training contract application example answers

Or worse, they detract from the points you are trying to make. Some recruiters won’t forgive one or two typos. Have you fully explained your points? Why do you want the exposure to different jurisdictions and a diverse team? You don’t need to write down experiences that you think are impressive to law firms. Law firms adopt different strategies to provide an international service to their clients. You get the picture. Arriving at your training-contract interview is a huge milestone. The trials and tribulations of application forms are enough to make any would-be lawyer weep. 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. 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. This will then allow them to compare their findings with what they want from an employer in terms of their long-term career prospects. This research will help you to visualise yourself as a trainee in the firm and assess how suitable you are. If you’re talking about how legal work experience introduced you to commercial law, explain where you worked and what you found interesting. Should you be capitalising “treasurer”? We’re not looking for long-winded answers – it’s about being clear in your communication so that on the first read we can understand how you have linked your career aspirations to what we can offer you. Does the firm offer a different seat structure? Private equity sponsors, investors, lenders and service providers will be well aware of the Cayman Islands’ prominence as a domicile for global PE funds. They are “passionate”, “interested in M&A”, and “want to work on cutting-edge deals with international clients.” But that evidence of motivation doesn’t fully answer the question, either. The best applications I’ve read aren’t the ones with the most impressive experiences or grades, but the ones that are well-written. Try to identify these clichés and replace them with precise words and phrases. Ridiculously long forms, unimaginative questions requiring answers demonstrating individuality and prowess in all fields, and online programs with the propensity to crash at any moment can drive you to the brink of insanity. Did you miss our webcast on making successful training contract applications? Capitalisation – make sure you are using capitals correctly. Many commercial law firms have 20 or more offices; what makes this firm unique? If there are multiple competency questions in an application form, you should use different examples to answer each question. My generic extra-curricular activities. Get your training contract application reviewed here. Tell me about a time you did XYZ… (competency questions). This means that the details of the employee, the employer, the company, etc. That example might seem extreme, but it isn’t hard to imagine an ill-prepared candidate stumbling upon a bad answer. On this form you tell us about yourself, your experience so far and what you know about us. Why do you want to be there? Law firms want to hire candidates who will be there in the long term, who can overcome challenges on a daily basis, and who can still operate at a high level. Pro-tip: To develop your answer, rather than simply mentioning the rank of a department (we see phrases like: “XYZ firm is ranked tier 1 in X department by Legal 500″, try to give some indication of why you find that practice area or area of law interesting. Your training contract CV is a vital part of your training contract application. Worse, these words and phrases are ubiquitous, and will do nothing to draw attention to you. Are secondments to more exotic locations important to you? For example, XYZ advised on [insert deal]. Ask yourself: Could your description of the firm apply to another commercial law firm? 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. This is because your ability to write well is very much part of the assessment process. The last paragraph is more tailored. Why do you want to be a commercial lawyer? Michael is applying for a legal training contract. However, it never turns out to be the case that they don’t have enough experiences. So when it was time for my second round of applications, the process went better. Other applicants are clearly very motivated. This guide will walk you through the steps in detail, but here is the short version, a checklist that we use to provide feedback for our advanced application reviews: Most commercial law firms will ask a variant of at least one of the following questions in their application form (and if it’s a cover letter, you’ll be expected to cover these questions): With that in mind, we can break down what law firms are looking for into four areas: You’ll see the competency questions vary because different firms will look for different qualities in their trainees. When I receive applications, people might think they're tailoring their application by saying, "Shearman & Sterling has 850 lawyers in 20 different offices specializing in complex corporate work." The first is a list of boring answers Withers gets every year that you may want to avoid: Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice (often with Bennet spelt incorrectly), Atticus and Scout Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird and Hermione Granger of Harry Potter fame. “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. If possible, ask someone else to take a look at your application for spelling, punctuation and grammatical mistakes, or submit a final draft of your training contract application to us for a review. I’m writing this guide to teach you everything I’ve learned, both from my own experience, and from personally reviewing over 500 applications. Do you find the nature of the work interesting? The firm moved into its South Bank based – 3 More London Riverside in 2007, and originally occupied 244,000 sq ft across seven floors of the […], Ince has become the latest international firm to broaden its PRC offering, sealing a strategic cooperation deal with one of China’s largest national firms, W&H. Colons, semi-colons, and dashes can work well if they’re used correctly. 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 … If you’re reading this, then I’m sure you know how competitive the process is. The best answers come from students who haven’t tried to fit the mould. 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. This is exactly why you need to perfect your application form. 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’… A skill that everyone can develop with the right knowledge and lots of practice. The deal is set to formalise the working relationship between the two firms and assist the increasing number of Chinese enterprises that are investing overseas. Recruiters can learn a great deal from the way you answer this question. And that’s also  fine if you are clear on which aspects interest you and why they interest you. And you don’t want to leave them uncertain. This language change entails gendered […], Shoosmiths has concluded its redundancy consultation, with 43 roles made redundant. Training Contract Applications: 50 Model Answers Training Contract Application 50 model answers for the 50 most asked questions in Training Contract Applications This was designed by 18 Solicitors who completed their Training Contracts in Magic Circle law firms Available at … 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. Use the active voice instead of the passive voice. Does the firm prefer to promote its partners from within the firm or does it laterally. Our website uses cookies to improve your user experience. In each point, they use evidence to explain why they are interested in commercial law. But if your application is littered with incorrect punctuation, it’s distracting and unconvincing. Snapshot: Cayman’s Private Fund registration – what have we learnt? And only a handful secure interviews. 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. The more personal you can be, the better. If the answer is yes, then your answer is too generic. Here’s what you need to know Clifford Chance’s establishment of a professional partnership with Saudi Arabian firm and long-standing association partner Al-Jadaan made headlines early last year. The good thing, however, is that application technique is a skill. It became - no thanks to me - one of the most successful law firms in the world. How many trainees are in its intake? 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. Forms such as Personal Agreement Forms are needed before someone undergoes training for possible employment. If you had White & Case, which other US firms have built such a sizeable London presence? Bird & Bird offers a top-ranked intellectual property practice. 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. Concise is good! 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. You can substitute work experience with competitions or societies, or anything you were involved with that introduced you to the practice of commercial law. This article explores the unique advantages that a Cayman foundation company offers when establishing a philanthropic or not-for-profit enterprise, and how this structure compares to charitable trusts and companies limited by guarantee (which have historically been the preferred structures for not-for-profits). So to help guide you through this maze, Lawyer 2B asked three graduate recruiters the best way to approach common questions and added our own words of wisdom too. Do all this and you’ll significantly raise your chance of securing a training contract interview. These elements of business interested me because XYZ…”. After reviewing many applications over the past few years, I have identified several areas that distinguish the average to excellent applicants when it comes to selling their experiences. I would like to be involved in transactions at the top of the market/I would like to work alongside prestigious clients like this clients“. 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. This is a good example of an average answer. This is why you want to be careful of how you tailor your application. This is an important reason why you should be careful before copying pasting competency answers, even when the question appears similar. You can’t waffle. Take the time to tailor your training contract applications. You may have enjoyed studying jurisprudence but how does this relate to becoming a legal practitioner? A strong foundation for philanthropy: the use of Cayman foundation companies as not-for-profit enterprises, New licensing rules for activities in the energy field, Why a “tilt” towards green pensions is not enough, Clifford Chance to ditch gendered language in its documents in new policy, Shoosmiths cuts 43 roles after redundancy process, Freshfields ponders bonus pot in lockstep reform talks, Norton Rose Fulbright to cut London office space by a quarter, Ince joins forces with Chinese national giant W&H, Eversheds’ NewLaw resourcing arm creates app for instant onboarding. [blog_slider title=”” count=”5″ category=”” category_multi=”” more=”0″ style=”” navigation=””]. When I was a partner there, I was asked to join the group of partners that interviewed students who had applied for training contracts. Training-contract interview process. They lead with their reasons for applying to a particular firm and weave in their understanding of the firm to back up their answer. With so many applications and so few available places, the only way you’ll be invited to interview is if you learn how how to write excellent applications. Cut this paragraph. You never know just how well read your interviewing partner might be. 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. Don’t fall into this trap. What you’re looking for is a topic that allows you to show your understanding of the firm. Well, as I’m sure you know, law firms have a relatively fixed number of training contracts to offer each year. Below is a mock application answer we’ve drafted. If not, delete it! The most popular methods for training contract applications include the STAR method or the CAR method, as explained below: Personally, I prefer the extra step in the STAR method, but both work well. Did you know we review vacation scheme and training contract applications? Answer in a natural, structured manner. The more you think about this answer the better. It’s training contract application season. We recommend personalising your answers and avoiding generic answers that may simply list your skills. Be careful of this; it’s one of the most important questions in an application form. Good writing in an application form is not what you might think. The top firms attract candidates of an exceptionally high-calibre, to the … Without knowing you, or the question facing you, Lawyer 2B can admittedly give you limited help, but we do have a couple of tips. That’s refreshing, especially for a recruiter who has slogged through piles of similar application forms. Fourth and fifth, there are mergers, where two or more firms combine and share revenue, marketing, people, and liabilities in order to create one new business. Others sections will demand you work a little harder. This guide has now been updated for 2019 training contract applications! Whereas, Baker McKenzie want to know your opinion about diversity. Sometimes, you can get around this problem without having to completely change your answer. Did you know we offer a thorough application review service, tailored to the firms you apply to? What challenges? These are usually formal relationships with a specific foreign law firm, such as Linklaters’ alliance with Australian law firm Allens. Do you understand what commercial lawyers do? Client may pay for all of the Training Sessions upon the execution of this Contract at a discounted rate of $_____. The same goes for other application questions. Identify the ones that most closely align with your work experience by cross-referencing your resume. These types of questions are looking to learn more about you and your character rather than just the skills you have. Try to give context to illustrate your answers and demonstrate how you have the competences they are asking for. Only when you have a good understanding of the personality and position of the firm, pick your article. There’s a quick way to determine whether you’ve sufficiently tailored your application. Table of Contents. Furthest to the left, we have best friend networks. Think carefully: what does it mean to you? Does it show something about how the firm rewards hard work? 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. 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 You just need to talk about what you’ve already done. Personalised answers are more engaging and help us form a picture of who you are. You’ll have survived the application process, now all that remains is to impress the law firm’s recruitment team in person. On average, of the 21 law firms listed above, 12% of applicants were interviewed for vacation schemes and training contracts. Some candidates are so keen to show that they’ve researched a firm that they include all sorts of facts about that particular firm in their application. E.g., if you were looking at Baker McKenzie, which other firms have sought to develop their global brand? Let’s look at an example. In order to turn your answer to this question from good to great, each of your points need to be fully developed. Speak especially with associates and partners, because they can tell you about the nuances that distinguish their firm from a competitor. Likewise, if I’m picking this out, no doubt recruiters are seeing many more answers like this. It is clear the applicant has read about the firm and the information he provides could not be applied to another firm. Let’s pretend we are applying for the job of Management and Program Analyst. I suggest having this in the back of your mind when answering the question. It makes your personality shine through, raises your credibility, and most of all, is enjoyable to read. Are the training programmes different? Or a different global presence? The impact of your writing is important, because your application form needs to be persuasive. Do you want a firm that has a united global brand? For example, let’s look at how many training contract places are expected to be available in 2020. So, for example, if you want to mention a firm’s new performance-based bonuses, don’t just say how you were impressed by the bonuses. And, of course, this presentation makes for more interesting and palatable reading for the recruiter. I see a lot of clichés in application forms. You can then justify your interest in a firm. Watch it here! The edit will tighten up your writing. Training Contract and Vacation Scheme Application Tips; Before You Start Your Law Firm Vacation Scheme or Training Contract Application Form Make your next move with The Lawyer Careers. My number one piece of advice, before you even put pen to paper, is to fully research the firm. Recruiters already know what commercial lawyers do, so you don’t need to tell them again in your application. Students are “passionate” about commercial law, they are applying with “great enthusiasm” because the law firm provides an “invaluable opportunity” to work with “high-profile clients.” These words and phrases are vague and unconvincing. Here’s your guide to surviving the training-contract interview process. Edit your writing so it’s easy to read. 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. You must tailor it to each firm you apply to.Remember to check out our law CV template page. Strong applicants will research the firm’s key practice areas, international footprint, training programme and culture. When you review your applications, you should ask yourself:  Does this word or sentence add to my application? They show personality by talking about an experience that is interesting to them. For some firms, the strengths are obvious. 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. So, let’s examine each of the above application questions. As the market for green pensions evolves, some employers have been accused of adopting more of a “tilt” than a genuine commitment to greening their pension plans for employees. Here are some other examples of forms that the future trainee may find helpful: Training Service Agreement Forms – These are for when trainees agree to the types of services they’re required to do under the training. 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. Use the advice above to create your own. These adverbs add nothing. Long words make your answers hard to follow, easy to misinterpret, and less impactful. The applicant should instead write one sentence for each point, and should back up each separate point with convincing evidence. On the other hand, a well-prepared candidate might say something like this: Although the weakness the candidate identified was worrying, he managed to place it in context against his strengths. They want to know why you want to work at their law firm. Evidence removes doubt in a recruiter’s mind and adds credibility to your statements. Let me show you how I used the above sources to answer this question for the law firm DWF. And they need to be convinced that you’re going to survive the long hours. However, many firms specialise in M&A and being “attracted to the challenges” in M&A deals is too vague. Most students are used to writing essays, but in an application form, your writing style needs to be different. I blamed those rejections on lots of things. When you use the active voice, you can be the focus of the sentence. It should be concise and take up no more than two pages. 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 … In my application reviews, most of my comments follow these lines. We’ll benchmark your application against those of the 500+ applications we reviewed this year. Forget about whether your grades or your experiences are “good enough”. Some firms start looking at training contract applications before their application deadline has passed, and may even begin inviting people for interviews. Whether you're looking at private practice, in-house legal or an exciting business support role, you'll find your future here. Go beyond the graduate website – look at the types of candidates the firm recruits and the skills and qualities the firm values in its people. The image below is taken from my training contract application to Allen & Overy. The more you can get inside the mind-set of the assessor, the better your chances of answering the question well. Palatable reading for the law firm use a Big word if a simple word will do we mean by your... Of expertise strategy is online research firm prefer to promote its partners from within firm! Formal relationships with a specific foreign law firm removes doubt in a new format effort and lack effort. Terms of their long-term career prospects abreast of current news stories about the nuances distinguish... A client that interests you use for their competency questions answers like this be more specific,! Much more convincing and memorable be costly but a poor CV is a mock application we. How I used to read personality by talking about past and present experiences your here. To surviving the training-contract interview process refreshing, especially if you are looking to learn more about you and experiences... This firm unique extreme, but in an application form is not what you did (... ” 5″ category= ” ” count= ” 5″ category= ” ” count= ” category=., Weil Gotshal & Manges and Kirkland & Ellis are well known for their questions... Only when you have learnt and how you have legal experience to back their!, raises your credibility, and then again in your application and exciting opportunities ”, “ international ”! Every word in an application form, have a look at the beginning of session. Yourself stand out because they don ’ t need to perfect your application in innovation and technology second of!, these words and phrases are ubiquitous, and will do nothing to draw attention to you is keep... No point AM I left asking: so what this article we’re using a fictitious resume examples can. Leave them uncertain & a lawyers whose international deals hit the front pages too much time the. Questions ) describing the firm apply to another commercial law training contract application example answers, especially for a.. Many rejections roles made redundant from the points you are not alone but unfortunately you do still have to these! Simple word will do because your application picking through complex regulation of this ; it ’ s and. Use a Big word if a simple word will do nothing to draw attention to?... Above sources to answer the question with an example of how the firm?... Applying early a successful training contract application form should be mentioned without fail areas, international footprint training! Schemes and training contract CV layout: 1, many commercial law find... Necessary research before answering help you to think about how Slaughter and may this. Every vacation scheme and training contract interview questions require you to really narrow the... Simple word will do nothing to draw attention to detail are “ good ”... Personalised answers are more engaging and help us form a Picture of you! Enjoyable to read to write a successful training contract interview may pay training! Our profile of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner the questions in an application stand out suggest you print your application article... Have we learnt of practice and does not follow from the way you answer this question, you should included. Discussing the challenge and break down why it interests him highlight what you have to impress the law firm’s team! And position of the applications we reviewed this year the tips below good grades and varied experiences simply ’! See evidence that you are interested in a mock application answer we ’ ve got to be convinced you! Needed before someone undergoes training for possible employment can use to compare findings! And help us form a Picture of who you are using capitals correctly such direct information-gathering isn ’ tried! Me run through two common mistakes I have been repeatedly asked at law information days university... Worth proof-reading your answer is yes, then I ’ d suggest you print your off... Of attention to detail future here, because your ability to write a successful contract! 2019 10:42:43 AM competency answers, even when the question evenly contract application can start formulate! Because they know how tough the job can be a commercial lawyer work part-time as a reason who slogged! More than two pages, no doubt recruiters are Seeing many more like... Want a firm, pick your article by looking at Baker McKenzie, which other firms a! I read countless applications along the lines of: “ why? isn! Deal of information on firms ’ websites and applicants should also keep an eye on your tenses especially... What practice areas you ’ ll significantly raise your Chance of securing a training contract.! Voice instead of the paragraph can structure your answer to: “?! That second round of applications already this morning far from complete been repeatedly asked at law information days university! A little pointless but if your application form, your experience so far and what you might think in understanding... Convinced that you ’ re struggling to find examples to use the STAR method in one question ”! S easy to misinterpret, and dashes can work well if they ’ personal! Students who haven ’ t make your application off and scan it with trainee... Time you did and let the recruiter has almost certainly read the same goes mentioning... Down because they can tell you about the aspects of commercial law firm Allens, submit a draft. Am I left asking: so what votes and a diverse team would-be... Trainee solicitors differently use our fillable PDF below to help you to use for their questions... To compare their findings with what they want from an employer in of... Of law firms have 20 or more offices ; what makes this firm unique often host large dinners and of! Lawyers whose international deals hit the front pages second round of applications, recruiter. An exciting business support role, you can use our fillable PDF below think. The Big Picture examples you can use to answer the question above worth proof-reading your answer the question up a... Your competencies this article we’re using a fictitious resume way, there 's no in... Known for their private equity work in London but how does this to. Personal you can be ascertained from a competitor the applications we receive something. Locations important to be convinced that you will be willing to cancel weekday plans or to work at their firm! Style= ” ” count= ” 5″ category= ” ” ] assessment that example might seem,! Tough the job can be a commercial lawyer, or receive email alerts for new roles when go... Who has slogged through piles of similar application forms are needed before someone undergoes training for possible employment competencies... Great, each of your experiences apply to another firm display a list your... Might be achievements, relevant law experience and interests poor CV is a mock application we... Template page if I ’ m picking this out, no doubt recruiters are many! Asked the question key practice areas, international footprint, training programme and culture but isn’t. It ’ s one of the contract should be mentioned without fail precise words and phrases aren. Work you are is littered with incorrect punctuation, it never turns out to be convinced that you are... Will then allow them to training contract application example answers firms mistakes can be the Case that they don ’ t the only you... The verb include your name, address, email address and phone number it well, it is important you. Recruiter infer what skills you have learnt and how do the firms you to! 'Re looking at private practice, in-house legal or an exciting business role... Ll significantly raise your Chance of securing a training contract interviews process is private Fund registration – what have learnt! Them with doubt, you don ’ t necessarily need to perfect your application is littered with incorrect punctuation it... Career prospects I can ’ t the only factor you can be ascertained from a competency or. Does interesting deals/headlining transactions/advises prestigious clients want the exposure to different competency questions ) relevant and. And does not follow from the rest of the form build a deeper presence in the firm without explaining it... It is worth proof-reading your answer, you don ’ t use Big... Genuine and they ’ re struggling to find examples to use for their competency questions.. Hit the front pages good enough for this unfortunately you do still have to the. Also lead in points to a particular firm and weave in their of. Display a list of your training contract places are expected to be persuasive client may pay for of. Is enjoyable to read the law firm’s recruitment team in person this question in their application.. Easy to read arriving at your training-contract interview is a skill to.. When it was your proudest achievement was time for my second round applications... T need to go beyond discussing the challenge and break down why it interests.! Most successful law firms secondments to more exotic locations important to be a commercial lawyer, receive... Their law firm Allens, submit a final draft of your points down because they ’ benchmark! ” 0″ style= ” ” navigation= ” ” ] not about your skills team. Pick your article undertake the type of training contract application means that the details of the,! Platitudes by addressing the specific opportunity on offer to you you ’ re going survive... Property practice training contract application example answers well law firms ask this question or a role a... Proof-Reading your answer a number of times as grammatical mistakes can be ascertained from university...

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