About Clifford Chance
Clifford Chance is a multinational law firm headquartered in London that has 34 offices in 23 countries - and is growing.
Clifford Chance is known as one of the 'Magic Circle', one of the 10 largest law firms in the world, offering graduates the opportunity to take advantage of Training Contracts that take them from training to full fledged lawyers.
Working at Clifford Chance
The Training Contracts offered to graduates provides a breadth of experience that allows for exploration of practice areas thanks to the 4 x six monthly rotations. Throughout the process there is in-depth training and access to the Clifford Chance Academy, with innovative learning tools and fundamental support. The IGNITE Training Contract is aimed at graduates that are looking for an opportunity to develop in technology and software, too.
Clifford Chance offers studying and training opportunities for those that have completed an undergraduate degree in another discipline, with a conversion course (Postgraduate Law Conversion Course) and the chance to complete a LLM Commercial Legal Practice course, which covers both law and business and is a Master's qualifying course.
The Training Contracts offer a very competitive salary; from the first year £48,000 to a Newly Qualified Lawyer at £100,000 per year,as well as the following benefits:
Private healthcare scheme
Season ticket loan
Free gym membership
Free meals (after a qualifying period)
Cycle to work scheme
The application process for Training Contracts opens for approximately two months every year, and all applications are judged after the closing date.
Clifford Chance uses fair and unbiased methods of identifying talent, including blind CV interviewing, contextual recruitment, and by removing the minimum academic requirements from the programme entry.
However, as competition for placement on the Training Contracts is so fierce, the application process is rigorous to be sure that they get the very best candidates to take forward on the programme. Applications tend to open in September, and close around December.
Online Application Form
The online application form is the first opportunity you will have to demonstrate why you want to work with Clifford Chance. Applicants will be asked a series of questions designed to assess genuine interest and motivation, and the recruitment team are looking for strong, clear examples throughout.
As part of the online application form you will need to give details about your performance throughout your degree, including module scores. You will also need to upload a CV and a cover letter as part of the application, but these will not be used to inform the application process.
Be sure that before you press send on the completed application that you check for spelling and grammar mistakes as this can have a negative effect on the way your application is viewed.
Watson Glaser Test
As part of the application process, you will be sent a link to complete an online assessment. This usually arrives within two working days, and you will have five days to complete it.
This assessment is known as a Watson Glaser test, and is published by TalentLens. It has been an effective measure of critical thinking skills that was first used in the 1920s. During the test, you will have 30 minutes to answer 40 questions that are designed to measure how well you can think under pressure, and use different methods to solve problems.
There are five types of questions asked through the test:
In deduction questions, you will be presented with a passage of text and a list of possible deductions. You will have to decide if the deduction follows, or does not follow, using logic.
You will be presented with a paragraph of information, followed with a list of possible conclusions. You will need to decide if each conclusion follows beyond a reasonable doubt.
3. Recognising Assumptions
In a given statement, you will have to find the assumption - the idea that is given as true. You will need to choose between assumption made or assumption not made.
4. Drawing Inferences
Inferences are like educated guesses, and in this case you will need to decide if the inference is true, using a sliding scale: true, possibly true, not possible to say, possibly false, and false.
5. Evaluating Arguments
A scenario will be presented, and it is likely to be contentious. A series of arguments will follow, and you will need to assess them based on their strength, rather than whether they are right or wrong.
The Watson Glaser test is difficult - and as a way of reducing a large talent pool to the very best candidates it is very useful. Logical reasoning and critical thinking are essential aptitudes for a career in law, and this could be a stumbling block for some candidates. There is practice available on the Clifford Chance site, which you can access here, so you can see what the questions will be like and find out if there are any weaknesses in your problem solving approach.
You will receive information about your performance in the application form and the test soon after the deadline for applications.
If you are successful, you will be invited to a virtual interview. This commercial interview will last about 75 minutes, and is a great time for you to demonstrate your skills, unique experiences and personality. This could be the first time you are in front of the recruitment team, so you want to be sure to present yourself in the best way throughout.
You will be asked a series of strengths-based questions, where the assessors will be looking for examples of what motivates you and how you perform in a work environment - more about your future and potential than what you have achieved in the past. The recruiters will not have looked at your CV or application form, so make sure that you are prepared for some competency-based questions and have some good examples that demonstrate your aptitude.
These questions might be something like "how would your friends describe you to a stranger" and "what don't you enjoy doing outside of work"
During the virtual interview, you will also be expected to complete a written exercise based on a case study. There will be a short period given to prepare, and the case study is usually based on a realistic scenario like a business needing advice on a problem. You are not expected to have specific legal knowledge, but you do need commercial awareness to be successful here. As with all parts of the application process, in-depth research about the company and the role that you have applied for will help you make the best impression here.
After the interview, it is likely that you will find out quickly whether you have been successful - sometimes in as little as 24 hours.