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LCN Says

Five tips for flawless LawCareersNetLIVE applications

updated on 10 October 2023

Reading time: seven minutes

To secure a place at one of our prestigious LawCareersNetLIVE student conferences you must submit a top-class application. These applications are very similar to training contract applications.

We offer delegate places to candidates who we believe could become excellent trainees, so we’re looking for the same qualities that law firm recruiters want to see. While the advice below is focused on the LawCareersNetLIVE application form, it can also be applied to law firm applications – so take note!

LawCareersNetLIVE offers three unique events designed to give delegates a greater understanding of what life working at a law firm is like and to provide opportunities to network with solicitors, recruiters and trainees. The conferences take place in ManchesterLondon and virtually in late November and early December.

Here are my five tips for a flawless application:

1 – Be yourself

We’re not looking for cookie-cutter delegates in the same way that firms don’t want cookie-cutter trainees. It’s important to be yourself on the application form. We want to know why you’re interested in pursuing a career in law and how you’re working towards this goal. Attending one of the events is a great chance to get a foothold in the profession so we’re looking for people who can explain clearly and constructively why they want to be a lawyer.

On top of the above, delegates should also highlight interests aside from law. What activities do you get involved in? Are you captain of a sports team? Do you play an instrument in an orchestra? Did you take initiative and set up a society at your university?

If you decide to mention your extracurricular activities, make sure they’re relevant to the question being asked. For example, is it a way for you to showcase a key skill? This is the type of detail that’ll set you apart and showcase your personality; despite the growing presence of AI, law firms want people, not robots.

At LawCareers.Net we aspire to promote a diverse and inclusive legal profession that reflects the society it represents. We’re looking for delegates from a variety of backgrounds. To this end, we blind screen all applications for LawCareersNetLIVE. We understand that not everyone has the same opportunities so there are no minimum academic requirements to secure a place on one of the conferences. We review all applications regardless of academic result or university attended.

Find out what’s happening in diversity and inclusion in the legal profession with our Diversity hub, sponsored by Gowling (WLG) UK LLP.

2 – Give full responses to all questions

Don’t leave any sections of the application form blank! We’re asking for information for a reason so don’t leave it out without an explanation. And make sure you answer the question being asked. This is particularly relevant for the long-answer questions – the point at which many applicants falter.

The main thing to remember is to give yourself enough time to properly prepare. You should:

  • take time to carefully consider what’s being asked;
  • plan your response to each question before you start writing the answers;
  • decide which examples to include in which answer;
  • back up all claims with evidence;
  • try not to repeat yourself;
  • prove that you’ve fully researched the event/firm you’re applying to;
  • make sure you don’t regurgitate the event/firm website;
  • demonstrate why you’d make a great lawyer; and
  • give authentic, personal responses.

A note on word count – this is an indicator of how much we expect you to write in your answer. If you’re not close to the word limit, you’re unlikely to have answered the question properly. I can’t tell you how many LawCareersNetLIVE applications I’ve had to reject because candidates answer the questions in just a couple of words. It’s disappointing and doesn’t give you the best chance to shine – which is what the application form is for!

3 – Demonstrate skills

No one expects you to be the finished article, but you need to show that you:

  • understand what skills a lawyer needs; and
  • are taking steps to further improve yours.

In the work experience section, we want to hear about any work experience (legal or non-legal) you’ve undertaken, be it a formal vacation scheme or working on a supermarket checkout. With regards to legal work experience, it’s not just formal vacation schemes that count. If you’ve spent a day work-shadowing a solicitor or been to a firm’s open day, mention this.

Don’t forget to include any non-legal work experience you have (either paid or voluntary work) as this can demonstrate a great range of skills, for example:

  • how you interact with colleagues or customers in a formal environment;
  • how you respond to different situations; and
  • how you organise your time.

Make sure that you not only outline what tasks you undertook, but also (and more importantly) what skills you gained from this experience.

There’s more on developing and demonstrating the key skills you need to be a successful lawyer on our ‘Key skills for lawyers’ page.

The long answer question “What skills and attributes do you possess to become a successful commercial lawyer?” is your opportunity to demonstrate that you’re dedicated to a career in commercial law and that you have the skills it takes to be successful. We want to see evidence that you have strong communication skills – this shows us that you’ll have the confidence to network at the event. Other skills we’d like to see evidence of include:

  • teamwork;
  • leadership;
  • commercial awareness;
  • drive;
  • enthusiasm;
  • motivation;
  • resilience;
  • accuracy;
  • attention to detail;
  • negotiation;
  • client care;
  • initiative;
  • dedication; and
  • interpersonal skills.

This is a non-exhaustive list – I could go on! These are the same skills that a law firm wants to see in its future trainee solicitors. Refer to your own experience and interests to back up your claims about each skill.

4 – Think commercially

The LawCareersNetLIVE conferences are aimed at people who want to be commercial lawyers. The long answer questions are your opportunity to prove your commitment to becoming a commercial lawyer. In your response to “Why do you want to attend the LawCareersNetLIVE conference and meet our law firm sponsors?” we expect you to show that you understand the legal profession and what the work of a lawyer involves. We want to be sure that delegates attending our conferences understand what the purpose of the event is, what they can gain from meeting the sponsor firms and, in turn, what they can offer to those firms.

We expect to see evidence of your commercial awareness and interest in both the legal profession and the business world throughout your application. This indicates to us that you’ll ask thought-provoking questions during both the firm-led workshops and the panel discussions at the event. Use your response to “What one question would you ask a panel of law firm partners in order to gain insight into the legal profession?” to showcase your understanding of the profession and current hot topics.

5 – Avoid basic mistakes

This should go without saying, but time and time again we see applicants making basic mistakes – things spelt incorrectly, poor grammar and inconsistent capitalisation (or worse – lowercase ‘I’!). You must approach your LawCareersNetLIVE application form as you would a training contract application form. That means taking your time and giving it the same care and attention. Remember to:

  • double check your spelling and grammar and use a professional tone (see: How to write the perfect cover letter, CV or application form);
  • spell the event name correctly – or in the case of a training contract application, the firm’s name;
  • write fully-formed sentences in correct English – no random capitalisation, start sentences with a capital letter and no text-speak;
  • answer every question – and answer the question being asked;
  • keep to the word limit;
  • check and recheck (and ask someone else to check) the application before submitting; and
  • submit before the deadline.

This is all good practice for vacation scheme and training contract applications and following these tips should help you to make a perfect application.

How can I apply to LawCareersNetLIVE?

If you believe that you can take this advice on board and submit a top-class application, as well as be an engaged and proactive delegate, we’d love to have you at one of the conferences!


The deadline for applications is 26 October 2023, but we’re offering places on a rolling basis. You’ll be notified by email if you’ve been accepted for a place at the event, at which point you’ll be asked to select workshops and pay a refundable deposit of £20 for the Manchester and London events, or £10 for the Virtual event. The holding fee will be fully refunded upon attendance at LawCareersNetLIVE.

We’re delighted to offer a number of free-from deposit places across our LawCareersNetLIVE events to delegates from low socio-economic backgrounds, and those who might be unable to afford the delegate fee. This year we’ll be working with a number of diversity organisations in order to do this.

If you’re not a member of one of these organisations and think this applies to you then drop us an email at [email protected] after you’ve submitted your application. If you’re successful in securing a place, we’ll be in touch regarding booking onto the event for free.

For further information visit the LawCareersNetLIVE website.