Whether you’re applying for pupillage or a training contract, it’s essential that your application is flawless. Here are our top five tips on how to make your application stand out.
Make sure your CV is well organised, and your information carefully selected
The people reviewing your CV will be looking over hundreds, make sure yours is clear and concise. Have your relevant grades listed, alongside any scholarships. Make sure you add detail to your work experience with straightforward explanations of what you did while you were there – and make sure it is relevant to the role you are applying for.
If you are applying for pupillage, highlight your mini-pupillages and any Chamber related experience or extra-curricular work you have done. Likewise, if you are applying for training contracts, make sure your experience in other relevant firms stands out. It may be of use to prioritise these on the page in order of relevance and importance.
Make your cover letter specific to the application
Again, recruiters or admissions offices will see hundreds of cover letters. You want to make sure yours stands out from the crowd, highlighting your strengths and how they are relevant to the role or the course. You need to make sure you explain exactly why you have chosen this specific firm, chambers or course, stress how the areas of law or the feel of the firm appeals to you personally. Expand on why you believe you would be the best possible candidate.
Ensure that you specify your interest in the particular field of law that you’re applying to. Relate this back to any experience you may have had in that area, and why it particularly appeals to you. For example, if you are applying to a commercial firm or the commercial bar, it may be of use to highlight some of the modules you have done and how this has developed your skills in this area.
Do your research
In order to write a cover letter or answer application questions successfully, you need be precise and knowledgeable. Finding out exactly which areas of law the firm specialises in and why you want to work in that particular field is essential. If you show an interest in the work the Chambers or firm does, and some of the recent cases or awards they have been successful in, your interest will seem more genuine. Be thorough, though, as interviewers may ask you more about what you have written if you are successful in your application – so make sure you do your research!
If you have attended a law fair or a careers talk that developed your initial interest in a firm or Chambers, be sure to highlight this – your enthusiasm is key.
Double check everything
Firstly, you must make sure that all of your credentials are true as this may be checked, and it is a straight rule out if you have been dishonest. Secondly, check your spelling and grammar. It may seem trivial, but if your application is poorly written, those reviewing it may see it as a weakness in your academic ability, and may not see your interest in the role as legitimate.
Make sure you are on top of deadlines for each application. You should be applying well before the deadline, and if you miss it there will be no exceptions – you will have to wait another year. Law is such a competitive field, so the sooner you get your application in, the better it looks.