About Burges Salmon
Burges Salmon is an independent UK law firm operating in England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. They employ over 900 staff, 340 lawyers and almost 100 partners. Burges Salmon operate across eight core practice expertise: banking and finance, commercial, corporate, dispute resolution, employment, private client services, projects and real estate services.
The company has clear business goals and values which are driven by the needs of its clients:
Focus on quality. Helping clients with everything from their everyday legal needs to their business-critical issues and all points in between.
Collaborate. Hiring, training and retaining the best people to work together to provide clients with the best possible experience.
Work internationally. Working across the world with a select number of like-minded independent law firms.
Burges Salmon have a clear direction for both their employees and clients. Offering vacation schemes and training contracts to enrich early law careers and support senior staff.
Burges Salmon Application Process
The Burges Salmon careers application process is multi-staged. Identifying the strongest candidates with the enthusiasm and skills to work in law. The process starts annually in October and takes several months to complete. Attributes looked for are:
- 2:1 degree
- Ability to work within a team
- Drive and resilience
- Analysis and judgement
- Common sense
Online Application Form
The online application form consists of uploading personal details, employment and educational history as well as some additional questions to find out about why you're interested in a career at Burges Salmon. The application will ask for a full history of secondary school and university module results, so having transcripts to hand will help.
Burges Salmon use a blind recruitment process, meaning your school, location and core personal details won't be visible to recruiters. You'll be selected on merit, passion and future test results alone.
Avoid using generic answers in your application. Burges Salmon are an independent law firm, hiring applicants that understand their unique proposition.
All candidates to submit an online application form will be asked to also complete two accompanying online psychometric tests. These support your written application, aiding a true and unbiased report of your basic skill set.
Situational Judgement Test
Situational judgement tests (SJT's) assess your ability to demonstrate good judgement and decision making. These are skills that cannot be identified through a CV, however, both are essential for a successful career as a Burges Salmon solicitor. The SJT will also highlight how strong your communication, commercial awareness, relationship building, and teamwork are.
The test consists of 20 multiple-choice questions based on challenging workplace scenarios. Though you cannot revise for this assessment, you can better prepare yourself by familiarising yourself with the company's values and completing free situational judgement tests online before the real test.
Verbal Reasoning Test
Verbal reasoning tests assess your ability to read and understand long passages of text. Multiple-choice true/false statements following each content example are used to determine how well you are able to extract key pieces of information from the text.
Strong language, comprehension and logic are all crucial skills for a lawyer which is why Burges Salmon conducts this style of assessment. No prior subject knowledge is required for this test, however, practising the style of assessment can help you feel confident and prepared for the official assessment. Free verbal reasoning practise tests can be found here.
Approximately 10% of applicants will be shortlisted and invited to an assessment centre day at the Burges Salmon Bristol office. This is an opportunity to meet partners, associates and other trainees whilst participating in an interactive assessment. The day will help both you and Burges Salmon identify how well-suited you are for each other.
For the group exercise, you will be placed with other applicants and posed with a fictional commercial scenario to work around. Though fictional, these scenarios may be based around current events or trends, so familiarising yourself with business pages in the news may help.
Collaboration is one of Burges Salmons core values, so ensure you demonstrate your ability to actively listen and respond, work within a team as well as share your personality and strengths without dominating the task or others. Focus on bringing Burges Salmon values and attributes to the task at hand.
The written exercise is an opportunity for you to expand on the group exercise on your own. The subject will be based on the same fictional scenario, offering you the opportunity to demonstrate the depth of understanding you have of the material and issues in a written format.
This stage will bring your level of written comprehension and communication skills to light. Communication is another of Burges Salmons' core values, therefore it's important to demonstrate the ability to confidently write around legal and workplace matters.
Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test
The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test assesses how well you can absorb and analyse information. In a law career, you'll be required to analyse, evaluate and draw conclusions often, exercising your logical reasoning skills. This test acts as a predictor of how successful you are likely to be in a solicitor role.
The Watson Glaser test consists of 40 multiple-choice questions which are to be answered within 30 minutes. The questions are divided into five areas: drawing inferences, recognising assumptions, deduction, interpretation and evaluating arguments.
Throughout the test, you will be presented with statements and paragraphs of text to critically analyse. You are expected to use this information to reach unbiased conclusions and not be swayed by external, existing knowledge. Everything you need to know will be in the text in front of you.
Questions will ask candidates to indicate if statements are true, false or if you cannot say, some will require you to identify if an assumption has been made or judge whether a given set of conclusions can be logically drawn from a paragraph of information.
Answering the test quickly and accurately is essential. Ahead of starting the test, ensure you are prepared for the format by taking practise tests, finding a quiet environment and checking you have a stable internet connection.
The last stage of the assessment centre day is a short interview with a Burges Salmon senior lawyer, director or partner. The interview will be mostly based on your application and career motivations. Make sure you have memorised your application form as this will help you to present as aligned and confident.
Although this is an opportunity for the interviewer to get to know you more, you are also able to take the opportunity to ask questions, finding out more about them and what it is like to work for the firm. This is your last chance to show your personality, so lead with your best judgement, be open and honest.