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Our training contract application form is in cover letter format and is designed to help you showcase your talents. We ask for information about you and your education, as well as a 1000-word cover letter that tells us why you want to be a lawyer, and why at Ashurst in particular.
When applying for a training contract or a vacation scheme, your work experience is a key part of your application form. We ask you to include four different work experiences/employments, but please note that these do not solely need to be legally focused. We fully appreciate how hard it is to secure legal work experience, and so carefully think about the four entries that you make in this section. Experiences that you may have had volunteering at a legal advice centre or citizens advice bureau are equally as valid, as well as work experience in a high-street law firm.
Here’s our ongoing table of trainee retention rates for spring 2017
My highlight of 2015 was spending six months on secondment in Dubai from March to September. The focus of our Dubai office is largely on energy, resources and infrastructure work. This, alongside the opportunity to spend six months in a popular holiday destination, was hugely appealing to me.
The skills that we look for and test in our graduate recruitment process are identical for students pursuing both the law and non-law routes. It is our core skill set, exhibited by all lawyers at Ashurst, which allows an individual to succeed and thrive in our collaborative environment.
For Ashurst’s full Lex 100 2015/16 profile, see here
Ashurst is a ‘market leader in a number of fields’ and handles a ‘broad range’ of ‘high quality work’. The large City player offers trainees the opportunity to represent a ‘high calibre of clients’, and its large network of 28 offices in 16 countries ensures that work with an ‘international focus’ is regularly handled. The firm has a stellar reputation for private equity, dispute resolution and projects work.
As someone who has recently qualified as a solicitor, I would say you should keep two things in mind when considering a career in the law:
(1) the training is linear, it's clear how you progress from one stage to another and it gives you invaluable transferable skills. By virtue of completing the LPC (and perhaps the GDL) and a two-year training contract, you are given some of the best vocational training I could imagine. You are genuinely growing and improving every day and you're mentored by senior lawyers who are keen to help you develop. You will forge excellent working relationships with your peers, supervisors and clients and this, in itself, is very rewarding.
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.
Legal work experience is notoriously difficult to secure, and graduate recruiters are fully aware of this. It can take a lot of time and commitment to secure this, but please do persist as your application will be stronger, and it really will highlight your motivation and determination for a career in law. Larger law firms are typically exceptionally busy over the summer with vacation schemes, so target your efforts to the high street firms as well as Legal Advice Centres and Citizens Advice Bureaus. Any form of legal work experience is valuable in helping you to develop the confidence towards, and commitment to, a legal career.
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