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Do they read the rules, or just hit ‘Play Now’? Clifford Chance trials psychometric test video game

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The battle for the best wannabe lawyers intensifies

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Clifford Chance is trialling a new video game psychometric test that monitors students’ approach to various things they’re not fully cognisant about being tested on.

The game allows the magic circle firm to gain an insight into candidates based on their approach to certain choices they are asked to make, such as whether they read the rules first or just hit ‘Play Now’. Another area of assessment surrounds how persistent the students are.

Legal Cheek understands that the substantive content of the game — which hasn’t been disclosed as yet but is presumably standard video game fare — is very much secondary in the assessment process.

But it it is worth noting that the Clifford Chance vac schemers who’ve been put through their paces so far have been told in advance that the game is part of a personality assessment. The series of challenges, which have been created by a separate company that also works with several big banks and accountancy firms, has been validated according to the psychometric standards of the British Psychological Society.

We spoke to Clifford Chance this morning and the firm emphasised that the game is still in trial mode and not currently being used to assess candidates. A spokesperson commented:

There have been no changes to way we recruit our trainees. We are fully focused on finding the best quality candidates and there are many tools on the market to assist firms to do this. We are asking for feedback on a psychometric test in the form of a game, which could offer unique insight into candidates’ decision making abilities — it is not part of our current recruitment process therefore the results of the tests are for feedback purposes only and will have no impact on whether a candidate is successful.

News about the test comes less than 24 hours after Legal Cheek revealed that Clifford Chance is offering training contracts to exceptional 18-year-olds as it extends its graduate recruitment to first year law students.

Certainly, the City law graduate recruitment market is hot right now. What’s interesting is that the battle to secure the elite performing students seems to be becoming more important than bagging a high volume of solid new recruits. Indeed, last month it emerged that Clifford Chance had slashed its training contract numbers from 100 to 80.