Watson Farley Williams Vacation Scheme Application
Watson Farley Williams Vacation Scheme Application
Outside of employment or work experience, please tell us about any positions of responsibility you have held which you would like to highlight to us. (250 words)
Whilst at University, I founded the [Language] Speaking Society as a way of educating others about [Country] culture and history. I regularly take part in rowing competitions which, due to my experienced rower status, require me to organise and lead the team. I actively organise field trips for myself and my friends as a way of learning about local values, culture and geographical landscape.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? (250 words)
In my spare time, I greatly enjoy playing squash and rowing. I was chosen to join the University’s squash team during my this year in Nottingham, which I feel is an important achievement given that I only started to play squash six months ago. I believe this successfully outlines my determination to learn and succeed, especially when faced with new challenges.
I have also rowed in the UK, Cyprus and [country] at both, club and national level and have competed in over ten competitions. Rowing has taught me the importance of persistence, discipline and tolerance, and has allowed me to flourish socially and academically. I am in turn very keen to share my skills with my friends and colleagues. In 2014, I founded the [Language] Society at [University] to teach and promote [Language] and culture amongst students. I have also been actively involved in internal mooting and debating competitions both at University of Nottingham and at Gray’s Inn as a way of exercising my interest in law. I believe that mooting and debating have developed my legal and interpersonal skills on a more interactive level.
Moreover, I very much enjoy travelling and exploring new places. Being a sociable person, I particularly enjoy interacting with people from different cultures and places, and can adapt quickly to different environments and situations. I also greatly enjoy outings in nature as they help me to relax from the busy life in the city and appreciate its sublime surroundings.
What is it that attracts you to a career as a commercial solicitor? (200 words)
I aspire to be a commercial solicitor because I believe every single day will be different and challenging, yet appealing. During my time at the university and the Bar Professional Training Course, I studied commercial law and participated in commercial mooting competitions where I had the opportunity to apply and interpret the law in complex scenarios. This experience pushed me to think laterally and consider different perspectives before reaching a conclusion. I enjoyed the intellectual and commercial challenge the field offers. As commercial matters usually involve different areas of law, industries and jurisdictions, they require extensive problem-solving and research skills. This will present me with a chance to work in integrated and diverse teams with a commercial focus on the problem – an aspect of legal work which I felt was absent from a career at the Bar. Given the inherently international nature of commercial law, I am attracted by the prospect of working on unique and unprecedented commercial issues and devising cutting-edge solution for clients. This will see me work in international teams and allow me to forge relationships with professionals and clients from different countries, which will help me to develop into a successful commercial solicitor.
Why are you applying to WFW? (250 words)
I have chosen to apply to WFW because 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 present me with 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. Whilst operating in a global environment, I will be able to add value to my work through my cultural empathy and innovative thinking.
I find WFW’s relatively small trainee intake to be appealing, because it offers an opportunity to work closely with market-leading lawyers which will allow me to make a greater contribution to the matters I work on. I feel that the intimate and closely knit environment as well as WFW’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.
Another aspect that appeals to me is WFW’s overseas secondment programme, which will allow me to gain first-hand experience in understanding legal issues across multiple jurisdictions and allow me to build new contacts.
Tell us about an achievement that has made you proud. How did you make it happen? (250 words)
The most important personal achievement that I am particularly proud of is helping the homeless through volunteer work for the housing charity Shelter in [city]. This experience was exceptional because it afforded me the pleasure of making a positive change in the lives of others. Shelter achieves its goals in a number of ways. 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 had to go 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.
Describe a time when you had to be particularly well organised to meet a challenging deadline. (250 words)
During my vacation scheme at [law firm], I worked as part of a team when preparing a file for a case to be heard in the Mercantile Court. Before our court hearing, I worked closely in a team to finalise our case and develop a strategy. I was in charge of organising all documents and compiling a hearing bundle. Whilst preparing the hearing bundle, I found it particularly challenging in organising all documents because some documents such as expert witness statements were still in their draft form whilst other documents were missing. In order to prepare an accurate and complete hearing bundle, I prepared a schedule of all the documents we should have at the end and used post it notes to mark the status of each document (i.e. whether it was in its draft form or missing). I then contacted each solicitor responsible for each document and managed to get an update on when I should expect to receive these documents. I then updated my schedule by indicating the status of each document and when it should be expected. In the end, I was able to get hold of all the up-to-date documents before the deadline. My excellent organisational skills have allowed me to ensure that I had all the documents for the bundle by the deadline.
Describe a time when you were working as part of a team and things did not go to plan.
o How did you resolve the situation?
What did you learn about working with others? (250 words)
Several hours before our rowing competition, one of our experienced rowers had dropped out due to an injury. Without this rower, our chances of winning were significantly reduced. I only had a couple of hours to deal with the situation. I consulted my team members to see who else was available who could substitute our experienced rower. We made a couple of phone calls to see who was available. Having found two available rowers, we asked them to join us. With an hour left before the competition, we had a team meeting in order to adjust our strategy. Given that the replacement rowers were not used to rowing with us, we had to explain our strategy were clearly and get the replacement rowers to do what they were comfortable with. As one of the more experienced rowers, I assumed the leadership role in coordinating the team and executing our strategy during the competition. I learnt that it is extremely important to show initiative during a difficult time in a team in order to resolve the problem. Equally, I felt that it is important to exercise leadership skills in order to hold the team together and maintain team morale. During this situation, I learnt that it is extremely important to have very transparent and effective communication between team members when resolving a problem as this helps to arrive at a solution.