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hints and tips on applying for a training contract...

27 December 2012

The application window has now opened for training contracts and open days with Browne Jacobson (here’s the link). Our open day takes place during the spring with the training contract interview process beginning shortly after, so with the new year approaching now is a great time to start to think about what your application form may contain. I have compiled some useful tips and tricks for application forms.

  • Proofread your forms – this will help you to demonstrate your attention to detail which is a good skill for lawyers to have.
  • Sell yourself – if you don’t, somebody else will. Put anything that’s not directly relevant into the ‘other information’ box – pack it full of your skills!
  • However tempting it is, don’t just list your skills. Set your answers out logically. A good formula to work off is a) what the problem was b) what you, personally, did to overcome it and what skill you used and c) how you could bring these skills to your training contract with Browne Jacobson.
  • Don’t copy and paste answers from other application forms! Not only do you run the risk of using the wrong firm’s name in your application, but you might also have only answered the questions vaguely or with information which isn’t relevant to the firm. Even if you are applying only to regional full-service commercial firms, they all have different concerns, client bases and areas of expertise.
  • As well as demonstrating your academics and relevant experience, it’s also useful to demonstrate commercial awareness. This doesn’t have to be working in the commercial world – a clever and commercial solution to a problem you encountered during your studies at university would demonstrate this.
  • It’s also wise to show a commitment to the area – and an awareness of your professional contacts (for example, fellow university students likely to qualify into other professions such as surveying or accountancy at the same time as you) for networking will always be appreciated.
  • Try to demonstrate that you have thought hard about whether to become a solicitor and that you have solid reasons for doing so.
  • If you feel your application form has an area of weakness, identify that skill and try to demonstrate it elsewhere in the form.

Good luck!