Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Contracts & Interview Questions

Law Training Contract Application Specialists

Law Training Contract: Application Dates and Information

BCLP has a deadline of the end of May for its London Training Contracts, which will apply to those looking to join training contracts both 24 and 36 months afterwards.

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Firm Overview

BCLP is an international law firm with 25 offices worldwide, and is the result of the 2018 merger of Berwin Leighton Paisner and Bryan Cave (the latter being an American firm headquartered in St Louis). BCLP explains that it looks to bring ‘enduring value’ to client relationships. The firm has more than 1400 lawyers spread across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The firm represents 30 of the top 50 banks in the world, and the cumulative deal value of real estate projects that it has advised on in the past two years is $75B.

Law Training Contract: Firm Specialisms & Training Contract Seats

You will choose seats halfway through each seat, where you will meet with your Partner Mentor to discuss your training contract up to that point, and what you are looking for going forward. You will then meet with a member of the firm’s Emerging Talent team to decide your seat preferences. The firm emphasises that it always asks trainees for their preferences, and does its utmost to meet those preferences – 85% of trainees will receive either their first or second preference each seat.

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Law Training Contract: Past Interview Format & Questions

The BCLP assessment centre consists of a drafting exercise, a business role play, a team-based negotiation exercise, and a pre-interview with a senior associate.

The drafting exercise will see you being provided with documents and instructions to review, with you then being asked to write an analysis of that business. You might need to recommend a company for a merger with your client, and justify that decision. Or, you might analyse a business and its competition, consider the market that it is operating in, and analyse whether the business can maintain a competitive edge. You might also be tasked with deciding whether a company should be acquired.

You will have one hour to complete this task. This includes the time spent reading, writing, and drafting.

The Business Role Play

This makes use of a briefing document. It will outline a scenario and your objective. You then have 15 minutes to prepare before you meet a partner of the firm. It will be based on the same subject as the drafting exercise that you did previously.

The Group Negotiation

This is a 75 minute task, which will consist of 30 minutes of preparation time and then 30 minutes of negotiation time, during which you will be assessed by a partner from the firm, followed by 15 minutes of questions to finish. Here, you will be partnered up with another candidate and the two of you will work against two other candidates. You and your partner will be acting on behalf of one client, and the other two candidates will be acting on behalf of their own client. All parties will receive information available to both sides, and then each side will receive some specific information not available to the other ‘team.’

Interview with Associate and HR

This interview will take around 30 minutes, and the aim for BCLP is to evaluate career motivation, commercial awareness and understand how you build relationships.

Example questions include:

– Why Law?
– How does BCLP align with your ambitions for your career?
– Talk about a deal which BCLP was involved in that caught your attention.
– How would you describe the way that you work?
– How do interest rates affect the market?
– What’s an event you’re following in the media that would affect our company?
– Is [legal principle] in a client’s best interests?
– How would you balance loyalties to the firm and to clients?
– Who are some of BCLP’s core competitors?
– What do you think BCLP’s strategy is?
– What do you think the work of a trainee at BCLP consists of?

Interview with Two Partners

You will reach this stage if you pass the assessment centre.

Here, you might expect similar questions to those above, as well as:
– Why commercial law?
– Why BCLP in particular?
– What distinguishes BCLP from its competitors?
– Why did you decide on a City firm over regional firms or smaller firms?

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