Why do you want to be a commercial solicitor?
Since [year] I have been a very zealous member of the ‘[society]’ society. In [year], I have successfully started an on-campus [Sport] club. I am currently the president of the society and have the responsibility of managing ten executives. I have actively represented [bank name] to graduates. I am a very active executive of the [language] Speaking Society. I am the Student-Staff Liaison Committee member for the third year law students and actively exercise my commitment to the legal profession by maintain a social dialogue between the students and staff of the law school. On a sportier note, I have won a gold medal for England in the Four Nations amateur [Sport] tournament. I am also a member of the [university] [sport] club and have been selected to play in the [sport] National Championships last summer. I am also a member of the [university] [club].
Limit your total response to both questions to 200 words.*
a) Why do you want to be a commercial solicitor?
b) Why are you particularly interested in applying to Denton Wilde Sapte and why at this location?
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.
I am attracted by the relatively small number of trainee intake and the unique business model that provides unparalleled expertise and understanding of four key sectors. This combination will offer me early responsibility and bespoke training that is individually tailored to my interests, experience and aptitude. More importantly, I will receive the excitement and challenge of working on high value, complex transactions and disputes, in the size of office where everyone knows who you are. Working in London will avail me with a chance to form and maintain relationships with a broad range of international clients thus making my experience personally and professionally rewarding rewarding.
Tell me about a time you experienced a steep learning curve. (limit your total response to both questions to 250 words)
a) How did you cope?
b) What learning challenges did you face?
Whilst working for [law firm] I was responsible for preparing and compiling some research on Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA) to be presented to the client. I was told to go into a completely new area by doing some preliminary textbook research and later consolidate it using articles, treaties and other instruments. I found this task slightly daunting at first, but when I got started on basic reading the picture became clearer. The main challenge was for me to learn a large volume of information in a short amount of time and to present it to the client in a coherent manner. Having done all the research on TIEA’s I had to amalgamate all information together and compare it against the client’s problem. This meant that I had to be selective in terms of the material I presented which found me doing further research around the client’s industry and the type of activity they carried out to ensure that the examples were relevant to their business. This meant that I had to go outside the prescribed research and illustrate legal elements of TIEA’s in a context familiar to the client. This required me to look at past cases decided in the client’s industry that were perhaps not as relevant for the current purpose. Nevertheless, I managed to extract important information regarding the client’s sector that allowed me to form a relevant context in which to fit the legal information.
Describe a time when you worked effectively as a team member to accomplish an important goal (limit to 250 words)
a) What was the goal or objective?
b) To what extent did you interact with others on this project?
Recently, I have undertaken a ‘[legal practice area]’ module whereby I had to work in a simulated solicitor’s environment along with two colleagues. The goal of the course was to represent a client in a contract lawsuit. Initially we assigned each other tasks depending on individual strengths. Having started the designated tasks we found ourselves communicating and holding regular meetings. This canvassing opinion allowed each solicitor to share their knowledge and creativity with each other which significantly improved individual performance. More importantly, this collegial and open atmosphere resulted in the team gaining a holistic perspective of the case and developing a great awareness of how their contribution feeds into the overall progression of the case. This found us communicating with each other in informal meetings to find an innovative and effective solution. There was slightly less communication when we set ourselves standards and objectives to accomplish a given task by a given deadline. Nevertheless if one of us found something unclear, we always made an effort to contact each other to gain another perspective on the problem. Having completed our tasks, we then met in a group and discussed what we have accomplished thus far and collectively decided what could be improved further. This meant that we could deliver a seamless and structured solution to the client’s problem, which helped us to secure a victory in court.