Application blind and contextual recruitment
We want to recruit the best candidates regardless of their background or where they were educated. Most of our assessment processes for both our vacation schemes and our training programmes are scored application blind. We also use a contextual recruitment tool to understand each applicant’s achievements in the context they were gained. We understand that not every candidate’s achievements look the same on paper, and we are a firm that believes in fairness and diversity.
Candidates applying to our first year insight scheme, vacation scheme or training programme will be required to complete an online assessment. This assessment will be completed once you have submitted your application form. It should take 45 minutes to an hour to complete and we are looking for your honest answers so we can find out more about you. It is important that you find a quiet space with minimal distractions to complete the assessment.
The assessment has been designed following consultations with individuals across the firm and is therefore tailored to Macfarlanes and the skills that we associate with success. As you complete the assessment you will work through a mix of scenarios across a range of practice areas which are designed to test a candidate’s situational judgement and critical reasoning. This will provide a small insight into life as a trainee and help give you a better sense of whether this is the career for you.
The answers to the online assessment will be considered alongside a candidate’s written application to help us decide whether they will progress to the next step of the recruitment process. Next steps for each of our programmes are outlined below.
Cappfinity have a preparation hub that can be accessed here. We would recommend all candidates use this before sitting the Macfarlanes assessment. If you require additional support or adjustments to complete this online assessment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Macfarlanes is unlike any other law firm. We hope you use the assessments as a chance to build your understanding of us and what makes us different, just as we see it as a chance to gain an understanding of you.
Whether you studied law or another subject, you can apply for our training programme either via the vacation scheme (see below) or the direct route using this application form.
There are three assessments:
- a business case-study exercise, with a partner and a senior associate. You will discuss a series of commercial scenarios that you will have time to read and prepare notes on beforehand;
- an application interview with a partner. This is the only part of the day that is not application blind; and
- a written exercise.
For the final session of the day, you get to meet and network with some trainees.
Complete this application form if you would like to apply for a place on one of our vacation schemes.
We invite candidates with the strongest application forms to attend a vacation scheme assessment day.
There are three assessments which are all application blind:
- an interview with a partner and a senior associate, which is split into two sections: a case study exercise and a skills-based interview;
- a written exercise; and
- a group exercise.
We welcome applications from candidates regardless of degree discipline as long as they are at least in their penultimate year of study.
First year insight scheme
Complete this application form if you would like to apply for a place on our first year insight scheme. If you are progressed to the next stage, we will arrange a telephone interview to learn more about you and to give you the opportunity to ask us questions.
Lawtech graduate programme
Complete this application form if you would like to apply for a place on our lawtech graduate programme.
We invite candidates with the strongest application forms to complete an online assessment. We then invite those who perform best on our online assessment to attend an assessment day.
There are two assessments you will complete at assessment day:
- a group presentation; and
We welcome applications from candidates regardless of degree discipline as long as they are in their final year of study or have already graduated.
First year skills development initiative
To apply for the first year skills development initiative, you first need to submit your CV and a covering letter to your law careers team or law faculty. Presentations will be run at each university to provide more details before applications open. A shortlist of 10–15 students from each participating university will then complete this application form and send it directly to Macfarlanes. If you are progressed to the next stage, we will arrange a virtual interview with you where you will meet two of our associates.
You may have questions about the form or your application – please read our FAQs page, or, feel free to contact our early legal careers team.
My top tip would be to take the time to truly understand the firm before making your application. Research the firm, take advantage of the events that Macfarlanes puts on, and talk to as many people as you can.