Example Training Contract Application to Vinson & Elkins
Please outline your extra-curricular activities and interests
I greatly enjoy mooting and have participated in internal mooting competitions at the [University]. I find that mooting has enhanced my advocacy skills and my ability to think on my feet. I am also a committed member of the [university] Debating Society. Debating has helped me to keep abreast with current awareness and more importantly has significantly improved my communication skills and my ability to convey my view point persuasively. I greatly enjoy motor sports and last year, along with some friends, I managed to rebuild and modify a professional rally car, ‘Subaru Impreza Turbo GT’. I also enjoy collecting antiques, especially from World War I and World War II. I greatly enjoy amateur [Sport] and have been competing nationally and internationally for over a decade now. I find that [Sport] increases my discipline and motivation to succeed in any task I undertake. I am also a member of the [university] [sport] club and have been selected to play in the [sport] National Championships last summer. Playing [sport] also allows me to appreciate pastoral settings and reflect on various things. I have selected to play [sport] to challenge myself and leave my comfort zone so as to learn something completely new and different to me.
Please give details of any prizes, scholarships, positions of responsibility and any other noteworthy achievements that will support your application
I have received a ‘[award name]’ award for attaining the highest grades at GCSE and A-Level at my local institutions of study. Since [year] I have been a very zealous member of the ‘[society]’ Society. I feel that my activity has helped to increase awareness of global warming and helped people to take steps accordingly. In [month] [year], I have successfully started an on-campus [Sport] club which was unsuccessfully attempted for the past sixty years. I am currently the president of the society and have the responsibility of managing ten executives. Being a President of the society has enhanced my leadership and organisational skills and provided other students with an opportunity to increase their fitness level and become more disciplined. I am a very active executive of the [language] Speaking Society ([SOCIETY INITIALS]) where I am actively organising cultural events. Being an executive of the [SOCIETY INITIALS] has allowed me to improve my language skills as well as promote [language] culture to others at university. I am the Student-Staff Liaison Committee member for the third year law students and actively exercise my commitment to the legal profession by maintaining a social dialogue between the students and staff of the law school. On a sportier note, I have won a gold medal for England in the [English sports tournament name] amateur [Sport] tournament and have so far accumulated a collection of sixty trophies.
What attracts you to Vinson & Elkins?
I am attracted by the integrated approach of Vinson & Elkins in the provision of legal services in US, UK and [country]. I aspire to become a successful international lawyer and would thus like to learn additional jurisdictions. Recently, I have undertaken an advanced competition law module whereby I had to compare and contrast EC and US jurisdictions in multiple areas of competition law. I especially enjoyed comparing and contrasting the different approaches of US and EC cases to ‘refusal to supply’ category of competition law. I found the Microsoft decision of utmost interest where Microsoft’s refusal to supply interoperability data to its competitors was held to be an abuse of a dominant position. The case produced a divide between the US and EC jurisdictions over the fundamental aim of competition law: consumer welfare. Having lived in [country], [country] and USA I am very enthralled with diverse and rich cultures. This summer I have worked for [law firm] and particularly enjoyed having to interact with [language] and American clients since it allowed me to exercise my excellent communication skills and build and maintain successful relationships. By taking the next step of working at Vinson & Elkins, I will not only get an opportunity to learn new jurisdictions in an office where everyone knows who you are, but will also assume early responsibility to add value to the firm through my outstanding ability to build and maintain personal and professional relationships.
Why do you want to become a solicitor?
I would like to assume early responsibility. As a solicitor 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. Last summer, whilst working for [law firm], I specifically enjoyed large amounts of responsibility in completing tasks. For example, I was asked to prepare a handout on Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA’s) for a [language] client. I benefited from researching the client’s business activity and sector of operation so as to ensure that the legal information was provided to the client in a useful and comprehensible way.
In which areas of law do you wish to practice and why?
I would particularly like to practise commercial law because I feel that commercial law can provide me with a framework to which I can apply my analytical, teamwork and problem-solving skills. Recently, I have undertaken a Commercial and Consumer Contracting module where I had to analyse the law surrounding contract clauses, terms and conditions, circumstances that invalidate a contract and other regulatory instruments that govern the operation of contracts. I found this area as a perfect opportunity to apply my problem solving skills and creativity by applying case law and other legal instruments to the problem. My interest for commercial law was further consolidated whilst I was on a vacation scheme at [law firm]., where I was working on a commercial contract governing the supply of goods. I found commercial law a very contentious area where innovative solutions and creativity could prosper. More importantly, I greatly enjoyed the teamwork element where we had to discuss numerous and, most of the time conflicting cases, which forced me leave my comfort zone and think more pragmatically to deliver an effective solution to our client. I found commercial law as a perfect opportunity to learn more about different types of commercial activity and sectors, which I feel will allow my learning trajectory to grow at a steep curve.