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Application insight and guidance from our UK Recruiting team

Recently, Gemma Barns, Natalie Bekos and Yohanna Wilson from our UK Recruiting team hosted a Q&A session on our Instagram account to answer your questions about London opportunities at White & Case. Here are the highlights from some of the most popular questions. 

Remember, our Recruiting Team is always on hand to help, especially during this uncertain time. For any questions regarding our London opportunities, please contact the team and they will be happy to answer any queries or questions you may have: [email protected]. To ask questions about other programmes outside of London, please visit our global careers page and search for the Location page to find the local contact information. 

Thank you to everyone who took part in this Q&A session and asked a question. We are looking to host another event very soon, so be sure to follow @whitecase on Instagram. 

 

The application and recruitment process

What are the stages of the selection process?

For the vacation scheme the process includes an online application, a video interview and then a face-to-face interview with a member of the graduate resourcing team and a senior associate, as well as a written exercise. You will then be assessed further on the vacation scheme, and all participants will have a partner interview and presentation. 

Can one apply for both a vacation scheme and training contract just to be safe?

Yes, you are more than welcome to apply for both. If you are unsuccessful, we ask you to wait one recruitment year before reapplying to us. 

Can you provide an insight on what the written exercise entails?

You will be given current commercial articles, and a set of instructions to follow to advise a fictional client.

Do you have any tips on how to do well on the written assignment? 

Read the instructions thoroughly and understand what the question is asking of you. Plan and structure your answer, and factor in time to proofread your work. 

Apart from competency-based questions, what else can be expected from a video interview?

You will be asked one motivational, one competency and one commercial question. You will also be given a practice question, so take this opportunity to familiarise yourself with the platform.

What is the most important question on the application form?

The main part of the application form is a covering letter, and we'd like you to answer in detail: why law; why White & Case; and what skills do you have that would make you a successful trainee solicitor at the Firm. 

How can one shine on paper? I'm a great talker, but how do I show this to White & Case?

The covering letter should highlight a commitment to a career in international law, a clear articulation of why you want to work at White & Case and the requisite skills or experience you have to become a successful trainee solicitor.

Do you look at mitigating circumstances to explain bad grades? 

We review your application holistically and take into account any mitigating circumstances. We also use Rare Recruitment's Contextual Recruitment System, allowing us to put applicants' backgrounds into context. 

Can you kindly share helpful tips for the face-to-face interview for the vacation scheme?

The face-to-face interviews are conducted CV-blind. Prepare your answers to show your motivation for applying to the Firm and our training contract. Ensure you have different examples to highlight the key competencies we are looking for, and be prepared to answer questions on current commercial topics.

 

Who should apply?

What advice would you give to a third or fourth-year non-law student to gain experience? 

All experience is good experience, and a lot of skills are transferable, so please include everything in your application form. You can also take part in our virtual internship programme, which will be recognised on your application form.

Do you accept applications from all law schools?

We accept applications from all universities and law schools across the globe.

I am a current LPC student. Can I apply for a vacation scheme?

Yes–you can apply for a vacation scheme from your penultimate year of university
(law and non-law).

Is it true that face-to-face interviews are now CV-blind?

We are currently conducting CV-blind interviews as part of our assessment process. It is important for us to continue our efforts in promoting social mobility and diversity into the profession and to do all that we can to reduce any unconscious bias that naturally occurs.

Do you sponsor visas for overseas students applying for vacation schemes or training contracts?

We will support your visa application, and we sponsor visas when you are a future trainee of the Firm.

Do you recruit candidates on a rolling basis?

We recruit on a rolling basis for our vacation schemes. The direct training contract and first-year insight scheme applications are reviewed after the deadline. 

Can penultimate-year students apply directly for a training contract?

You can apply for a direct training contract, and/or a vacation scheme, from your penultimate year of university. 

Can someone obtain a training contract without attending an open day or vac scheme?

Yes, we accept direct training contract applications online via our website. 

Who should we approach for lateral hire opportunities? 

For all lateral hire opportunities, please visit our website: https://www.whitecase.com/careers/locations/united-kingdom/lawyers

How realistic is it for a law student From Nigeria to secure a vacation scheme or training contract without a UK degree?

Very realistic! We accept applications from all and recruit globally.

Can third-year law students apply to the vacation scheme? 

Yes, you can apply for a vacation scheme from your penultimate year of study (law and non-law).

 

Life at White & Case

What qualities are White & Case looking for in a trainee solicitor?

There is no such thing as a typical White & Case lawyer. Our trainees have a global mindset, who prioritise learning about different cultures, experiences, languages and viewpoints. We value globally minded citizens of the world who are eager to work across borders and cultures, and are intrigued by solving problems within multiple legal systems. Trainees work in teams with colleagues and clients from different jurisdictions and practices. Naturally curious and enterprising, the people who succeed here are resilient and committed.

What do trainees enjoy the most about working at the Firm?

The opportunity to work with clients on big-ticket cross-border deals, and a lot of responsibility early on in their careers. Our guaranteed overseas seat is also a unique selling point.

What makes someone stand out on the vacation scheme?

Candidates who are passionate about commercial law and show a real interest in White & Case and the work we do. Be professional, open-minded, confident, and ensure you have all of your questions answered on the scheme.  

What are some of the events we can expect to participate in during the vac scheme?

We kick-start the vacation scheme with a champagne flight on the London Eye. Previous events during the scheme have included sushi and chocolate making, escape rooms, and dragon boat racing. We celebrate the end of the scheme and your time at White & Case with a farewell dinner. 

What are the best ways to stay updated on legal and commercial news? 

There are so many different resources available to allow you to stay up to date and to develop your commercial awareness. The internet offers so many opportunities to explore key news stories and deals that really interest you. Take the searches as far as you can to ensure you gain a holistic picture of how certain issues affect law firms and, importantly, their clients.

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