Law Career Guide

The Assessment Framework

Every law firm will have a set of attributes and skills that they look for in a candidate. At A&O Shearman, we call this the Assessment Framework.

Here, you can access our Assessment Framework and use it to help you create a high-quality application or prepare for interviews or assessment days. 

Our top tip is to look at the framework and reflect on the attributes, thinking about if you’ve ever been in a situation where you have demonstrated evidence or potential in each one. This can be through work experience, life experience, projects you’ve been involved in or hobbies you enjoy.  If you haven’t got experience in a certain attribute, don’t worry – the scenario-based interviews are your chance to tell us how you would demonstrate an attribute if given the opportunity. 

Change Agility


You’re able to take on whatever comes your way and work effectively in changing circumstances, with new people and situations.


You anticipate and prepare for future developments, thinking of new and different ways to address current and future challenges.

Intellectual curiosity

You’re driven to grow and learn and have an enthusiasm to take advantage of opportunities where knowledge and skills can be developed.

People Agility


You build positive relationships and work effectively with others to reach desired outcomes.

Emotional intelligence

You’re great at reading people and are empathetic to others, willing to see the world through their eyes. You’re aware of your own emotions as well as other people’s.

Communication skills

You can process information and extract key points. You’re able to defend a point of view and accommodate others’ ideas into thinking.

Mental Agility

Critical thinking

You’re able to analyse, process and evaluate information from multiple sources to form judgements.


You have the mental agility to quickly learn and synthesise information as well as use existing knowledge to build a solution.


You’re numerically skilled and can understand and interpret numbers and data to support clients and the business of the firm.

Solutions Agility


You can effectively plan and prioritise work to meet deadlines while showing a strong attention to detail.

Drive and motivation

You’re proactive and motivated to complete work on time and deliver to a high standard.


You can recover from setbacks and persevere in the face of adversity. You sustain performance under pressure and when completing detailed and lengthy tasks.

Technology awareness

You’re passionate about technology, how it can be applied and how it can innovate the delivery of legal services.

Head to our ‘Assessment Days’ blog post to hear some tips and advice on what to expect and how to prepare.