Article written by Nemr Chaer, Future Trainee Solicitor at Clifford Chance and finalist Law student at the University of Warwick’.
In my previous article, titled ‘The Road to a Vacation Scheme: Laying the Groundwork’, I shared some tips one could take before vacation scheme/Training Contract applications. In this article, I will be sharing tips specifically for those who are ready to start applying to law firms (i.e., have already laid the groundwork!).
The ‘routine questions’ referred to are those located at the very beginning of all applications. They typically ask for your personal information (name, term time address, residential address etc.) and academic history.
My top tip: Take these questions very seriously.
Law firms will not penalise an application with a singular spelling error. However, a trend of spelling errors indicates an applicant’s lack of attention to detail. Moreover, Graduate Recruitment teams read over thousands of applications so make their life easy! It is not costly to write ‘university of warwick’, but ‘University of Warwick’ (appropriately capitalised) shows slightly more care and professionalism.
The work experience section is often misunderstood. Some applicants bullet-point their experiences, others write lengthy stories, and others completely skip over it!
My Top Tip: Make sure that your work experience history is between 200 – 250 words and that you write it accurately, succinctly, and with reference to a law firm’s values.
Remember that ALL work experience is good experience because firms are looking for the transferability of an applicant’s skills. For example, if you work as Front of House in a restaurant or takeaway then be sure to describe experiences that show how you worked under pressure for sustained hours and communicated with customers. The latter and former are impressive skills that law firms will appreciate!
The above is a simple guide as to how one can execute the basics of a law firm application. In a nutshell, it is advised that you be accurate and pay attention to your writing.