All of the below information comes directly from job reviews written by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP employees based on 112 reviews.
 
 
Responsibility:
2.9/5
 
Work Life Balance:
2.2/5
 
Environmental Awareness:
3.4/5
 
Compensation & Benefits:
3.8/5
 
Company Culture:
3.6/5
 
Career Progression:
3.2/5
 
Colleagues:
4/5
 
Training:
4/5
 
Enjoyment:
3.5/5
 
Overall Rating:
3.4/5
 

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Additional Salary: England: £27,000 (1st year) £28,000 (2nd year) Scotland: £20,500 (1st year) £23,500 (2nd year).
Employer: Shoosmiths
Deadline Date: 30/06/2018

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Average start time: 9:30

Average end time: 20:00

Average number of working hours: 10.5

Based on 112 reviews


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Application Advice:

Don't forget to write about things in your application that you wouldn't ordinarily think of as "extra cirriculars", for example if you enjoy running and have taken part in races but are not necessarily part of a running club.

Interview Advice:

Be yourself and try and relax - the interviewers want to get to know you.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Research the role well, know what you want.

Interview Advice:

Enjoy it - if its right for you, you will.

Trainee Solicitor, Competition Law at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Apply for as many training contracts as possible to increase your chances of getting through to interview stage.

Proof-read your application more than once. Read it out loud. Competition is fierce and small errors are an easy way to discount applicants.

Interview Advice:

Guage your interviewers' style but try and be relaxed and yourself. Be someone that your interviewers would want to work with (you can joke!) and don't put on a front - you won't be able to/want to keep this up for the 2 years of your training contract.

Trainee Solicitor, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be prepared to work hard

Interview Advice:

None

Trainee, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Don't underestimate the importance of showing the human side of yourself.

Interview Advice:

Know your stuff and know it well.

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Know what it's actually all about

Interview Advice:

Don't be too wooden

Trainee Solicitor, DR at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Both the online application process and the interview give you a lot of opportunity to be yourself and demonstrate what really drives you.

Interview Advice:

Make sure you're on top of your commercial awareness. Read the FT!

Trainee Solicitor, DR at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Check and double check your personal statements - there is no 'hoop jumping' in the written application, but an opportunity to write about you - so make it good.

Interview Advice:

Be yourself - the interview process really seemed to look to your potential, not necessarily your current knowledge.

ASSOCIATE, Finance at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

It is helpful to have some work experience before applying because it shows that you are serious about it and have an understanding of the role.

Interview Advice:

Think aloud when answering questions so that the interviewer can understand your thought process.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Ensure that you realise it is a very demanding but rewarding job. You will not be doing standard 9-5 hours but you will be working on some of the biggest current matters.

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be prepared to work hard, also on mundane tasks.

Interview Advice:

Be honest and be enthusiastic.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Explain why you want to work in law. Demonstrate that you are up to the task of doing interesting and challenging work. Show that you've done similar things before, eg. participated in law vacation schemes/open days.

Interview Advice:

Be honest, don't try and fudge applications as the partners/associates here can tell immediately. Awareness of current commercial affairs is helpful but not entirely essential; being able to analyse commercial issues is more important that rattling off whatever headline the FT has on that day.

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Check your application at least 3 times for errors.

Interview Advice:

Read the Financial Times to prepare for the commercial interview.

Trainee Solicitor, Employment Pensions and Benefits at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Know the firm - do your research - it is as much about you fitting in to the firm as it is about the firm being right for you

Interview Advice:

Be yourself - you are interviewing the firm too - always give an answer to show your thought process.

Trainee solicitor, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

You will have heard it all before, but common sense goes a long way.

Interview Advice:

Smile.

Trainee Solicitor, Finance at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Research is mandatory. Understand the work, the legal sector and the industry. Basic understanding of how the city works and micro/macro economics.

Interview Advice:

Preparation is important, but it is important to bring across your personality during the interview. Size up your panel and pitch yourself at the appropriate level - this is a key skill.

Trainee, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be honest - say what you think, not what you think you ought to say.

Interview Advice:

Be yourself

Associate, Employment, Pensions and Benefits at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be yourself. Stand out from the crowd. Having sat with partners who are on the interview panel, I know that they see through generic responses. Don't be generic. Freshfields are not generic. Be unique and show that you match the firm's high standards.

Interview Advice:

As above. Be yourself. Engage with your interviewers and take any opportunity to build a rapport with them. Again avoid generic answers. This will bore the interviewers and they won't remember you. Worse still they may leave with the impression that their valuable fee earner time was wasted. Prepare and prepare some more. The more you prepare the more confident you can be going in to the interview. The more confident you are the better rapport you will build with your interviewers and the more likely you are to succeed.

Trainee, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be honest and yourself. Knowledge is less important than future potential and being an interesting and well-rounded person.

Interview Advice:

Very friendly. Prepare for the standard questions for peace of mind but they are unlikely to come up (what differentiates Freshfields from other firms etc).

, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be confident in your application and stress all the skills that your experiences have given you (although you probably haven't ever seen those experiences in that light before). For example, a camping trip with friends may have taught you how to budget and take decisions as a group.

Interview Advice:

Recognise that your interview is not for a school or university - it is for a business role where you may eventually carve out a career and will have to deal with responsibility falling squarely on your own shoulders. Interviewers want to see that you are adult enough to take that responsibility. Your natural soft skills (smile!) and cv will show that you can also work in a team and interact with clients.
Although it's not very British, there is little room for self deprecation in an interview (plenty of room for it once you get in).

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Eliminate clicheed talking points either in the written application or during the interview. Show that you are an interesting person, that is in addition to being an academically and intellectually excellent candidate. Have personality. Try to understand what 'commercial awareness' is, especially by understanding why the firm wants you to have it. Then show that you've got it.

Interview Advice:

Relax, but don't be too relaxed. Keep the conversation on your selling points - of course you need to have figured out what your selling points are, and how they are backed up by all the experiences, jokes and interesting stories that you are planning to tell.

Trainee Solicitor, Finance at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Include real detail of your achievements and interests so that the application is credible and memorable

Interview Advice:

Keep composed and don't be afraid to tease out an answer if you are not sure how to respond at first.

Trainee solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Proofread it twice. Be personal and precise. Be honest.

Interview Advice:

Make sure you start taking an interest in the city well before interview. Start with easy to read articles in the economist and BBC business. Start reading some FT articles and use google to understand what is going on or unknown terms. Build an actual interest in transactions and companies as they will form your workload.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Emphasis on commercial awareness.

Interview Advice:

The written exercise is looking for simplicity and clarity.

Trainee Solicitor, DR at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Provided you know what you're signing up to in terms of hours and are interested in the work that you're doing, you'll do well here.

Trainee Solicitor, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Go to a grad recruitment event if you can. When there, ask the grad recruitment staff what they want to see in your personal statement.
Have two or three friends read through your application to check for typos.
It goes without saying, if you're still in university, try to improve your grades as much as you can. Working that extra hour a day will pay off in the long-run.
Try to get work experience under your belt at soon as possible. It doesn't have to be in the City or even commercial law (although it will be great if it is). Just pop into a local solicitor's office and ask for a week's work experience. If you do that two or three times you will be able to show the bigger firms that you’re committed to becoming a lawyer.
Make sure to build up your CV’s “non-law sections”. Pursue your hobbies. It is more than likely that your interviewers will be interested in these and ask you about them in your interview.
Go to open days. Many of the City firms run some form of open day. These are great as they allow you to understand what the firms are looking for in applications.

Interview Advice:

There were two interviews when I applied to Freshfields. The first interview was with a partner and an associate. It was quite relaxed. They asked me a range of competency questions. The questions I was asked included, "what are your strengths and weaknesses", "why law and not banking" (I had a business background), "give us an example of a time you were part of team” etc.

There is also a second interview which revolves around a newspaper article which is given to candidates on the day. Most people find this interview a little harder. My advice would be to take a commonsensical approach. The interviewers aren't looking for someone with intricate knowledge of the commercial world. You need to demonstrate that you are able to understand the client's concerns. Ask yourself, what is the business in the article trying to achieve and what strategy is it taking to achieve that goal. Are there any other alternative approaches that might work for this business?

Trainee, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Those who want to be involved in fast paced and high profile legal work should apply.

Interview Advice:

The key is to have a personable character and have a good knowledge of the commercial world and how it works. Specific FT stories and deals/cases are not necesssary, you need to understand why and how things work in business, in particular for large global corporates, whose operations span diverse jurisdictions.

Trainee Solicitor, Various at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Do an open day / vacation scheme with the firm!

Interview Advice:

Just be yourself!

Trainee Solicitor, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Make sure you tailor your application to the firm. Think of something different you can say about why you're applying to Freshfields (ie. you've met people at law fairs or events and you feel like you'd really fit in with the people at Freshfields), rather than the usual generic sentences about how much you want to be a commercial lawyer.

Interview Advice:

Be yourself. If the firm is right for you, you'll get an offer. If you're not yourself, you may end up at the wrong firm.

Read up on business news before your interview - BBC Business News is useful for snappy and easy to understand updates.

Trainee Solicitor, Mixed at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Get as much work experience as you can before applying. Also try to get a range of legal work experience - barrister / solicitor, criminal / family / commercial. This will enable you to really convince the firm you apply to that you know the type of work you want to do.

Interview Advice:

Have a good answer for why law and why this firm. Try and come up with something that sounds genuine and is not wholly generic. This is where work experience is very helpful.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Be direct and honest. Be clear about what further things you need to learn - and why you think Freshfields creates an environment for you to do that.

, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

You need very good grades and to have something interesting about you to put on your application. Don't apply unless you are happy to work long hours.

Interview Advice:

Be interesting, be commercially aware.

Trainee, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Think like a businessman, not a lawyer.

Interview Advice:

Don't try and second guess the questions; treat it as an interesting conversation you might have over dinner.

Associate, Commercial disputes at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Take time over it. Get your friends, family and anyone else who is willing to read it. Be prepared to accept changes in your application.

The structure is key. I always used the approach of:
1) My interests relevant to you;
2) Why I like you;
3) Why it matches up, and other work experience which has helped me arrive here; and
4) Conclude

Interview Advice:

1) Your application is the basis so expect questions from that;
2) Research the firm and read up on the news.
3) Have an opinion on the news and/or the article. You can read the FT back to front and the Economist back to front but unless you have an opinion on it its useless.
4) Go to other sources for your opinions - consider articles you wouldn't think of reading.
5) No one is trying to trip you up. Relax into it.
6) Do not be afraid to pause and think. It may seem like you have paused for ages but you won't have. It means you can formulate a structure which is better than a stream of consciousness.

Trainee, Finance at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Experience is key - not just legal experience (which is obviously important), but life experience. What makes you different? What makes you interesting?

Interview Advice:

Be prepared and be yourself!

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Academic achievements aren't the be all and end all - draw out your other experiences that shape you as an individual.

Interview Advice:

Be honest, and admit if you don't know the answer. They are looking for someone who can take information and apply it in an intelligent and business-savvy way, not someone who already knows everything there is to know.

Trainee Solicitor, Litigation at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Research the firm and your role in it. Make sure you are making an informed decision, and that you know you want it. (Applies to any job really!)

Interview Advice:

Relax. They aren't trying to trip you up.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Good grades and relevant work experience is a given. Find a way to make yourself interesting - start a business, go work for a charity in Africa - do something which makes you stand out!

Interview Advice:

Know why you want to work at the firm and be a solicitor, read the press and ensure that your English is impeccable. The rest is the same as any other interview - it is all about the interviewers deciding that they like you and that they could work with you.

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Freshfields give you the opportunity to write a personal statement rather than having to answer application questions so it can be more personal. Make sure your spelling and grammar in the personal statement is flawless. Demonstrate why you are interested in this firm specifically for example the international nature of the deals as Freshfields is proud of the way it provides a seamless service to clients around the globe. Mention any times you have interacted with the firm (open days, law fairs etc) and how much you like the people that work here and why you think you would fit in.

Interview Advice:

There is a case study exercise where you discuss a report on a company or a news article with a partner and an associate. They don't expect you to know anything about the subject matter, it seems more like a test of whether you can have a nice conversation so be really enthusiastic and the more it goes off on an interesting tangent the better. The interview part of the process is much like any other law firm - just be ready to explain your CV and the choices you made (subject/university/any previous jobs) and why you want to work at Freshfields specifically, and as a solicitor generally. I found enthusiasm and being able to understand and explain the role of a solicitor made up for my lack of a vacation placement.

Trainee Solicitor, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Focus on the personal statement: what is driving you to apply and what can you bring to the role? Read up on City transactions/deals. Work on spelling and grammar if needed. Be clear about your strengths and skills and be prepared to back your claims up with real-life examples. Be friendly and enthusiastic.

Interview Advice:

Don't worry too much about being put on the spot or giving a somewhat incorrect answer; as long as you are thoughtful, logical and friendly the odd error won't matter too much. Try to understand City deals as much as possible - read guides and keep up with the Economist or the FT during the application process at least.

Trainee Solicitor, Finance at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Avoid rhetoric. You are not writing a university application. Be down to earth and straightforward. Highlight the elements you feel are important from your CV, but don't boast about them. Tell them why you think they are significant. Don't be afraid to be yourself - if you have a passion for music, theatre or sport, don't be afraid to highlight this because you think the only thing they are interested in is your commercial awareness. Far from it - they will be impressed by your extracurricular activities.

Interview Advice:

Be yourself, keep calm - just be prepared to talk honestly about who you are and what you've done in your life so far.

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate / commercial law at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Take the time to fill out the application carefully.

Interview Advice:

Make sure you are enthusiastic and be yourself.

Trainee, DR/EPR at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Think about why you want to work for this firm and in this career.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Take your time over your application; proof read your application thoroughly; be yourself, not the person that you think that the firm wants.

Interview Advice:

Try not to overthink it; I was asked about specific points in my application form; my motivation for this career; business questions e.g. how does competition impact a market.

Trainee solicitor, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Read the full review »


Application Advice:

Apply early and apply for vacation schemes - a lot of the people I recognised when I started were from my Vac Scheme and getting one guarantees a traning contract interview. Read over and over your application; you cannot overedit.

Interview Advice:

Be yourself. I gave opinions that I thought would be slightly controversial in a corporate environment (like higher education should be funded by a graduate tax and that I was part of the student protest against fee rises) but that did not seem to matter. They want to get to know you a little to see if you will fit in with teams so be personable and honest.

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Proof read your application over and over - ensure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes; it looks sloppy. Don't be afraid to include hobbies you do, things you've done or places you've been that make you stand out even if they are not academic - HR are human and will enjoy reading about something interesting and different!

Interview Advice:

Back yourself - if you don't walk into that room believing you are good enough for the job how do you expect the interviewers to believe that?

Trainee Solicitor, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Tailor your application to the firm and focus on one or two key things about yourself that match what they are looking for. Then prove those things through detailing experience.

Interview Advice:

Lots of emphasis on why corporate law is your chosen career path.

Trainee, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Try to stand out from the crowd

Interview Advice:

Prepare well by reading newspapers, getting a good awareness of commercial current affairs.

Trainee solicitor, commercial at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Don't use the word "relish" in your application form, and don't write things in the form just to appear clever. You will get picked up on them at interview. People want to know why you are interested in law, but aren't interested in you talking about things you know very little about and in respect of which you only pretend to be interested.

Interview Advice:

Don't expect to get asked technical legal questions. You will need to show a genuine interest for law and the commercial world. The analytical interview is very tough, but you've got to approach it in a common sense way. You might be expected to know what a share or a dividend is, but there is no way on earth you would be expected to tell them about structured financial products or the price of crude oil on a given day.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be yourself. Attention to detail is key.

Trainee Solicitor, Real Estate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Say why specifically Freshfields, show what skills you have and apply them i.e. say why having these skills make you good for the job, for example doing team sports shows youre a team player which is great as solciitors always work in teams and you have to show your / pull your own weight. If you don't have legal experience then talk about your other experience, I wrote about my part time waitressing job at Frankie & Benny's and they asked about it at interview.

Interview Advice:

Don't worry too much, it really is quite relaxed, more of a chat where they want to know that they could spend 12 hours a day in an office with you. Do all the general prep, reading about the firm etc. I got asked why one of my grades was lower than the others (be honest, I just said I didn't enjoy it, got behind and never really caught up). Don't just regurgitate the website to your interviewers, they can tell when you do this. Be yourself. find an example of something the firm has worked on recently that interests you and you can talk about. If you don't like reading the FT/Economist then dont! There's no need to, try BBC news online (the business pages) instead.

Trainee, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Think about what makes Freshfields different from all of the other law firms.

Interview Advice:

Familiarise yourself with common commercial issues that arise for business - develop a habit of reading financial and business press.

Trainee Solicitor, Various – on rotation at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Think long and hard about whether you are prepared to give up the amount of life you will be asked to give up.

Interview Advice:

Doing well in the case study interview is the key.

Trainee, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be yourself, be commercially aware and on the ball

Interview Advice:

Be aware of the companies and markets news, read the economist/ft

Trainee Solicitor, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Make sure you meet some of the people working here so that you get a good feel for the good and more challenging aspects of the place.

Match your app to different aspects of the firm.

Interview Advice:

Don't pretend to be someone you are not. Be polite, honest. If you have been invited to an interview, that means you are good enough on paper, from then on the most important thing is for them to like you.

Trainee Solicitor, Finance at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Show that you did something well rather than just showing that you've done something: everyone knows that treasurers manage accounts and that captains lead teams. How much did your club or society fundraise when you were treasurer? How did your team improve under your captaincy?

Interview Advice:

Do not worry if you do not know the precise 'right' answer to a question, there might not be one. Take a moment to think of an answer and share your reasoning with your interviewers.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Make yourself unique in some way. Do something unusual in terms of your experience.

Interview Advice:

Know your CV, be yourself and try to gain a basic understanding how companies/financial institutions and the economy works.

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be genuine and honest.

Interview Advice:

Very relaxed, non-pretentious. Very few strictly knowledge-based questions (apart from commercial awareness), mostly a good chat.

Trainee, Finance at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Make sure you proof-read the application numerous times for any basic errors - it is always a good idea to print off a copy and check it by hand.

Interview Advice:

Stay relaxed and make sure your answers are clear and logically ordered. Make sure you have done your preparation in terms of background reading - both on the firm and generally in respect of commercial news stories.

Trainee Solicitor, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Ensure you have excellent grades and convince them you genuinely want the job.

Interview Advice:

As above.

Trainee, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be sure you want to be a lawyer in a magic circle law firm.

Interview Advice:

Commerical awareness, stand out from the crowd.

trainee, trainee at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Show commercial awareness!

Interview Advice:

Prepare by reading the FT and The Economist.

Trainee Solicitor, Antitrust, Competition and Trade at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

On your application form, do not make any typos and remember that the interviewers can ask you about anything that you have put down.

Interview Advice:

There is a three stage interview process - there is a written exercise (e.g. proof reading a draft clause), then an interview about an article that they give you (often the FT online), and finally an interview based on your application form.

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Try to stand out for the right reasons. Describe what makes you different from the next candidate, through hobbies and interests, and link it back to how this will be beneficial to you as a lawyer and Freshfields itself.

Interview Advice:

Be original, personable and enthusiastic. Legal knowledge is taken as a given, soft skills are what will make you stand out.

Trainee, Corporate – Private Equity at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be commercially aware and enthusiastic.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Don't try and second guess what they are looking for too much in answering the application questions. Try to be honest in your responses - a realistic level of enthusiasm based on your experiences will probably be better received than overblown and extravagant claims.

Interview Advice:

Remember that it's potential they are looking for, so don't try to over-compensate and bluff if you don't know the answer to something. Don't get too wound up about "commercial awareness" either. It may seem trite, but an "awareness" will suffice; don't worry so much about convincing the interviewers that you are some sort of commercial master and be yourself at interview.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Read the Economist for a few months and do some general background research into how the City operates.

Interview Advice:

Commercial thinking is very important. Don't get bogged down in the law, think about practical solutions.

Trainee Solicitor, Training Contract at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Majority of trainees have an all-rounder vibe to their application (and personality?).

Interview Advice:

My interview was less formal/rigid than other interviews but I think the appropriate blend of friendly and professional was important. Be prepared to be quizzed in detail on your personal statement (one hour on this).

Trainee, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Take an interest in what goes on in the corporate world (and the world in general) and be ready to talk about it. Be proactive about what you want to see in your seat and what kind of work you want to get exposure to. Be well organised and diligent - no-one likes typos etc.

Interview Advice:

Don't overprepare. Be confident on the day and know why you want to be a lawyer, why you've chosen to apply for the firm and what you hope to get out of your training contract.

Trainee, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Make sure you read your application several times before you press send (ideally at least once with a completely fresh mind). Everyone makes mistakes but I know that grad recruitment are always particularly impressed if a candidate submits a typo-free application.

Interview Advice:

Be confident in yourself at interview - you have been asked in because you are a good candidate! Take your time to think about how best to answer a question, particularly in the part of the interview that is based on a news article.

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Spend some time writing your application and be as relaxed and real as possible in the interview.

Interview Advice:

One question I was asked was: what keeps you awake at night?

Trainee solicitor, Intellectual Property at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Do not regurgitate marketing materials. Apply the job spec to your skills with examples. Sell yourself (but not OTT).

Interview Advice:

Eye contact. Prepare but do not overprepare. Read the news to help with small talk.

Trainee, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be yourself. The firm likes personality and people with genuine life experience.

Trainee Solicitor, Intellectual Property at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Research the firm thoroughly

Interview Advice:

Keep up to date with the news, especially business news

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Make sure you are focused on the question that is being asked, and always think "what are they assessing or looking for by asking this question". Make sure you have a good answer for why you want to do law and why you want to do commercial city law as a solicitor (compared to other potential career routes).

Interview Advice:

Make sure you prepare well, and read the FT during the weeks leading up to your interview. Try and think of a couple of reasons why you want to work at Freshfields, rather than any other city firm.

Trainee Solicitor, Dispute resolution; Banking at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be prepared to work hard - do your research and make sure it's the right career path for you - but also take advantage of the great opportunities you have to socialise and meet some great new people.

Interview Advice:

Look at lawcareers.net for an overview of the interview process, and forums can be useful for reading about other people's experiences. Don't expect yours to be exactly the same though - the firm gives you an idea of the structure, and it's best to focus on that when preparing.

Trainee, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Interview Advice:

Just be yourself, if working here is for you it will show.

Trainee, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Do your research about the firm - be specific about why you would like to apply to Freshfields, as opposed to an international law firm generally.

Interview Advice:

Be honest and don't over think it. Your interviewers aren't trying to catch you out.

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

There are some basics that you'll always need to cover: show, through your writing, that you are intelligent, hard-working, genuinely interested in law (and in particular corporate law), have common sense and are interesting but not too crazy.

The "genuinely interested" bit is obviously very important. It's important to think about this and write it down in a clear and persuasive manner, but if you get really stuck on this or find yourself having to stretch the truth, you should maybe reconsider why you are applying in the first place.

"Interesting but not too crazy" - you are going to spend a lot of time working with these people, and they know that. They want to know that you will be able to get along with people of different personality types and make some friends. The things you write here may also be useful conversation starters for the interview.

Interview Advice:

Remember the things you wrote on your CV/personal statements! Be prepared to discuss them. Be professional, polite and confident. If you are passionate about a particular area of law (or anything really) hopefully this is evidence in your written application and you can let it come out naturally at the interview.

Odds are they're not going to ask you about clause X of a certain legislation or what Justice Y said in some case 30 years ago (unless you really invite it) - you will just need to show a genuine interest in corporate law, some common sense and confirm all the positive assumptions they hopefully made after reading your application regarding your intelligence, work ethic, and social normality.

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Research the firm and the work ethos - know what you're signing up for!

Interview Advice:

Really be yourself. You don't want to put on a front that you'll then have to keep up for (at least) 2 years. You want your employer to want you - not a facade of you which has been crafted for interviews.

Trainee Solicitor, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Include practical examples to back up phrases like 'I work well in a team', 'I am motivated' etc.

Think about what will make you stand out from the crowd.

Don't overstate your experience - you will get caught out at interview.

Make sure you proof-read your application.

Interview Advice:

Relax - at this stage, the interviewers want you to do well.

Be a confident version of yourself.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be personable and freindly. Everyone who applies has strong academics and the partners are often just looking for enthusiasm and someone they can have a laugh with when working late into the night.

Interview Advice:

3 parts:
- personal statement interview
- commercial interview- questions on an article from the FT/ economist that you are given to read.
- written test- mine was to proof read and make amendments.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

'Be yourself' is a cliche, but it is true: they will weed you out if you're false or disingenuous, so try to relax and have confidence in your qualities and attributes.

Interview Advice:

Do your research. Magic Circle law firms can, on the face of it, be indistinguishable to outsiders. Try to understand what sets Freshfields apart, and try speaking to graduates of your college/university who now work at Freshfields. There's nothing better than getting an employee's or partner's personal perspective.

Trainee Solicitor, Trainee at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Make sure your application is error free - read it again and again and ask a third party (an impartial friend/relative) to also read it for spelling/grammar/sense. Simple things are important like making sure you address the cover letter to the correct recipient.
You should try to demonstrate an awareness of the firm's business and how you will fit within the firm.

Interview Advice:

In my opinion, the key is to think logically and express yourself clearly and concisely. You will have two interviews. One is an interview about yourself - so on your CV basically. The other is an interview on an article, which you will have been shown about 20 minutes before the interview. Neither interview is intended to trip you up, the interviewers are more interested in having a conversation with you and talking through your opinions.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be careful with your application, typos and grammatical errors reflect badly on a candidate seeking to be a solicitor.

Interview Advice:

Be yourself - interviewers will warm more to someone who is friendly, honest and they are able to chat with compared to someone who is reeling off memorised lines to "say the right things".

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate / Finance at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Attention to detail is key

Interview Advice:

Be early!

Trainee Solicitor, Real Estate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Make sure that you really want it- do your research

Interview Advice:

Smile and be yourself, if you're meant to be here then you will get an offer

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be yourself, don't try to be who you think they want you to be. Be totally honest.

Interview Advice:

Relax, the interviewers are all very good at making you feel at home immediately.

Trainee Solicitor, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Attention to detail is very important - make sure there aren't any typos!

Interview Advice:

Commercial awarenes is crucial - make sure that you know what's going on.

Trainee Solicitor, Finance at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be very specific as to why you want to work here; be enthusiastic; be precise.

Interview Advice:

All about enthusiasm.

Trainee Solicitor, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Check your spelling.

Interview Advice:

Read the Economist before arriving.

Trainee, Litigation at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Proof read your form. Then proof read it again.

Interview Advice:

For the analytical interview, don't be afraid to take the time to think through a response before answering. For the personal interview, have a cogent story as to why you want to be (i) a lawyer (ii) at Freshfields. More broadly, expect to be grilled on your outside interests and what makes you tick.

Trainee solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be very clear on why want to be at the firm but also why you don't want the alternatives:
- law and not alternatives (e.g. accountancy, banking)
- solicitor and not barrister
- London and not regional
- City law and not other forms of law
- Magic Circle and not US firms etc
- Freshfields and not e.g. Linklaters

Interview Advice:

Try and enjoy the commercial awareness part and answer the questions intuitively and logically. Don't try and download seemingly relevant stuff you have learned. They're interested in potential, not the finished product.

Trainee, Litigation at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Show enthusiasm and commercial interest. Cultivate general broader interests. The firm is very open and diverse and likes to sense a more interesting character.

Interview Advice:

Be relaxed and engage with the interviewers. Don't think they're trying to catch you out.

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Spell the firm's name correctly
Proofread, and then proofread again
Don't regurgitate what's in the recruitment brochure back to the trainee recruitment; think about how you can demonstrate the skills they are looking for

Interview Advice:

Be yourself!
Don't practise/rehearse answers to questions too much. The interviewers may not ask questions in the way you were expecting, which may mean that you don't answer the questions correctly.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Research city law, very commercial firm and will expect commercial awareness

Interview Advice:

Why corporate law; what makes a good trainee; how will you deal with mundane work.

Trainee, finance at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Research the role and type of work that Freshfields does - it is important to be interested in commercial law, as that is what Freshfields does.

Do vacation placements and work experiences at Freshfields or similar law firms.

Interview Advice:

Be confident and willing to engage in conversation.

Trainee Solicitor, Litigation at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

The firm recruits driven, highly motivated people with a good attitude. It's important to really understand the nature and demands of the job before putting pen to pencil.

Interview Advice:

Confidence is highly prized. If you're well prepared this will come naturally.

Trainee, Dispute Resolution/International Arbitration at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Check your application repeatedly and ask someone with a fresh set of eyes to proof read it too.

Interview Advice:

Don't be afraid of silence - use it to think about your answer carefully.

Trainee, Finance at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Good grades, good work experience, good personality.

Trainee Solicitor, Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Ensure the commercial work and lifestyle is what you want first, otherwise if you are not convinced yourself, it will show in the application.

Interview Advice:

Be confident. Be commercially aware.

Trainee, Banking at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Discuss your application with someone already working within a similar firm

Interview Advice:

Interviewers will see through those who have applied just for the name

Trainee, Finance at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Proofread your application. Have someone else check over it. Say why you want to work here and demonstrate with examples why what you say is true. Be sure to put down anything that might evolve into a good conversation point in your interview.

Interview Advice:

Be yourself. Relax and enjoy it. I interviewed at around 6 other City law firms and I just seemed to 'click' with my interveiwers at Freshfields. A wise friend of mine, who is a few years ahead of me in his legal career, once said, "the right firm will find you". To an extent this is true. Often you need to apply to alot of places before you find the right fit - but its worth it when you do.

Trainee Solicitor, Finance at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Think carefully about why you want to be a lawyer at an international law firm and give the real reasons you want to work there. If you can't think of any real reasons, or your real reason is "I couldn't think of what else to do" then you should probably think twice about applying!

Interview Advice:

Be yourself. Don't be shy, speak clearly and look your interviewers in the eye. Remember that they want you to do well. Don't get defensive.

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate Law at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Try to show a connection to the firm in your application (eg. met representative at a law fair) to show that you have a reason to apply to us rather than it being one of many applications.

Interview Advice:

Do lots of preparation for interviews. Use the BBC business website for easy to digest summaries of business news.

Trainee Solicitor, at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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Application Advice:

Be prepared to demonstrate that you like working hard. Know why you want to be a City lawyer. Show that you're not just academic (which is, of course, a prerequisite) but that you're a fun person to be around day or night. The more well-rounded you are, the more likely it is that you will fit in well at Freshfields!

Interview Advice:

They will ask you why you chose your A-levels, how you ended up at your university, why law (or not), what extracurricular activities you enjoy, how you will cope not having time to do them anymore, how you will adapt to going from a 35 hr week to a 90hr week, what your friends would say about you if you weren't in the room etc. But the whole general interview really is a friendly chat, so be prepared - know your application form inside and out.

Trainee Solicitor, Corporate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
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