O'Melveny & Myers LLP Training Contract Application Answers
Secondary Education: Please provide details of any scholarships or other academic distinctions at school
I have received a ‘[award name] Award’ for highest grades at GCSE and A-Level at both of my institutions of study as well as my borough.
Further Education: Please provide the date and details of any scholarships or other academic award/prizes at University.(250 words)
Other academic achievements(250 words)
Describe any aspects of your degree course or course which have been of particular interest and any areas which you found particularly difficult with reasons (e.g. seminar subjects studied and projects).(250 words)
Throughout the advanced competition module I have developed an interest in the ‘refusal to supply’ cases. I was particularly fascinated by the decision of the EC in Microsoft 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. I specifically enjoyed having to consider the debate on the policy issues underlying the aims of competition law in both EC and US jurisdictions. Having to write a twelve thousand word dissertation on ‘[dissertation title]’ was a rather daunting task at the beginning simply because there is no consensus on the subject. Instead, I not only explored competing perspectives, but I also related the subject of equity to its root origins of natural law and attempted to justify a new, more philosophical perspective through philosophers such Aristotle and Christopher St. German.
If you are required to take the LPC, when and where do you intend to take this?(250 words)
I would be interested in taking the LPC at The College of Law in London in [year].
Please give details of your main extra-curricular activities and interests and your level of involvement.(250 words)
Firstly, 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. Secondly, 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. Thirdly, 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. Fourthly, 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 [sport performances] I have [done the sport] at national level and represented England in the [tournament name]. Currently, I am responsible for training a large group of students at the [University]. Similarly, I have managed to open an on-campus [Sport] club which has not been done for over fifty years. In my spare time I also enjoy playing [sport] and am a very dedicated member of the university’s [sport] club.
Give an example of a situation in which you worked with a group of people to achieve a specific objective. What did you learn from this experience?
Recently, I had undertaken a ‘[legal practice area]’ module. The module entailed us having to work in a simulated solicitor’s environment on a commercial case. As a group of solicitors we worked on different processes of the case including client interview, meetings with witnesses, drafting of examination-in-chief and cross-examination, and compilation of a bundle just to name a few. This experience has taught me that it is vital to remain an effectively-functioning team right up until the end of the trial. This means that potential conflicts of opinion must be reconciled so as to preserve the integrity of the case. I learnt that when engaging in team work, one has to come with a preconceived notion that everyone has different perspectives about projects and work tasks. For the team this means that everyone comes to the table with different priorities and objectives. This should be kept in mind when communicating tasks that need to be accomplished with positive reinforcement and awareness of what others are working on.
What do you consider to be the key attributes of a lawyer in business?
A crucial skill for all lawyers is the ability to solve problems. A good lawyer will not just spot potential problems, but will also offer a solution. The starting point for any solution needs to be a thorough understanding of a client’s concerns, objectives and resources. There is no "one size fits all" solution, and a solution is reached by weighing up the different options and then deciding which one best meets those concerns and objectives. In order to reach this tailored solution a thorough understanding of the client and their industry of operation is vital. This understanding can be best delivered through a sound commercial awareness. On any occasion, no matter how learned a lawyer is, they must be dynamic and ambitious, as only then will they go further lengths to achieve an edge-cutting solution. A lawyer must be a team player because most of client’s needs overlap with several legal and commercial practice areas. In order to deliver an informed and effective solution, a lawyer will have to liaise with different departments to draw in all the relevant information for a delivery of a successful and timely solution.
How does a career as a solicitor compare with other possible career choices that you have considered?
At first I had thought of becoming an academic in law. I truly enjoy participating in legal discourse in the developments in the legal profession as I find both personally and professionally rewarding. However, having undertaken legal and financial work experience, I realised that I was attracted by the large and diverse client base to be found in the City. Firms in the City tend to have multi-jurisdictional practices and multiple locations across the globe allowing lawyers and paralegals to serve international clients. 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. Being fluent in [language] and [language] languages and having worked with [language]-speaking clients at [law firm], I can attest to the importance of a professional client relationship. I would now like to progress and gain a practical insight into the work of a solicitor in a high-calibre international law firm where I would prove to be a highly valuable asset.
I am interested in becoming a solicitor at an international law firm because it will allow me to assume the role of a project manager and will vest me with early responsibility. Previously I thought of becoming an academic because I enjoy vigorous academic debates on legal discourse. However, having worked for [law firm], I found my interest in corporate and commercial law and realised that a career as an academic would be too solitary for 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 would now like to progress and gain a practical insight into the work of a solicitor in a high-calibre international law firm where I would prove to be a highly valuable asset.
Choose an area of law or public policy you would most like to see reformed and why?
Having closely observed and followed the Cadbury takeover and drawing on my knowledge from the ‘Law of Business Organisations’ module, I am of opinion that there should also be a requirement for shareholders and not just the board of directors in bidding companies to have access to independent advice to make up their minds on any bid. Following the Cadbury takeover by Kraft, reform of City takeover code is high on the agenda. The main premise for the reform is that the takeover rules should be changed to benefit companies' workforces rather than short-term City speculators following the Cadbury sale. In my view, it is the banks who really profit from this takeover, and Cadbury’s is no exception. One driver of the financial bubble has been that banks ended up serving their own bonus culture at the expense of both customers and shareholders. Short-term market pressures encourage mergers and acquisitions irrespective of whether they make long term economic sense for their shareholders, their employees or the wider economy. This takeover raises some fundamental questions about the over-active market for corporate control and the destruction of shareholder (and other stakeholder) value that goes with it. Most takeovers fail, and policy needs to be reformed both to make hostile takeovers more difficult and to take back the power for government to intervene if need be.
Describe three of your attributes which you believe would bring a positive contribution to O'Melveny & Myers LLP.
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.
How did you find out about O'Melveny & Myers LLP?
I was initially acquainted with O'Melveny & Myers through law fairs where I was given a very positive impression of the firm. Having noticed O'Melveny & Myers feature in antitrust arena, I developed a strong interest in the firm. Having been truly fascinated by the Microsoft decision, naturally, I followed through the AMD and Intel case. The EU ruled that Intel illegally used hidden rebates to squeeze rivals out of the marketplace for CPUs. I was especially impressed by the exorbitant size of the case, where Intel was fined a record $1.45 billion due to violations of anti-trust rules in Europe. The record fine surpasses that of the €497 million fine originally levied against Microsoft. I also saw a vacancy for a training contract at Latestlawjobs.com and was fascinated by the number of awards received by O'Melveny & Myers in the field of anti-trust law.
From the sources you have just listed please state which one was most influential?
The AMD and Intel case helped to immediately distinguish O'Melveny & Myers from other corporate and commercial law firms simply for its leading practice in anti-trust law. The firm’s victory in this case suggests that it has leading lawyers and access to a pool of professional bodies involved in anti-trust law. I therefore felt that O'Melveny & Myers will provide me with the best ‘hands-on’ experience in anti-trust law and will place me in a very entrepreneurial and challenging legal setting which will foster my personal and professional growth in my capacity as a lawyer.