A Brief Guide to the Commercial Law Assessment Centre

Securing a job in the legal profession is difficult. Candidates not only need to spend years studying law and pass the Watson Glaser Test or Suited Assessment, but also undergo a selection process called the Law Assessment Centre – a battery of challenging tests hosted by the law firm they plan to work at.

In this article, we will explain what kinds of tasks and questions await you on the Assessment Centre, as well as go over preparation strategies for passing the Assessment Centre and landing that law-firm job you’ve always wanted. 

You will also find information about the Mindfull Learning Study Guide, which will prepare you for getting through every stage of the different Assessment Centre tests that you could face.

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What Is the Commercial Law Assessment Centre?

The Commercial Law Assessment Centre (also known as CLAC) is a selection process assessing candidates’ knowledge, skills, and experience in the commercial law sector. The CLAC also evaluates professional behaviour, ethics, and communication.

The exact details of assessment centres differ by law firm, both in terms of the specific questions you will be asked and in terms of the way they will be organized. Some companies (Womble Bond Dickinson, for example) organize assessment centre events that candidates need to attend in person, while others (like Taylor Wessing) have switched to a fully online process. However, all of them have some features in common.

JobTestPrep recommends the Mindfull Learning Commercial Law Assessment Centre Study Guide, which contains over 100 pages on how to prepare for the different tests, as well as sample questions for each stage.

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Tasks and Questions on the Commercial Law Assessment Centre

Law firms will often highlight their individual and distinct character by treating candidates to an assessment that reflects their unique set of values and priorities. While this generally holds true, there are certain elements shared across most or all assessments.


Interviews, Competency and Motivational Questions

Most law firms’ assessment centre process includes some combination of an interview with a series of written questions about the candidate’s background and motivations for working at this particular firm.


To ace this part, come prepared with knowledge of the firm’s commercial and pro bono work, both in terms of its legal and practical aspects. When talking about a company’s for-profit work, it’s useful to demonstrate knowledge of the business aspects of the cases, and when talking about its pro bono activities, it is worth discussing the ways in which these are relevant to you personally (for example, if you’re applying at Taylor Wessing it’s useful to know the company has done work related to promoting the arts and environmental protection).

Case Study

A case study task is a key part of almost every CLAC. You will typically be asked to answer a question about a hypothetical or actual legal case, in an open-ended answer format. Candidates are expected to understand both the legal and commercial aspects of a given case.


Scenario-Based Questions

Scenario-based questions may be presented in written or oral form, depending on the firm you are applying for. These aim to find out how you might deal with a specific scenario that could arise in the workplace. Unlike some similar tests, such as situational judgment tests (SJT), these are open-ended rather than multiple-choice questions.


Technical Tasks

During your CLAC, you will be given a technical task to complete. This might be a contract evaluation activity or a written task such as writing a letter to a client or answering a question demonstrating your legal knowledge.


Financial Statement

This task requires you to read and evaluate a company’s financial statement and answer a question about it. Once again, the questions that you’ll be asked are going to be open-ended questions, rather than in a multiple-choice format.


Understanding Contractual Terms

Candidates will be asked questions about the meaning of specific legal or contractual terms, and will be expected to explain, in detail, the use of these terms in differing contexts. (Certain legal terms can mean different things in different contexts, so be careful!)


Group Exercise

Candidates are often asked to work in groups to complete a case study, solve a legal problem or prepare a group presentation. This tests both the candidate’s legal knowledge and their interpersonal skills.



After a case study or a group exercise, a candidate is often requested to prepare a presentation about a given topic. These evaluate your communication skills, which are, for clear reasons, very important for a solicitor. Remember to speak confidently, clearly, and to present your findings in a logical and structured fashion.


Networking Lunch

Some companies also include a networking lunch as part of their assessment centre. This is also part of the test and evaluates your ability to interact both with the firm’s employees and with other candidates. Make sure to remain confident, polite, and friendly throughout.

How to Prepare

Preparing for the Commercial Law Assessment Centre requires you not just to return to your legal knowledge but also to prepare to answer the specific kinds of questions you are most likely to face. Some tips include:

  • Return to your books. You will be tested on your ability to understand contracts and legal terms.
  • Study the firm where you’re applying to work. Demonstrating knowledge of the firm and its activities and your engagement with the causes it does pro bono work for is important.
  • Practice answering mock tests. Learning to answer the same sort of questions you’re going to answer in the real test is as important as it was during your A-Levels.

If you're looking for a study tool that will help you gain confidence and obtain relevant knowledge to pass the assessment centre evaluation, we recommend the Mindfull Learning Commercial Law Assessment Centre Study Guide. Between its 100+ pages, you can find well-researched tips and advice including:

• How to prepare for your assessment centre and how to effectively research a firm

• An assessment centre checklist

• 62 Competency & Motivational Questions & 12 Exemplar Responses

• 13 Scenario Based Questions & 13 Exemplar Responses

• 10 Technical Questions & 10 Exemplar Responses

• How To Approach Case Study Interviews

• 2 Sample Case Studies & A Full Case Study Analysis

• How To Approach Financial Information

• 2 Sample Financial Statements & A Full Analysis On 2 Financial Statements

• How To Approach Presentations

• How To Approach Group Tasks

• 19 End of Interview Questions

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