XXIV Old Buildings Assessment Centre, Online Verbal Reasoning Test and Interview Preparation

Are you applying for Pupillage or Tenancy at XXIV Old Buildings? XXIV Old Buildings (or 24 Old Buildings to you and me) look for the best candidates to join them, and will only take on new people if there is an identified need and they can find the right candidate. All in all, competition for a place at the Chambers is fierce. This article is designed to guide you through the application process and help you improve your application.
 
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The Chambers take on up to two Pupils each year, and will look to keep at least one as a Junior Tenant after the year is over. They will take on Tenants as demand or vacancies permit. However they are looking for the best fit to the Chambers in any new members, and as such they have designed an application process to enable them to identify who these people will be. This article focuses on the application process for Pupillage as this is the most regular and widespread recruitment to the Chambers. Tenancy applicants will find the sections relevant to their application useful. The article is designed to guide you through this application process, providing hints and tips on what you can do to improve your application at each stage. 

Application Process

Candidates are assessed throughout the process against a series of criteria:

  • Academic achievement.
  • Ability to absorb, assimilate and analyse information skilfully.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and persuasively (both orally and in writing).
  • Commitment to the law and to practice both as a barrister, and to the work of the Chambers.
  • Public speaking and advocacy skills.
  • Interpersonal skills, particularly in dealing with a range of people tactfully, proportionately, flexibly and appropriately under pressure.
  • Strength of character, self-motivation and drive as required for a career in self-employed practice at the Bar.

Applicants may only apply to XXIV Old Buildings when invited to do so. Applications outside of this window will not be considered. Before you start your application form, take a look at our guide to law firm application forms for tips on how to approach your application.

Verbal Reasoning Test

Applicants whose forms fit the criteria of the application form will be invited to sit an online aptitude test. This test will focus on verbal reasoning, assessing your logic and reasoning abilities. Verbal reasoning tests take place in timed conditions, and are designed to put you under pressure as you respond. Practising these tests will help you improve your score, and boost your chances of moving to the next round- especially as moving to the next round is determined by your score in the tests. JobTestPrep’s verbal reasoning practice pack can help you do just this.

CV and Covering Letter

The top applicants from the verbal reasoning test will be asked to submit their CV and a covering letter ahead of a first interview with members of the Pupillage Committee. This is so that they can learn a little bit more about you ahead of the interview. Progressing to the interview does not depend on your CV, but it is still important that your CV and cover letter create a good impression, as it is the first time they will be able to put a name to your information. Remember to ensure that the information given on your CV matches the information you put on the initial online application form, and to include the information they want to know about you, in this case, your motivation in choosing chancery law, and why specifically you are applying to these chambers. Find out how JobTestPrep’s CV builder package can help you create a CV that puts you in the best possible light.

XXIV Old Buildings First Interview

The first interview will be a 15 to 20 minute panel interview with two members of the Pupillage Committee. They will use your CV as a starting point, but are looking for you to display your ability to communicate orally, your clarity and persuasiveness, and strength of commitment to law. They want to hear about your experience in public speaking and advocacy. Since Chancery law is largely self driven, they are also looking for your to show your strength of character, self motivation and drive in creating and managing your workload.

Common questions they ask are:

  • Why do you want to be a barrister?
  • What attracts you to the chancery Bar? 
  • Analyse or interpret a clause of a contract.

For the first two questions you must be careful to avoid sounding too rehearsed or insincere. Only a few people will go through to the next stage, so the impression you make in the interview is vital. See how JobTestPrep can help you practice for the interview with our Skype based interview practice package here.

XXIV Old Buildings Assessment Centre

The assessment centre is a whole day exercise, usually on a Saturday at the Chambers, 24 Old Buildings, Lincolns Inn. There are three elements to the assessment centre, as well as lunch with Members of the Chambers:

Advocacy Exercise

In this exercise you are asked to make a mock application to the court. You are being tested on your ability to communicate persuasively, your public speaking and advocacy skills, and strength of character, self motivation and drive. This exercise is basically a role playing exercise, in which you need to play a role you hope to play in future. See JobTestPrep’s role playing pages for some helpful tips.

Group Discussion

The group discussion exercise is designed to demonstrate your inter-personal skills. This exercise is generally a mock negotiation. A past example is of four candidates around a table, each representing a charity. Through discussion, the group must decide how to allocate a pot of money amongst these charities. This exercise will look at your interpersonal skills, in particularly how you deal with a range of people tactfully, proportionately, flexibly, and appropriately under pressure. Getting the balance right in a group exercise can be difficult as you aim to be heard at the same time as allowing others to say their piece. See how JobTestPrep’s group exercise preparation can help you prepare here.

Written Exercise

In this exercise you are asked to carry out an unseen written test. This test will measure your ability to absorb, assimilate and analyse information, and your ability to communicate information clearly and persuasively in writing. An unseen written test carries with it an air of unpredictability, but by practicing different types of writing exercises, you can go into the exercise confidently in the knowledge that your writing skills are sharp. JobTestPrep can help you prepare for this exercise with our written exercise practice pack.

In Summary

XXIV Old Buildings have a comprehensive application process, with many different tests aimed at ensuring that they only take on the candidates for Pupillage or Tenancy who best fit the Chambers. They are clear the whole way through that the successful candidates have to fit their criteria, and they will assess candidates against these criteria. For the successful candidates, the rewards can be high (up to £65k for Pupillage), so they can afford to look for the best. If you want to work with XXIV Old Buildings, you have to take the application process seriously. We hope you have enjoyed this article and look forward to helping you prepare for any of the stages of the application process with our market leading resources. Good luck!


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