WELCOME to the first application-to-offer post! To kick start the posts on securing offers from TOP law firms – I thought I’d start right at the basics – to the research that goes behind everything!
1 – What Area / Type of Firm?
The first questions you should ask yourself before applying anywhere. Consider the area of law you actually want to work in; are you interested in large transactions? working on more intimate, personal matters? what drew you to law in the first place? You probably won’t be able to answer these with 100% certainty, but it’s always good to have an idea of where you see your interests working. Perhaps you’ve really enjoyed a certain module at Uni and want to continue to explore that in your career.
Secondly, consider the type of firm you would like to work in. Do you want to be in a huge firm full of hundreds of lawyers? Or do you see yourself working on the more regional or high street side of law? Maybe in-house interests you more? For me personally, I was always attracted to working in a dynamic, fast-paced office in the heart of the UK’s legal world – it may sound crazy to some – but the thought of working under a highly pressurised deadline with FTSE 100 clients really excites me.
2 – Use your Resources
Now you have an idea of the area and type of firm you’d like to work in, use your resources to explore your options further. Are any firms that meet your criteria coming to campus for a visit? Are there any virtual programmes you can do with a firm to get an idea of the work? Are there any networking events that you can apply to attend? Is there an upcoming law/careers fair you can attend? Do you know anyone who’s had experiences in similar areas of law that you’re interested in? I’ve recently noticed a huge increase in the amount of online podcasts, live Q&As and internships that you can do from the comfort of your own home – so utilise these to explore your options!
I narrowed down the firms I wanted to apply to based on the interactions I had personally had with them through campus visits, open days and the Bright Network Future Lawyers Top 100 event. I know these opportunities can be hard to come by – so try and seek out your easiest way to have a more ‘personal’ experience with a firm!
3 – Time to Table
Now that you’ve narrowed down the firms you want to apply to – I applied to 6 – it’s time to table! Set up a table like the one below to pin point your research. When it came to actually writing the application, my table was SO useful to help me condense all the relevant information I needed, and ensure that I was staying on track with the upcoming deadlines.
4 – Keep up to Date
Writing up a table is great, but it is SO important to stay on top of what the firms are doing. One great way to do this is to follow them on social media and LinkedIn, but also to subscribe to their own blogs and newsletters! Firms often have more than one area that you can subscribe into, so get digging on the website, pop in your email and you’ll be kept up to date with all the firms news!