Please explain what attracts you to a career in commercial law
I enjoy fitness and regularly practise [sport], go jogging and play football. I share my skills and passion for the sport by providing lessons to friends and people who have an interest in [sport]. I enjoy travelling because it allows me to meet new people and broaden my mind. In the past, I travelled to Turkey, Spain, [country], Czech Republic, Germany and other countries. This year, I am planning to visit Italy and Switzerland. I regularly take part in charitable runs and in the past, I helped to raise over four thousand pounds for the McMillan Cancer Support. I occasionally play [sport] and was selected to represent my university in the National [sport] Championships. I enjoy taking part in community initiatives and during one summer, I helped to refurbish a local church. My other interests include current affairs, reading, technology, social outings, motoring and photography. I enjoy mooting and at university, I attained a third place in the Clifford Chance Mooting Competition.
At university, as a dedicated member of the [environmental society], I helped to introduce and develop social responsibility initiatives. I had successfully organised and developed a scheme whereby all unused desktops in the library were turned off during the vacation breaks to help reduce the university’s carbon footprint. In my third year at university, I held the position of a law representative for the student-staff liaison committee and delivered constant improvements to the law school. As the President of the [university] Amateur [sport] Society, I organised training sessions, coordinated and managed executives, promoted the club to students and helped to attract outside investment to help the society grow. In my second year at University, I was the sports executive for the [language] Speaking Society and organised many exciting social and sporting initiatives such as football games, badminton competitions and jogging. I enjoy mooting and at university, I attained a third place in the Clifford Chance Mooting Competition.
I attained a third place for my sixth form in the European Debating Competition in [year]. In [year], I was awarded the [award]for academic excellence at GCSE and A-Levels. In [year], I received the [award] for outstanding performance in [sport] and in the same year, I won a gold medal for England in amateur [sport] in the [tournament name].
Please explain what attracts you to a career in commercial law and why you feel your skills suit this career? Why does working at Simmons & Simmons particularly appeal to you? (250 words max)*
I am attracted to a career in commercial law because I enjoy dealing with complex problems and adapting to new challenges and, with the globalisation of commerce, I will operate in a wide array of industry sectors and work as part of a global team to make things happen, set new standards and push boundaries. Such teamwork on a global platform will help me to build relationships and forge new contacts.
I possess commercial acumen, problem solving, and teamwork skills which makes me suited to a career in commercial law because I will operate in broad and diverse teams to solve complex problems and provide practical solutions to clients. My attention to detail, organisational and analytical skills will enable me to manage my workload effectively and deal with complex issues and ideas in a quick-paced environment. I am flexible, determined and enjoy thinking on my feet which will enable me to deal with cases that do not always have clearly defined solutions and deal with different perspectives and offer solutions.
Working at Simmons & Simmons appeals to me because I like its innovative and dynamic approach and focus on the fastest growing sectors because this forward-looking approach will expose me to cutting-edge deals and new problems which will allow me to operate in a stimulating and exciting environment. I am attracted by Simmons & Simmons’s focus on emerging markets and global reach because this will allow me to work with solicitors from across different jurisdictions and expose me to new ideas and challenges.
At Simmons & Simmons we look for trainees who are highly motivated and can take the initiative to deliver a high quality of service to our clients. Tell us about a time when you have had to show real determination to complete a challenging task/project. What did you specifically do to achieve it? What obstacles did you have to overcome? (250 words max)*
Whilst at [law firm] , I was given the responsibility of ensuring that witness statements conformed to a unified formatting guide before being filed with court on the next day. Late into the night, I discovered that the wrong versions of the witness statements were translated. I immediately contacted the supervising attorney and explained the problem to him. The attorney asked me to translate these sections within a very tight timeframe which, from a practical point-of-view, was not doable as there was nobody to assist me. Having assessed the situation, I contacted translation agencies but none would take on this job at such short notice. I then contacted the team working on this matter in the [city] office and asked for their assistance. I organised and flagged up the sections that needed translating and, along with the deadline, distributed them across to the [city] team. In the early hours of the morning, I asked the London team to do a final sanity check of the documents. Ultimately, the witness statements were translated accurately and filed with court on time.
As a trainee at Simmons & Simmons you will need to effectively manage your time and juggle competing priorities in order to meet client expectations. Please tell us about a time when you have had to adapt quickly to change/learn quickly in a new environment. How did you manage this? What did you find most challenging about this process? (250 words max)*
At Byrne and Partners, I assisted on a shareholder dispute in a joint venture vehicle. I attended a board of directors EGM of a joint venture in Amsterdam in my capacity as an interpreter between clients and overseas solicitors. I expected the meeting to be based on the agenda; however, I was required to deal with new information as the client disclosed large volumes of new documentation. For me, this change meant that as well as interpreting between the parties, I had to work with the client to identify and discuss the relevant documents. This meant that I had to draw from my knowledge of the case to understand how the new information fitted in with the case and apply lateral thinking. I then presented complex information to solicitors in a clear and understandable language. This situation required me to adapt to a highly complex and quick-paced environment where I had to think on my feet and constantly align myself with the client’s commercial objectives. I found it most challenging to have to constantly adjust between interpreting and analysing new information. In order to make the situation clearer and more manageable, I finished analysing the documents with the client and then gave a short presentation to the solicitors. I found this method to be very effective because it ensured that everyone was fully informed on the new information.
Key to being a successful trainee at Simmons & Simmons is being able to build positive relationships with a variety of clients and colleagues from different backgrounds. Please describe a relationship you developed with someone which you found to be challenging. Explain why this was the case and what steps you took to ensure it was a success. (250 words max)*
Whilst at [law firm], I found it challenging to work with the supervising legal assistant because they were very demanding. For example, on one case the legal assistant wanted to complete all tasks very quickly and well ahead of the deadline. The supervising legal assistant was dissatisfied if their internal deadlines were not met. This put the entire team under great pressure and required it to work until late. I found that this was not the most effective approach since some tasks required more thought and attention than others and had different levels of urgency. I suggested to the supervising legal assistant that it may help to prioritise tasks and allocate the time and resources accordingly. I also explained to them that I would not mind staying late if there was a genuine business need. The legal assistant applied my method and noticed that the quality of the work product improved and all deadlines were met. I believe that my approach was successful because I made the legal assistant aware of more effective ways of working. The legal assistant found that this approach increased their focus and gave them more time out of the office.