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What are firms looking for?

A popular question when it comes to online applications and how to write a good one centres around the question of “what are firms looking for?”. This depends on the firm’s values, culture and dynamic but this blog is going to walk you through some of the general ones and how to write the best application!

1 – Keen interest in the firm

You must have a keen interest in the firm and there are a few key ways to demonstrate this:

  • Good knowledge of the firm’s locations, sectors, areas of expertise etc
  • Visiting Open Days and Insight Evenings
  • Good insight into the firm’s clients and current transactions

2 – Value

Think about what value you could add to the firm – this is like giving them a reason to want to hire you. Perhaps you:

  • Have good communication skills
  • Are analytic
  • Are client-centric
  • Have vast customer service experience

3 – Enthusiasm

You must get across in your application your enthusiasm for the position, the firm and the type of law (commercial, criminal etc.) How are you going to stand out front the rest of the applications?

  • Have you been keeping up with the firm’s activities for a while?
  • Have you been attending events and asking questions?
  • Have you been a Brand Ambassador for the firm or completed any previous work experience?

4 – Lawyer-to-be skills

What skills make a good lawyer? Draw on your work experiences to demonstrate your skills. Here’s a basic, non-exhaustive list:

  • Organisation
  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Team work
  • Analytic
  • Attention to detail
  • Determined
  • Motivated
  • Enthusiastic
  • Practical
  • Client-centric
  • Approachable

5 – Personality

Firms receive hundreds (thousands for the big firms) of applications. Everyone currently studying/graduated looks roughly the same on paper on a qualifications basis. What makes your application special? Your personality.

Try and get your personality across in your application. Have you got unique experiences that separate you from the crowd? For example – playing sports at an elite level, international volunteering or positions of authority?

Be different!

Good luck!


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