updated on 01 October 2019
As the host of LawCareersNetLIVE, I read through the hundreds of applications that we receive every year for our student careers conferences. While I’ve read some fantastic applications that clearly reflect the applicant’s drive and effort, we also every year receive a selection of thrown-together and half-finished applications that make it very obvious that the candidates has not spent the time to fully understand themselves, or what they’re applying to.
Here’s what we want to see in your application form. And don’t forget that much of this applicable to applying for other law firm events.
You know what LawCareersNetLIVE is
LawCareersNetLIVE offer candidates the unique chance to meet some of the UK’s top law firms in one place, and the hands-on nature of the day means that delegates will really be able to find out what the firm does and what their practice areas are. Before applying, take some time to look around the website, watch videos from last year’s attendees, and read accounts of what the day entailed. Some preliminary research will enable you to fully understand what LawCareersNetLIVE is, and how it will benefit you. It’s always funny how many applicants don’t seem to really know what they are applying to. If you spell ‘LawCareersNetLIVE’ wrong, or are too vague in your description of the conference, we will assume you don’t care enough to find out what it is, and therefore don’t deserve a place.
Similarly, if you just write that you would like to attend because “a member of the LCN team encouraged you to apply at a law fair”, we will question your motivation. We want you to apply because you can see how the day will boost your career in law, not because we (or someone else) told you to!
You know which firms will be there – and have done some research!
We’re excited that so many top firms sign up to sponsor and attend LawCareersNetLIVE. It doesn’t take long to work out which firms will be at each location (check out the ‘Sponsors’ page for each event on the website) and what workshops they will be running. Mention the firms that you’re interested in on your application form. If you can reflect a basic understanding of who they are and what they do, even better. For example, if you are interested in environmental law, explain why you would like to attend Osborne Clarke’s workshop in that area. Or if international M&A interests you more, you should say why Baker McKenzie’s workshop appeals to you.
One of the questions on the application form is “Why do you want to attend the LawCareersNetLIVE conference and meet our law firm sponsors?” so use this opportunity to match up the two points above and demonstrate your knowledge of the event itself, and the firms that will be present.
You are self-aware
An awareness of your strengths and why you will make a good lawyer is crucial to any law application form – so don’t make an exception on your application to LawCareersNetLIVE. In fact, one of the questions we ask is “Please tell us why you believe you possess the skills and attributes to become a successful commercial lawyer” so use this answer to showcase your skills and experiences concisely and articulately within the word limit.
You are engaged in discussions around the profession
The partner panel discussion at LawCareersNetLIVE centres around the law firm as a business as well as key commercial issues that might affect the legal profession within the next few years. On the application form we ask: “What one question would you ask a panel of law firm partners in order to gain insight into the legal profession?” Use this opportunity to show us you can keep up with what’s going on in law and business, and that you’re aware of the considerations and challenges lawyers will have to deal with in the future. Don’t waste your question asking partners about their respective firms’ vacation schemes or recruitment processes – challenge them and get them thinking. An interesting and relevant question will impress us and them.
LawCareersNetLIVE is taking place in Manchester on 29 November, London on 6 December and Bristol on 10 December 2019. Applications will be open until 30 October, but we recommend applying early as we will be making offers on a rolling basis from the early Autumn. Find out more and apply at live.lawcareers.net.
Bethany Wren is content and events manager at LawCareers.Net and host of LawCareersNetLIVE.