Hogan Lovells is an American-British law firm that was established in 2010 following a merger between the American firm Hogan & Hartson and the UK firm Lovells.

As an international law firm, Hogan Lovells has more than 45 offices worldwide, employing more than 2,800 lawyers - and they offer a range of opportunities for both experienced lawyers and PA support professionals, and excellent training schemes for graduates and students.

Roles at Hogan Lovells can be in any of the following specialisms:

  • Government regulatory

  • Commercial litigation and arbitration

  • Intellectual property

  • Litigation

  • Finance

  • Corporate

Application process for early careers

The early career application process focuses on graduate training schemes, and it is a simple and straightforward set of steps.

Why does Hogan Lovells use assessment centers?

The assessment day at Hogan Lovells is the last stage of the graduate recruitment process, and it is used as an opportunity for the recruitment team and senior partners to meet and get to know the candidates who are looking for a training contract.

Throughout the day, you will be assessed on various things like your communication and teamwork skills, your commercial knowledge, your interest and passion for the law and how you present yourself.

As a candidate, this is also an excellent opportunity to learn more about the business as a whole, meet some of the other trainees and partners, and have a guided tour of the offices you will be based in while you train.

What skills is Hogan Lovells looking for?

what to expect at a hogan lovells assessment center

The main focus of the assessment day at Hogan Lovells is to see how closely you align to the needs of the business, as well as the values and goals.

Whether in the application form or at the assessment center, you will want to demonstrate that you know, understand, and live the following values that Hogan Lovells describe as part of their careers information:

  • Clients come first
  • Excellence in all we do
  • One team worldwide
  • Commitment to our firm’s success
  • Good citizenship

You will also want to demonstrate that you are an integral part of a team, that you can communicate clearly and strongly, and that you have some technical and commercial knowledge - not only about Hogan Lovells, but about the wider legal profession.

There will be particular skills and competencies that you will need for the role you have applied for; you can find out more about these in the job description and keep them in mind when completing the different stages of the application process and the assessment day in particular.

Hogan Lovells assessment center format

The Hogan Lovells Assessment Day takes place at Atlantic House in London, which is their flagship office and headquarter right in the center of the city. Some trainees might be based in the Birmingham offices, but the facilities are very similar.

During the day, you will have the opportunity to meet other trainees, speak to existing members of the firm, and enjoy an informal lunch and a tour. Some of the activities you will need to complete are below:

Introduction to Hogan Lovells

To start your day, you will have a detailed introductory talk from a senior partner at Hogan Lovells, introducing you to the firm, the company history, and helping to orient you with what the assessment day is all about.

While this will be presented much like a lecture, there may be an opportunity to ask some questions at the end - if you have any specific (and thoughtful) points to raise.

Hogan Lovells critical thinking test

Following the introduction, you will then be asked to take another critical thinking test. This will be similar to the Watson Glaser test that you have already taken online earlier in the application process.

This assessment is to check the results of the previous assessment, and is also used to make sure that your critical thinking ability is up to scratch so that you have the right level of skill to not only be a great lawyer, but also to deal with the rigors of the learning processes that you will come across as part of your training contract.

Informal lunch with Hogan Lovells trainees

The informal buffet-style lunch will give you an opportunity to network with the other trainees that are there, as well as have some time to meet some Hogan Lovells lawyers and partners when available.

Following lunch, you will be taken on a guided tour of Atlantic House, so you can get a real feel for where you will be working if you are successful. Through the tour, you will have more chances to meet and possibly speak to the last cohort of trainees as well as those who have already qualified.

Remember, even through these less formal parts of the day, you are being assessed by the recruitment team - so be on your best behavior and keep demonstrating why you are a great choice for the role.

Hogan Lovells commercial business exercise

This is a group exercise, where you will be working as if you are already part of the Hogan Lovells team. In your group, you will be given a case study to consider, with all the details and information that you need about a problem that a client has had. This might be something to do with commercial litigation, an issue with protecting intellectual property, or it might be a private lawsuit that they wish to bring.

As a group, you will need to work together to solve the problem - it is not a competition, but an exercise in working as a team to get the best results. While you are not expected to have detailed legal knowledge in the area that the problem is, you are being assessed in the way that you approach the problem and the consideration that is given to all different points of view.

Hogan Lovells partner interview

During the Assessment Day, you are likely to face more than one interview with senior partners or members of the recruitment team.

There are two types of interviews that you are going to have to deal with.

First, the technical interview will assess you on things like your knowledge of the legal industry, why you want to become a lawyer, and what your future plans are. In these questions, you will need to show that you are passionate about the legal sector and Hogan Lovells in particular, and that you have done your research about the business and can demonstrate why you want the training contract here.

The second type of interview will be a situational interview, where you will be evaluated on the way you deal with different issues that you might face as a lawyer or during your training. This is essentially an in-person situational judgement test, and while you might not know the correct legal processes that need to be used to solve a problem, you will be assessed on your communication, the way you prefer to work, how your behavior is at work, and other soft skills.

Some of the questions you might face include:

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • What is the biggest challenge that Hogan Lovells faces?

  • What are our competitors doing that is better than us?

  • Why do you want to work at Hogan Lovells?

  • What would you do if another trainee was behaving in a dishonest way?

Tips for passing the Hogan Lovells assessment center

what to expect at a hogan lovells assessment center

1. Prepare beforehand

The most successful candidates that get training contracts at Hogan Lovells are the ones that have demonstrated they have the research skills and general knowledge about the legal system, Hogan Lovells as a business, and the wider legal industry.

While you are not expected to be a legal expert, you do want to make sure that you have done the research about the business before you go, so that you are in a better position to answer questions and demonstrate your knowledge.

2. Be confident

Being in a new environment, with new people, can be nerve-wracking - and while the recruiters are going to be aware of this, you want to project confidence so that you seem like a better candidate.

Preparation and knowing what to expect from the day will help - and remember, you have already shown Hogan Lovells enough about yourself that they want to meet you, so you deserve the opportunity to shine at the Assessment Day

3. Willingness to learn

On the Assessment Day, one of the best things you can do is show that you are willing to learn. Take in the information that is shared with you - even if it is something as simple as someone’s name - and make reference to it later.

You are not expected to already know everything when you are in a training contract - you are, however, expected to be capable of learning.

4. It’s not a competition

While the Assessment Day is still part of the recruitment process, you should not treat it like a competition - everyone should have the same opportunities to demonstrate that they have the skills needed to be successful, and it is up to you to work as part of the team to make that happen.

Remember that there is often more than one training contract up for grabs at these sessions, so the other attendees might end up being your future colleagues.

5. Be yourself

Inclusion and diversity are key terms in all sorts of recruitment, and it is no different at Hogan Lovells. While the recruiters are looking for candidates who share the same vision and strive for the same goals by demonstrating the key values of the business, they are also looking for people from different backgrounds with different experiences, so be your authentic self.