The dos and don’ts of training contract deadline day

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By Adam Mawardi on

Seven speedy tips for last-minute TC seekers

With less than 12 hours until the deadline, every hour, every minute, every single second counts towards your final lap of this summer’s training contract competition — the last lap you’ll ever have to do (well, unless you’re unsuccessful of course!). And yet, here you are, procrastinating away on Legal Cheek. Frankly, we’re honoured — and as a sign of gratitude, we’re sharing with you our top dos and don’ts for training contract deadline day.

Don’t give up hope

At your lowest, you will ask yourself questions familiar to all procrastinators: Why did I leave it this late? Why am I not more organised? What’s the point in even submitting this application? Should I just wait until next year, when I’m more prepared? Once you’ve finished your pitiful recital, just remember: law firms have deadlines for a reason. Sure, some take applications on a rolling basis and you may have already missed out. However, you’re not the only one leaving it to the last minute — and employers know that. So, stop your nay-saying and get back to work!

Do your research

Oh, so you’re still here! Well, while we have you, why not make it an educational experience? Law firms are looking for candidates that know them inside and out. From recent big-ticket deals to strategy in the City pay-war and trendy AI initiatives — you should know exactly where your chosen firm sits within the legal market. But how? Check out the Legal Cheek news feed for the latest legal scoops, our busy careers section for tip-top advice and our comprehensive Firms Most List for an in-depth guide to each outfit.

Don’t skip on the H2O

Are your palms sweaty? Knees weak and your arms are heavy? Well, take a moment. Catch your breath. But more importantly, stay hydrated. Water not enough to keep the searing stress at bay? Move onto a cheeky chai latte or a gritty espresso for an express dose of caffeine.

Do take your time

With pressuring piling as the clock relentlessly ticks away to midnight, there will be a temptation to cut corners. What did I get in my GCSEs again? My A-Levels? Did I get a 68 or a 64 on my land law module? Rather than guess your way through important sections, take your time. Don’t forget the small details can make a big difference to graduate recruiters. Otherwise, risk having to back-pedal later down the line.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Don’t do what you’re doing right now

You heard me. You’ve got until midnight tonight and you’re out there spending your minutes like you ain’t the time-poorest applicant out there. Avoid the temptation to take a ‘it-will-only-be-20-minutes-nap’ and definitely do not seek out inspiration from fictional legal characters. Suits may have provided comfort when skipping your 9am, but Harvey can’t help you now!

Do keep it specific

Last thing law firms are wanting to read are dreary sob-stories about how you’ve always dreamed about being a lawyer since reading your first statute book. Instead, they want to hear about why you want to be a solicitor at their firm. Identify their unique cultural values and then match them to your own — backed up by transferrable skills picked up along the way.

Don’t forget to profread proofread

So you’ve made it to the final hurdle: the submit button. But before you take that ultimate leap, have you proofread your application? Have you cut the waffle and kept it concise? Have you checked the spelling of firm names and got on top of ghastly grammar? There’s a place for applications riddled with bloomers and blunders — and it’s not in the trainee-to-be pile.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

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