‘Cosmic Cadet’: Taylor Wessing embraces new space-themed computer game to assess training contract hopefuls

Clifford Chance and Dentons considering doing the same


City law firm Taylor Wessing has embraced a new space-themed video game designed to assess the character traits of its training contract hopefuls.

In a break from more traditional graduate recruitment methods, the firm has teamed up with gaming technology outfit Arctic Shores to roll out ‘Cosmic Cadet’ (pictured above and below).

According to the game’s creators, the sci-fi style tool will examine candidates’ aptitude, thinking style, interpersonal skills and ability to deliver results. Taking 25 minutes to complete, wannabe lawyers have to collect stars while navigating through six different levels.

Speaking to Legal Cheek, Sarah Harte — graduate talent manager at Taylor Wessing — said:

Game-based assessments have been successfully deployed by a number of leading organisations in other industries. As a firm we use technology to enhance the candidate experience and explore new methods to identify our high-potential recruits, we find this is an excellent way to strengthen our diverse and inclusive culture.

Stressing that the new tool is designed to support rather than replace the current assessment methods, Harte continued:

We will be leading on this new innovative approach in the legal market and are the first in the sector to have integrated it into our processes for the recruitment of London training contract positions only.


Taylor Wessing — which performed well in Legal Cheek’s Trainee & Junior Lawyer Survey — will use the new tool as part of its selection process for training contracts due to commence in 2020. With aspiring lawyers usually snapped up two years in advance, the firm has revealed the game will be formally introduced in October this year.

But the top-rated technology practice isn’t alone. Legal Cheek understands that magic circle outfit Clifford Chance and global behemoth Dentons are both considering adopting the recruitment game too.

Clifford Chance tested the game out on last year’s summer vacation schemers, while Dentons — the largest law firm in the world by lawyer headcount — kicked off a two-month pilot of the tool back in December in its Dubai office.

So aspiring City lawyers better brush up on their gaming skills if they want to bag themselves a training contract.

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Not Amused

Eventually someone will notice that this rubbish is just a job justification/creation scheme for HR.


The decision to use this “rubbish” rarely come from HR. Often it is the partners that see their clients are using these tools to recruit their graduates, and turn to HR and tell them to do the same.

Not everyone lives in the dark ages like you NA. It might not be your cup of tea, but some who have only known the digital world like this kind of rubbish.


I do agree it is very much partner led. the issue is the products are nonsense – they have bias towards people who play these types of games and the science behind them is very dodgy, usually only tested on a group of 200-500 people.


The issue I have with these games is that they do not portray anything about the actual working life in a law firm.They try to present the firm to be “innovative” or “forward thinking”, so to try and differentiate themselves against a whole load of firms that just look and sound the same. People are then recruited, in part, using these tools, and then they join a firm that has exceptionally poor IT systems and where there is a complete lack of innovative digital technology used.

These games are great for some industries, but law is probably one of those that is least suited to this type of assessment.

Legal Aid Lawyer

OMG, I’ve often thought that some of the MC aspiring trainees I’ve encountered over the years were space cadets… Turns out I was right…

CC Partner

Hmm, you’ve just given me an idea for a pool-based game we could develop…


As someone in HR i have noticed this is rubbish and is just a job justification/creation scheme

Chris Grayling's Bald Head

I’m really good at killing prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto, does this mean I’m Taylor Wessing partner material?


This game looks like a Windows 95 game, it would be better just to use CS:GO or GTA V if they’re so intent on using games to appeal to the yoof


There’s a new game out they could try on their trainees.

The player is a novice who has to do a lot of difficult puzzle tasks to get through the first round. Then they have a sort of quiz-based boss fight with a panel of ‘sentries’. If they score highly enough they get through to the main game. But before the main game starts all the bosses run away and the player is left alone without any credits or toilet paper.

It’s called ‘KWM – Administration Wars’.

KWM Associate, currently getting blotto at the Oyster Shed

This is epic bantz, all the lads in the team are loving it.

Jones Day partner

I’m all for embracing our training contract hopefuls. I also have a joystick they can play with.


How will candidates with visual impairments or issues with hand and arm mobility cope with these new tests? Has anyone in their D&I departments considered the implications for candidates with certain disabilities who would not be able to complete the tests?


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