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Morgan Lewis Training Contracts & Interview Questions

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Law Training Contract: Application Dates and Information

Morgan Lewis only takes on trainees through its Vacation Schemes. If you want to apply for the summer vacation scheme, then you will typically need to apply by middle-to-late January. Successful applicants are then shortlisted for a telephone interview, followed by a second-stage partner interview.

The vacation scheme will see you being given as much hands-on experience as possible, and you will have a senior lawyer assigned to you to provide guidance throughout the process. You might find yourself conducting legal research, attending client meetings, sitting in on calls, or drafting engagement letters. You will also have a trainee buddy who will mentor you throughout the placement as well. You will have social events to attend, and seminars and workshops to learn from as well. 

Firm Overview

The firm has 31 offices across North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, and has a ‘footprint’ across Africa and Latin America. The firm works with companies from startups to Fortune 100 companies. It provides ‘comprehensive litigation, corporate, finance, restructuring, employment and benefits, and intellectual property services in all major industries.’ The team is made up of more than 2200 legal professionals, including lawyers, patent attorneys, employee benefits advisors, regulatory scientists, and a range of other specialists. This means that they have a ‘global network’ to draw upon to answer clients’ questions.Offices exist across the globe including: New York, Dubai, San Francisco, Beijing, London, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Singapore.

The firm was founded in 1873.

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Law Training Contract: Firm Specialisms & Training Contract Seats

All trainees will spend six months in four different seats, including a compulsory transactional seat (which will typically be in corporate and business transactions), as well as a seat in one of the firm’s contentious practices (litigation or antitrust). Additional seats can be in finance, investment management, labour and employment, structured transactions, and tax.

You can take a secondment at one of the international offices (often Brussels, Dubai or Singapore), or at a client’s office in London. The firm emphasises that you will have a varied experience across the seats, emphasising that ‘the versatility and integration of our lawyers ensure that you will have a varied workload and regular exposure to diverse learning experiences.’ The full list of possible seats that you can take is as follows:

  • Antitrust
  • Corporate
  • Business transactions
  • Finance
  • Investment management
  • Labour
  • Employment
  • Litigation
  • Structured transactions
  • Tax
  • Intellectual property
  • International secondments
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Law Training Contract: Past Interview Format & Questions

The interview format should be thought of in two ways here – one, that the ‘interview’ is essentially the vacation scheme, and two, how one therefore gets onto the vacation scheme.

Looking at what you will be expected to do during the vacation scheme, we are informed that summer scheme students are assessed for a training contract during the course of the placement. Assessments vary, but will normally include a comprehension exercise or a written exercise, a research activity, a group presentation that you will do with other students, and a partner interview that takes place at the end of the scheme.

The firm outlines that they look for a range of prior work experience covering both law and non-law, volunteering activities, and extracurricular activities that show you have the ability to develop varied skills and that you have sought out different experiences. The firm highlights the attributes that it is looking for as commercial awareness, team spirit, resilience, and a passion for a career in commercial law.

Assessment for the vacation scheme consists of an assessment centre. This includes:

  • HR-led interview
  • Panel interview
  • Partner interview
  • Presentation
  • Telephone interview
  • Written exercise

Little information is available online on the specifics of what the written exercise and presentation will involve. However, previous questions that have been asked in the panel interview, HR interview and partner interview are available.

Interview Questions

– What was your least favourite class in law school and why?
– What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
– How would you describe your role in a team?
– Explain the responsibilities of your most recent position.
– What are you looking for in a firm? What kind of law do you want to practice?
– What is your communication style?
– Where do you see yourself in five years?
– Tell me about a time you overcame a challenge
– Please act out selling us your favourite item at your previous part-time job.
– Can you commit two years to this position?
– How do you give back to the community?
– How do you analyze problems?
– What are 3 things that you would have changed about your previous company?

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