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Womble Bond Dickinson Training Contracts & Interview Questions

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Law Training Contract: Application Dates and Information

Womble Bond Dickinson open their applications in the latter half of October, and applications will close at the end of July in a given year.

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Firm Overview

The firm was formed through the merger of Bond Dickinson and Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, a US-based firm. It was therefore formed in 2017. There had been a successful ‘strategic alliance’ between the firms beforehand that culminated in this merger. The two sides of the firm have largely divided finances, although they share funding for joint projects and further integration of the firms. Seen as a whole, the firm generates around £340 million in revenue.

It has 420 partners and more than 1000 lawyers, who work across eight offices in the UK and 19 in the US.

The firm has something of a stranglehold on smaller cities across both the UK and US – it operates in Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, Newcastle, Plymouth, and Southampton. It also has a base in the City. In the US, offices include the likes of Atlanta, Charlotte, and the Silicon Valley of San Francisco.

Firm Specialisms & Training Contract Seats

The Womble Bond Dickinson training contract allows trainees to spend six months in each of four parts of the business, allowing them to gain a breadth of experience. You will have specifically trained supervisors who will support you throughout your training period. You will have contact with senior clients and complex work. You will also have a good likelihood of being able to take on a secondment with a client’s in-house legal team. The firm recruits trainees across its seven UK offices, and as such emphasises that it is vital that their trainees come from a variety of backgrounds, and have a range of different experiences.

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Law Training Contract: Past Interview Format & Questions

The firm explains that it’s looking for people who have an enthusiasm for law and a passion for the business of law, and WBD itself. It does emphasise that a strong academic background is actively sought as well. Beyond this, you need ‘honesty, drive and motivation, good communication skills, resilience, adaptability, diversity of thought and commercial sense.’

If successful in the online assessments, then the next step is the assessment centre. Here, you will undertake a range of different individual exercises and some group exercises. You will also meet people from around the business and have the chance to speak to them about the firm and how it operates. The goal is for both parties to ensure that they are a fit for each other.

An overview of an assessment centre day at Womble Bond Dickinson is as follows:

10.00 – 10.30 – Introductions and instructions
10.30 – 10.50 – Ice-breaker

11.00 – 12.00 – Speed Interviews 1

2.00 – 12.45 – Break
12.45 – 13.00 – Welcome back and instructions

13.00 – 13.30 – Insight Exercise/Trainee Q&A

13.40 – 14.10 – Insight Exercise/Trainee Q&A 14.10 – 14.30 – Break
14.30 – 16.15 – Group Exercise
16.15 – End of the day

Speed Interviews

The speed interviews consist of 5 minute interviews, with eight different assessors. Each will ask one question, and the candidate will have five minutes to consider the question and provide their answer to it. After the five minutes, you will then move onto another interviewer, who will ask another question. This section finishes, after the set of 8 interviews, with a rapid fire interview. Here, you will get two to three minutes with a set of around 10 interviewers, each of whom asks a different question to you.

Previous questions include:
– What is commercial awareness?
– What skills or attributes could you bring to this role?
– What did you enjoy about your studies?
– What do you learn from [particular work experience]?

Insight Exercise

This consists of a ten minute period in which you read through an opinion piece. You then have 20 minutes in which you must discuss the opinion piece with two assessors.

Group Exercise

Thism, from previous applicants, is described as being a ‘standard negotiation exercise.’ You can expect to be split into two teams of four, and then given briefs. Each party will have access to some of the same information, and equally each party will have some specific information that is confidential to their side. You will then have 30 minutes’ reading and preparation time, then 30 minutes’ negotiation time. Other applicants explain that group exercises have included logic problems and games.

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