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Mayer Brown Interview 2019 - 2020


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  • Feb 17, 2018
    Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.

    February 2020

    Please specify what the interview was for.

    Vacation Scheme

    Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

    Group exercise 20 minutes, presentation 5 minutes,

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

    Exercise 1:
    We were given instructions which asked us to come up with 3 ideas to [redacted]. The instructions weren't specific, so this could be in terms of improving innovation, training, opening offices or anything that you can think of. We came up with 3 ideas:
    We knew we had 20 minutes so we planned and spoke for 15 minutes and took 5 minutes to go over our presentation. We made use of the whiteboard to brainstorm our ideas. I took initiative to write on the board etc and to be a note taker.

    Group presentation:
    After the 20 minutes, the other group walked in as well as Danielle and 3 more Associates and we had to do a group presentation. We only had 5 minutes to present all 3 ideas so we took around 1 and a half minutes each. I Tip: We took my phone and put it on the table to keep track of time.
    The other group went first and they came up with ideas which were: 1. [redacted]
    This was followed by a Q&A by the Associates. I was challenged on the AI point. An Associate asked me something on the lines of – client's come to us to provide exceptional advice – don't you think automating work defeats the purpose of this? I basically said automating basic work can allow you to focus on the more complex part of the transaction which is where the true value comes in, this allows us to provide even more value for clients. He then went on and said don't you think automating routine work is bad for trainees as then they don't get to practice drafting? And I said they can still practice drafting as they will have to tailor the documents, so I think this only provides for more interesting drafting opportunities. They also challenged the "Relationships Manager" point saying we currently have something similar at MB. And the girl from my team said, yes but we should get Associates involved, not just Senior Associates and Partners. They also challenged the other group on what the purpose of the language training is etc and why open up another office – this takes a very long time and we were looking at ideas we can implement in the next 2 years.

    Exercise 2:
    We then had to sit the written exercise. It was difficult! It was a long article which was full of information on how taxi drivers are rated and how it's awful and it included scientific research and all kinds of opinions etc.
    We had to summarise the article as well as find spelling mistakes.

    Exercise 3:
    Following a tour of the office, I had my interview with 2 Senior Associates. They were super nice and welcoming. They had a list of questions which they had to ask. Why law/why MB/time you showed initiative/ time you worked under pressure/which practice area of MB are you interested in/they gave me a statement which was on the lines of "London is the financial hub of the world – discuss". And I had to justify it. Then the next question was "What are the 3 financial centres in the world?" I was also asked if I could change one law what would it be and why. I said the sugar tax law and the right to bear arms in the (UK). I think they were just looking for your personality here, but they also wanted you to justify it. My feedback said that my answer required more justification.

    Exercise 4:
    I then had to go into another room where I had to do a business exercise in which I was given the opportunity to prepare some questions to secure additional information and then recommend a client a fictitious firm should pursue.
    You were basically told your client wants to invest in one of these companies – find out more information. There was only company A and company B. One company produced [redacted] and the other produced [redacted] which was sourced ethically. If I could do this exercise again I would start off by asking questions like:
    · What is our client's budget?
    · What market does our client currently operate in?
    · Does our client have specific instructions?
    · [make sure you extrapolate all the client info you can!]
    · And then ask questions about the companies like – what market do they operate in/ what year were they established in? / their profits/ customers/where they are based/ where are their factories located – will it result in job losses? / costs to produce the goods – profit from each company /is there any litigation or bad press surrounding the client etc.
    · We were told that one of the companies was recently mentioned in a newspaper article which portrayed them in a negative way. So, this put me off the company– and I decided to go for the other company purely based on this fact.
    · He will ask you which company you have decided on and you'll have to justify why.
    · This is a relatively easy exercise and is quite laid back – just enjoy it! Now that I am writing this in hindsight the main thing is to consider finding out what our client wants and just which business fits him best!

    Please list any interview questions you were asked.

    See above.

    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.

    Make sure you practice proofreading as everyone finds the written exercise the hardest.

    Were you successful?



    Founder, TCLA
    Staff member
    TCLA Moderator
    Premium Member
    M&A Bootcamp
  • Feb 17, 2018
    Please state the month/year you interviewed at the firm.

    March 2020

    Please specify what the interview was for.

    Summer Vacation Scheme 2020

    Please give an overview of the day with approximate timings.

    Arrived at 9am.
    Received an introduction from grad rec until 9:30am.
    Group exercise until 10:45am.
    Break until 11am.
    11-12pm – written exercise.
    12-1pm – lunch with trainees and office tour.
    1-2pm – fact find exercise.
    2-3pm – competency interview.
    (everyone alternated so some people had their interview first and then the fact find).

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

    Group exercise:
    We were in groups of three and had 30 minutes to go through the brief and plan our presentation. Whilst we were planning, there was an associate in the room observing us.

    The exercise involved pitching to a client for some work. We had to address three areas: the concerns of the client, how Mayer Brown could service the client and how Mayer Brown would develop the relationship. The brief also will provide you with names of practitioners from MB and their level of experience.

    You do the presentation in front of the other group. Both observers will ask questions, often addressed at specific people. The questions were pretty generic: were there any risks you feel you didn’t get to cover in the presentation (we only have five minutes to present); how is MB different from other firms?; it's a small client, how will MB still service this client even though it has such big clients? Are the legal services going to be different?

    Written exercise:
    There were approximately 7-8 pages of a lengthy article – our article was based on [redacted] and was very wordy and wishy washy. You are provided with a laptop and have 1 hour to complete the task. First, you have to highlight any mistakes (grammatical, spelling) in the article – there are approximately 30 (grad rec told us this).

    Then you have to write 1 page summary of the article. I would recommend having an overall summary at the very top and also to use headings. 1 hour gives you just enough time to proofread and write the summary.

    You first read the brief. Then you have 5 minutes to plan which questions you are going to ask. Then you have 15 minutes to ask those questions followed up a 5 minute presentation where you present your ideas. This is followed by further 10 minutes of questions from the assessor.

    The fact find concerns a fictional law firm which is looking for a client and you are trying to find information about two [redacted] companies to decide who to pursue. Ask questions about financials, litigation, future prospect of both companies, their current legal advisers, international presence.

    You do not get any time to think about who you are choosing as you move straight into the presentation about who you chose.

    This is followed up questions: How confident are you in your decision? Do you think you worked hard? Do you think you needed further information to make your decision? Do you think it is important to know about how a business operates and how would this be useful in your role at MB? What would you do differently next time?

    This was a competency interview lasting around 50 minutes. Depending on your interviewers, people were asked different curveball questions but if answered well can lead into a good discussion.

    It is a CV blind interview so it really is on you to take initiative if you want to talk about something specific.

    Please list any interview questions you were asked.

    Why commercial law?

    What do you know about Mayer Brown? (discuss motivation for joining firm here)

    Tell us about a deal that Mayer Brown has been involved in that you know about and our clients.

    What would you do to make yourself standout at Mayer Brown as a trainee?

    When have you had to do a task you didn’t enjoy and how did you motivate yourself?

    What is something you struggled with at University?

    In the group exercise you completed earlier, which of your teammates were you impressed by and why?

    What makes an effective leader?

    What makes an ineffective leader?

    Tell us about someone who’s work ethic you admire but it cannot be someone from your family.

    If you could change or introduce any law, what would you do?

    Which threats do you see impacting the UK economy in the next 15 years?

    I wasn’t asked the following questions but other candidates mentioned:

    How is London’s prominence as the financial centre of the UK disadvantageous?

    Is there a news story you disagree with?

    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.

    Group Exercise:
    Make sure you make an active effort to chat with the other candidates and just have a laugh where you can. It’ll help relax you and grad rec are watching most of the time anyway.

    Make sure you research Mayer Brown extremely well because your knowledge of the firm is tested in different ways throughout the day, right fromt the group exercise to the fact find.

    Written Exercise:
    Manage your time wisely. You should look to spend 15 minutes highlighting any mistakes and then the rest of the time on the summary. You'll probably find some more mistakes when re-reading the article for the summary so don't get too bogged down the first time round when looking for mistakes.

    Try and cut through some of the faff in the article to identify the pertinent points. I found it was better to write up anything I thought was important in my summary and then delete/edit it at the end to make sure it was one page only.

    Fact Find:
    Make sure you're asking insightful questions and be prepared to adapt according to the information you're given. The interviewer will tell you if they don't have certain information. Also constantly be evaluating what your decision is going to be because you don't get any time to think and immediately move onto the presentation.

    Prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview because the interviewers specifically leave time at the end for questions.

    Be prepared to have some of your answers probed further and engage with the interviewers if they engage in conversation. I found out interesting things about the interviewers and their views due to some of the discussions we had after my answers.

    Were you successful?