13 articles you must read if you’re applying for training contracts this summer
They will strengthen your applications
As we hurtle closer and closer towards training contract deadlines (law student D-Day), it can be all too easy to find yourself in a copy and paste application glut.
Unfortunately, the fierce competition for aspiring solicitor positions means recruiters can afford to be picky, so you have to make sure your application is on point. We’ve scoured the Legal Cheek archives to find 13 articles that training contract seekers should absolutely read before they apply — it’ll do wonders.
1. What you need to know before you apply for a training contract
“The winners of this Hunger Games-style process will emerge with TC offers in their back pockets, and, because of big law firms’ penchant for recruiting two years in advance, plenty of time to enjoy life guilt-free and safe in the knowledge that they have a well-paid job waiting for them. As for the losers… well, they have to go through the whole vac scheme and TC application process again in the autumn.”
2. Training contract applications, they’re a two-way street
“We’ve all been there — ‘submitting applications to lots of law firms and crossing fingers that someone will get back to you’, as Gillian Jaravaza, a second seat trainee at Norton Rose Fulbright’s banking team, remembers it. For the many students who have faced rejections, Gillian has some tips to help put you back on track.”
3. Training contract numbers soar to highest level since financial crash
“In 2008, training contract numbers went from a pre-crash high of 6,303 to just 4,784 the following year. With overall figures continuing to fluctuate post-crash — dropping to 5,001 in 2013-14 and then increasing to 5,457 in 2014-15 — today’s continued growth will come as welcome news for wannabe lawyers.”
4. I did a BTEC instead of A-levels — can I still get a training contract?
“Do I still have a chance at securing a training contract at all? Or should I give up?”
5. How to get a training contract when you’re from an ordinary background
“While students from non-traditional backgrounds aren’t necessarily more commercially aware, the higher likelihood of them having jobs while at uni means that they will have had more exposure to the business world — even if it’s just on the till at Tescos.”
6. Last-minute training contract applications are a waste of time
“Legal Cheek has spoken to a clutch of top law firm recruitment bosses, and the consensus view is that an 11th-hour rush to apply is a waste of time for students.”
7. Is a training contract the only way?
“I have done some research and am considering going down the CILEx route. I don’t want to take the risk of doing the expensive LPC and not getting a TC. Although you become a Chartered Legal Executive, is this really any different to being a solicitor?”
8. Open thread: How do I get a training contract?
“Uncertain that you are approaching training contract applications in the right way, or maybe just lacking inspiration to come up with something that will help you stand out from the crowd? RPC trainee solicitors Charlotte Thompson and Joe Byrne (pictured above) are on hand to answer your questions.”
9. A dozen law-related tunes to beat the training contract application blues
“You’ve set yourself a target of one a day for 10 days. It’s a marathon — and there is no guarantee of any euphoria at the end. So you need some sort of tonic to dull the pain. Well, there’s nothing like music to raise the spirits.”
10. 6 ways candidates who don’t fit the mould can boost their chances of landing a training contract or pupillage
“How can you become a lawyer if you don’t quite fit the profile of the consistent high-achiever beloved of law firms and chambers?”
11. 9 surprising historical facts about training contracts
“A new blog on English legal history contains some fascinating titbits of information.”
12. Law firms are not looking for ‘the polished, finished article’
“Having spent 16 years at Simmons & Simmons, where he also trained and later assisted with the recruitment of trainees, BPP University Law School lecturer Charlie Radcliffe knows a thing or two about training contract applications and interviews. ”
13. Do I stand a better chance of getting a training contract if I look like Kim Kardashian?
“I’ve been told that appearance goes a long way in the City. Commercial firms like employing attractive young ladies who clients will want to spend time with.”
For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub.