How Law Firms Choose from Potential Candidates


Law firms have high turnover rates, and the National Association of Legal Professionals found that 15% of entry-level associates and 20% of lateral associates leave their jobs each year. The high rate of turnover requires law firms to choose potential candidates that produce high-quality work and stay in their positions longer.

Law firms are turning to testing in an effort to choose these ideal candidates.

Assessments Tests

Assessment tests are starting to be used by the world's largest corporations. Assessments can last two-to-three days at the most, and will help firms better place associates. These tests will determine a person's:

  • Strengths

  • Weaknesses

Law schools are also incorporating assessments into the mix to help assist students in choosing the right career paths. Columbia University, Yale and Boston College are just a few of the top law schools that require their students to take an assessment test.

The majority of firms do not include assessment tests in their requirements when hiring, but hiring managers are pushing for assessment tests to help retain employees.

Watson Glaser Test

The length of time it takes to fully conduct an assessment test is a drawback for many firms.  But the Watson Glaser Test is shorter in length and a go-to option for many firms. This test will be able to look at a person's critical thinking skills and better be able to place them in a position where they can excel.

A reliable test used by law firms, tech companies and businesses around the world, the test can be administered in 30 minutes to determine how a potential hire performs under pressure.

There is a Watson Glaser Test practice that firms may give to their potential hires before they come in for interviews to prepare for the test. The test allows firms to be able to test the person's ability to:

  • Interpret arguments

  • Come to conclusions

  • Evaluate arguments

  • Recognize assumptions

Deductions are also part of the test, so it's a thorough test of critical thinking skills that all new associates need to succeed in a firm. 

Additional Hiring Tactics

Testing and assessments aren't the only ways for firms to be able to hire the right candidates. Firms are also choosing to:

  • Hire someone that they know personally that will be a good fit for the position

  • Hire someone that someone else knows

  • Hire from law school career offices

A lot of firms have very close relationships with law schools, and these relationships will allow a firm to be able to hire the best students. When seeking out younger employees, it's possible to target graduates from a particular school that is known for producing high-end lawyers. 

Schools have an interest in placing students, too.

When a school can place students at a high rate, it encourages other students to enroll. Firms will leverage this knowledge and work to increase a school's placement rate at the firm's benefit of being able to hire new graduates who have exceptional academics and recommendations.

Career offices will also help firms find interns, who may turn into long-term employees.

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