About DLA Piper
DLA Piper is a global law firm. Formed as the result of the merger of UK-based DLA LLP and USA-based Piper Rudnick in 2005, but its origins can be traced back to the 1800s. It now has 90 offices in 40 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and the Americas. There are around 2,400 attorneys working for DLA Piper and it has eight practice groups: corporate, tax, finance, real estate, intellectual property, litigation, and restructuring.
The company has strong ethics and values, focusing on responsible and innovative legal solutions. In 2019, its attorneys donated over 20,000 hours of pro bono work, particularly in the areas of rights for children; access to justice; and assisting refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless people.
DLA Piper Application Process
DLA Piper uses a strength-based application process for their early careers recruitment. This is designed to identify diverse candidates who have a real passion for law and developing a lifelong career in the industry.
- Apply online
- Watson Glaser critical thinking assessment
- Telephone interview
- Assessment day
The online application consists of uploading basic information and your CV. Make sure that this displays your most relevant experience, achievements, and strengths, as you are not asked to give in a cover letter to support your CV. There are no specific academic requirements to apply for DLA as they want to hear from people from all kinds of backgrounds.
There is also a commercial awareness question, which asks you to demonstrate your understanding of the industry, recent developments, and in particular, DLA Piper's aims and achievements. This will show the recruiters your knowledge of how the industry works, where it is heading, and DLA's position within it.
Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test
The aptitude test given by DLA Piper is the Watson Glaser critical thinking test. Everyone who completes an online application is invited to take this assessment as it measures vital skills for lawyers such as critical thinking and logic processing.
There are five main facets of critical thinking that the test assesses:
- Recognising assumptions
- Making deductions
- Coming to conclusions
- Making correct inferences
- Evaluating arguments
Together, these provide a more nuanced look into how you think and approach complex situations. Successful lawyers require strong problem-solving skills, critical analysis, and interpretation of data, which are all tested through this assessment and shows your true potential.
If you have applied for a Solicitor or Paralegal apprenticeship, then you will be invited for a phone interview. This is to find out more about you and why you are applying for the apprenticeship.
To prepare for this, make sure that you have researched the company and apprenticeship thoroughly. DLA Piper encourage all those with a passion for law to apply for their schemes, however, you need to demonstrate why they should take you on.
This stage does not apply to the graduate programme or the summer internship.
The assessment centre is the final stage in the application process. During this day-long event, you will have to take part in three different activities, which all further demonstrate your skills and personality to the recruiters.
This is a strength-based interview, usually with a firm partner. They will ask you questions about your experiences, achievements, and why you want to work for DLA. Get to know your CV well and try to relate your experiences to the role at DLA, showing how you have a unique perspective and why you would be an asset to the company. This is also your best chance to show your personality, so don't be afraid to build rapport and trust your gut.
For the analysis presentation, you will be given a pack of information about a fictional company and an hour to read this, then devise a future strategy based on this company, which you will present. This is all to see how well you filter information, your commercial understanding, and business acumen. The presentation will be 10 minutes, with a further five minutes for questions.
For the group exercise you are given 15 minutes to read through all the information, then 40 minutes to discuss with the group. The most common advice for this exercise is to remember they are assessing your teamwork skills here and therefore, are looking at those who include others, listen and respond thoughtfully, and do not dominate the task. However, also try to let your personality and experiences come through, especially if you can provide real-life examples from similar cases.