Why are you interested in working for an international city law firm?
Willing to take control of events and see activities through by overcoming obstacles and setbacks. Is forthcoming with ideas and suggestions, spots opportunities and finds ways to improve or enhance ways of working.
A. Describe an occasion when you spotted an opportunity to make an improvement and took action without being asked to do so? What steps did you take? What was the outcome? (200 words)*
At [Law Firm Name] ([LAW FIRM INITIALS]), I assisted the senior partner on a cross-border case comprising of a shareholder dispute in a joint venture vehicle. As the client could only speak [language], I was the first point of contact.
The supervising partner being away on another case in Asia, I started receiving a vast number of [language] documents from the client. Instead of allowing the documents to compile, I have displayed initiative and resourcefulness to organise the documents into bundles. When compiling the bundle, I exercised lateral thinking and created an index and spine labels in English to ensure that the partner could easily see what the documents were. On her return, the partner was very impressed with my entrepreneurialism. As the case was to go on a trial in several weeks, the partner found it easy to refer to documents and decide which needed urgent attention. In effect, this helped us to meet tight deadlines and gain time to make improvements to other parts of the case.
Shows a commitment to high standards for both own and others work no matter how small the task. Demonstrates drive, stamina and the capacity to work hard. Makes the extra effort although it may not always be in own self interest.
B. Describe an occasion when you have demonstrated commitment to a task or project that resulted in you exceeding expectations either for yourself or others. What steps did you take? What was the outcome? (200 words)
At present, I am assisting [law firm]’s London team on [high-net-worth individual]’s defense to [high-net-worth individual]’s claim estimated at £[value] in a dispute arising from sale of the claimant’s shares in [natural resources company], one of [country’s] largest oil companies. I am working closely with [law firm]’s associates from [city] and London offices in conducting disclosure pursuant to the court’s order. The documents will have to be disclosed sooner than we have time to review them, which is seeing us work in a quick paced environment to meet very tight deadlines.
I have demonstrated persistency, drive and commitment by working outside my set hours to ensure that as many documents are reviewed as practicality permits. Outside my work hours, I set myself ambitious targets and aimed to review documents that were mainly in [language]. This helped to ensure that the non-[language] speaking team did not waste their time in reviewing documents that they would not have understood. I and the team have found that this helped to save a vast amount of time and apply it more productively to other documents. This has resulted in us exceeding our targets.
Awareness of own impact on commercial success of the firm. Understands the context in which the firm operates. Provides a quality client service that balances the needs of the client and the firm.
In recent years the UK has been affected by a severe economic downturn. Using your own experience of a workplace illustrate how the firm you worked for continued to maintain its competitive advantage within the marketplace. (200 words)
At [Law Firm Name], I assisted on high-profile [language] energy cases including the £500 million [company] enforcement of arbitration awards against [company] and a shareholder dispute in a joint venture vehicle in Netherlands. I came to learn that a lot of new work came from referrals from an existing client. The partners were very conscious that one particular client was the firm’s main source of income and so offered rebates and a tailored and specialised client service. For instance, the firm recruited several [language] speaking associates and an in-house translator to ensure that the clients received a first-class service. This has also helped to foster very strong professional relationships with the client and bolstered the firm’s reputation with certain sectors. For example, being impressed by my professionalism, a [language] client requested that I attend a Board of Directors Extraordinary General Meeting of a natural resources joint venture vehicle in Amsterdam.
Why are you interested in working for an international city law firm and becoming a commercial solicitor with CMS Cameron McKenna?
I am interested in working for an international city law firm because every day is varied, challenging and engaging. As commercial matters span many areas of law, industries and borders, they demand the application of lateral thinking and extensive problem-solving. In turn, this would see me work in integrated teams with a commercial focus on the problem in a quick-paced environment with approaching deadlines. This would produce more interesting work, greater variety and a wider group of experts to learn.
I want to become a commercial solicitor with CMS Cameron McKenna because it operates under a policy of openness. This would allow me to share ideas and concerns across the firm freely, which would help my personal development and allow me to operate in close and transparent teams where I will be able to form and maintain strong relationships.
CMS Cameron McKenna would enable me access to its entire international network where I would get an opportunity to experience multi-jurisdictional work and an opportunity to spend time in one of its offices abroad. This could allow me to make use of my language skills to deliver an improved client service and make my career geographically, intellectually and professionally rewarding.
Please list extra-curricular interests, activities and responsibilities. (200 words)
At university I was the founding member of the amateur [Sport] club, an executive of the [language] Speaking Society, a member of the ‘[society]’ society, a Student-Staff Liaison Committee representative.
My interests include amateur [Sport] (competed on a national level and won a gold medal for England), [sport], travelling, football, reading, networking and current affairs.