My name is Shahram Nojo, and I am a future Baker McKenzie Trainee. I am currently working as a Legal & Compliance Analyst at a London based venture capital firm. Prior to this, I was an In-house Commercial & Capital Markets Paralegal at a listed fin-tech company. I completed the fast-track GDL and LPC at BPP Law School and hold a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Warwick.
I decided to train at Baker McKenzie after completing a work placement at the firm’s London office, where I witnessed first-hand Baker McKenzie’s unmatched commitment to diversity and inclusion. I also decided to join Baker McKenzie because of the firm’s genuine global reach and stellar international reputation.
What does critical thinking mean to me and why is it important?
The aim of critical thinking is to make (or improve the probability of making) good decisions. Whether that means checking one’s inherent bias before making a judgement or ensuring one’s argument is justified with good rational. People who exercise critical thinking in their everyday life will be more likely to make good decisions than those who carelessly make choices based on unchecked assumptions and unbalanced information.
Exercising and continuing to improve critical thinking skills is necessary for a career in law. Clients rely on their counsel’s ability to diligently interpret complex information in order to offer sound legal advice. It is also important that lawyers are capable of making appropriate assumptions and are able to carefully analyse arguments when advising on a deal or dispute. In addition to having a successful legal career, exercising critical thinking skills is an important life skill.
How did I prepare for my critical thinking test as part of the Baker McKenzie application process?
I will focus on the Watson Glaser critical thinking test, but applicants should remember to also prepare for the psychometric test as part of the Baker McKenzie recruitment process.
My preparation for the critical thinking test mainly involved completing example test papers for around two weeks before the assessment day. By completing example test papers and studying solution booklets, I was able to quickly recognise which of the five units of the Watson Glaser critical thinking test (Assumptions, Analysing Arguments, Deductions, Inferences, and Interpreting Information) I excelled at, and which ones I needed to restudy. With this information in mind, I spent most of my time focusing on the areas that I needed to work on to pass the test.
What advice would I give to anyone preparing to sit the Watson Glaser critical thinking test?
I recommend applicants treat the Watson Glaser critical thinking test like any other examination; by spending a reasonable amount of time learning the subject areas and practicing example test papers.
There is a lot of good information online on this topic, and I think applicants would benefit from spending some time learning about the differences between the five Watson Glaser critical thinking test units. Equally, I think applicants should spend the bulk of their time practicing example test papers, as this will allow them to apply their knowledge and gain the necessary skills to pass the test on the assessment day.
Shahram Nojo, future Trainee at Baker McKenzie.