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Newly-qualified UK lawyers at Shearman & Sterling will see salaries pushed up £7,000 to £95,000 this year as City salaries soar. Rises of between 7% and 10% have been dished out across the associate ranks, with more experienced associates set to trouser up to £12,000 extra a year. The salary increases took effect from 1 May, 2016.
At Shearman & Sterling our small trainee intake means that we don’t interview a large number of candidates. We review application forms carefully, meaning that by the time you are called to interview, we are fairly certain you have the capability to be one our trainees and we want to find out more about your potential, personality and motivations for applying.
One of the most frustrating mistakes we regularly spot on application forms is the misspelling of our firm name! Attention to detail is an important part of being a lawyer, and to ensure your application makes it past the first review, double check it doesn’t contain any spelling and grammatical errors (brush up on your apostrophes and practice/practise!). It goes without saying that you really cannot afford to get the firm name wrong!
The majority of applicants tend to have some kind of commercial experience e.g. work experience or a university project that is relevant to their application. The tricky thing is how you can communicate that in such a way so that it is relevant to the role. You need to ensure that everything you include can be seen as useful experience for the job you are applying for. Getting this across in a concise and engaging way is important, especially when you consider there is usually a strict word limit on the application.
At Shearman & Sterling our trainees love getting their teeth into the exceptional work we do at the firm. Our lean teams mean real responsibility from day one; here are a few highlights from our first seat.
We are keen to accept applications from candidates who have studied law and those who come from non-law backgrounds as both routes into private practice bring a range of skills and attributes. We encourage candidates to be open-minded and choose degrees they are naturally interested in. If they are keen to study law, then this is a great way to explore different areas and learn the basics from day one.
Yes! Particularly at interview stage this becomes very relevant. Please be prepared to talk about your degree in detail. Why did you choose the subject? What have you enjoyed the most? If you can talk about a module, exam or essay question with intelligence and interest, you can show off many of the core competencies law firms are looking for: intellect, communication skills, analytical skills and persuasive skills to name a few. It's even better if you can relate your example to the business or legal worlds.
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.
It is important to have a good rest from your studies and enjoy a well-deserved break, but think about how you might be able to use your time productively to help prepare for the year ahead and your future career.
There are plenty of opportunities throughout the summer for you to gain valuable transferable skills that can help you stand out from the crowd. Whether you volunteer, complete a work placement abroad, sign up for an additional short course or work throughout the holidays, all provide you with the chance to further develop and build skills that employers will be looking out for.
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