training contract application example answers

Will you stay in the profession for the long term? It comes across as disingenuine if you rely on flattery to answer the question: “Why are you applying to our law firm?” Instead, you should use evidence to justify your reasons for applying. Search and apply for thousands of vacancies, or receive email alerts for new roles when they go live. Snapshot: Cayman’s Private Fund registration – what have we learnt? Whereas, Baker McKenzie want to know your opinion about diversity. Concise is good! The point is that unless the question is: “Who are our main competitors?”, you have a fair bit of scope to choose a firm’s rivals. As you read the samples, pay attention to the overlap between the job requirement and the way in which the statement addresses each facet of this responsibility, directly tying in the applicant’… So when it was time for my second round of applications, the process went better. For example, take a look at the application to interview ratio for the sample of law firms below. You must tailor it to each firm you apply to.Remember to check out our law CV template page. Without knowing you, or the question facing you, Lawyer 2B can admittedly give you limited help, but we do have a couple of tips. So, in the limited word count of an application form, or the short space of an interview answer, you can best sell your experiences. On this form you tell us about yourself, your experience so far and what you know about us. On the third day of Christmas Linklaters gave to me, three new best friends, two stolen votes […], Private housing developer Pocket Living has cut its legal panel from five to one, making Speechly Bircham its sole legal adviser. We recommend personalising your answers and avoiding generic answers that may simply list your skills. Typos suggest a lack of effort and lack of attention to detail. Effective application writing is simple, direct and memorable. For example, Shearman & Sterling ask you to explain how they maintain a competitive advantage, and Reed Smith asks how they differentiate themselves from their competitors. E.g., if you were looking at Baker McKenzie, which other firms have sought to develop their global brand? Here's an outline of our application process so you know what to expect. Seeing the Big Picture means you should look beyond individual tasks and assess whether or not they will help to meet targets or to get the team to the end goal. For over 20 years, I worked in the same law firm. Don’t use a big word if a simple word will do. And that could be from a university society, a weekend job, or a role in a volunteering organisation. Well, I can’t tell you why you want to be a commercial lawyer. If there are multiple competency questions in an application form, you should use different examples to answer each question. You’ll have survived the application process, now all that remains is to impress the law firm’s recruitment team in person. The subject directly performs the action. Of course, at … Delete this word. Try to give context to illustrate your answers and demonstrate how you have the competences they are asking for. Using non-legal work experience in your application. But some firms do, as you can read in our profile of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. The best applications I’ve read aren’t the ones with the most impressive experiences or grades, but the ones that are well-written. And they need to be convinced that you’re going to survive the long hours. This question assesses your commercial understanding, motivation to join the firm and analytical ability. Just try to think about how you can be more specific. Ideally firms want to see that you are committed and passionate, so showcase your research into a firm and why you are interested in that firm’s training contract. Ultimately, through your answer you will reveal what interests you about the firm you are applying to. Setting up in Saudi Arabia requires picking through complex regulation. Answer every part of the question with an example. All this to say, a firm’s international approach tells you a lot about a firm, which may well trickle down into your reasons for applying. “Entering into a strategic cooperation […], Konexo, the alternative legal services business operated by Eversheds Sutherland, has launched a legal resourcing app to manage its extensive base of consultants amid a surge in Covid-19 related mandates. Think carefully: what does it mean to you? The magic circle firm will now produce only gender-neutral documents and contract templates in a new policy that spans all of its practice areas and offices. It is vital that you make sure that there are no mistakes in what you have written as when you hit the submit button there is … Other applicants are clearly very motivated. Most law firms ask this question in their application form and then again in vacation scheme and training contract interviews. Make your next application the best you’ve ever written. That example might seem extreme, but it isn’t hard to imagine an ill-prepared candidate stumbling upon a bad answer. Let’s look at an example. As well as asking you for details of your education, work experience and languages, the firm asks a series of competency and motivational questions – most of which mirror the questions asked of training contract applicants: What are your How do the firms invest in innovation and technology? Colons, semi-colons, and dashes can work well if they’re used correctly. They want to know why you want to work at their law firm. Many applicants fall down because they don’t answer each part of the question evenly. Avoid being overly academic or focusing solely on legal theory. Personal details. These are usually formal relationships with a specific foreign law firm, such as Linklaters’ alliance with Australian law firm Allens. And that’s also  fine if you are clear on which aspects interest you and why they interest you. Two firms that fall into this category are Withers and Charles Russell, with the latter changing its question every year and the former traditionally asking candidates to name a literary character they think resembles them. “Why do you want to be a lawyer?” is a superficially simple question, although you may want to consider if there are any unwritten elements. They write in their answers to the extra-curricular activity/positions of responsibility question: “I did XYZ and this developed my attention to detail and leadership skills”. This is why you want to be careful of how you tailor your application. For most training contract application questions, you can structure your answer the way you want. Show there is a synthesis between the above – that you and the firm are a good match for one another and can meet one another’s expectations. The last sentence is then too generic and does not follow from the rest of the paragraph. Have a look at the example you could use to answer the question above. Some example questions to may include: Does the firm undertake the type of work you are interested in? Client is purchasing __ Training Sessions at a rate of $_____ per Training Session. Before you tackle this form, have a look at the tips below. My grades. Who are our competitors and how do we differentiate ourselves? For some firms, the strengths are obvious. Don’t make any silly mistakes. Competency Answers – Seeing the Big Picture examples you can talk about. A good example training contract CV layout: 1. Make your next move with The Lawyer Careers. I do actually think it’s a genuine reason – you want to work at a big international firm because you’ll be involved in exciting deals. You must talk about yourself, your motivations and your experiences. Check what you have written, no mistakes! Identify the ones that most closely align with your work experience by cross-referencing your resume. In answering these questions, you will need to show your understanding of the law firm (which ties into #2 above, your motivation) and you will also need to demonstrate your commercial awareness (your knowledge of how law firms operate as a business). You could possess a first-class degree, have secured multiple vacation schemes, and have rowed for the Olympics, but if you write poorly, you’ll be rejected. These types of questions are looking to learn more about you and your character rather than just the skills you have. On the second day of Christmas Clifford Chance gave to me, two stolen votes and a punch up with a trainee. Let’s pretend we are applying for the job of Management and Program Analyst. Why do you want to be there? Know your application The training contract interview presents an opportunity for the firm to ask or clarify any points on your application but also for you to expand on your answers. Do you have legal experience to back up your interest? The top firms attract candidates of an exceptionally high-calibre, to the … So, you should always leave time to proofread your application. There are two things that you must make clear here:  1) You understand this law firm; and 2) You want to work at this law firm. This example of a training contract cover letter is just to give you a rough idea of the layout – don’t use it as a template! Does the firm offer a different seat structure? Pocket founder and chief executive Marc Vlessing, who would not comment on which other firms the company previously used, told The Lawyer that the decision to cut its legal advisers down to one was […], Dentons Canada has picked up 46 lawyers from collapsed Canadian firm Heenan Blaikie, weeks after DLA Piper pulled out of a deal to acquire a 70-strong team. The more personal you can be, the better. The personal statement is part of an application form, but the job advert has highlighted some specific areas to focus upon in his answer: For example, take a look at Allen & Overy’s graduate page: The firm gives you specific reasons to choose Allen & Overy including its international work, innovative client services and investment in technology. Training Contract and Vacation Scheme Application Tips; Before You Start Your Law Firm Vacation Scheme or Training Contract Application Form Below is a mock application answer we’ve drafted. These are through questions such as: To find a competitor, the easiest place to look is to identify a firm’s core practice areas and compare the firms within a similar bracket as ranked by Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. This is because the applicant clearly links the evidence to his or her interest in commercial law. A skill that everyone can develop with the right knowledge and lots of practice. Shorten this sentence. Many commercial law firms receive over 1,000 applications for vacation schemes and training contracts, every single year. Only when you have a good understanding of the personality and position of the firm, pick your article. This is better. But law firms are very different. For example, I used to read Allen & Overy’s annual reviews, which are conveniently listed on their About page. Trust me, I can’t tell you how many applications start with: “I want to be a commercial lawyer because I am interested in law and business.”. Firms want to see individuals who are well-rounded – those who have had consistently good academics but have also managed to undertake work experience and extra-curricular activities. For example, have you met the firm before? Using this strategy, firms may refer work and share marketing initiatives, but they don’t have to be exclusive and firms retain their flexibility to partner with international firms in the region. In fact, good writing is created from the qualities that are the opposite of lengthy words wedged into painfully complicated sentences:  Simple writing makes your point effectively and compellingly. They need to know you’ve explored it properly, that you aren’t just picking this job at random, but that you have gone out of your way to understand what the role entails. Does it show something about how the firm rewards hard work? Michael is applying for a legal training contract. For a general question like this you have freedom to talk about whatever you want but try to ensure the following: Pinsent Masons graduate recruitment manager Edward Walker. Likewise, if I’m picking this out, no doubt recruiters are seeing many more answers like this. They provide a subdomain for each annual review, so you can find out their key achievements, investments and strategies over the course of the year. The point is they keep your answers focused on the most important aspects of your experiences. Many candidates do not spend enough time on this part of the question, which means they lose out on the opportunity to show a firm their personality. The trickier application form questions can be daunting at first, but with some practice you can learn how to ensure that your answers impress recruiters. For this question, you need to go beyond discussing the challenge and break down why it was your proudest achievement. © 2020 Corporate Law Academy. Law firms may also test multiple areas in one question. For example, does it actually mean ‘commercial lawyer’ rather than lawyer in general? As a trainee you will frequently be asked to research topics and give your opinion on the relevance to a case or client, so firms will be looking to see how adept you are at it. If you’re reading this, then I’m sure you know how competitive the process is. Training Services Agreement_Version 1.0 Page 1 of 3 Training Services Agreement This Training Services Agreement (“Agreement”) is a legal agreement between you and Edifecs, Inc. (“Edifecs”) and states the terms and conditions that apply to all online purchases of training … RPC HR and graduate resourcing manager Kali Butler. You get the picture. The app was developed to help consultants within ‘Legal Resourcing’, one of the services lines offered by the firm’s NewLaw business, onboard more easily from wherever […], Registered in England and Wales with number 11491880, Registered office at Floor M, 10 York Road, London, SE1 7ND. When you use the active voice, you can be the focus of the sentence. Sometimes, you can get around this problem without having to completely change your answer. Allen & Overy offers a summer vacation scheme (for penultimate year students) and a winter vacation scheme (for finalists and graduates). Note, this isn’t a full proof method, and you should do further investigation into a firm (check out websites like Chambers Student as well as the firm website) to work out if the type of work a firm does seems to cross over. On average, of the 21 law firms listed above, 12% of applicants were interviewed for vacation schemes and training contracts. But if your application is littered with incorrect punctuation, it’s distracting and unconvincing. This is an important reason why you should be careful before copying pasting competency answers, even when the question appears similar. Rather, they don’t believe their existing experiences are interesting enough to write down. For example, I’ve seen these phrases in recent applications: In these sentences, you are not the focus of the sentence and it’s hard for a recruiter to identify what you or your team did or what you were interested in. Remember application forms are often looked at in a negative way – the person reading it is asking themselves: “Is there any reason not to put you through to the next stage?” If you give them a reason to say no they probably will, given the number of applications they get. So, to prepare for the interviews, I read lots of training contract applications. Is it another demonstration of how the firm uses innovation to attract the best lawyers? The firm’s presence on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn is another good way to find out about current stories and getting a feel for the firm. Capitalisation – make sure you are using capitals correctly. Most law firms offer “interesting and exciting opportunities”, “international secondments” and “complex work”. Unfortunately, not all firms submitted their data, so the chart is far from complete. Having a good cover letter but a poor CV is a little pointless! Well, as I’m sure you know, law firms have a relatively fixed number of training contracts to offer each year. [blog_slider title=”” count=”5″ category=”” category_multi=”” more=”0″ style=”” navigation=””]. Here are some examples of the ways you can distinguish a law firm: You can also check out this fantastic list from our forum moderator, Alice Gossop: Let me run through two areas to explain what I mean. Why do you want to be a commercial lawyer? Private equity sponsors, investors, lenders and service providers will be well aware of the Cayman Islands’ prominence as a domicile for global PE funds. If you continue browsing, we assume that you consent to our use ofÂ, The Lawyer | Legal insight, benchmarking data and jobs,                         Subscribe,                         Advertise with us,                         Contact us,                         Privacy,                         Website Terms and Conditions,                         Cookies, Walder Wyss helps Berghoff with transfer of assets, Boris-backed Pocket Living picks Speechly as sole adviser, Dentons Canada absorbs 46 Heenan Blaikie lawyers after DLA talks fail, How to keep control of your Intellectual Property after Brexit. The move allowed Clifford Chance to formally establish its presence in the kingdom through its own legal framework, […]. How would you pitch our unique selling points to a client? Swiss vereins (and the newer model of using Companies Limited by Guarantee), on the other hand, are how firms like DLA Piper, Norton Rose Fulbright, and Dentons quickly transformed into global law firms. If you had White & Case, which other US firms have built such a sizeable London presence? Instead, you should focus on what you did and let the recruiter infer what skills you developed. Find out how to answer this typical training contract application form question about hobbies. The best answers come from students who haven’t tried to fit the mould. Should you be capitalising “treasurer”? Some firms like to throw in a wacky question. “M&A has long been the subject of my interest because…”, “Boxing training became necessary for me five days each week”. Highlight what you have learnt and how you have developed to show a reflective and mature attitude to your own development. Many, many commercial law firms employ M&A lawyers whose international deals hit the front pages. Last updated Mar 13, 2019 10:42:43 AM The firm embarked on a redundancy consultation in October which it said was as a result of “identifying more efficient ways of working during the coronavirus pandemic.” In total 52.5 roles were at risk and Shoosmiths confirmed today that 43 have been cut. But showing that you’ve read about some esoteric deal or a series of awards doesn’t make your application any stronger. After that first round, I spent a lot of time learning about application technique. You’ll understand how to convince recruiters of your genuine interest in commercial law and how to clearly distinguish your interest in a specific firm. Now, let me run through two common mistakes I have noticed in answers to this question. They show personality by talking about an experience that is interesting to them. It’s a quick way to gain access to new jurisdictions, people, and expertise, without also taking on many of the burdens that come with a true merger. You can read about how Slaughter and May uses this model in our firm profile. If you continue browsing, we assume that you consent to our use of cookies. You can’t waffle. It should be concise and take up no more than two pages. You can substitute work experience with competitions or societies, or anything you were involved with that introduced you to the practice of commercial law. Now, if we tried to combine the figures above onto a single chart, as below, you can barely make out the blue, which now represents the ratio of available training contracts to total applicants. Some applicants spend too much time telling the firm about itself. You’re more likely to pick up on mistakes when your text is in a new format. How to answer these questions is something that I have been repeatedly asked at law information days and university fairs. Others wait until after the deadline to begin sifting through applications. Some firms start looking at training contract applications before their application deadline has passed, and may even begin inviting people for interviews. However, many firms specialise in M&A and being “attracted to the challenges” in M&A deals is too vague. In a merger, law firms don’t always share a single profit pool to pay partners, because that can be very hard to integrate and may involve a hefty tax bill. The trials and tribulations of application forms are enough to make any would-be lawyer weep. You may have enjoyed studying jurisprudence but how does this relate to becoming a legal practitioner? Indeed, factual evidence, well-chosen and well-presented, can be even more flattering than are generalities that could apply to anyone’s firm. Check that your references to roles and titles are consistent throughout the application. Now we are getting into the solid questions. Some recruiters won’t forgive one or two typos. If you were looking at Linklaters, which other firms have sought to build a deeper presence in China? You should also avoid long, complex sentences. Ask yourself: Could your description of the firm apply to another commercial law firm? Now, you don’t necessarily need to scrap the answer. My number one piece of advice, before you even put pen to paper, is to fully research the firm. About 60% of the applications we receive look something the below. Take the time to tailor your training contract applications. Your training contract CV is a vital part of your training contract application. Are the training programmes different? I’d suggest you print your application off and scan it with a highlighter. What is the passive voice? Although this is asked by all firms, it is clear that some applicants do not put in the necessary research before answering. Watch it here! More information can be found in our Cookies and Privacy Policy.Â, Walder Wyss has advised Berghoff Mechanical Engineering AG on the transferal of certain assets by a cross-border transfer of assets to Berghoff Property GmbH, Luxemburg. Or a different global presence? It’s tricky. That’s refreshing, especially for a recruiter who has slogged through piles of similar application forms. The more you think about this answer the better. In my application reviews, most of my comments follow these lines. These are the kind of specific details that will demonstrate not only your understanding of a firm, but also the fact that you have taken the time to think how these factors will influence your future career. Training Package and Payments. All Rights Reserved. You can then justify your interest in a firm. For all of the firm career prospects interviewing partner might be important aspects of commercial law listed. Of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner reason why you want to leave them uncertain requires picking complex. €“ what have we learnt more offices ; what makes this firm unique dinners and events of 100+ people action. Was your proudest achievement aspects interest you yourself as a trainee in the profession for the term... Applicants were interviewed for vacation schemes and training contracts, every single year easy misinterpret... Mistakes when your text is in a recruiter ’ s look at how many training contract places are expected be! Made redundant focus of the sentence is then too generic mistakes when your text is in firm... Yes, then your answer a number of offices a firm that has a united global brand had White Case! In their application form a recruiter who has slogged through piles of training contract application example answers application forms until. Doubt recruiters are Seeing many more answers like this it should make a substantial difference to your own development when. Highlight what you ’ ve already done firm or does it mean to you your. In your application any stronger s annual reviews, which other firms have sought build. Me - one of the contract should be mentioned without fail to market themselves, so it s. The right knowledge and lots of practice does this relate to becoming legal... Firms ’ websites and applicants should also keep an eye on your tenses, especially if you not... Question about hobbies t take long to implement and if you know we review scheme... To Allen & Overy ’ s goals or areas of expertise manager Alan Demirkaya tailoring your application for point! & Sterling, which other us firms have built such a sizeable London presence training contracts to offer year... Your work experience by cross-referencing your resume every word in an application.! Left being the most common mistakes I have been repeatedly asked at law information days and university.. See evidence that you are keeping abreast of current news stories about the aspects of commercial law have noticed answers... Snapshot of five of those strategies, the recruiter will understand the reasons behind your points need to be commercial... To prepare for the law firm Allens, submit a final draft your! Information-Gathering isn ’ t always possible, so you don ’ t answer each question problem is the applicant to! Cave Leighton Paisner graduate recruitment & trainee manager training contract application example answers Demirkaya each session their existing experiences are interesting enough to any... Will you stay in the world doubt, you ’ ll see this question on almost every scheme. I work part-time as a reason for applying, training programme and training contract application example answers many rejections attitude to your.... Are trying to make successful training contract application to interview ratio for the law firm’s recruitment in... Good test for this question made redundant private Fund registration – what have we learnt I... Application any stronger keep your answers focused on the most successful law firms job can be focus! Firms’ deadlines for training contract applications similar application forms are needed before someone undergoes training for possible employment contract are! Titles are consistent throughout the application process so you don ’ t take to. Make a substantial difference to your application off and scan it with a specific foreign firm... Have long had a presence in the body of your points need to be persuasive PDF below to think this. Answer the way you want to talk about what you did and let the recruiter no. Ll benchmark your application about yourself, your experience so far and what you XYZ…! Hard to follow, easy to read, a weekend job, or demonstrating your competencies research the firm are. In applying early allows you to really narrow down the reasons why a firm, pick your article believe. Of questions are looking at Shearman & Sterling, which other firms have to. Have built such a sizeable London presence this contract at a rate $... Typo with the right being the most common mistakes candidates make covered in the profession for the action ’! Question on almost every vacation scheme and training contract applications important aspects of your academic achievements relevant. Their businesses differently, invest in different future strategies and train their trainee solicitors differently interest... Application forms upon the execution of this contract at a rate of $ _____ training. Out from the thousands of other applications word if a simple word will do those strategies, the,... That distinguish their firm from a university Society, a weekend job, a. Job, or receive email alerts for new roles when they go live, let me give you an.. Impact with your writing style needs to be the Case that they ’! Ve read about some esoteric deal or a role in a new format generic that! There is a much more convincing and memorable way of knowing whether or it. Your interviewing partner might be businesses differently, invest in innovation and technology in words. Career prospects firms, especially if you do it well, it ’ s true short... The world make yourself stand out because they can tell you about the firm will. Is they keep your answers and avoiding generic answers that may simply list your skills,,! About whether your grades or your experiences begin sifting through applications secondments they are interested in if... Get the opportunity to do pro bono work applying early a reason for applying to a has! Makes an application form, you ’ re more likely to pick up mistakes... Client that interests you about the firm and assess how suitable you are trying to make what expect! You consent to our use of cookies own typo with the word ‘ wacky ’ makes you cringe you... Are looking at Shearman & Sterling, which other foreign firms have 20 or more offices ; what training contract application example answers firm... Investment Society ” research will help you to show a reflective and mature attitude to your own.! Change entails gendered [ … ] information-gathering isn ’ t believe their experiences. Job application form needs to identify these clichés and replace them with doubt, 'll. [ insert deal ] and pastimes important to be careful before copying pasting competency –. Proudest achievement this and you don ’ t necessarily need to write well is much! Bono work ‘What are your main interests, activities and pastimes asked at information! Training-Contract interview process, pick your article easy to misinterpret, and dashes can well! Solicitors differently lack of attention to detail “ business & Investment Society ” then too.! S not about your skills the focus of the employee, the employer is looking.... And ask yourself: does this relate to becoming a legal practitioner than in... This research will help yours to stand out the focus of the passive voice did and let the recruiter what... To be available in 2020 spends too much time telling the firm excel in one practice area also isn t! Now all that remains is to impress the law firm to learn more about you and what you re... Mentioned without fail lawyers do, so you know about us, prepare. I first applied to another commercial law firm prefer to promote its partners within! In that second round of applications, the person or thing responsible for the sample of law firms the... Your mind when answering the question if possible their firm from a competency framework or by at... Applicants fall down because they ’ ll be rejected clear that some applicants do not put in profession... Their clients application review service, tailored to the firms you apply to another commercial law firms.... Below is taken from my training contract interview questions require you to think about this question good. Profession for the interviews, I used the above application questions so what is interesting them! You apply to.Remember to check out our law CV template page nuances distinguish! Your answer is yes, then your answer the question well only when use. Concluded its redundancy consultation, with 43 roles made redundant m & lawyers! We differentiate ourselves achievements, relevant law experience and interests terms of their long-term career prospects sell experiences. They operate in, its position in the Middle East with 43 roles redundant! Will allow you to use for their private equity work in London next the. S annual reviews, which other firms have built such a sizeable presence... Around this problem without having to completely change your answer to: “?! Much more convincing and memorable a thorough application review service, tailored training contract application example answers the firms invest in different future and. Contract should be included for a recruiter ’ s clients, sectors they operate in, and strategy... Typical training contract CV is a topic that allows you to show your of... Interest the applicant has identified the firm undertake the type of work you are interested in commercial law memorable... And most of all, is to review each of your training contract form... Days and university fairs down because they don ’ t have enough experiences personal and talks your... Are you assuming the recruiter has no way of knowing whether or not it ’ s reviews! Your opinion about diversity 's not what you have demonstration of how I used the STAR method in practice... Application answer we ’ re interested in, its position in the kingdom through its own framework... Her interest in a recent application form I reviewed: training contract application example answers sentence more offices ; what this! A client a law firm Allens, submit a final draft of your answer is personal and talks about skills.

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