Pinsent Masons Training Contracts & Interview Questions

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Law Training Contract: Application Dates and Information

Pinsent Masons offers training contracts spread across its UK offices. The application window for training contracts shuts in the middle of May each year.

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Firm Overview

The firm now has a total of 26 offices spread around the globe, with a substantial presence in Britain. This includes offices in Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester – as well as the City headquarters. The firm has also recently opened offices in Dublin in 2017, and an office in the Netherlands in 2021. All the offices across Britain are given equal status by the firm – that means that the City headquarters don’t keep the lion’s share of the most complex or high-profile work for themselves, unlike at many other firms. The firm is especially strong with regards to tech, energy, and real estate.

The company’s most recent financial results show that it has been growing for nine consecutive years, generating more than five hundred million pounds of revenue in the period 2020-2021. The profit per equity partner increased substantially last year to £636,000, and the firm has recently increased its pay for trainees, with newly qualified lawyers receiving £72,500 in London and £44,000 in the nation’s other offices.

Law Training Contract: Firm Specialisms & Training Contract Seats

The firm explains that their two year training program will see you gain experience in four different seats – one every six months. This is so that you can have the chance to build required legal knowledge and ability, as well as complementary technical, human and administrative skills. Your goal is to become both a lawyer and a ‘business advisor.’ The training is front loaded so that you will be able to develop knowledge of each area as quickly as possible, and therefore take real responsibility and embark on live projects from the get-go. By the time that you qualify, you will have a detailed understanding of which area you want to practice in, and where you want to specialise. You will be supported through the training contract by the firm’s Graduate development Team – they will meet with you regularly to offer personal and professional support, and help you to liaise with the business when deciding on seats. You may have the chance to take a secondment during your second year of training. This might be with a client, or with one of the firm’s other UK offices. Many of the firm’s clients offer secondments to trainees, with these being relevant for different seats. Examples of firms that have recently hosted trainees at their in-house legal teams include AXA, Heathrow Airport and Royal London.

The firm will do its best to ensure that you can take your preferred seats, although they can provide no guarantees – they do state that business needs have to be considered too. There are no mandatory seats for trainees in England and Scotland, although trainees in Belfast must spend time in Property, Corporate, and Litigation.

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Law Training Contract: Past Interview Format & Questions

Assuming you pass the online psychometric testing phase, you will be invited to an assessment centre. Here, you will have an interview with either a partner or senior associate, take part in  a business simulation exercise, and perform a SWOT presentation on a business.

From previous applicants, we learn the following.

The Interview

The interview is described as being competency based, and the interviewer will read from a list of questions that they have in front of them, whilst making notes. You should therefore be aware of the firm’s competency framework – this is available on their website.

Previous questions include:
– Describe a time when you showed teamwork
– Demonstrate how you have shown responsibility during your work or work experience so far
– How would someone who you know well describe you in three words?
– How would you rate yourself academically compared to others on your course?
– How would your friends describe you?
– Why are you friends with your friends?
– What do you talk about with your friends?
– What has happened in your life up until this point which has inspired you into pursuing a career in law?
– Why law?
– Why Pinsent Masons?
– Why do you want to work in this office in particular?
– What is one particular aspect of law that you find interesting?
– Why did you choose [specific module]?
– Why did you choose to study [specific subject]?
– What do you do in your spare time?

– Why do you want to pursue commercial law?
– What can you tell me about [specific experience on CV]?
– What role do you typically play within a team?
– Describe a recent commercial issue that you have been following and how it would affect one of our clients.

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