Stephenson Harwood Vacation Scheme Application
Stephenson Harwood Vacation Scheme ApplicationTell us about your greatest achievements in your work and/or study.
• What challenges did you experience?
• How did you respond to those challenges?
• What was the outcome?
A personal achievement that I am particularly proud of is helping the homeless through volunteer work for the housing charity Shelter in [city].
This experience afforded me the pleasure of making a positive change in the lives of others, in a number of ways over multiple projects. For instance, for one local day centre, we brought together builders and developers (who provided their services on a volunteer basis) to upgrade existing facilities, some of which were quite worn and dilapidated. I helped one of the managers who was coordinating the work of construction teams doing the improvements. I budgeted the costs of the project and then assisted the general contractor in subcontracting the work. I also worked through the council’s planning permission process, which was quite uncommon due to the fact that we had a building for the homeless and those in need, which was an aspect the council was not accustomed to. Overall, I feel that my involvement with Shelter has enabled me to make a real and tangible contribution to those in need as well as facilitated my understanding of different socio-economic areas. In turn, I felt extremely proud and happy to see my efforts convert into real help for the homeless.
Overall, I played an instrumental role in making the projects happen by being flexible in the roles I took on, and quick to volunteer my help when appropriate.
Do you think this will be considered as an achievement in work? Also, do you think I should put more than one achievement?
What activities do you pursue outside of work and/or study? Outline any individual and team outstanding achievements.
• What responsibilities have you taken on?
• Why did you take on the responsibility?
• How did you motivate yourself to achieve it?
• What team activities have you taken part in?
• What did you do to work together with the team?
• What was your role in the team?
In my spare time, I greatly enjoy playing squash and rowing. I was chosen to University’s squash team during my last year in [city], which I feel is an important achievement given that I started squash in the second year of LLB. I believe this successfully outlines my determination to learn and succeed, especially when presented with new tasks. I have rowed in the UK, Cyprus and [country] at both club and national level having had over ten competitions. I strongly feel that rowing has taught me the importance of persistence, discipline and tolerance, and has supported my social and academic development. I am very keen to share my skills with the society. I have managed to start up [language] Language Society at the [university] with the view to promoting [language] language and culture amongst students. On a more academic note, I have been actively involved in internal mooting and debating competitions at [university] and Gray’s Inn as a way of exercising my interest in law. I believe that mooting and debating allow me to implement my enthusiasm for law on a more interactive level.
I very much enjoy travelling and exploring new places. Being a sociable person, I particularly enjoy interacting with people from different cultures and places as I believe that it helps my character and cultural development. Also, I greatly enjoy spending time in nature and have a particular fondness for rivers. This is reflected in my interest and sympathy for rowing.
What makes a good commercial lawyer?
• What skills do you need?
• Why do you need these skills?
• How have you developed these skills?
• How do you believe you can demonstrate the skills required? (250 words)
A good commercial lawyer should have excellent team work and problem solving skills, good levels of commercial awareness and outstanding communication skills. A commercial lawyer is presented with new challenges when working with businesses from different sectors and countries and they therefore need to have good problem-solving skills in order to solve new types of problems. When solving these commercial problems, a commercial lawyer needs to possess good commercial awareness and team work skills in order to work effectively with professionals from other backgrounds and cultures with a common view of delivering commercial solutions that are closely aligned to the commercial objectives of businesses. I have developed outstanding teamwork skills whilst working in teams during rowing competitions at which I demonstrated an ability to lead the team during difficult times and motivate each team member to achieve excellent results. During my vacation scheme at Bond Dickinson, I worked as part of a team when preparing a file for a case to be heard in the Mercantile Court. During this experience, I demonstrated excellent commercial awareness, organisational and communication skills by effectively organising all documents in a hearing bundle and liaising with solicitors in gathering all the missing documents in time for the hearing. I believe that I can demonstrate the above skills by making a tangible contribution when working in diverse teams. When working with clients from different industries, I can demonstrate good commercial awareness by ensuring that my work is in tune with the business model of our clients.
Describe how you came to the decision to apply to Stephenson Harwood.
• How did you research the firm?
• What interests you about the firm?
• What do you think the firm can offer you?
I have chosen to apply to Stephenson Harwood after I read about it on various online sources and spoken to other students about the firm. I am attracted by the firm’s rich international experience and market-leading reputation for advising businesses operating across a diverse number of industry sectors. I feel that these factors will allow me to gain experience working on complex, international and high-value cases that will make my vacation scheme and training contract personally and professionally rewarding, and allow me to put my skill set to full use. Operating in a global environment, I will be able to add value to my work through my international background, cultural empathy and innovative thinking.
I find the firm’s relatively small trainee intake to be appealing, because it offers an opportunity to work closely with market-leading lawyers, which in turn will allow me to make a greater contribution to the matters I work on. I feel that the closely-knit environment as well as Stephenson Harwood’s friendly culture will offer excellent exposure to legal cases and give me a platform to learn directly from leading solicitors. I also hope to gain some exposure in the firm’s shipping and international arbitration practices in order to build on my knowledge and experience in this field which I acquired through practice and studies.
I find the firm’s overseas secondment programme appealing as it will allow me to gain first-hand experience in understanding legal issues across multiple jurisdictions and to build new contacts in various locations.