Reed Smith Assessments

Prepare for the Reed Smith recruitment process with tailor-made practice materials.

About Reed Smith

Reed Smith LLP is a global law firm with headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Reed Smith acquired a UK based law firm in 2001, creating London offices, now their largest, with over 350 lawyers. Reed Smith has in total 30 offices worldwide across four global regions. Offices in addition to London and Pittsburgh include Paris, Munich, Frankfurt and Singapore.

Reed Smith is known for their shipping, media and entertainment, commodities, and insurance work, as well as corporate M&A. Clients globally include almost all of the world's largest commercial and savings banks as well as oil, gas and pharmaceutical distribution and wholesale companies.

Reed Smith has won a host of awards, and the London office performs in the top ten of all US-law firms in the UK by revenue. Unusually for a global firm, Reed Smith also works in the entertainment and media law sector and offers even trainees the chance to work in their pro-bono environmental working group, as well as an “innovation” seat in addition to client and overseas secondments.

Reed Smith Application Process

Reed Smith uses a 'strengths-based assessment approach' to assess potential graduates applying to the Professional SQE, following a straightforward application process that begins with an online application, continues with online tests and a video interview, before successful candidates are invited to attend an assessment day.

Reed Smith Online Application

The Online Application is the first step in the application process for a role at Reed Smith. During this application, you will need to provide details of your academic qualifications, relevant work experience as well as your activities and interests.

You will want to bear in mind that a strong academic background is required which in most cases will require a 2:1, predicted or achieved.

When choosing your relevant work experience and activities and interests to mention, remember that you want to be able to demonstrate your relevant key skills, which will need to include research, analysis, communication, teamwork, leadership and client relationship skills.

Use the STAR method to ensure that you set out the situation, the task/goal, your action and the result. Keep a copy as you will want to refer to it when preparing for your assessment day in due course.

Reed Smith Situational Strengths Test

Candidates that meet the required criteria are then asked to complete the next stage of the Reed Smith application process, which is a Situational Strengths Task. Taken online, on your home computer, this untimed test considers whether candidates have the required strengths to be a successful lawyer at Reed Smith.

Candidates will be presented with a series of scenarios that are relevant to the day-to-day work that a trainee lawyer might encounter and then rank or prioritise or identify a cause of action in relation to the various scenarios.

This usually takes the form of reading a short paragraph or watching a video (which might be animated or be acted) and then considering three or four statements/actions/possible answers. There may be just one set of statements, or several, for each scenario. The possible options may not include exactly what you might do in response - you may need to prioritise the 'best' or 'most likely' or 'worst' or 'least likely' from their selection.

While there are no right answers, Reed Smith will be looking to find candidates whose strengths, strategy and decision making processes mirror the qualities they have identified as right for the firm. With that in mind, candidates can endeavour to select appropriate responses, although Reed Smith are keen to ensure that candidates answer honestly and are therefore genuinely a good fit for the firm.

All candidates will receive feedback.

Reed Smith On-demand Video Interview

Successful candidates will then be invited to participate in a video interview. This will take place at your home and can be taken on a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Also, strengths-based, it will give you the chance to demonstrate your desire and commitment for becoming a lawyer, as well as your knowledge and understanding of Reed Smith in particular.

In preparation for your interview, you should remember that a strengths-based interview is not the same as a competency-based interview - you are not looking to demonstrate that you have specific competencies (e.g. academic qualifications, or language skills) but rather that you have the natural skills and passions to be - and enjoy being - a successful lawyer.

You will want to prepare by carrying out practice interviews and ensure you have prepared answers to all of the usual sorts of questions in relation to how others would describe you, what you are passionate about, what you enjoy and are proud of, what you don't enjoy and why, and so on. This will be a more personal interview and you may have to discuss your feelings, so be prepared.

You will also need to have fully researched Reed Smith using a variety of sources and have interesting and insightful questions to ask. There is no feedback provided at this stage.

Reed Smith Assessment Day

Those that meet the required benchmark in the strengths-based interview are invited to attend the Reed Smith assessment day where you will be invited to carry out further tasks and interviews.

Reed Smith Case study exercise

This is similar to a verbal reasoning test as it assesses your ability to comprehend information. You will be given a written case study and will then be asked a series of questions relating to the material that you will have just read.

There is no need to prepare in advance for the case study exercise meaning that you can't learn anything specific to assist you, but you can practise verbal reasoning tests so that you are practiced at reading new information and assessing that information to find the answers to questions. Taking timed practice sessions will help you read quickly but efficiently. You can also practice writing concise and accurate answers to questions.

Reed Smith Written assessment

The second written task at the assessment day will test your ability to communicate effectively and is again similar to a verbal reasoning test.

Reed Smith Interviews

Make sure that you are prepared for further interviews, and are able to demonstrate your commercial awareness.

Sample Reed Smith Assessments question Test your knowledge!

Score: /5

Which statement best exemplifies the legal maxim 'justice delayed is justice denied'?

  • A slow judicial process undermines the fairness of a result.
  • High court fees should be delayed for low-income plaintiffs.
  • Judges should carefully delay their decisions to avoid errors.
  • The appointment of judges should never be rushed or delayed.

During contract negotiations, a section using the phrasing 'notwithstanding any other provision' is often included. What is the purpose of this language in the document?

  • To prioritize this section over others in cases of conflict
  • To specify that this clause is of lesser importance than other sections
  • To indicate that this section is optional and may be disregarded
  • To confirm that all parties must sign near this statement

In the context of legal disputes, the term 'amicus curiae' is used. To whom does this term refer?

  • The primary attorney leading the case
  • The judge presiding over the case
  • A person that is not a party to the case who offers information that bears on the case
  • A witness who provides sworn testimony in the case

A formal written statement of a party's positions in litigation is known as what?

  • A verdict
  • A brief
  • A deposition
  • A subpoena

What does the principle of 'stare decisis' ensure?

  • The evidence presented in court is preserved for appeal
  • Each case is judged on its individual merits, independent of prior cases
  • The decisions of higher courts set a legal precedent for lower courts to follow
  • The judge has the authority to overrule objections during a case

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Reed Smith Assessments Tips

Understand the Firm's Culture

Getting to know Reed Smith's ethos can give you a leg up. This global law firm values innovation and dedication. When taking the practice tests on Law Tests, imagine yourself as part of their team. How would your problem-solving and analytical skills fit into their culture? Understanding this can guide you in how you approach the questions, making your practice sessions more targeted and effective.

Hone Your Legal Knowledge

While practicing with Law Tests, focus on reinforcing your understanding of legal principles. Reed Smith, being a vast law firm with diverse practice areas, might test your expertise in a variety of fields. Brush up on key concepts to ensure your legal knowledge is sharp and comprehensive.

Attention to Detail

The practice tests at Law Tests replicate the complexity of real-world legal challenges. Reed Smith would expect meticulous attention to detail from job candidates. Practicing exams with a keen eye on the finer points will prepare you to excel on the actual test day. Review your answers thoroughly to ensure accuracy and internalize the habit of vigilance.

Manage Your Time Wisely

When practicing, simulate real exam conditions by timing yourself. Reed Smith is likely to assess how effectively you manage tight deadlines. On Law Tests, pay attention to how long you take on each question, and gradually improve your speed without compromising on the quality of your answers.

Simulate the Exam Environment

To truly ready yourself for Reed Smith's hiring process, create an environment similar to the test conditions. Minimize interruptions and practice in a quiet place. Use Law Tests' exam suites to familiarize yourself with the format and reduce test-day anxiety. The more comfortable you are with the exam scenario, the more confidently you'll tackle the real thing.

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Reed Smith Assessments FAQs

What can I do to prepare for the Reed Smith situational strengths test?

Make sure you understand what a situational strengths test entails. This type of assessment focuses on your problem solving skills, communication abilities, and responses under pressure. Familiarize yourself with the questions so that you can better anticipate them during the testing session.

Where can I practice Reed Smith tests?

You can start practicing with our free Reed Smith tests - no credit card is required. All you need to do is sign up with an email address.

Do I need a law degree to apply for a vacation scheme?

No, you do not need a law degree to apply for a vacation scheme at Reed Smith. However, an understanding of the legal sector and the workings of a law firm are beneficial. The vacation scheme is open to anyone who is looking to gain insight into what life as a lawyer at Reed Smith looks like and decide if it's right for them.

What's it like to work at Reed Smith?

Working at Reed Smith provides competitive salaries as well as excellent benefits packages for all employees. Working here allows employees to gain invaluable experience in all areas of law while also providing training opportunities that can help them advance their careers.

What kind of employee is Reed Smith looking for?

The most successful candidates have strong problem-solving skills, excellent interpersonal and communication abilities, as well as in-depth knowledge of relevant legal topics. Additionally, the ideal candidate has experience working within a professional environment and understands how to work well with teams.