I’ve done a lot of posts on researching law firms (understanding them, websites to use, podcasts to use…) but all that research is a waste of time if you don’t use it in the application. When you apply to law firms, it’s important to show them why you want to work there. Specifically at that firm. To do this, your application must be tailored to the point where if you removed the firm name from your writing, it would still be completely clear which firm you are applying to.
It’s hard to write about tailoring without staring at an application, but hopefully these 3 suggestions can help you along the way!
1 – Deals
If you’re interested in working at the firm, it’s a good idea to show them you’re interested in the actual work. For me, I mentioned deals that the firm had recently worked on in the context of work experience I had had in a practice area. For example, when talking about an in-house construction placement, I would mention this sparking an interest in Real Estate, *segway into a recent firm deal in this area*. Massive warning with this approach – if you’re mentioning a deal, make sure you have read up on it as much as you can, just incase you get asked about it in an interview. In one of my interviews, the partner who was responsible for the client I mentioned in my application was interviewing me. Luckily I was prepared, but if I hadn’t been it would have certainly been an interesting discussion.
2 – Initiatives
A lot of firms have reasonably similar clients and deals. For me, looking beyond this to the initiatives the firm runs really helped me with tailoring the application beyond just law. On an application, it’s important to show your personality and your interests beyond the law, so I found tailoring these aspects of my life to part of the firm that also goes beyond this really helpful. As an example, whilst talking about my time working in a team (competence) as part of a choir (extra-curricular/personality), I could mention any activities the firm does that shows they value interests outside of law, such as though a choir or sports team.
3 – Personal Experience
If you have met someone from the firm, either virtually or in person, TALK ABOUT IT! Your own personal experience with the firm is an amazing way to tailor your application. You can show that you’ve been proactive in meeting with the firm before applying, and mention why this experience motivated you to apply and want to work for the firm in the first place. If you’re able to ask questions to someone at the firm, try and stand out from the crowd by asking them a question that only an ‘insider’ in the firm would know – this will GLOW on your application.