Training Contract Application Example Answers
During my work experience I compiled a case bundle, wrote correspondence letters, attended case management discussions, conducted research using legal databases, accompanied the senior solicitors to meetings with a barrister and liaised with members of the corporate legal department. I proved to be an excellent team player and gained advocacy skills. I have achieved the skill of working under pressure with approaching deadlines in a medium-sized law firm. I provided a seamless and responsive service to [law firm]’s international financial institution clients.
Having worked closely with fee-earners, I gained practical experience in research, drafting, procedural and client-related skills. I have worked as a paralegal in an entrepreneurial environment which effectively improved my ability to work individually while still operating as a team player. I was a highly visible part of the working team: communicating with the team and clients. The fact that the firm is very entrepreneurial and has a global reach meant that I had to be adaptable, an active problem-solver and had to think on my feet. Through my practical experience and in-depth study of the legal and business issues affecting these clients, I helped to provide counsel in an intelligent, knowledgeable, forceful and focused way.
I worked alongside Professor [professor’s name], [director of a department], on an innovative distance-learning course developed to provide a recognised qualification for licensing officers in local government. I have developed innovative skills and an ability to tailor legal material to licensing officers in local government. Having received little supervision I was able to contribute to the success of the project which shows my initiative at the workplace and a high degree of self-motivation and maturity.
I have worked in the compliance department where I shadowed an in-house solicitor. On a daily basis I carried out both legal and non-legal research, accompanied the solicitor to meetings, helped to compile a case bundle, and wrote letters to clients. This has taught me the interaction of law and business and thus increased my ability to effectively provide for client needs.
Why do you want to become a City Lawyer? (250 words)*
I aspire to becoming a City Lawyer because I would particularly like to work for international clients on a range of multi-disciplinary issues. I am especially interested in corporate and commercial law because it will allow me to assume the role of a project manager and will vest me with early responsibility. 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. During my time with [law firm] I consolidated my desire of becoming a City Lawyer because I genuinely enjoyed interacting with clients as it allowed me to exercise my [language] language and enabled me to learn about clients’ business and place of operation. This made me more commercially aware and taught me to find pragmatic solutions to client needs. By practising as a City Lawyer I will be able to come into contact with a range of national and international clients operating in a diverse range of industries and thus for the above reasons make my work unique and personally challenging.
B. What attracts you to Bingham? (250 words)*
Bingham McCutchen (London) LLP interests me very much for numerous reasons. Firstly, unlike other international firms, Bingham McCutchen (London) LLP takes a multi-disciplinary approach to handling complex transactions and litigation and in advising clients on a wide array of legal issues. Together with Bingham McCutchen (London) LLP’s 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. Working alongside leading international institutions will allow me to interchange between different languages and jurisdictions which will make my work experience different, enjoyable and unique. Secondly, I am attracted by the small number of trainee intake which I feel will give me a hands-on experience and allow me to perform more substantive legal tasks than Bingham McCutchen (London) LLP’s counterparts, thus making the work personally and professionally rewarding.
Please explain why you believe you would be a successful trainee at Bingham in London?
Being a person with a great sense of initiative and someone who is driven by the desire to find solutions, I will be motivated to learn and succeed in a challenging environment. The small team-approach will provide me with firsthand experience of the work and practice of high-calibre solicitors which will make my training both socially and professionally rewarding. I am very attracted by Bingham’s practical experience and in-depth study of the legal and business issues affecting their clients which allows London lawyers to provide counsel in an intelligent and knowledgeable way. Having worked in a legal and financial setting, I have gained extensive commercial awareness which in turn allows me to relate to the client’s activity and the market in which they operate. This knowledge would therefore allow me to deliver a timely and successful solution which is crucial in today’s knowledge-based economy with short-term investment horizons. Overall, being a dedicated person with an excellent academic and practical experience track-record, I am determined to learn and succeed in a challenging setting with immediate interaction with successful partners.
D. What are the most important rewards you expect in your career? (250 words)*
The biggest reward in my career as a solicitor would be to learn the UK, US and [language] jurisdictions. Throughout my life I have lived in the US, [country], [country] and UK. I am therefore able to freely interchange between [language], English and [language] languages. This flexibility has vested me with an interest in exploring and comparing different jurisdictions and more importantly I find that my diplomacy skills would be very successful and effective when transacting with international clients. Eventually, I would like to become a partner in an international law firm and contribute to its overall strategy and direction. This would vest me with great management and leadership responsibilities with a great degree of challenge whilst operating alongside other international law firms. My dual role in managing the firm and providing legal services would help to make my career more entrepreneurial and rewarding.
*need to expand this section – you have 250 words so use them! Needs to be more about where you see your career going, show your ambition *
E. What motivates you to put forward your greatest effort? Describe a situation in which you did so. (250 words)*
I am a person who likes to see things done right to the end and I am very results-driven person. I particularly like to see how my contribution to a task or a project feeds in to the final outcome. This summer I worked for [law firm] alongside a senior solicitor in the employment department. I assisted the solicitor with legal research, compilation of a bundle and accompanied her to various meetings. I was normally assigned a certain task each day. However, having completed assigned tasks earlier than expected; I was very keen to take on more responsibility to see the broader picture of the case. I therefore used my initiative at the workplace by observing the solicitor and going outside my prescribed tasks for the day. I noticed that taking little steps such as researching a case or legal commentary helped to push the case forward at a faster pace. I later discovered that assuming more responsibility added another dimension to the case which the solicitor found very helpful especially in terms of producing innovative solutions. Having been given the responsibility to work on a high-profile case I felt motivated to challenge myself intellectually and follow my contribution through to the end of the case.
F. Describe a particularly challenging experience you have faced and the way you dealt with it
This year I have successfully set up a ‘[University] [Sport] Club’, which has been unsuccessfully attempted for over fifty years. The main reason for there not being a [Sport] club at the university is because the sports committee had health and safety concerns regarding the nature of the sport. However, having [done the sport] at both national and international level, I was instinctively led to adopt a different view. Therefore, when approaching the sports committee in meetings I had to resort to another perspective and mitigate its concerns. I got many people interested in the sport and invited them to come along to the meeting with the sports panel so as to present a broader perspective on the sport, bearing in mind that the majority of these people have not done [Sport] before. After much consideration the sports committee allowed [university] University to form an affiliation with the ‘[university name] [Sport] Club’. From then on I had to attend multiple meetings with the ‘[university name] [Sport] Club’ to decide how to best merge the two clubs together, which admittedly was very time consuming and stressful because ‘[University] [Sport] Club’ was not officially recognised. Lack of recognition prevented us from receiving sponsorship. I established a ‘[Sport] Appreciation Society’ to promote [Sport] at [university] University and act as a proxy for the affiliate club. This official society gained the ‘[University] [Sport] Club’ recognition which means that we can start marketing the club and receiving support from various organisations.
G. Identify a current commercial issue which has recently attracted your attention. Why do you consider it to be significant? Who are the key stakeholders in this situation and what are the implications for those concerned?
I was particularly attracted by the landmark ruling in the Supreme Court on bank charges. The Supreme Court had refused to give the Office of Fair Trading the right to investigate the fairness of unauthorised overdraft charges. This case is significant especially in the light of the current economic climate as an estimated one million customers who have lodged demands for the return of their money are likely to be turned down unless they can prove that they are suffering financial hardship. The key stakeholders in this ruling are bank customers and banks. The implication of this decision for the banks is that they can charge whatever they like, irrespective of whether it is fair or reasonable. Some stakeholders, notably bank customers, stress that the banks ought to remember that taxpayers have handed them a big cheque to bail them out. On the other hand, despite widespread opposition to overdraft charges, the millions of bank customers who do not incur any charges and therefore receive their current account services at no cost, or even receive interest, will welcome the Supreme Court’s decision. If the banks had lost, it could have cost the industry up to £3 billion a year in lost revenue and led to refund payments of up to £10 billion. The implication for bank customers would have been the introduction of monthly account charges and increases in other fees, such as cash machine withdrawals, as the banks look to recoup the lost revenue.
H. Please give details of any prizes, scholarships, positions of responsibility and any other noteworthy achievements that will support your application.
I have received a ‘[award name]’ award for receiving the highest grades at A-Level and GCSE in my institutions of study. I have [done the sport] in the Four Nations tournament and have won over fifty trophies at national level. 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. 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 fifty amateur bouts I have [done the sport] at national level and represented England in the Four Nations Tournament. 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. Recently I was selected to represent [University] in the [sport] Nationals.