It’s really important to choose the right firm for you. This blog will walk you through the different factors that I consider when researching and choosing a firm for me. These are in no particular order.
1 – Location
For me, location is quite important. Consider whether you want to re-locate to a different city/country and this involves looking at lifestyle as well as practical challenges. Location can narrow down some of your choices.
If you’re a bit more adventurous or prefer your current location, this will impact which firms you apply to. Although this may not be the most important factor, it is definitely a practical one to consider.
2 – Type of work
You may have an idea from your university modules what kind of law you would like to work in. If you’re a big fan of company law, then a corporate firm is probably up your street. If you’re into family law and succession then a firm with a family and private client department is where you’ll want to be.
If you’re not sure, it’s best to choose a full-service firm where you can experience a wide range of different work. Also, have a look at the areas and sectors of law which the firm specialises in for example, some corporate firms do not offer all corporate services and are “boutique firms” who only offer selective corporate services.
Also think about what kind of clients you’d like to work with – there are firms with big corporate teams working with clients such as Amazon and Google, as well as firms with smaller corporate teams dealing more with local businesses.
3 – Rankings
It may be worth looking at The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners websites for firms’ rankings. You can filter by location as well as individual sectors/departments. This is totally a personal choice as you may not feel that the ranking of the firm is that important to you.
If you’re particularly interested in an area , have a look at the top tier firms – this may aid you in choosing the right firm for you.
4 – Seats
Depending on your interests and the sectors which the firm specialises in – the available seats during a Training Contract may influence your decision!
Many global firms offer great international secondments to their other offices or to clients. If you’re interested in secondment opportunities, have a look at which firms offer highly rated secondments during the Training Contract. Remember, many firms now recruit their trainee intake from their Vacation Scheme cohort, so think ahead.
5 – Culture
By far the most important factor to consider when choosing a firm is the firm’s culture. Every firm is so radically different and it’s important to find a firm which you fit well into and enjoy working there.
Culture encompasses lots of different values which are at the heart of the firm and these vary from firm to firm. The only way you’ll find out about a firm’s culture is by speaking to trainees, partners and the recruitment team at events or law fairs. The firm’s Vacation Scheme is ideal to find out whether the culture of the firm is right for you for a Training Contract.
6 – Size
It’s also important to consider the size of the firm and its teams. Smaller high-street firms will have smaller teams than global corporate firms. Consider whether you’d work well in a smaller or larger team – there are pros and cons to both.
This also links to secondment opportunities – smaller firms tend to have less secondment opportunities.
7 – Other perks
Perhaps a firm has cutting-edge technology or there are lots of Corporate Social Responsibility opportunities? A firm may have designated trainee events for social and CPD purposes? Are there other perks like subsidised memberships or healthcare benefits?
These tend to just be bonuses and perks and do not have huge weighting on a choice in firm, but it can sometimes be worth considering the little perks here and there!
There are many different factors to consider when choosing which firms to apply to for a Vacation Scheme of Training Contract and these are some of my top factors. Some of these may be more or less important to you but you can use it as a base guide!
Click on the links to have a look at related blog posts:
- Effective firm research
- How many firms should I apply to?
- What are firms looking for?
- Commercial awareness
- My top 3 tips when applying for Vacation Schemes
Good luck! Email me any questions!