How to write a successful training contract application

Applying for a training contract is undoubtedly one of the most time-consuming and challenging aspects of a career in law. In a highly competitive market, writing an application that stands out is key. This article provides a few tips to help you do just that.


Research the firm

It is important to thoroughly research a firm’s specialisms, values and culture. This will not only demonstrate that you have taken the time to find out more about them but will help you to make a decision on whether they are the right firm for you. Online research is useful but meeting lawyers and trainees at law fairs, open days, insight events and doing legal work experience is equally as important.

Tailor your training contract application

It is not ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to writing a training contract application. It is imperative to tailor your application to a particular firm. Law firms want applicants who can demonstrate an understanding of the firm and its practice areas and can articulate why they are applying and how they would be a good fit.

Highlight your experience

Any relevant experience is good experience! This can be work experience – legal or otherwise and extra-curricular. Firms want to see candidates who are able to draw on a variety of experiences. Make sure you focus on what you learnt from this experience and link it to how it will help you as a trainee solicitor at the firm.

Showcase your skills

Use your training contract application as an opportunity to highlight your individual skills and provide examples of how you have used them in the past. When researching a firm, you can look to see if they have any skills and attributes that they look for in an individual and link your application to this, helping you to demonstrate those skills.

Be concise and professional

Ensure that your application is concise and uses a professional tone, this will set a good example. Use clear language and concise sentences. Stick to the word count as there is a risk anything over the limit may be automatically deleted on online forms.

Attention to detail

Ensure you read and answer every aspect of each question. It is important to carefully proofread your application and make sure that it is free from spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. If possible ask someone else to proofread the application for you.

Be yourself and be honest

Finally, be yourself and be honest when completing your application. Remember if you get to interview you are likely to be asked questions about your application. You want to showcase your passion for the law and enthusiasm to be a solicitor but it is just as important to show who you are as a person. A firm will want to see whether you are the right fit for them and indicating who you are as an individual in your application will help. Focus on your unique attributes so you stand out in the current competitive market.

By following these tips, you can stand out when firms review training contract applications. Taking the time to showcase your skills, experience and passion will help you to succeed in securing a training contract.

Good luck!

Find out more about training contracts at The Wilkes Partnership.

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