Why did you choose Ropes & Gray to start your legal career?
I always knew I wanted to join a US firm due to the leaner teams and high level of client exposure. The fact that Ropes & Gray has an equal female/male partnership level was what stood out to me the most. City firms often boast about having a 50/50 gender split at trainee level but then at senior level they have almost no female partners. I knew Ropes & Gray was doing something good to retain female talent at such a senior level!
How did you find the recruitment and selection process?
Intense! I applied for the 2020 spring vacation scheme, and after the normal application and Watson Glaser, I was invited to an assessment day. We had also been given some pre-reading for the group exercise the day before. On the AC, we had a negotiation group exercise, partner interview, written exercise and elevator pitch-style presentation. For the pitch presentation, HR gave us a topic and then set a 40 minute timer to prepare a pitch to partners and associates which had to be 3 minutes in length. As someone who prepares a LOT for interviews, not being able to prepare for this before the AC was very scary. All my assessments went well—but I was exhausted by the time they let us out!
How would you describe the firm’s culture?
Friendly and welcoming. Having been to many (many!) law firm open days, Ropes is the least hierarchical firm I’ve experienced. The level of partner interaction is unheard of.
What tips would you give a potential applicant?
Attend an open day. Then you can truly experience the firm for yourself and meet as many people as you can. It’s also great to show commitment and gives you an idea of what to say on the application form.