Blake Morgan Vacation Scheme and Training Contract Application
Blake Morgan Vacation Scheme and Training Contract Application
At Blake Morgan we recognise that in addition to your academic qualifications you will have developed a number of key skills that are relevant, and will contribute, to you succeeding as a lawyer. You may have demonstrated these skills at University, in a work environment or in your leisure activities. Please tell us about your experiences to date in these areas. Examples could include challenges you have faced and how you have interacted with others.
-Communication Skills: Outline what you consider to be your main strengths in terms of communication skills. Include examples of when you have used these skills. (300 words)
I have an ability to explain complex ideas in a simple and understandable manner. I believe that this strength will help me to explain complex legal ideas in a simple language that clients will understand. I demonstrated these skills during my employment at PwC where I advised senior attorneys regarding investments in start-ups, including $4 million purchase of a client. I was able to explain my ideas and research in very coherently and succinctly, which I felt gave a very good background to the key points to the senior attorneys. Similarly, I learnt the importance of presenting relevant information and striking a balance between enough and too much information. I find that this approach helped me to facilitate a greater understanding of key issues amongst the senior attorneys as they could see the bigger picture without getting overwhelmed with minute details.
-Illustrate your ability to act upon your own initiative by providing an example of when you have taken the lead, started something new or challenged the status quo in order to improve the situation.(300 words)
I have taken the lead of a project whilst volunteering for a 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 took initiative of this project by calculating project costs, budgeting and assisting the general contractor in subcontracting the work cost-effectively. I also supervised the application to the council for planning permission to make improvements to our shelter. Given that our building was used as a shelter for the homeless, the planning permission application process was even more difficult as the council did not have clear procedures for our unique situation. I took initiative by contacting the council and asked them to provide me with guidance on the steps we should take to receive planning permission from the council to make improvements to our building. I found that this method worked the most effectively as I was able to draw on the rich experience of experts. I also found that by taking the initiative to speak to the council, I expedited the process and reduced the lead times for completing the building works.
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.
-Problem Analysis: Describe a complex problem you have had to deal with and the stages you would go through in solving this problem, giving an example to demonstrate your thinking process.(300 words)
During my vacation scheme at Bond Dickinson, I worked as part of a team when preparing a file for a case to be heard in the Mercantile Court. Before our court hearing, I worked closely in a team to finalise our case and develop a strategy. I was in charge of organising all documents and compiling a hearing bundle. Whilst preparing the hearing bundle, I found it particularly challenging in organising all documents because some documents such as expert witness statements were still in their draft form whilst other documents were missing. In order to deal with the challenge of preparing an accurate and complete hearing bundle, I prepared a list of all the documents we should have at the end and used post it notes to mark the status of each document (i.e. whether it was in its draft form or missing). I then contacted each solicitor responsible for each document and managed to get an update on when I should expect to receive these documents. I then updated my list by indicating the status of each document. In the end, I was able to get hold of all the up-to-date documents before the deadline.
-Team Working: Give an example of where you have contributed to the success of a team. Describe what part you played within the team.(300 words)
I contributed to the success of my rowing team when preparing for national rowing tournament. During the preparation for this national rowing tournament, I assumed responsibility for preparing our training schedule to ensure that we were ready for the rowing tournament. During our training sessions, I helped to maintain morale within the team and shared my techniques and strategies with other rowers to help them to improve their own performance, which ultimately had a positive impact on our collective performance as a team at the national rowing tournament. Since I was responsible for our training schedule, I constantly consulted others on the ways in which we could improve our performance as a team and to this end, I constantly adjusted our training schedule.
-In the space below give some examples of what you enjoy doing in your spare time, and why this is important to you.(250 words)
In my spare time, I greatly enjoy playing squash and rowing. I have rowed in UK, Cyprus and Turkey at both club and national level having had over ten competitions. Doing rowing is important to me because rowing taught me the importance of persistence, discipline and tolerance, and has allowed me to flourish socially and academically. I find that rowing not only helps me to unwind but it also allows me to work in teams, which I found to be very fun and enjoyable. I enjoy travelling and learning about different cultures as I feel that this helps to broaden my mind and meet new and interesting people. At university, I founded the ‘Polish Language Society’ which teaches and promotes Polish language and culture amongst students. I am very proud of this society because it helps to teach other students about a different culture, which in turn promotes greater cultural awareness and tolerance across the society. I greatly enjoy mooting and have been actively involved in internal mooting and debating competitions both at Oxford University and Gray’s Inn as a way of exercising my interest in law. Mooting is important to me because it is a good way of improving my advocacy skills and increasing my confidence when dealing with complex issues under pressure. I greatly enjoy outings in nature as it helps me to relax from the busy life in the city and appreciate its sublime surroundings.
-In the space below please state why you decided to pursue a career as a solicitor (250 words)
I decided to pursue a career as a solicitor because I believe every single day will be different and challenging, yet exciting. Whilst at the Oxford University and the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), I took part in mooting competitions. I enjoyed the challenge of dealing with new facts and situation under pressure. As a solicitor, I will receive a similar opportunity to work with a diverse base of clients with unique problems and circumstances.
Another reason why I decided to pursue a career as a solicitor is because I am attracted by the prospect of applying law to clients operating in different industries since this will present me with unique problems that will require me to think creatively to devise cutting edge-solutions. This will make for a very varied and exciting working environment. During my legal work experience, I found that my daily workload required me to deal with different areas of law and jurisdictions which presented me with an opportunity to apply my extensive problem-solving and research skills to produce pragmatic legal solutions to unique problems. I feel that work at a commercial law firm will see me work in closely integrated, international teams to solve complex commercial problems. This will not only make me a privy to new ideas and approaches from my colleagues but will also enable me to support clients with effective legal advice and a commercial mind set. I am attracted by the prospect of building professional relationships and forging contacts with clients and other professionals.
-Why have you chosen to apply to Blake Morgan LLP? (250 words)
I have chosen to apply to Blake Morgan LLP because I am attracted by its friendly, warm and family culture. I feel that this culture will make me feel like a valuable member of the team and will provide me with the best learning environment during my training contract whereby I will receive support and attention to qualify into a well-rounded lawyer. I find the firm’s meritocratic approach and flat hierarchy to be appealing because I will receive an opportunity for personal and professional growth through promotion, which is not the case at other law firms where many solicitors leave for other law firms in order to progress. I find Blake Morgan LLP’s work-life balance to be especially appealing because it will allow me to pursue my interests and hobbies outside of work.
Blake Morgan LLP’s expertise across different legal practice areas is appealing to me because I will receive experience in several practice areas before making an informed decision of what practice area I would like to qualify into.
I find Blake Morgan LLP’s relatively small size and quality client base to be an attractive combination because I will receive good levels of responsibility over my workload as well as an opportunity to work directly with clients. I feel that this exposure will allow me to apply and improve my skill-set and aid me in my career development as a successful solicitor.