What Are Law Assessment Centres?

Assessment centres are a follow-up from passing an interview. If you have made it this far, congratulations as less than 15% of applicants get through to this stage! Now it is time to refine your research, prepare and sell yourself. Remember the law firm or company have seen potential in you, so show confidence and prove them right as to why they picked you.

Why Law Firms Use Them?

Assessment centres are used to assess candidates in real-life working scenarios to see how they react to challenges, deadlines and working with others. The firms have only seen your skills on paper or verbally and now they need to see if you fit their mould in person. Do remember that whilst they are assessing you, it is important to know that it is also a day to make sure in your mind that the law firm in question suits what you are looking for and that you genuinely enjoy the work you are doing.

Assessment centres will test your literacy, punctuality, collaboration, leadership and other key competencies. It is important to review the firm’s values and job description to gain an insight into what you can expect on the day.

General Skills Assessed During Assessment Centres

    • Literacy skills
    • Work under pressure
    • Analytical
    • Time management
    • Problem-solving
    • Commercial awareness
    • Collaboration
    • Communication
    • Attention to detail

Common Assessment Centre Tasks

Below are some of the common tasks that you will usually be asked to do.

Group Tasks

Group tasks are amongst the most popular tasks in an assessment day. They can range between presentations, negotiations to consulting. They are assessing collaboration and teamwork skills, assessors will be looking for how candidates can add value in team based tasks to reach a common goal.

Some top tips to do well:

    • Bring a positive impact to the group- add value from input to time keeping to helpful counter-arguments.
    • Keep a positive attitude- often there will be a loud overly confident candidate in the group, the trick is to remain put together and make sure when you do add comments, they are thoughtful and insightful. This will go further than being the loudest in the group.
    • Stick to the task! It is good go outline exactly what you need to do at the start, outline then by what time you wish to have each task done, and who in the group will oversee what task. Here you have shown leadership, management, collaboration, and time management.
    • Active listening- this is where you show you are taking in what other candidates are suggesting by showing understanding such as “good point Liam, I like your thinking’. This shows you are actively taking part in the group, even if not contributing at the time.

Written Tasks

Written tasks can include case studies, memos, and emails etc. For emails and memos candidates are usually given a large amount of information or updates within a ‘company’ and expected to send out an update to colleagues with only the important information included. It could be anything from a new policy update to a companywide meeting. A top tip for memo or email tasks is to assess who you are writing to as this will impact your writing style, more relaxed style for staff, and more professional for a new client of whom you have never met. A second top tip, mainly for emails is to use the right Salutations. A tip I use is “never double S”; so Dear Sir, will end with “Yours faithfully”.


Assessment centre presentations can usually be divided into two sub-sections: case studies or recent business news stories. Sometimes a brief is given to the candidates where you will be able to prepare at home and other times you will be given the brief on the day and given 20 minutes to half an hour to prepare.

During case study presentations, candidates will present answers to questions and issues surrounding the case study. Scenarios can include property transactions, sale agreements and financial statements etc.

A top tip to deliver a great presentation is to adopt a good structure. Much like an essay, there needs to be a good introduction, presentation of the facts, issues, law, application and conclusion and or next steps for the board to consider.

General Format For The Day

9:00 – Arrival/registration

9:30 – welcome talk/show round

10:00 Psychometric tests

11:00 – Morning break

11:30 – Group task

12:30 – Lunch

13:30 – Presentation

14:30 – Written task

15:30 – Refreshments

15:45 – Interviews

17:00 – Debriefs and end of day

Concluding Remarks

Law firms are looking for new associates and therefore they are assessing mainly whether you have the right foundational skills to succeed and whether you will fit into the work culture.  

Assessment days give candidates the chance to show off what they have mentioned during their interviews and application forms. Now is your chance to put your company research and commercial awareness to the test. Once again, if you have made it this far, congratulations!