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Charlotte Ball, Careers Adviser Applying for Training Contracts - Non Law Students 21 Jan 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Charlotte Ball, Careers Adviser Applying for Training Contracts - Non Law Students 21 Jan 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Charlotte Ball, Careers Adviser Applying for Training Contracts - Non Law Students 21 Jan 2009

2 2 This Session Will Help You To: 1.Briefly understand what a training contract is 2.Know when and where to look for training contracts 3.Make effective applications 4.Know where to look if you need more help

3 3 What is a Training Contract? 1.Necessary part of solicitor training, after GDL/CPE and LPC. 2.Takes 2 years. Comprises of seats (placements) in variety of practice areas. 3.No guarantee of job afterwards ( but likely ) 4.Not essential to secure before GDL/LPC but will pay fees (£8k - £17k)

4 4 When to Look: 1.Many firms recruit 2 years in advance 2.Most deadlines 31 July, but some earlier. Check at 3.Will be more opportunity on GDL/LPC to apply 4.Deferral may be possible 5.Apply as early as poss.

5 5 Where to Look: TC Vacancies (from March) Directories 1. Training Contracts Handbook 2. Chambers Student Guide The Vault – info on city law firms (available on Bristol careers website)

6 6 Where to Apply: 1.Think logically not impulsively 2.Think about specialisms 3.What sets the organisation apart? size, structure, cases, clients, niches, working environment, training, location 4.Do you meet their criteria? 5.Look for other opportunities to research than websites

7 7 Making Training Contract Applications

8 8 What are firms looking for? 1.Do you know what a solicitor does? 2.Do you know what skills they need? If not, you need to find out! See websites and vacancies for clues They will assume you know that they want people who can write concisely, accurately, and with focus.

9 9 Benefits of a non law student 1.A broader outlook (other skills and interests than law). Useful in applying law to real-life situations. 2.Have made an explicit and considered commitment rather than conveyer belted

10 10 The Application Process 1.CV/Covering Letter 2.Application Form (mainly on-line) 3.Sometimes both All general advice applies, but the following is particularly true for law firms:

11 11 CVs 1.Contact details 2.Education 3.Legal Work Experience 4.Other Work Experience 5.Skills and Awards 6.Positions of Responsibility 7.Interests 8.Referees

12 12 Covering Letters 1.Who you are and what you are applying for 2.Why them 3.Why you 4.Polite ending 5.Dear Sir/Madam ?

13 13 Application Forms 1.Will take time 2.Read all the form first 3.What skills are they looking for? 4.Think about your examples 5.Plan your answers 6.Watch spelling and grammar 7.Structure answers STAR 8.Remember facts must support your application to be a solicitor

14 14 Typical Training Contract Questions 1.Why law? 2.Why this firm? 3.What skills do you have? 4.What would you bring to this firm? 5.Describe an achievement of yours 6.What legal news story has interested you 7.Describe a time when….. e.g. ….you had a problem you had to resolve. How did you go about finding a solution? What did you learn in the process?

15 15 Example Answer As a member of the University Community Action Group, I organised an activities week for children. My objectives were to recruit a team of ten volunteers and provide unusual activities. Factors I had to consider included safety regulations, cost, locations, and the necessary skills which the team would need in order to make the week a success. In order to plan my time I prepared an Excel spreadsheet, which included critical dates. In order that any mishaps would not spoil the week, I also formed a contingency plan, for example I organised alternative indoor activities in case of rain. The week was a success and I learnt how to plan effectively.

16 16 Need More Help? 1.Adviser drop-in (exc Wed am). Checking applications, help finding work experience, general chat. 2.Law Firm open days, presentations, etc 3.More workshops specifically on: o Application Forms o CVs / Covering Letters o Interviews o Assessment Centres

17 17 Questions?

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