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XXIV Old Buildings: Pupillage Interview Past Questions

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XXIV Old Buildings: Key Information

For over half a century, XXIV Old Buildings has maintained an unparalleled standard of legal service, especially in the realms of chancery and commercial law. The set prioritises the recruitment of pupils who demonstrate promise to become the leading advocates of tomorrow, without considerations of their socio-economic background. This commitment to excellence is further cemented by their generous financial awards for pupil barristers, which are among the highest in the Bar.

Members of this esteemed chamber are regularly involved in seminal, precedent-establishing cases in chancery and commercial arenas, contributing to the evolution of legal frameworks both domestically and internationally. The international reach of XXIV Old Buildings is particularly noteworthy; members are often called upon to serve as advocates, advisors, and arbitrators in multiple jurisdictions worldwide, including but not limited to, the British Virgin Islands, Switzerland, and Hong Kong.

The set distinguishes itself not only through its high-calibre casework but also through its unique application process for pupillage. Designed to be both rigorous and fair, this process aligns with the chamber’s unwavering commitment to equality and diversity within the legal profession. The ultimate aim is to transition all pupils into full-fledged tenants, a goal reflected by their remarkable 100% tenant retention rate over recent years.

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XXIV Old Buildings: Interview Information

The selection process at XXIV Old Buildings is a multi-layered journey, commencing with an online aptitude test that all applicants are required to take. Post-screening, the highest-scoring candidates are shortlisted for interviews, the structure of which is meticulously designed to evaluate a broad range of competencies. The interviewers remain blind to the aptitude test scores, ensuring an unbiased assessment based solely on the interaction.

The final round consists of a comprehensive selection day, encompassing various exercises aimed at evaluating the candidates’ advocacy skills, written abilities, and group dynamics. Importantly, this day also offers candidates a deeper insight into the culture and workings of the chamber. The focus is not solely on assessing candidates but also on providing them with a holistic view of what a career at XXIV Old Buildings would entail. This dual-purpose approach reflects the chamber’s commitment to transparency and its earnest desire to identify candidates who would not just fit into but enrich its esteemed legacy.

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XXIV Old Buildings Application Questions and Answers

Please describe a situation where you have successfully persuaded somebody who was determined to pursue a particular course of action, or who held a particularly strong opinion, to change their mind. We are most interested to hear about the methods you used to do this, and why those methods were effective. Please do not use examples involving formal advocacy exercises such as moots or pro bono advocacy before a tribunal etc (although you may draw on other aspects of your pro bono or other activities, such as client interactions).

In my role as a project coordinator for a community initiative, I encountered a situation where a key volunteer strongly opposed our proposed strategy for a fundraising event. They were convinced their traditional approach was superior. Recognizing the importance of their support, I opted for a diplomatic, evidence-based persuasion technique.

I began by actively listening to their concerns, acknowledging the merits of their viewpoint. This established a respectful dialogue and showed that I valued their input. Next, I presented data and case studies illustrating the success of similar strategies in other organizations. I supplemented this with a detailed plan showing how our approach could potentially increase engagement and funds raised.

To address their apprehensions, I proposed a compromise where we could incorporate elements of their traditional approach into the new strategy. This not only demonstrated flexibility but also conveyed that their contributions were integral to the project’s success.

My approach was effective because it combined respect for their experience with a logical presentation of evidence. The inclusive nature of the discussion, along with the compromise, helped shift their perspective. Eventually, they agreed to support the new strategy, and the event turned out to be one of our most successful fundraisers.

Please explain to us your commitment to the law, and to practise as a barrister in the areas in which XXIV Old Buildings specialises. You might include references here to your experience in public speaking or mooting, any mini-pupillages, any work experience and anything else which should lead us to believe you are committed to a career with us.

My commitment to a career in law, particularly in the areas XXIV Old Buildings specializes in, is deeply rooted in my academic and practical experiences. I have actively pursued opportunities that align with XXIV’s focus on commercial and traditional Chancery practices. This includes participating in public speaking events and debates, which have honed my advocacy skills, essential for a barrister.

I have completed several mini-pupillages, including in chambers specializing in commercial litigation and Chancery law. These experiences offered me invaluable insights into the practical application of legal principles in complex cases, similar to those handled by XXIV Old Buildings.

Additionally, my work experience in legal settings has solidified my understanding of the intricacies of commercial disputes and Chancery matters. I have actively engaged in research and assisted in case preparation, which has further fueled my interest in pursuing a career in these areas of law.

Through these experiences, I have developed a profound appreciation for the intellectual challenges and societal impact of Chancery and commercial law. My dedication to this field is evident in my continuous pursuit of relevant opportunities and my eagerness to contribute meaningfully to XXIV Old Buildings’ esteemed practice.

XXIV Old Buildings Past and Example Interview Questions

Intellectual Ability

  • Can you describe a challenging legal issue you’ve researched and your approach to finding a solution?
  • What was the most complex legal case you have studied and what did you find most challenging about it?
  • How do you keep yourself updated on changes in commercial and chancery law?
  • How would you approach a case that involves multiple jurisdictions?

Communication Skills

  • How would you explain a complex legal term to someone without a legal background?
  • Can you give an example of a time you had to adapt your communication style?
  • Describe an instance where you effectively persuaded someone to see things your way.

Teamwork and Interpersonal Skills

  • Can you share an experience of working on a team project and your role in it?
  • How do you handle disagreements with team members or superiors?
  • Describe a situation where you had to collaborate with a difficult colleague.

Practical and Commercial Sense

  • Can you discuss a situation where you had to consider both legal and commercial risks in decision-making?
  • How would you approach a case that has both legal merit but poses reputational risks for a client?
  • Explain how you would handle a case where the client’s commercial interests conflict with strict legal guidelines.

Commitment to Diversity and Equality

  • How have you contributed to promoting diversity and inclusion in your previous roles or academic settings?
  • How would you handle a case where cultural sensitivities are at play?
  • Describe any initiatives or programs you have led or been a part of that aim to bring about social justice or equality.

Adaptability and Stress Management

  • How do you prioritise tasks when you have multiple deadlines?
  • Describe a situation where you had to adapt to a change in plans or expectations at the last minute.
  • How do you manage stress in high-pressure situations?

Assessments and Learning

  • What feedback did you receive in your last academic or professional assessment, and how have you acted upon it?
  • How do you approach lifelong learning in the legal profession?
  • What steps have you taken to improve your written advocacy skills?

International and Cross-Border Experience

  • Do you have experience in international arbitration?
  • How comfortable are you with handling cross-border litigation?
  • Can you share an instance where you had to deal with laws from multiple jurisdictions?

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