Huge congratulations to Joe who secured a training contract with Clifford Chance! We caught up with the Warwick third year to discuss his motivations for joining Clifford Chance, his application experience and what tips he has for current students.
Why Clifford Chance?
The high quality of the training programme that Clifford Chance offer initially attracted me to the company. They even have a learning portal for all trainees and an established programme that offers us the ability to learn from the most senior employees at the firm. Clifford Chance’s training programme was the one that I felt I could learn the most from and was a driving force behind my application.
As a magic circle firm, I know that I would be engaging in the most exciting work around as well as having the opportunity to work for and with some of the biggest firms and corporations in the world. Furthermore, the work at Clifford Chance can be extremely varied and with its huge employee base there’s a real breadth of expertise and potential career pathways I could take.
What was the application process like?
I applied for their springboard scheme initially. This was made up of a few stages involving: an initial online application form with several questions, the Watson-Glazer test, a video interview, some psychometric testing and then a final assessment centre. The assessment centre was mainly composed of two interviews with one being competency-based and the other being an interview with a partner where I had to dissect a case study. The springboard scheme was massively insightful and helped me build a working knowledge of the inside of a law firm. During the scheme we were being assessed and then at the end we were invited to write a 2500-word essay on what we had learnt. If you wrote a good essay you were invited to a second assessment centre, again simply composed of two interviews, after which I was sent an offer for a training contract.
How do you make the most of university?
Take as many opportunities as possible to upskill yourself. Careers services typically hold loads of skills workshops throughout the year as well as the opportunity to have your CV reviewed, loads of societies do similar things in addition to bringing in outside speakers to give an insight into their firm.
There’s no magic formula to getting a training contract either, you don’t have to go through the law society for example or to be on a specific society’s committee. What I would say though is to keep busy whether its playing sport, joining a society, volunteering or working part time. You should be able to tell the firm you’re applying to exactly what you’ve done to fill your time at university.
Finally, go to networking events as much as you can, Bright Network’s law events are particularly good. Going to these puts you in contact with a huge number of people within law firms and these contacts can be invaluable resources who can provide you with a personal insight into not only legal work, but into the culture and atmosphere of the law firm itself. They can tell you things which you can’t find out elsewhere.
What three tips would you give to your fellow Bright Network members?
- Back yourself, be confident in your ability. If you’re at an interview then they almost certainly know that you have the skills.
- Make a master document of all your skills and experiences and make sure to slowly tick off each one throughout the application process.
- Don’t apply late
What was the hardest interview question you’ve faced?
I don’t think any question should be too difficult if you’ve prepared properly but I did find the commercial case study much more challenging as that is hard to prepare for.