Paul Hastings Training Contract Application Questions and Answers
For the first time in fifty years I have started an amateur [Sport] club at [University]. I am currently the president of the society and have the responsibility of managing ten executives. Throughout my second and third year at university I have actively represented [bank name] to graduates. I am a very active executive of the [language] Speaking Society where I am actively organising cultural events such as the [celebration] and [language] [national celebration]. I am the Student-Staff Liaison Committee member for the third year law students and actively exercise my commitment to the legal profession. On a sportier note, I have won a gold medal for England in the [English sports tournament name] 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.
Why do you wish to become a solicitor? (250 words)*
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.
In my second year at [university] University 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. As follows, I am actively involved in mooting competitions at the university and enjoy debating and disputing a legal position of a client. 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.
What skills do you believe contribute to the success of a solicitor? (250 words)*
A solicitor must be able to devise innovative solutions at their own initiative and sometimes go out of their way to deliver effective solutions to their clients. For example, a solicitor needs to have good commercial awareness to make sure they are familiar with the client’s industry and business activity. This allows a solicitor to put the legal information and knowledge in a context that is relevant to the client’s needs. Having an understanding of this context therefore speeds up the delivery of a solution thus giving the client as well as the law firm a competitive advantage.
A solicitor must be able to communicate both to clients and colleagues. Communication is imperative in building and maintaining successful client relationships as well as understanding client’s problem. Effective communication with the client can create transparency, openness and collegiality which means that a solicitor will be able to form an effective dialogue with the client. This is very important when trying to retrieve information or consult the client about specific information. Communication is also vital in team situations since a client’s problem is likely to permeate several legal and commercial practice areas. It is therefore important that a solicitor can communicate successfully with other practice groups, be it to receive specific advice or information, explain the client’s problem or to simply ensure the overall coherence of the case when working in a team.
Why are your skills/attributes suited to a career at Paul Hastings? Why should we offer you a Summer Vacation Placement or Training Contract? (250 words)*
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. I can also freely interchange between [language], English and [language] languages, which would therefore allow me to provide first-class client service when dealing with international clients. Last summer I have liaised with a [language] client whilst working for [law firm] and assisted a South African client in a property deal in London whilst working for [company name]. Undertaking a training contract with Paul Hastings would provide me with an opportunity to provide a seamless service across geographic boundaries.
I have an ability to communicate a point across very clearly and to persuade others. This year I have finally (and for the first time in sixty years) have managed to start up an on-campus amateur [Sport] club. However, I have managed to persuasively and successfully communicate my petition for a [Sport] club to the management thus removing any entrenched prejudices.
I am disciplined and have excellent time-management and organisational skills which will allow me to accomplish tasks on time and meet deadlines. Last year I have successfully organised and managed a New Year’s party for the [university] [language] Speaking Society by successfully liaising with other executives and effectively coordinating resources.
What has attracted you to Paul Hastings? (250 words)*
I am attracted by the 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.
Unlike its other firms, Paul Hastings takes a multi-disciplinary approach to handling complex transactions and litigation and in advising clients on a wide array of legal issues. I was especially impressed by the Lexington Corporate Properties Trust case where Paul Hastings put up two teams each of which prepared for a particular kind of deal. I especially liked the fact that Paul Hastings brought lawyers from Washington, DC and New York to work on numerous practices including corporate, real estate, employment, environmental, litigation, and tax practices. Together with Paul Hastings’ depth and breadth of experience for building strong relationships with clients I will be exposed to multiple angles on clients’ problems both in terms of practice areas and jurisdictions. This will entail me with a prospect of comparing and contrasting multiple jurisdictions and practice areas concurrently thus fostering a steeper trajectory for growth in my capacity as a solicitor. All this will make my work experience different, enjoyable and unique.