Make your application stand out

Here’s what to expect from our application process.

If you require any adjustments to be made to any aspect of the process please do get in touch with us, as we want to ensure that you are fully supported.

Application form

The first stage of the process is an online application form, which allows us to get to know you better and find out why you are interested in a career at Osborne Clarke.

We hope that the questions will allow you to demonstrate your commercial understanding, showcase the skills that you’ve been working to develop, and tell us what motivates you. We will be looking for the qualities that make a great Osborne Clarke lawyer: the ability to listen, learn and collaborate; a passion for client service; a genuine interest in the business environment; a problem-solving approach; and the drive and motivation to succeed.

We will ask you for details of any work experience you have undertaken. This does not have to be legal work experience – we are interested in the skills and attributes that you have developed in any role or sector and how you think these will help to make you a successful lawyer.

We also look at your academic achievements and we encourage candidates to opt into completing the Rare Contextual System to allow us to further understand the context in which your experiences have been gained. Should you have any mitigating circumstances, please do include them on your form in the space provided.

Completing a successful application form takes time and lots of research. Here are some tips to help you complete your application:

  • Think about what makes you a great candidate, and make sure that this is evidenced in your application form. Look beyond academia and work experience and make sure that you include information about your interests and hobbies – these are what make you an individual and will help you to stand out
  • We want to know what it is about Osborne Clarke that has encouraged you to apply, so use your research to tailor your answers and bring your application to life
  • Make sure that you complete all sections of the form, and use continuous prose throughout to show your writing style, tone and fluency
  • When writing your answers, remember to be succinct and use short sentences to ensure that your points are clear. Use straightforward language and avoid using buzzwords and phrases such as ‘relish the opportunity’
  • Attention to detail is key, so remember to double check your application before you submit it. Ask a friend or family member to read through your submission – as a fresh pair of eyes, they’re likely to spot any small mistakes

Verbal reasoning test

Once you have submitted your application form all candidates are required to complete an online verbal reasoning test. This aptitude test assesses your ability to understand written information and evaluate arguments about this information, an important skill for a lawyer.

Our test is administered by SHL, and you can find practice tests on their website.

Assessment centre

If you’ve applied for a vacation scheme or training contract, and been invited to attend one of our assessment centres – congratulations!

On the day you’ll participate in a group discussion, partner interview and a Watson Glaser test. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to network with our trainees so that you can find out more about us and our training experience. The exercises that we ask you to complete will allow us to find out more about you, and we’ll be assessing your commercial awareness and understanding, communication skills, ability to work in a team and understanding of Osborne Clarke.

The Watson Glaser is an aptitude test which assesses your critical thinking ability. To help you prepare you can find a practice test here.

During the assessment day it is important to stay calm and make sure that you show us the best version of yourself. To help you prepare you may find it useful to review your application submission, and make sure that you are up to date with recent developments in the news. Whilst preparation is important, try to avoid being ‘over-prepared’ – we want you to show your ability to think on your feet.

Due to Covid-19 our assessment centres will be run virtually in this recruitment cycle.

What scheme should I apply for?

Law students:

  • First year – Insight Scheme
  • Penultimate year – Vacation Scheme or Training Contract
  • Final year – Vacation Scheme or Training Contract

Non-Law students:

  • First year – Insight Scheme
  • Penultimate year – Insight Scheme
  • Final year – Vacation Scheme or Training Contract
  • Graduate or Career Changer – Vacation Scheme or Training Contract

Our annual deadlines

  • Vacation scheme – 15 January 2021
  • Training contract – 15 January 2021
  • Insight scheme – 28 February 2021

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