Burges Salmon Training Contract Application Questions and Answers
Please explain what has led you to decide on a career as a solicitor:* 250
At university, I enjoyed applying and manipulating law to hypothetical scenarios during my modules and mooting competitions because it stimulated my intellectual curiosity since every situation was never the same and required a different approach. I have decided to become a solicitor whilst working at several law firms. I have especially enjoyed working in teams on an international platform because it enabled me to actively participate in complex and high-profile cases. At [Law Firm Name], I realised that I wanted to become a solicitor after attending a board of directors EGM in Amsterdam. I enjoyed thinking on my feet and applying commercial acumen to respond to imminent problems as this made my work environment challenging and stimulating. At [Law Firm Name], I collaborated with lawyers from across the London and [city] offices in the preparation of witness statements. I was very fascinated by the multi-jurisdictional elements of the case as it allowed me to take multiple angles to the problem and form my own view. In effect, this allowed me to exercise my problem-solving skills and judgment to contribute to reaching a practical solution.
Burges Salmon is a leading UK law firm. Please discuss what you feel sets us apart from other firms that you have considered:* 250
Burges Salmon is a creative, adaptive and highly client-oriented firm that has a unique ability to fit the firm to each and every client. In doing so, Burges Salmon provides a real breadth of advice, recognising the broader requirements of its clients and taking into account their strategic, commercial and other needs. Burges Salmon provides secondments to many of their clients which will enable me to experience a new perspective to the legal profession and gain a better insight into client’s requirements.
Burges Salmon has a structure that promotes a collegiate approach that allows it to assemble the most appropriate team to fit each client’s requirements. This has given the firm a reputation for providing effective and clear legal solutions, which has enabled it to retain a loyal client base. This will enable me to receive broad exposure across different sectors and practice areas.
Unlike other law firms, Burges Salmon offers all the major practice area disciplines and works with a range of clients of every size and type, from global organisations to private individuals. This will present me with a very diverse experience, which will enable me to better understand the requirements of clients of all sizes and types. This will also present me with an opportunity to assume more responsibility and run my own files on smaller cases, which will give me a hands-on experience and enable me to develop into a successful solicitor.
Interpersonal and People Management Skills 250
All solicitors at Burges Salmon work with a wide range of people so need to be able to persuade, influence and display effective communication skills:
At [Law Firm Name], I assisted on a shareholder dispute in a joint venture vehicle. I attended a board of directors EGM of a joint venture in Amsterdam in my capacity as an interpreter between clients and overseas solicitors. I expected the meeting to be based on the agenda; however, I was required to deal with new information as the client disclosed large volumes of new documentation. For me, this change meant that as well as interpreting between the parties, I had to work with the client to identify and discuss the relevant documents. This meant that I had to draw from my knowledge of the case to understand how the new information fitted in with the case and apply lateral thinking. I then presented complex information to solicitors in a clear and understandable language. This situation required me to adapt to a highly complex and quick-paced environment where I had to think on my feet and constantly align myself with the client’s commercial objectives. I found it most challenging to have to constantly adjust between interpreting and analysing new information. In order to make the situation clearer and more manageable, I finished analysing the documents with the client and then gave a short presentation to the solicitors. I found this method to be very effective because it ensured that everyone was fully informed on the new information.
The success of Burges Salmon is built on the self motivation and applied effort of all its employees, as demonstrated by their ability to work through setbacks coping effectively with conflict and pressure:*
Whilst at [Law Firm Name], I was given the responsibility of ensuring that witness statements conformed to a unified formatting guide before being filed with court on the next day. Late into the night, I discovered that the wrong versions of the witness statements were translated. I immediately contacted the supervising attorney and explained the problem to him. The attorney asked me to translate these sections within a very tight timeframe which, from a practical point-of-view, was not doable as there was nobody to assist me. Having assessed the situation, I contacted translation agencies but none would take on this job at such short notice. I then contacted the team working on this matter in the [city] office and asked for their assistance. I organised and flagged up the sections that needed translating and, along with the deadline, distributed them across to the [city] team. In the early hours of the morning, I asked the London team to do a final sanity check of the documents. Ultimately, the witness statements were translated accurately and filed with court on time.
I would like to work in Bristol because it is one of the most economically successful regional cities in the UK. As an alternative to London, Bristol will present me with high-profile and interesting opportunities, which will make my work environment challenging and exciting. With an interest in culture and meeting new people, Bristol will present me with a rich cultural life, enable me to meet new people from different backgrounds and allow me to experience a broad range of exciting and vibrant activities.