Are you an 'Aspiring Lawyer'?
Okay so, you've decided you want to pursue a career in law but... where the heck do you even begin!? There are literally hundreds of websites and thousands of social media pages providing you with endless amounts of 'hints and tips'. You google 'how to secure a training contract' and literally 162,000,000 search results come back (I'm not kidding, I've just checked!). It can be completely daunting and very overwhelming because let's be honest, all you really want to know is what do you actually need to know and why will this help you get a training contract?
Well, the aim of this page is to answer exactly that. I hope that you find all the content you need on this page so you no longer look like this...
First things first... where are you in your legal journey?
I am looking for a training contract
I AM LOOKING FOR A TRAINING CONTRACT!
If you're in the 'pre-training contract application drafting' stage - this is the page for you!
This page will help you with:
(a) narrowing down a shortlist of law firms to apply to for training contracts; and
(b) drafting the training contract application form!
The diagram on the right >>
shows you how!
Grab a notepad and pen and scroll down to get started!
What type of lawyer do you want to be?
There are so many areas of law and it can be quite difficult to work out what you want to do if you don't really know what's possible. For example, did you know that you could be a shipping lawyer and specialise in the type of shipping law that enables you to go to different countries at a moments' notice?!
To make it easier for you, we have created the 'what do lawyers do?' portal. This portal gives you access to over 50 legal practice areas (all set out in alphabetical order!). Simply scroll through the list and see what's out there and if one tickles your fancy, click on the practice area and learn all about it!
Have you taken the time to read about the practice areas that sound most interesting to you?!
If so, write down your top 4 practice areas.
Remember, during your training contract you will only get to do 4x 6 month 'seats' or (in some firms) 6x 4 month seats. This means you'll only get to experience up to a maximum of 6 different legal disciplines. Therefore, make sure you're going to a firm that caters for the seats you want to do! It's no good securing a training contract at a commercial firm that offers no family law seats if your passion lies in family law!
Once you've decided on your practice areas... check out step 2!
What type of clients do you want to work with? (Sectors)
Okay so you've probably never really given this much thought before BUT... knowing the type of clients that you want to work with will greatly help you with both shortlisting law firms and drafting your training contract applications. Demonstrating a genuine passion for a particular practice area is one thing, but knowing how the discipline works in the context of a sector specialism will make you stand out from the crowd!
Understanding a firm's sectors will tell you a lot of things about the firm and will provide you with the necessary tools to start drafting some of the 'why this firm' and 'why law' questions. It will also greatly assist with the 'commercial awareness / pick a new story that interests you' questions too because you can consider developments in a particular sector that the firm has a specialism in.
Example: if you had an interest in insolvency law (legal discipline) and applied to a law firm that specialises in 'leisure and retail', you could talk about the impact of COVID on a number of retail businesses and how many of them are going / have gone into liquidation and administration and how this impacts the economy and job losses but how the result of this is an increase in legal work for the restructuring and insolvency practice area.
Law Firm MATCHES!
Researching the Law Firms!
Researching your shortlist of law firms is a time consuming task but so worth it! It is near enough impossible to draft a first class worthy training contract application without doing effective law firm research.
The problem is... where do you even begin and where do you even end!?!!!!!
Our advice... follow our 10 point checklist below when conducting your research. You may find out lots more about the firm that extends beyond the below 10 points but this list should guide you in the right direction.
Drafting the TC Application!
This is probably the hardest and most time consuming part of it all - drafting the training contract application!!
To assist you with drafting your application, we have included some of the most common TC application questions below. Click the question that is most relevant to your application for tips on how best to answer.