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Norton Rose Fulbright Training Contracts & Interview Questions

Law Training Contract Application Specialists

Law Training Contract: Application Dates and Information

Norton Rose Fulbright applications are open from the end of May to the middle of July in a given year.

Firm Overview

Norton Rose Fulbright is an international law firm, the second largest in the US and one of the ten largest in the world – in terms of both lawyers and revenue. It had a total revenue of $2.1B in 2017-2018. The firm has more than 3700 lawyers, as well as other legal staff based in Europe, US, Canada, South America, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East. It was formed through the merger of Norton Rose and Fulbright & Jaworski in 2013. There are more than 50 offices worldwide. The firm traces its roots back to 1794.

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Law Training Contract: Firm Specialisms & Training Contract Seats

You will take on four six month seats. Two will be in the core areas of banking and corporate, whilst you will be able to choose the rest yourself from a varied selection. You can also choose to do a secondment abroad, or work in-house in a client’s office for six months.

Law Training Contract: Past Interview Format & Questions

From 2021 onwards, the firm intends to run all its assessment centres virtually. They will use an online platform, which you will be informed of beforehand. All successful applicants will be invited to a skills session prior to the assessment centre to offer an insight into what to expect, and answer any questions you may have.

Assessment days vary from scheme to scheme, but for a training contract you should expect an interview, a case study, and a group exercise.

The Interview

Your interview will be with at least one senior member of the firm (i.e. a partner). Previous questions include typical topics like why law, or why are you interested in Norton Rose Fulbright. You should be clear on why commercial law is of particular interest to you. You might also be asked about your interests in politics, how you keep up-to-date with news (especially commerce and finance). 

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Other applicants state that they have been asked about what it was like interacting with people from Norton Rose Fulbright, and what they had learnt from them. What did they think of the trainees they had met, for example? Did it seem like there was a Norton Rose Fulbright type? Candidates have also been asked anything from

– What is your greatest weakness?
– What are you worried about in terms of working as a trainee here?
– What kind of team member might you struggle to work with?
– Are you interested in NGOs or pro-bono work?
– How would you handle a situation in which you disagreed entirely with your client’s point of view?
– How would you deal with a situation in which you had to cover someone else’s work late in the day, just before you were due to leave the office?
– Why do you want to work for an international firm?
– What are some of the challenges facing the firm?
– What do you think the impact of Brexit has been on the firm?
– What is a recent news story that has particularly interested you?
– Imagine that a joint venture agreement had been made, in which the other party had made a mistake on the agreement that benefits your client. How would you proceed?

The individual case study

This is a writing exercise in which you are given around 50 minutes. You need to read documents concerning a specific topic – like an acquisition – and then understand the problems associated with it. You will then need to prepare a report or advice letter detailing the problems, and how they might be solved.

The Group Exercise

This is linked to the exercise before (the written exercise) and uses the same facts. As an example from a previous applicant:
– You will be split into pairs, with one pair acting on behalf of the buyer and one pair acting on behalf of the owner of the target that is to be acquired, who would remain as a director after the acquisition process. You are provided with 25 minutes in your pairs to read through further information and understand your client’s goals. You then negotiate with the other pair for about 15-20 minutes.

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