Baker McKenzie Training Contracts & Interview Questions

Law Training Contract Application Specialists

Law Training Contract: Application Dates and Information

The firm opens applications for its Training Contract from the beginning of February in a given year. The application window then shuts at the start of April. 

Firm Overview

Baker McKenzie a large multinational law firm. Its headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded in 1949 as Baker & McKenzie. It has 77 offices across the globe, which span 46 different countries. It has more than 6000 lawyers worldwide, making it one of the largest law firms in the world by number of lawyers. It is also one of the largest in the world by revenue, turning over almost $3B in the period 2018-2019. This was a 40% increase versus its 2010 revenue. It is seen as being the top law firm in the world for multinational mergers and acquisitions.

It is a general practice firm, and covers antitrust and competition, banking and finance, capital markets, dispute resolution, intellectual property, international commercial and trade, M&A, PE, real estate, and other areas too. 

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Law Training Contract: Firm Specialisms & Training Contract Seats

The firm outlines that you will spend six months each on four seats. The rotation policy is designed to ensure that you experience different areas of law, and you must sit at least one contentious seat. Due to the importance of corporate law for the firm, you will also need to complete a transactional seat. Your program will commence with a two week induction, although you will be exposed to real-life work from the outset, and be expected to contribute from the beginning too. You will have both Graduate Recruitment Development and Leadership & Learning teams to support you throughout. You will get department-specific training in each seat, and be assigned a supervisor who will mentor you and help to decide on your daily workload. You should expect to undertake the following tasks:

– Researching for client pitches or projects
– Liaising directly with clients
– Writing articles and blog posts
– Sitting-in on client meetings
– Preparing agreements, deeds, contracts and other legal documents

Each department has a Trainee Partner who will follow your progress and make sure that you are developing as expected. You will have informal reviews halfway through each seat and a formal evaluation at the end of every seat with a Trainee partner.

You will have the opportunity to take a three month or six month secondment at one of the firm’s many international offices, or at the in-house legal team of a client. 

Law Training Contract: Past Interview Format & Questions

From the firm’s site, the assessment centre structure is typically something along these lines:

  • 09:00 – 9:30 – Welcome by the Graduate Recruitment & Development team
  • 09:30 – 10:00 – Document review exercise
  • 10:00 – 10:45 – Associate interview
  • 10:45 – 11:00 – Break
  • 11:00 – 12:00 – Group exercise
  • 12:00 – 12:30 – Lunch
  • 12:30 – 13:00 – Case study preparation
  • 13:00 – 14:00 – Case study interview

The firm outlines that the assessment centre – be it virtual or real-world – will consist of a group exercise, a case study interview with two partners, an interview with an Associate and a document checking exercise.

There is relatively little information available on the exact details of the assessment centre. What can be found from previous applicants is below.

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Case Study Interview

Your case study interview will vary depending on whether you are a Law student or a non-Law student. Law students are given more complex cases (in terms of legal understanding).

Associate Interview

– Tell us about a setback you have experienced and how you dealt with it.
– Tell us about a time when your team member was not doing their task and how you addressed this.
– What do you like about the modules you are taking?
– Tell us about a particular setback you have faced. How did you deal with it?
– What have you found to be the difficult part of being a member and not the leader of a team? How did you handle this?
– Please give an example of when you made an error. How did you fix it?
– Tell me about a key theme/topic in the business world today that you are interested in and why?
– We enjoyed reading your application. Tell us something about you that will enable us to understand your personality and the person you are. This could be an interesting fact, something you have achieved or a hobby that you undertake.
– How do you manage your time?
– When was your ability to communicate important in a particular situation?
– What is the impact of the SQE?
– When have you demonstrated resilience?
– Why would you make a good lawyer?

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