Linklaters Training Contract Application Questions and Answers
Questions *1 List any achievements (from high school onwards) which have brought you any scholarships, exhibitions or prizes? Please give brief details.
I have won a '[award name]' award for obtaining the highest grades at GCSE and A-Level in my local borough. In [year] I have represented my college in the European debating competition and managed to secure the third place. From the year 2000 I have won over sixty [Sport] trophies, including a gold medal for England in the under 15's category.
*2If you believe that extenuating circumstances prevented you from getting the grades you expected, please tell us about them here.Answer
*3Please give details of your activities and achievements to date, not academic or work related (e.g. sport, charity work, leisure, travel, positions of responsibility etc.)
Since [year] I have been a very zealous member of the ‘[society]’ society. 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. In January [year], I have successfully started an on-campus [Sport] club which has been unsuccessfully attempted for over fifty years. I am currently the president of the society and have the responsibility of managing ten executives and coordinating the overall strategy and direction of the club in its teething period. Throughout my second and third year at university I have actively represented [bank name] to graduates. I had to communicate to graduates interested in a career in investment banking, give presentations, organise on-campus marketing events, coordinate and manage people involved in marketing campaigns. 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 am the Student-Staff Liaison Committee member for the third year law students and actively exercise my commitment to the legal profession by maintain 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 Four Nations amateur [Sport] tournament. I am also a member of the [university] [sport] club and have been selected to play in the [sport] National Championships last summer. Outside my studies I greatly enjoy motoring and last year along with a group of friends I had undertaken a project of modifying two professional rally cars.
4 Please choose a significant achievement or example of when you felt you demonstrated initiative, drive and commitment. Please specify exactly what you did and how your contribution added value.
This year 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. Most of my colleagues have put emphasis on opening a specifically [Sport]-orientated club. However, having taken into account the health and safety issues I have decided to shift the activities of the club from contact [Sport] to non-contact [Sport]-style fitness training. 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.
Please describe a situation where you have worked in a team and you have used your ability to engage, challenge and influence others. Please draw out the exact skills demonstrated in this example.
Recently, I helped to organise a New Year’s party night on the behalf of the [language] Speaking Society ([SOCIETY INITIALS]). I attended multiple meetings with other executives of the [SOCIETY INITIALS] to plan the New Year’s party a few months in advance. As a team we had to agree the logistics, finances, marketing and other vital factors. The theme and location of the New Year’s party was the most contentious issue with no emerging consensus. I was particularly keen on having a joint party with other universities in London. However, most executives thought that travelling to London would not be a very feasible idea given the budget and other constraints. I persuaded the executives to host the party in London by captivating their imagination with images of grandeur and glamour associated with the spectacular fireworks around the London eye and joyful crowds congregating in Trafalgar Square. I was very motivated to ensure that the party left a lasting impression on the members of the [SOCIETY INITIALS] and that their cultural learning experience was enhanced through a sociable and interactive medium. I therefore went outside my way to display a high degree of commitment by contacting a number of [language] Speaking Societies in London Universities to get an insight into the logistics and potential ways to organise the outing. Before attending the next executive meeting I drew up a conceptual model with approximate estimates and contingency plans. At the meeting I resorted to my outstanding leadership and communication skills by taking some time to explain to other executives how we could go about taking the party to London in a feasible manner. I then displayed my ability to think on my feet and support my proposed plan by being able to deliver persuasive and clear answers to questions posed by other executives. At the end of the meeting the executives were left very impressed and the question was no longer “what?” but rather “how?”.
What in particular interests you about pursuing a career in commercial law, what factors and influences have affected your choice, and what specifically appeals to you about working in a global environment?
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.
I have developed my interest in law throughout my academic career at [university]. In my second year I have completed a legal practice course where I was working in a group on a mock-trial case involving a breach of contract. This course has allowed me to incorporate my knowledge of law in a simulated solicitor’s environment. I genuinely enjoyed the team work and problem-solving elements of the course. I extended and further developed this interest by participating in mooting competitions at the university. Applying law to a particular scenario stimulates my intellectual curiosity and arouses a sense of passion in me when it comes to communicating the legal argument to the judge.
I would especially like to work in a global environment because it could provide me with a comparison of US and EU law at a practical level. Throughout the advanced competition law module I have developed an interest in the refusal to supply intellectual property rights. I was particularly fascinated by the decision of the EC in Windows where it was held to be anti-competitive to refuse to supply interoperability data to its competitors. The Microsoft case however produced a split between US and EU competition law on the subject of consumer welfare. The EU approach focuses on innovation by competitors in order to increase competition in the market and to give consumers a better deal. On the other side of the Atlantic, the US approach generally focuses on overall innovation in the market and efficiency for consumers rather than which company fostered the innovation in question and whether existing competitors might be shut out as technology markets evolve. Moreover, I would particularly like to learn the [language] jurisdiction. Being fluent in verbal and written communication in [language] and English languages, I strongly believe that I could contribute to the [language] practice area. Additionally, last summer I have worked for [law firm], which is a London based law firm that serves a vast amount of [language] and [language] speaking customers. Having an interest in the [language] culture and heritage I would be very willing to learn more about the legal practice in [country], especially having had some experience with [language] clients in London.
Please state what in particular attracts you to Linklaters.
I am especially attracted by the training and career development prospects at Linklaters. Not only will I get an opportunity to develop and enrich my knowledge of three broad divisions (Corporate; Finance and Projects; and Commercial) which I have studied with great interest and passion at undergraduate level, but I will do so in a very collegial and team-spirited atmosphere. This will see me working on big and precedent-setting deals such as ‘Rio Tinto’ with lawyers from many different practice areas where I will see history in the making. Henceforth my learning trajectory will have a steep learning curve whereby I will acquire the requisite knowledge to be a successful solicitor with an ability to approach a problem from several angles. More importantly, I am very much exhilarated by the chance to be seconded to a client as it will provide me with a means to acquire industry specific knowledge as well as with an opportunity to impress the clients through my convivial and professional characteristics. Following the acquisition of certain skills, my ambition would be to form a part of the matrix of expertise which will be an effective gateway to my participation in cross-jurisdictional deals. This would serve as a steppingstone to my ambition to become a successful international lawyer.
I feel that Linklater’s strategy of achieving global success stands very close to my ambition of becoming an international lawyer. Having lived in the United States, United Kingdom, [country] and [country] I have grown up with a deep interest in other cultures and values. This has helped me to become a very flexible individual and increased my sensitivity and empathy which helps me to identify with Linklater’s global vision. Undertaking a training contract with Linklaters would provide me with an opportunity to provide a seamless service across geographic boundaries and present me with an opportunity to learn and compare new jurisdictions and gain sector specific expertise.
Unlike for its competitors, a friendly and supportive working environment is a requisite for Linklaters. Since my early age I have grown and developed by being supported and helped by other. For instance, I received a vast amount of support whilst participating in amateur [Sport] competitions, during my academic career and other life situations. I feel that a friendly and supportive environment can significantly enhance my training to become a solicitor as well as increase my motivation at work and foster my creativity and success.