White & Case Training Contracts & Interview Questions

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Law Training Contract: Application Dates and Information

White & Case explains that for its two-year training contracts, you can apply through the vacation scheme. In fact, they recruit the majority of their London trainees – around 80% – through their vacation schemes. Applications for vacation schemes are reviewed on a rolling basis.

You can also apply directly for the training contract, and attend an assessment centre. However, trainees and previous applicants emphasise that this is an ‘unlikely’ route to a contract at the firm versus taking a vacation scheme. Applications are encouraged from penultimate-year students, finalists, and graduates from any degree discipline.

Firm Overview

White & Case is an international law firm, based in New York. It was founded in 1901, and has 45 offices across 31 countries worldwide. It is one of the top ten law firms in the world by revenue. It has 4800 employees in total. It generated $2.4B revenue in 2020, and a profit per equity partner of $3m in 2020. The firm has grown rapidly in recent years in London, and now offers training contracts annually, and is going head-to-head with the magic circle.

Around £321 million of the firm’s profits came from its London office, showing the importance of the UK to its operations. This was a 16% rise in revenue in 2020.

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Firm Specialisms & Training Contract Seats

You will take four different seats, each a six-month rotation. One will be overseas, one will be in finance, and one will be in a contentious practice area. You can also join the litigation training program. The firm outlines that you will have many opportunities to meet different teams, learn about their work, and experience different areas of the law. The guaranteed secondment abroad is something that sets White & Case apart from many other firms. You will have the chance to experience working in one of their 16 other offices across the world, and thus the chance to experience living in a different country, and the different practices in another jurisdiction – as well as building professional contacts abroad. You’ll receive relocation help and retain the same Graduate Development team, who will keep in contact with you and ensure that you are progressing;. You’ll receive personalised training, a dedicated supervisor, and a cost-of-living salary adjustment to ensure that your salary is suitable for your new location. The firm emphasises that as well as on-the-job training, you will receive courses and seminars. 

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Law Training Contract: Past Interview Format & Questions

The firm describes the one-day assessment centre as including a ‘research task, group business simulation, and interview with one member of the Graduate Resourcing and Development team and one associate.’ You will also have a training contract interview with two partners, including a pre-prepared commercial presentation.

Based on the feedback of previous applicants, you will face a mixture of competency, motivation and commercial questions, although the commercial questions are likely to extend only as far as the detail that you included on your application form.

Previous questions include:
– What is your motivation for undertaking [particular activity]?
– You mentioned this deal in your application. Can you tell me more about it?
– Why are you interested in White & Case?
– Why are you interested in law?
– What do you think that being a trainee here involves?
– Have you spoken to trainees here to understand more about what the work here is like?
– What would your response be to finding out that your team has to stay late due to a sudden demand from an important client?
– How would you deal with a client who is angry and becomes aggressive?
– Describe a time you worked in a team.
– Describe a time when you had to show resilience, or when you faced adversity.
– Describe a time you worked with people from other backgrounds/cultures.
– Is there a particular deal/case you have noticed recently which you are interested in? Why?

– Where else have you applied? Why did you apply to those places?
– What are the challenges facing the legal industry at the moment?
– Why are you particularly interested in commercial law?
– Why do you want this job and what have you done to prepare for this session?
– Why did you choose your degree?
– Why did you not choose to do Law as your degree?

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