About the Government Legal Service (GLS)

Legal trainees with the Government Legal Service (GLS) advise and support government departments on policy and legal issues. The important nature of the work they carry out means that the GLS is looking for the most talented of applicants. JobTestPrep's guide walks you through each stage of the recruitment process for legal trainees, providing tips and preparation that enable you to make the most of your application.


Core Competencies

The GLS competency framework sets out the key skills applicants are expected to demonstrate throughout the recruitment process.

The following is a list of those competencies:

  • Legal professional skills
  • Seeing the bigger picture
  • Managing a quality service for clients
  • Making effective decisions
  • Leading and communicating
  • Collaborating and partnering
  • Delivering at pace
  • Building capacity for all
  • Motivational fit

The Application Stage

The application form is your first opportunity to present yourself to the recruiters at the GLS. It asks you questions about why you want to work with the Public Sector, your commitment to the civil service, and your ideas for the future. Be sure to plan your answers before inputting them into the form as well as to answer the questions on the form against the competencies mentioned above.

If you get as far as the assessment centre, the assessors will only have access to your name and employment history, so ensure this information is detailed on your application form. Before you start your application, take a look at our law firm application forms guide for guidance on how to approach your application.

Situational Judgement Test

You are asked to sit an online Situational Judgement Test (SJT) at the same time as you submit your application form. You must pass the SJT in order to progress to the next test. The SJT assesses your judgement in dealing with the types of situations you may encounter as a legal trainee in the GLS. On the test, you are presented with hypothetical situations and some possible reactions to each. You are asked to specify which reaction is the most effective response and which is the least effective response. JobTestPrep’s online SJT preparation pack can help you prepare for this test.

SHL Verbal Reasoning Test

If your application form is successful and you pass the SJT, you are invited to sit an online verbal reasoning test prodvided by CEB SHL. This test is designed to evaluate your ability to analyse and interpret complex information. The test is timed and asks you to agree or disagree to statements based on a piece of text. Learn how JobTestPrep’s CEB SHL-style verbal reasoning practice pack can help you prepare for this test.

Critical Reasoning Test

If you pass the verbal reasoning test, you are then asked to take a Watson-Glaser Critical Reasoning Test. This test is different than any other test you may be asked to sit during your application process with GLS. It assesses your ability to logically analyse assumptions, arguments, deductions, and inferences, as well as your ability to interpret information. You are given a short statement of facts, followed by a number of possible inferences, assumptions, conclusions, or arguments based on those facts. You are then asked to assess these statements.

Given the unique nature of this test, it is important to practice in advance in order to ensure your success. JobTestPrep’s Watson-Glaser practice pack can help you improve your score and excel.


Government Legal Service Assessment Centre

The GLS assessment centre is a half-day session in London. You are assessed against the key competencies in two exercises.

Written Exercise

You are given 55 minutes to prepare a response to a legal scenario. You are not expected to have legal knowledge of this case, and your response should be based solely on the information contained in the materials in front of you. This exercise assesses your analytical skills, constructive and innovative thinking, judgement, and written communication. Check out JobTestPrep's written exercises practice pack, which offers valuable tips for this exercise.

Interview

The interview consists of two parts, a technical interview and a competency-based interview. The interview panel is comprised of two senior GLS lawyers and an external HR professional. It lasts for around 70 minutes. Preparation for the interview is vital as it is the first time the recruitment team has a face-to-face interaction with you. 

During the technical interview, you are asked to present a five-minute argument on a topic related to public law. (You receive this topic in your assessment centre pack.) After the presentation, you are asked questions about it as well as about other subjects designed to test you against GLS's key competencies. Make sure you prepare for both the presentation and the accompanying interview. 

The competency-based interview revolves around the information provided on your application form. It also includes questions that assess you on your constructive and innovative thinking, influential communication, team working, drive, and determination. The best way to answer questions against these competencies is to use the STAR method.


Prepare for Success

The recruitment process for the Government Legal Service is designed to test you in a variety of ways. Each test tells the service more and more about whether you are the right candidate. Preparation is key in such a recruitment process. Practise with JobTestPrep today to ensure your success and land your desired job.