Embarking on a career in law is an exciting and challenging endeavour, and securing a training contract with a prestigious firm like Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP can be a game-changer. As you take your first steps towards this goal, it is essential to familiarise yourself with the selection process, particularly the Watson Glaser test. 

About Freshfields

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (Freshfields) is a renowned ‘magic circle‘ law firm based in London. It was established in 2000 through the merger of Freshfields, a prominent London law firm, and two leading European law firms – Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund and Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Löber. Today, Freshfields is recognized as one of the oldest and most prestigious law firms worldwide.

With over 2,000 lawyers spread across 28 offices, Freshfields attracts a highly talented pool of applicants, making the competition intense. As an aspiring candidate, it is crucial to dedicate time and effort to ensure that your application stands out for all the right reasons. It is worth noting that Freshfields receives an average of more than 30 applications for each available training contract place.

As a client-focused global enterprise, Freshfields aims to contribute to the success of its clients and the communities in which it operates. The firm offers comprehensive services that assist businesses in their growth, provide defence, and navigate regulatory landscapes. The areas of work at Freshfields primarily encompass three key domains: transactional, regulatory, and risk.

To stand out amidst fierce competition, aspiring candidates must invest the necessary effort into crafting compelling applications that align with Freshfields’ values and demonstrate their unique qualifications and potential.

Freshfields Application Process

Freshfields’ application process comprises six distinct stages, applicable to both trainees and candidates for vacation placements. These steps are as follows:

  • Application Form
  • Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test
  • Half-Day Assessment
  • Written Exercise
  • General Interview
  • Analytical Interview

Throughout these stages, Freshfields meticulously evaluates applicants, assessing their qualifications, critical thinking skills, written communication abilities, and suitability for a legal career. Successful navigation of each step will bring you closer to securing a coveted position within the firm.

The Watson Glaser Test

The Watson Glaser test holds a pivotal role as the second and highly significant stage in Freshfields’ selection process. This widely utilised psychometric assessment serves to gauge candidates’ critical thinking abilities, encompassing key areas such as decision making, problem solving, planning, and strategic thinking.

Freshfields places immense value on strong critical thinking skills, making the Watson Glaser test an essential component of their evaluation process. Candidates are measured against the RED model of critical thinking, which encompasses three fundamental aspects: recognizing assumptions, evaluating arguments, and drawing suitable conclusions based on the evidence at hand.

Recognising Assumptions

The first component, recognising assumptions, tests your ability to identify underlying beliefs or premises within a given scenario or statement. This skill is crucial in discerning the implicit assumptions that can influence the validity of an argument. 

Evaluating Arguments

The second component, evaluating arguments, assesses your capacity to assess the strength, validity, and logical coherence of various arguments presented. This involves critically analysing the evidence, reasoning, and supporting claims to determine the overall merit of each argument.

Drawing Conclusions

The third component, drawing appropriate conclusions based on available evidence, evaluates your ability to derive logical and sound conclusions from the information provided. This requires synthesising and evaluating the evidence, recognizing patterns, and making informed judgments.

By employing the Watson Glaser test, Freshfields seeks to identify candidates who possess exceptional critical thinking skills necessary for success in the legal profession. It serves as a tool to assess your ability to approach complex legal scenarios, analyse information effectively, and make informed decisions based on available evidence.

Preparing for the Watson Glaser test is crucial to perform well in this assessment. Familiarising yourself with the test format, practising sample questions, and honing your critical thinking abilities are essential steps to increase your chances of success.

By investing time and effort in preparation, you can demonstrate your aptitude for critical thinking and enhance your overall candidacy for a training contract at Freshfields.


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What To Expect

The Watson Glaser test administered by Freshfields typically consists of approximately 40 multiple-choice questions. You will be given a time limit of around 30 minutes to answer these questions.

Each question will present you with statements or scenarios that require you to evaluate the strength of arguments, recognize underlying assumptions, draw logical conclusions, and assess the overall merit of the information provided.

It is essential to read each question and response option carefully to make well-informed choices.

This critical thinking test is designed to assess your aptitude in five key areas crucial to the work of a lawyer:

  • Critical Thinking: Your ability to think analytically and logically in order to assess complex situations and problems.
  • Drawing Conclusions: Your capacity to derive logical and well-founded conclusions based on the information presented.
  • Assessing The Strength Of An Argument: Your skill in evaluating the strength or weakness of arguments by considering the evidence, reasoning, and supporting claims.
  • Recognising Assumptions: Your aptitude to identify underlying assumptions or presuppositions that influence the validity of an argument or statement.
  • Evaluating Arguments: Your capability to critically analyse arguments, considering their soundness, validity, and coherence.

Answers in the Watson Glaser test are in a multiple-choice format, requiring you to select the most appropriate response from the given options.

Some questions may ask you to determine which option is most or least likely, while others may require you to assess the truth or falsity of a statement.

Additionally, you may be presented with a list of possible conclusions and asked to choose the most appropriate one based on the provided information.

It is important to note that the test is conducted online from the comfort of your own location. The time limit and multiple-choice format necessitate efficient decision-making and effective time management during the assessment.

To perform well in the Watson Glaser test, it is recommended that you familiarise yourself with the test format, practice sample questions, and enhance your critical thinking skills.

By honing your ability to evaluate arguments, recognize assumptions, and draw logical conclusions, you can increase your chances of success in this crucial stage of the Freshfields selection process.


Preparing for the Watson Glaser Test

Preparing for the Watson Glaser test is essential to ensure you perform at your best. Familiarising yourself with the test format and practising sample questions can significantly enhance your critical thinking skills and increase your confidence.

To aid in your preparation, there are numerous online resources available that offer practice tests and guidance specifically tailored for the Watson Glaser test.

Watson Glaser Test Resources

The Lawyer Portal

We provide a variety of free practice tests and sample questions for the Watson Glaser test. These resources can help you become familiar with the types of questions you may encounter and allow you to assess your strengths and weaknesses in critical thinking.


Another valuable resource is the Freshfields website, which offers comprehensive information on the Watson Glaser test. You can also access their practice test which gives you an idea of what to expect on the day of the actual test.

The Watson Glaser Website

Additionally, the Watson Glaser website itself offers a range of resources to help you prepare. They provide information about the test, sample questions, and a guide to interpreting your results. Exploring these resources can give you valuable insights into the test structure and criteria used for evaluation.

Job Test Prep

Specialists in psychometric testing preparation, Job Test Prep offers a diagnostic Watson Glaser test, 20+ further practice tests and five interactive study guides.

By utilising these online resources, you can effectively prepare for the Watson Glaser test, sharpen your critical thinking skills, and become more comfortable with the test format.

Remember to practise regularly, analyse your performance, and learn from any mistakes to continuously improve.

What Score Do I Need?

While there is no specific passing score for the Watson Glaser test at Freshfields, it is essential to strive for a high score to stand out among the competitive pool of applicants.

Your performance on the test will be evaluated alongside other assessment components, such as the application form, written exercise, and interviews.

Aim to demonstrate your critical thinking skills consistently throughout the selection process to increase your chances of securing a training contract.

Key Takeaways

Mastering the Watson Glaser test is crucial for aspiring candidates seeking a training contract at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. With the firm’s emphasis on critical thinking skills, excelling in this test can significantly enhance your chances of being accepted into this prestigious law firm.

Throughout the application process, which consists of multiple stages including the Watson Glaser test, Freshfields thoroughly evaluates candidates’ qualifications, critical thinking abilities, and suitability for a legal career.

It is vital to invest time and effort in preparing for the Watson Glaser test to showcase your analytical and logical thinking, as well as your ability to evaluate arguments, recognize assumptions, and draw appropriate conclusions based on evidence.


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