A training contract is a temporary training period within a law firm where trainees experience work in different seats within a firm such as conveyancing or litigation. It’s typically two years long but can result in permanent employment if it goes well.
Securing a training contract is gold dust in the legal world due to the high number of applicants and other factors. With this in mind, we’ve compiled our top tips to help you secure your dream training contract.
If you want to stand out, apply at an early stage so that you are one of the first applicants. You should check when applications open and apply straight away – don’t leave it too late. It’s important to make sure that you apply to the training contracts that are done on a rolling basis first.
Research, research, research
It cannot be stated enough – do your research. Research each firm that you apply to; what type of legal work do they do? What are their values? What is their work culture like? What big cases have they been involved in?
By researching the firms you are applying to, you are putting yourself in a great position to be able to answer the questions like ‘What made you choose this firm?’ or ‘Why do you want to work for us?’ Look on their website, look at their reviews on Review Solicitors or Feefo or check if they have social media and go from there.
Not only will researching the firm will help you be prepared, but finding out more about the firm will help you decide if you actually want to work for them and if they are the right fit for you – remember an interview is a two-way process.
Keep it simple
It’s important to use simple language to make your CV easy to read. Law firms are inundated with applications so it’s important that you make their job easy. Using unnecessary jargon will not only be off-putting to the employer but also gives the impression that you don’t actually know what you’re talking about.
Many law students overlook/underestimate social media when it comes to training contracts, but if used in the right way, it can be a powerful tool to connect you with powerful decision-makers. If you don’t already have a profile on LinkedIn or Twitter, set them up.
LinkedIn and Twitter are great for online networking, but if you really want to make yourself known to the firm you need to get out there and be seen. Compile a list of firms you want to apply to and then go to any events that they are involved in such as open days or workshops. While you’re at the events make sure that you use them as an opportunity to connect with the right people. Be enthusiastic and ask questions about the firm. After the events are finished follow up with a thank you or connect with them on social media.
- Consider doing a legal internship or some paralegal work
Doing a legal internship will look brilliant on your CV and will give you some hands-on, in-house experience that law firms will love. Similarly, doing paralegal work will help you to gain confidence and new legal skills. If you do a good job and impress your employers it could open the door to training contract opportunities in the future.
- Be yourself
Being authentic and genuine will mean you’re more likely to win over your employer as at the end of the day people buy people. Make sure within your application that you are highlighting your strengths and talking about what makes you passionate about law.
We’re always looking for talented people, browse our latest vacancies here: www.attwells.com/careers