TCLA Vacation Scheme Applications Discussion Thread 2021-22 (#1)


Distinguished Member
Nov 26, 2021
Sooooo, I know that vac scheme season is winding down and some people are thinking about applying for direct TCs by July. I was wondering how useful any of you thought it might be to start a casual, cool, and comforting application writing group? We could meet virtually (or in person) and gently offer feedback to one another on our application answers while we write together for about an hour each week? I used to form writing groups a lot in graduate school - they can be a great way to help each other out, meet deadlines, and be accountable.

Just an idea! The only rule is: no tearing any one down :) I'm curious to know how many would be into the idea.

I’d be interested in this too!

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
  • Love
Reactions: aspiringlawyer123_


Valued Member
  • Mar 3, 2021
    Does anyone know why law firms form associations with local Chinese law firms?? Is there something about not being able to litigate in Chinese courts?
    I believe there definitely are more complex reasons and considerations, but as a Chinese national I suppose part of the reason might be that the political climate (which is extremely and increasingly unpredictable) and government goals can intervene with the regulations to a very large extent + very swiftly (e.g., the tech/private education/real estate and gaming crackdowns which happened almost overnight, some of those industries got completely wiped out within a very short period of time). Local firms tend to have better knowledge and are more experienced in dealing with political & regulatory changes in China. If foreign law firms were to explore these by themselves it would be very cost-ineffective and no success is guaranteed. There are also certain restrictions regarding the legal qualification process etc..This however is my personal understanding only.
    Last edited:


    Star Member
    Sep 11, 2021
    If I have an offer for a vac scheme in July, is it reasonable to ask for an early response from grad rec from firms that have been ghosting me post-VI/post-WG but have not invited me to AC? I'm aware that grad rec would be understanding of candidates who have attended ACs but haven't heard back post-AC and are under pressure to decide between a potential offer post-AC vs their existing offer from another firm, but is it rude to ask for an update before you're even invited to AC?

    @Jessica Booker was wondering if you have any thoughts on this from a graduate recruiter's perspective?
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: George Maxwell


    Star Member
    Sep 11, 2021
    Firm: PwC
    Opportunity: Legal Summer Internship (London) 2022

    23 Dec 2021 — applied and received automatic invite to Career Unlocked (Behavioural Based Assessment) by Arctic Shores
    27 Dec 2021 — completed Arctic Shores Assessment (before deadline stipulated)
    28 Dec 2021 — received Arctic Shores Assessment/Career Unlocked feedback report

    04 Feb 2022 — received this video interview invite:
    "Congratulations for passing the Behavioural Based Assessment and the screening stage: you are now one step closer to potentially receiving an offer! You are now going to be invited to the next stage of assessment which is called Career Conversation, otherwise known as the recorded video interview".​

    12 Feb 2022 — completed HireVue VI (before deadline stipulated)
    23 Feb 2022 — PFO
    "I hope this email finds you well. This is an update on your application for the Legal Summer Internship with us. Though you have passed the Video Interview, you have unfortunately not met the benchmarks in order to progress to the next stage of assessment. It is therefore with regret that we confirm you will not be progress to the Career Focus Day and that your application is being declined".​

    I'm VERY confused by the PFO email and what they mean by the "benchmarks" that I have failed to meet — does this mean I failed certain aspects of the Arctic Shores assessment and therefore will not be progressed even though I did fine in the VI? If this is the case why did they tell me that I passed the behavioural based assessment when I was invited to VI? Or are they talking about some other "benchmarks" that we don't know about?

    If I'm being rejected because I failed all/part of the Arctic Shores assessment, why did they even progress me to VI in the first place - is it because they want to give those who perhaps didn't do well in the initial assessment to prove themselves in the VI, and then review the application holistically (taking into account both VI and Arctic Shores performance) before deciding who gets to progress? If this is the case, why am I told that I "passed the video interview", but will not be progressed anyway? Could it be because I "passed the VI" but when reviewed together with my poor Arctic Shores performance, is still not good enough to progress compared to other candidates?

    I'm just disheartened that I'm being told that I "passed the VI" but still will not be progressed, and not being told why. Would hate to think that I performed okay in the VI but am being rejected because I didn't do so well in Arctic Shores :( Also, I'm just generally really disappointed that I keep getting rejected from law firms because of psychometric tests when I have done relatively okay in other assessments e.g. application writing and VI. Is it worth emailing to ask what exactly is the "benchmark" they're referring to? I doubt they'll reply though, as they would just see this as another candidate asking for individual feedback, which they are unable to provide?
    In case anyone is still interested, thought it'd be good to clarify what actually went wrong — sorry I posted the above when I was really emotional lol. After I had calmed down, I ended up emailing PwC grad rec because I was just curious whether it was my performance on the Arctic Shores test which let me down. This was their response:

    "We inform you that, due to the high volumes of application we receive, we do not offer a personalized feedback for the Video Interview stage. Unfortunately, the recruiters decided to consider only the applicants with the highest grades at the Video Interview stage for the 2021090875EIB Summer Internship, Legal, London 2022 role".​

    From all their responses so far, what I can gather is that though I technically met the minimum benchmark to pass the VI, I didn't score high enough in the VI to progress. So I don't think I failed because of the Arctic Shores test. It just means I need to brush up on my VI skills! Hope this brings clarity to those who also applied to PwC Legal and got rejected with a similar response.
    Last edited:

    About Us

    The Corporate Law Academy (TCLA) was founded in 2018 because we wanted to improve the legal journey. We wanted more transparency and better training. We wanted to form a community of aspiring lawyers who care about becoming the best version of themselves.


    Discover the most relevant business news, access our law firm analysis, and receive our best advice for aspiring lawyers.