Freshfields Training Contracts & Interview Questions

Law Training Contract Application Specialists

Law Training Contract: Application Dates and Information

The winter training contract application window typically runs from the first week of October to the first week of January, whilst the summer training contract application window runs from the first week of June to mid-July.

You will be required to submit a personal statement, which will be expected to show general attributes rather than legal and technical skills

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Firm Overview

Freshfields has 28 offices across the globe, with 427 partners, 1611 associates, and a total of 4959 employees. Its major practice areas are banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and M&A, litigation, and PE. It trades its roots to being amongst the oldest firms in the world. A member of the Magic Circle, the firm was created through the merger of Freshfields with two German firms in 2000.

Law Training Contract: Firm Specialisms & Training Contract Seats

The firm offers an eight seat training contract, aimed to provide as wide a breadth of experience as possible. All trainees will take at least one seat in dispute resolution, and two seats in global transactions. You will choose other seats across antitrust, competition and trade, people and reward, and tax. Trainees at Freshfields have a main supervisor and a second supervisor, and the firm prides itself on maintaining good connections with its trainees. The training program is broken down into three areas, dubbed grow, strengthen and defend. Grow consists of transactional work in the divestment and acquisition of companies and corporate assets. Strengthen consists of regulatory work, which involves making sure that clients don’t ‘fall foul of complex laws and rules.’ Defend consists of risk management and disputes – helping to protect businesses through litigation, arbitration and investigations

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Law Training Contract: Past Interview Format & Questions

Freshfields conducts a half-day assessment. This consists of the following areas:

Written Assessment

This is designed to assess your attention to detail rather than technical or legal knowledge. Previous trainees outline that this is likely to consist of reading through a draft of an email by a partner to a client. You will need to check it for spelling, style and tone, certainty in phrasing, and redraft part of it.

General Interview

The general interview is described as ‘your opportunity to tell us more about you and your skills – including examples of things you’ve done that demonstrate your best qualities.’ This interview is an hour long and will be conducted by two interviewers. This will typically be a partner and an associate. They will have already read your application and personal statement. They do not know your grades.

Typical questions include:

How have you demonstrated your ability to work in a team?
How have you shown resilience in the face of difficulty?
How have you pushed yourself beyond your comfort zone?
Why Law at Freshfields?
What are your time management skills like?
If you could go back in time and change one experience, what would it be? What would you do differently, and how would that affect it?
How can you demonstrate your interest in business?

Analytical Interview

This is designed to assess your ‘business mind’ according to Freshfields. You will be provided with 20 minutes to read an article from the Financial Times or The Economist. You will then face an hour long interview with two interviewers, typically a partner and an associate, who will have read the article and have questions on it. These interviewers will know only your name – they will know nothing else from your application prior to meeting you.

Typical questions include:

How well can you think on your feet?
How well do you understand [commercial topic]?
How well do you understand [legal topic]?
Can you provide a short summary of the article that you just read?
Can you define this specific term found in the article? E.g. ‘What is an angel investor exactly?’
What are the pros vs cons of a franchise?
What do you think of this specific argument made in the article?
What do you know about how companies finance their activities?
What do you understand about the stock market?
What do you know about shares? How do companies pay dividends to their shareholders?

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