Lewis Silkin Training Contract Application Model Answer
1. How do you spend your spare time?
At the university I am a very active executive of the [language] Speaking Society where I am actively organising cultural events such as the [celebration], [language] [national celebration], [language] Winter Party just to name a few. I greatly enjoy mooting and have participated in a number of internal university mooting competitions. On a sportier note, I especially enjoy [Sport] and have won a gold medal for England in the Four Nations amateur [Sport] tournament. I am also a member of the [university] [sport] club because it gives me an opportunity to relax and enjoy pastoral settings. I have a real passion for motoring and last year along with a group of friends I had undertaken a project of modifying two professional rally cars. During my holidays I especially enjoy travelling and visiting new places. I especially enjoyed spending a summer in Turkey a few years ago where I got an opportunity to learn about a new culture and appreciate its rich heritage.
2. What do you do best?
I strongly feel that my strength lies in communicating to people on a both personal and professional level. I am fluent in three languages and have lived in [country], USA, [country] and UK which has in turn vested me with great flexibility and cultural sensitivity. This I feel makes me very suited to communicating and being able to personally ‘connect’ with people from different backgrounds. Last summer I especially enjoyed interacting with South African clients whilst working on a conveyancing transaction at [company name].
I am especially good in motivating and inspiring a team. Whilst being a [bank name] graduate representative for the [University] I worked in a close-knit team. The members did not enjoy some tasks that we had to undertake, such as handing out leaflets. I took the initiative to show the team that representing a company is more personal than simply giving the leaflet.
I am a very good at managing my time and prioritising. Whilst working for [law firm] I have successfully managed to keep to deadlines and complete the tasks to an exceptional standard.
I am very entrepreneurial and passionate in what I do. This is reflected in amateur [Sport], where I have won a gold medal for England and had over fifty amateur fights. I was determined to pursue my interest at the university and thus pioneered an amateur [Sport] club at the [University].
3. Please describe an achievement that is of particular importance to you.
I have managed to start up an on-campus amateur [Sport] club at the [University]. Before starting the [Sport] club I have discovered that for the past 50 years applications for an on-campus [Sport] club have been turned down for health and safety reasons. Having spoken to the board of the sports centre and the students union, it was agreed that this club should be allowed given the benefit it would confer on students and the community. As follows, I then proposed an affiliation with [city] [Sport] club for people who would be interested in representing [university] University in amateur [Sport] competitions. The [University] agreed and even proposed to arrange transport and sponsor the club. I feel that my success stemmed from my ability to compromise and helpfully inform other colleagues as to why we should adopt a different approach to opening a [Sport] club. More importantly, my excellent communication skills helped to successfully clarify the situation to senior managers of the sports centre by removing any entrenched prejudices they may have had towards the sport as well as to gain support amongst students, which I feel was instrumental for the vote going through in our favour.
4. What interests you about being a solicitor.
I am interested in becoming a solicitor at a commercial law firm because it will allow me to assume the role of a project manager and will vest me with early responsibility. Having worked at [law firm], I found my interest in corporate and commercial law and realised that it would suit my energetic and convivial personality. 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.
5. Give specific examples of how you have demonstrated any of the skills you feel are essential for a good solicitor for a firm like Lewis Silkin.
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.
6. What type of law firm do you think would best suit you?
I feel that I would be best suited to a firm that values their workforce and aims to develop their skills to the maximum. It is vital that for a law firm, business revolves around relationships more than numbers.
My ideal law firm would have to have a very positive working environment and close-knit teams where smooth communication and transparency is possible. This is essential to producing first class results as well as making the working environment as motivating and human as possible.
7. Why specifically do you think Lewis Silkin meets the above criteria?
I am attracted by the relatively small number of trainee intake which I feel will offer me bespoke training that is individually tailored to my interests, experience and aptitude. More importantly, I will receive the excitement and challenge of working on high value, complex transactions and disputes, in the size of office where everyone knows who you are. For me this will mean getting involved in real work from the start whereby I will be able to add something to the cases I work on. This environment will unquestionably foster my professional and personal growth in my capacity as a lawyer.
8. Is there anything else you would like to include in support of your application?