One of my LinkedIn connections asked me what I would have done differently in the next cycle of applications. I thought this was a great questions for a number of reasons but primarily because since I wasn’t going to apply for more Vacation Schemes (since I have already signed my Training Contract) I hadn’t yet reflected on the process. So, here goes…
1 – Attend more Open Days/Insight Evenings
These events are really important when applying to firms because not only does it give you a more in-depth analysis of the firm you may be applying to (and as such, a stronger application), it’s also great to show that you did attend a firm’s event.
We all know that once term starts and there are deadlines flying around all over the place, it can be difficult to visit all the firms that you would like to. Some firms also require you to submit an application form which can be time consuming. Having said that, I wish I realised how valuable Open Days/ Insight Evenings were earlier and managed/organised my time better to visit a few more firms. Indeed it is now one of my top tips when writing applications – go and visit the firm!
2 – Spoken to more trainees
As a (sometimes too) chatty person, I always made an effort to talk to the recruitment team at law fairs and events but thinking back, I wish that I had met more trainees of the firms that I was applying to. Granted that trainees can’t always attend said events so some run with the recruitment team alone, but some of the best insights into a firm’s culture, work and values came from speaking to the trainees.
So my suggestion being, if you get the chance, go and speak to the trainees of the firm and ask them about their work at the firm. They’ve likely been in your position before so know what it’s like to be starting applications. They also have different perspectives from that of partners and the recruitment team.
So, my advice is to take advantage of firms’ Open Days/Insight Evenings and attend as many as you can – you won’t regret it when you’re writing your application. Whilst you’re there, try and speak to a wide range of people!
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