York Uni law grad lands training contract through Twitter direct message

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By Thomas Connelly on

Why bother with application forms when you can DM the boss?


Training contract applications will no doubt be ruining the summer break of many law students right now.

With endless form filling, psychometric testing, phone-interviews and essay-style questions, the outlook — unlike the summer weather this week — is bleak.

However, University of York law grad Matthew Lockey (pictured above) has discovered a novel way to land a training contract that circumvents the whole stressful process.

Simply tweet one of the senior directors at your local law firm.

Lockey, 22, from Sunderland, sent a direct message — or ‘DM’ — via Twitter to the director of a local law firm back in November of last year, in the hope of bagging some legal work.

Anthony McCarthy, director of Middlesbrough-based Macks Solicitors and occasional local football journalist, was the recipient of the law student’s speculative enquiry.

At the time, wannabe lawyer Lockey — who despite living in Sunderland is an avid Middlesbrough FC fan — was a keen reader of McCarthy’s humorous Boro match reports that were often published in the local newspaper, the Evening Gazette

Having applied for several paralegal roles and training contracts across the northeast with little success, Lockey had discovered — via the writer’s Twitter bio — that McCarthy was in fact a solicitor, and spotted an opportunity.

At the time Lockey was working in a bar and studying the Legal Practice Course (LPC) part-time at Northumbria University. Speaking to Legal Cheek yesterday, he recalled:

I sent the direct message in late November, sometime shortly before my birthday and though it was formal in nature as a general enquiry I did sign it off with #utb [Up The Boro].

McCarthy (pictured below), who himself joined the firm as a trainee back in 1998, responded later that day explaining that there were currently no vacancies, but he said he would pass on Lockey’s details to the firm’s managing director.


It wasn’t long before the Boro-mad law student was asked to come in for interview, and was offered a part-time role at the firm while he completed his LPC.

Since taking up his new role in the firm’s personal injury department earlier this year, the speculative tweet has now landed lucky Lockey a training contract. He explained to us:

I have since been offered a training contract and this will start later this year, around September time most probably. I’m not sure which area of law I would like to practice in and I am looking forward to experiencing the various departments.

The jammy opportunistic law student appears to be the envy of his fellow training contract hunters. He continued:

My fellow law students are all in disbelief that as they continue filling in online application forms, drafting cover letters and perfecting their CVs I obtained a training contract through sending a speculative message on Twitter.