Arnold Porter Training Contract Application
Please state why you want to be a solicitor. (300 words)
I want to be a solicitor because I believe every single day will be different and challenging, yet exciting. During my time at the University and in the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), I played an active role in mooting competitions, in which I applied and interpreted the law to complex situations. This experience pushed me to think laterally and consider different perspectives before reaching a conclusion. I enjoyed the intellectual challenge the field offers.
During my work experience at PwC [city] Legal Department (Corporate and M&A), I worked in a dynamic and diverse team. I assisted my supervisor in international matters which required a flexibility to work across different time zones to solve commercial problems. Working as a solicitor at an international law firm like Arnold Porter Kaye Scholer (UK) LLP will similarly involve different areas of law and jurisdictions, which will require extensive problem-solving and research skills. This will give me a chance to work in closely integrated and diverse teams of professionals to solve complex commercial problems - an aspect of legal work which I felt was absent from a career at the Bar.
Another aspect that appeals to me to become a solicitor is the opportunity to work with many types of businesses from different sectors. To succeed as a solicitor, I will be required to keep abreast of the latest developments, challenges and opportunities facing each client, and to develop innovative solutions to help to add value to these clients as well as to ensure their continued competitiveness – an exciting objective in the current market.
Please state why you are applying to Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (UK) LLP (300 words)-done
I am applying to Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (UK) LLP because I am attracted by the firm’s rich international experience and market-leading reputation for advising businesses operating across a diverse number of industry sectors. I feel that these factors will present me with complex, international and high-value cases that will make my vacation scheme (and subsequent training contract) personally and professionally rewarding, and allow me to put my skill set to full use. With my considerable international experience, I will be able to add value to my work through my cultural empathy, Swedish and German language skills, and innovative thinking.
I find the firm’s relatively small trainee intake to be appealing, because it offers an opportunity to work closely with market-leading lawyers as well as make a substantial contribution to the matters I work on. I feel that this intimate and closely knit environment as well as the firm’s friendly culture will offer excellent exposure to legal cases and give me the opportunity to learn directly from leading solicitors, which will contribute to a wholesome and fulfilling career as a solicitor at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (UK) LLP.
Another aspect that appeals to me is the firm’s overseas secondment opportunities, which allow trainees to gain first-hand experience in understanding legal issues across multiple jurisdictions. I feel that a secondment will offer me with a chance to experience different cultures, local markets and forge new relationships as well as gain insight into how the law operates in other jurisdictions. This will help me to develop into a successful and well-rounded international solicitor. I hope to gain a good grounding in different approaches to solving legal problems, which in turn will strengthen my abilities to solve clients’ problems.
What motivates you? Please support this with an example of where you demonstrated your drive and motivation. (300 words)-done
I am motivated by high levels of responsibility in my workload, and variety at work.
During my legal experience at Sergejs Grinfelds Lawyers and Consultants, whilst working in the Maritime and Corporate departments, I reviewed and drafted documents, participated in meetings, interviewed witnesses and drafted insurance agreements. I found that my active involvement in a variety of tasks made me more knowledgeable about the legal matters I was working on which in turn allowed me to demonstrate my initiative by going beyond the scope of my work. This involvement made me feel like a valued member of the team and gave me a chance to contribute my ideas to solving legal problems. Where appropriate, I asked for more work or responsibility in the tasks I was doing, demonstrating to my supervisors that I was capable of high levels of responsibility, client contact, legal analysis and producing documents to a high standard.
I found a varied workload, comprising different matters, practice areas and supervisors/teams to be extremely empowering and motivating because I was constantly applying different skills and dealing with new situations. I feel that a varied work environment will not only allow me to see the bigger picture but also teach me how legal matters work from inception to the end, all of which will help me to better serve my future clients.
Give an example of where you have taken responsibility for others - describe the situation and your contribution. (300 words)-done
An example of where I have taken responsibility for others is helping the homeless by volunteering with the housing charity “Shelter” in Southampton. I brought together builders and developers (who provided their services on a voluntary basis) to upgrade existing housing facilities, some of which were quite dilapidated and in need of urgent repair. I contributed to this project by calculating project costs, budgeting and assisting the general contractor in subcontracting the work cost-effectively. I also supervised the council planning permission application process, which was quite unusual due to the fact that ours was a building for the homeless and those in need.
This role developed my skill set as I was able to apply my legal knowledge to a complex, real-life issue. My work also improved the social infrastructure and helped the local community. I felt extremely proud of my contribution because I was able to give back to the society and make a real difference, which is in tune with my personal moral values and beliefs.
More generally, I felt able to take responsibility for project costing and the council planning process because I believed that the drafting, attention to detail, communication and other skills gained during my legal studies and work experience equipped me to manage and lead others in a competent, effective manner.
How do you like to work in a team? Please give supporting evidence of this. (300 words)-done
When working in a team, I like to assume responsibility for part of a project as this allows me to play an active role during the project as well as make a positive contribution. This not only makes me feel like a valued member of a team, but also allows me to apply my knowledge and problem-solving skills to analyse and develop ideas into tangible outputs for clients. This, in turn, makes my work experience extremely rewarding and enjoyable and allows me to see how different elements of a project interact with one another.
During my vacation scheme at Clifford Chance LLP, I worked as part of a team while preparing a file for a case to be heard in the Mercantile Court. Before our court hearing, I worked closely with others to finalise our case and develop a strategy. I was in charge of organising all documents and compiling a hearing bundle. I felt that my responsibility for organising the hearing bundle allowed me to play my part in the team, gave me a good sense of direction and allowed me to appreciate the impact of my contribution to the overall success of the case. During the meeting on the case, I demonstrated my leadership skills by providing an overview of all documents contained in the bundle, and mentioning the documents I felt we should have included in the hearing bundle. At the same time, I proved to be an attentive listener and open to new ideas and suggestions, particularly in listening to what senior colleagues suggested about the documents needed. I feel that my versatility and balanced approach to team work will enable me to become a successful member of any team and get along exceptionally well with different team members.