Covington & Burling Training Contract Application Questions and Answers

Covington & Burling Training Contract Application Questions and Answers

Why have you decided to pursue a career as a solicitor? (word limit 300)*

As a solicitor I will have an active role that will enable me to deal with a range of diverse and international clients ranging from financial and corporate institutions to private individuals. As a commercial lawyer I will have an active involvement in project management, making sure deadlines are met, colleagues are kept up to date and information is communicated to the client. Given that commercial law is both transactional and ongoing suggests that I will have to build a rapport with the client and apply strong communication skills coupled with high technical ability when forming a clear picture of the client’s needs and objectives and then explaining what may well be a complex area of law when advising on the best solution. This may require me to liaise with a number of legal departments thus making each day unique, enjoyable and fulfilling work experience. Having worked for a number of private clients at leading legal and commercial firms, [law firm] and [company name], I can attest to the importance of building and maintaining professional relationships. Being fluent in English, [language] and [language] I would be much interested in working on international deals whereby I would be exposed to a range of international clients and multiple jurisdictions. This would increase the steepness of my learning trajectory and increase my ability to progress within my career as a solicitor.

Why have you chosen to apply specifically to Covington? (word limit 300)*’

Covington & Burling LLP interests me very much for numerous reasons. I am particularly interested in Covington & Burling LLP’s well-regarded life sciences practice area because it is very responsive to clients’ growing needs and concerns in the areas of regulatory, intellectual property and commercial goals. This multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional approach enables Covington & Burling LLP develop creative and novel approaches to maximise value for clients. When problems arise, Covington & Burling LLP is therefore able to deliver quick and cost-effective solutions to clients. I feel that this innovative and responsive approach would enable me to approach a problem from multiple angles combining multiple jurisdictions and practice areas. This would increase the steepness of my learning trajectory and allow me to work with a diverse range of teams from different jurisdictions and practice areas. This may potentially allow me to interchange between [language], English and [language] languages, thus making my work experience personally and professionally rewarding. Unlike its competitors, Covington & Burling LLP takes a more pragmatic approach to M&A by combining its corporate expertise with its deep understanding of regulated industries and its commercial approach. This combination enables its clients to structure their transactions most advantageously and with a view towards meeting their legal and business requirements. Having worked for a number of legal firms, I can attest to the importance of this commercial approach to meeting clients’ needs. I would be very willing to expand my knowledge in this area with a view of studying and interacting with clients operating in a diverse range of industries.

What distinguishes you from other applicants for a summer scheme or training contract place at Covington?

I have a strong commercial background which is crucial in understanding a client’s needs and delivering an appropriate solution to their problem. Having worked for [company name] I developed a strong commercial background in the fields of conveyancing, investment decisions, portfolio management, and strategic decision making just to name a few. I am a very entrepreneurial individual with excellent leadership skills. I am the founding member and president of ‘[University] [Sport] Society’ and am currently managing seven executive members and overseeing the overall operation of the society. These skills would not only translate into my ability to effectively manage my caseload but also my ability to present innovative and effective solutions to clients. In my capacity as a student-staff liaison committee member I have developed my communication skills at both a student and a more senior level. This skill would allow me to successfully communicate with clients and solicitors on two different but nonetheless professional levels. My ability to switch between [language], [language] and English languages highlights my flexibility which could prove to be invaluable when dealing with a diverse range of both national and international calibre clients as well as being an excellent team player within the firm.

What achievement in the past 5 years are you most proud of and why? (word limit 300)*

This year I have successfully set up a ‘[University] [Sport] Club’, which was unsuccessfully attempted for over fifty years. The main reason for there not being a [Sport] club at the university is because the sports committee had health and safety concerns regarding the nature of the sport. However, having [done the sport] at both national and international level, my experience teaches me otherwise. Therefore, when approaching the sports committee in meetings I had to resort to another perspective and mitigate its concerns. I got many people interested in the sport and invited them to come along to the meeting with the sports panel so as to present a broader perspective on the sport, bearing in mind that the majority of these people have not done [Sport] before. After much consideration the sports committee allowed [university] University to form an affiliation with the ‘[university name] [Sport] Club’. From then on I had to attend multiple meetings with the ‘[university name] [Sport] Club’ to decide how to best merge the two clubs together, which admittedly was very time consuming and stressful because ‘[University] [Sport] Club’ was not officially recognised. Lack of recognition prevented us from receiving sponsorship. I established a ‘[Sport] Appreciation Society’ to promote [Sport] at [university] University and act as a proxy for the affiliate club. This official society gained the ‘[University] [Sport] Club’ recognition which means that we can start marketing the club and receiving support from various organisations.

Outline your main interests and social activities. Why do those particular activities fulfil you? (word limit 300)*

I am a third year law representative for the student-staff liaison committee where I am responsible for communicating student concerns about the operation of the [university] Law School to staff in regular meetings. As a lawyer I strongly feel that I should be active in the development of the legal profession, and as a famous judge Lord Denning said ‘the development of our legal profession should start from universities’. I find this role both personally and professionally rewarding. I am a very pro-active member of the [university] [language] Speaking Society ([SOCIETY INITIALS]) whereby I am actively involved in organising and managing [SOCIETY INITIALS] socials. I greatly enjoy working with [SOCIETY INITIALS] because it allows me to introduce new members to the society and introduce people to [language] culture which helps to increase diversity at the University and make it a more sociable and open community. I am a very zealous member of the ‘[society]’ society as I feel that it is the task of humans to help the environment. In the past I have been in projects aimed to save electricity and helping the local wildlife, such as switching off unused computers in the library during vacation breaks. I am regularly involved in mooting competitions where I get the opportunity to exercise my analytical and advocacy skills amongst like-minded individuals in a competitive environment. On a sportier note, I greatly enjoy amateur [Sport]. With over fifty amateur bouts I have [done the sport] at national level and represented England in the Four Nations Tournament. Currently, I am responsible for training a large group of students at the [University]. I find that [Sport] helps to increase my discipline and determination which I keenly shared with other students by starting up a [Sport] club.

Please enter or cut and paste a covering letter (word limit 300)*


[address line 1]


Tel: [telephone number]

22 March [year]

Covington & Burling LLP

265 Strand



Dear Human Resources Manager,

I am a final year student at the [University] expected to graduate in June, [year]. I am predicted to achieve a first class degree. I am applying for a training contract to commence in [year] advertised on

I am fascinated by the prospect of working in an integrated firm where every client has the ability to call on any of the firm’s lawyers as needed. Given the number of distinguished professionals throughout the history of the firm, this integral and entrepreneurial approach would present me with a greater opportunity for personal as well as professional growth. I am attracted by the cross-border operation of the firm with an ability to work with associates and partners in the Brussels and US offices. I am specifically interested in the collaboration between anti-trust lawyers and lawyers with industry-specific experience from other practice groups. This not only provides antitrust lawyers to bring a sophisticated understanding of specific economic forces at play but also offers an opportunity to work alongside other legal departments thus making everyday unique, enjoyable and different.

Having worked for a number of private clients at leading legal firms, [law firm] and [law firm], I can attest to the importance of building and maintaining professional relationships. This, coupled with my fluency in [language], English and [language], would make me a valuable asset when working on cross-border transactions or with international clients.

I would be grateful for the opportunity to attend an interview for which I am available at your convenience.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,