Applications for training contracts are highly competitive, with many firms taking the decision to solely recruit candidates who have already participated in their vacation schemes. It is therefore essential to ensure that you pitch your vacation scheme application correctly and demonstrate the transferable skills that you have gained during your undergraduate degree.
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Transferable skills are skills that you acquire during your studies, or through other extracurricular activities, which you’re able to transfer to another part of your life.
For example, by being an active member of a student society you will have developed your ability to work effectively as part of a team because you will have liaised with a range of individuals in order to promote your society’s aims, manage its budget and organise events.
This is a skill that is critical to a future trainee, as they will be working both within a legal department and the wider law firm alongside other trainees, associates and partners.
What transferable skills do you acquire during a law degree?
A law degree is a highly respected qualification and this is partly to do with the range of skills that law graduates acquire during their studies.
Law degrees involve countless exams and essays and most students will have also had other commitments such as part time jobs, pro bono work and roles within student societies. This means that they will have learned to effectively manage their time in order to meet competing deadlines.
Throughout your law degree you will have been asked to absorb huge amounts of legislation, case law and critical analysis and use them in order to construct clear and concise arguments. Your ability to effectively convey information in both written and verbal form is a key transferable skill that you can highlight in your application.
As part of your degree you will have also been asked to give presentations and participate in other advocacy exercises. This will have equipped you with the ability to think on your feet and represent the interests of a client. This is a skill that will have been further developed by any pro bono work that you might have done.
It is not enough to simply state that you have acquired a transferable skill. you must explain how you acquired the skill, by giving key examples of the activities you’ve done and how they have developed your ability to perform. For example if you have worked as a student ambassador, explain how this has developed your ability to communicate effectively by giving examples of your duties and explaining how those duties have improved your interpersonal skills.
It is also essential to explain how these transferable skills will be helpful to you in your future career as a solicitor as this will help to demonstrate that you have an understanding of the duties of a trainee and ultimately meet the specification.
It is likely that you will pick up a number of transferable skills during your law degree. However, the most important thing to ensure for vacation scheme success, is that you accurately demonstrate these skills clearly throughout your application.
Here are some more important things to consider:
Author: Hannah Capstick
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