Diverse organisations are more creative, more innovative and, ultimately, more successful. Ashurst has an instinctively inclusive culture but, like many professional service organisations, is acutely aware of the need to do more to address the lack of progress of under-represented groups, for example women.
As a leading global law firm we have the capability to make a positive impact in all spheres of our operations. Delivering on this commitment is key to achieving our firm's ambitions. It impacts upon all that we do: working with our clients to deliver consistently outstanding legal services; our role as a thought leader in the broader legal and business communities and striving for workplace, environmental and social sustainability.
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.
Ahead of an interview it is important that you undertake thorough research not only into the firm that you have applied to, but also into yourself.
You should have already researched a firm ahead of submitting an application, and so the next step is to take this research further allowing you to deepen your knowledge and understanding. Really think about why you chose to apply to that firm – is there a particular practice area that you are interested in, did any deals really grab your attention or are you particularly drawn to any training initiatives that you have read about?
Trainees are required to undertake the Professional Skills Course (PSC) during their period of recognised training. The PSC develops the professional skills of a trainee before they qualify as a solicitor. The PSC consists of three compulsory modules as well as elective elements. While each module has its own method of assessment, a course provider is with the trainees throughout their assessment, providing expert teaching, support and guidance.
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 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.
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.
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.
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