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No "I" in team

No "I" in team

When sending off applications you are rightly focusing on your own qualities and are no doubt keen to stress your strengths as a candidate. Teamwork is crucially important, though, so read on for advice on how to portray yourself as a team player and for insight into how trainees are required to work effectively with their colleagues.

The Ashurst application form is in covering letter format providing plenty of opportunity for you to demonstrate that you have this competency – team and interpersonal skills.

You will be joining a supportive and team-based environment and so need to be able to demonstrate that you can play your part. Furthermore, interpersonal skills are essential in building and maintaining relationships not only with the firm, but with our clients. Think carefully about these factors and why we look for this competency before drafting your examples that demonstrate you are a team player.

Lawyers carry out work and advise clients in teams. The strength of full-service law firms, and those with multiple practice areas, is their ability to draw on a team's knowledge, experience, skill and diversity to provide solutions for their clients.

Each individual will play a role in a team. Some lead, some facilitate, some follow etc. Students should start to understand the role that they play in a team. Maybe you encourage others. Are you a good motivator? Are your skills around project management and making sure deadlines are met? Can you negotiate well? Whatever skills you have that help you work in a team, identify them and be able to explain how these skills helped a team project – ideally giving clear examples of your personal contribution and explaining the results.

Like most firms, the offer of a training contract comes 1 - 2 years before our trainees actually join us.

We try really hard to make them feel part of the Bond Dickinson team from the point of offer but there is a fine balance between integrating and stalking, although we hope we're walking on the right side of that one! We have a LinkedIn group for our future trainees that allows us to share information and helps them to start forming networks with their future colleagues.

At Norton Rose Fulbright, we promote the early integration of our trainees so they feel welcome and supported as they embark on their careers with us. This begins with a pre‐LPC day that allows future trainees to meet their intake and familiarise themselves with the Firm. Future trainees are allocated a Trainee Buddy, with whom they maintain regular contact throughout their studies.

A Keep In Touch day mid‐way through the LPC allows us to ‘check in’ with future trainees and discuss their progress. We host a Seat Fair during which representatives for each practice area meet with future trainees to answer their questions, enabling them to make informed decisions when they submit their first seat preferences.

Networking skills are crucial when seeking out new career opportunities, establishing or building relationships, keeping updated with peers in the industry or for knowledge exchange.

To improve networking skills, it is firstly vital to be open to building relationships. Ensure that you do your preparation and planning before attending any events and this will mean you are more comfortable, in control and actually enjoy the event. Consider who will be attending an event and arrive with an idea of those people you want to approach and why you want to approach them. Have some questions in your armoury to start a conversation. What do they do? Where are they from? Have they been to something like this before? Do they know anyone else? Is there anything in the press recently that might be relevant to them and their work?