Farrer & Co Training Contract Application Questions and Answers
I would like to apply for a training contract with [law firm] because I am attracted by the firm’s strength across a board of niche areas combined with its organic growth and increased focus on corporate matters. I feel that this will present me with quality work since I will be presented with high levels of responsibility and an ability to work closely with leading solicitors, which will develop my skills through real hands-on experience.
I would like to become a solicitor because I really enjoy the process of analysing unique factual scenarios and then manipulating and applying law to produce pragmatic solutions. During my employment, I enjoyed working in diverse teams because this exposed me to new ideas and approaches and allowed me to see how my contribution fits within the bigger picture which I found highly empowering. I am very entrepreneurial and feel that I would thrive intellectually on high levels of responsibility in a deadline-driven environment where I would be able to make a contribution.
I believe that I am a strong candidate for this role because I have extensive legal experience and the relevant skill-set to become a successful lawyer. I possess commercial acumen and strong problem solving skills which will enable me to analyse difficult problems and produce effective solutions for the clients. I have very good attention to detail and organisational skills, which will enable me to prioritise between different tasks to meet competing deadlines and complete all my work to the highest standard. I am a good team player and have an ability to express my ideas in a simple and understandable manner. I am very enthusiastic, entrepreneurial and focused which will allow me to bring new perspectives to the table and use my initiative to add value to my work.
I feel that I could make a valuable addition to the firm through my legal and commercial experience and linguistic abilities.
Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Please provide details of your extra-curricular activities and responsibilities whilst at secondary school.
At secondary school, I held the position of a prefect for my class. I regularly attended [sport] sessions almost on a daily basis and represented my school as well as my borough in national amateur [sport] competitions. I always represented my school in swimming and decathlon competitions. After school, I enjoyed to kick the ball around with my friends and experimented with sports such as tennis and table tennis. I took on additional subjects such as [language] and ICT because I had a strong interest in these areas and wanted an additional personal challenge. I participated in charity events such as fun runs and helped to refurbish a local church during the weekends. I really enjoyed going on various trips related to my subjects such as trips to the Lake District in Cumbria, the Normandy beaches and Paris.
What activities have you participated in and what responsibilities have you taken on whilst at university? If you are a graduate, please also give details of your current interests, activities and responsibilities.
Recently, I founded a pioneering business in the catering industry which is helping businesses such as restaurants and cafes to restructure their operations to increase their profitability. I am currently overseeing the operations of the business and helping to grow it. I am also managing branches of the business in [area] and [area]. I am a representative of a company specialising in innovative payment systems in the UK (prepaid cards and e-wallets) and working with businesses in emerging markets to integrate this financial model into their operations. Outside the office hours, I run [sport] sessions at the [law firm] gym. During my spare time, I help people in my local community with their legal matters by helping them to draft letters to various bodies and translate documents. At university, I pioneered the University of [university] Amateur [sport] Club for the first time in fifty years and was the president of the society. In my second year of university, I helped to develop an innovative initiative to reduce the university’s carbon footprint by switching off all unused desktops during vacation breaks. I was a member of the Student-Staff Liaison Committee in my second year. At university, I enjoyed playing [sport] on the weekends and was selected to represent [university] University in the national [sport] championships.
How have you spent your university holidays (if not already covered)?
During my holidays I often travelled around the UK with my friends.
Please list any other accomplishments, interests and responsibilities and anything else you believe strengthens your application.
In [year], I was awarded the [award]for academic excellence at GCSE and A-Level. At the sixth form, I secured a second place in the International French Debate. In [year], I won a gold medal for England in the [English sports tournament name] [sport] Tournament and had over 60 amateur [sport] bouts.
Give details of any university prizes, exhibitions or scholarships awarded.
Why are you applying to [law firm]?
I am applying to [law firm] because I am attracted by the depth and breadth of the firm’s practice areas. The fact that the firm has excellent practices in niche areas, such as media and sports litigation, together with the other commercial and private client departments will present me with a good variety of work and enable me to see how different areas interact, which will enable me to make an informed decision in relation the area I would like to qualify in. I am very attracted by [law firm]’s diverse client roster because this will present me with high-quality work and exposure to private as well as commercial clients. I feel that the dynamic and entrepreneurial ethos of the firm fits my personality very well as I will be able to realise my full potential by making important decisions and thinking creatively about the clients’ problems to devise effective and innovative solutions.
How have you spent your university holidays (if not already covered)?
During my university holidays, I did some work scheme placements in order to get a better insight into the legal industry. I went abroad on holidays, assisted my [sport] coach at the local [sport] gym, and did some travelling with my friends across the UK.
Describe a particularly challenging experience you have faced and the way you dealt with it, with tenacity, team spirit, humour or otherwise. This could be an incident from any part of your life; do not feel it has to come from a work environment.
At [law firm], I was requested to represent one of several clients at a Board of Directors EGM of a joint venture in Amsterdam in my capacity as an interpreter only two weeks of having joined the firm. During our pre-EGM strategic meeting, the client presented me with large volumes of new technical and legal information. I found it extremely difficult to make sense of the new information in a short space of time whilst having to constantly interpret between the parties. I decided to deal with the situation by asking everyone to allow me some time to speak to the client in order to get an overview of their situation. I then communicated the salient aspects of the client’s new situation to the other parties in a simple language. This allowed the solicitors to identify the core areas of the problems which effectively allowed me to pinpoint the relevant sections of the documents. I feel that I have managed exceptionally well under pressure by applying leadership skills in order to manage the meeting and meet our imminent deadline. I felt that it was my duty to ensure that everyone was equally informed of the client’s latest position so I constantly asked everyone questions, elaborated on various issues and even gave a small presentation to summarise what was covered at the meeting. The outcome of this meeting was that we managed to achieve a desirable outcome for the client at the EGM meeting.