surprise e-mail that I received.

    I was also asked about my motivations for commercial law and Linklaters, and they really pushed in this one. As I did a lot of pro-bono-related work and volunteering, and have been working on a start-up, they questioned my motivations for commercial law and for working at a magic circle firm. I was asked how I would get motivated to work long hours and asked for examples where I demonstrated I could deal with seatbacks and with difficult situations. I recommend to stay calm through these questions and explain your reasoning for going into a career in commercial law to them and explain how everything that you have done actually led you here!


    All the people that I met at Linklaters during the day were very nice, and I did not feel like the interviewers were trying to catch me out. They genuinely wanted to find out more about me and whether I would be a good fit for Linklaters. My main advice is to go into the AC with a positive & enthusiastic mindset and be clear about why you want to work as a commercial lawyer in the City. Practice for the case study so that you know how to structure your answer, and get ready that the day will be quite long - I was there 10am - 4pm! Good luck :)
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