Monday, November 19, 2012

Applying for a training contract?

Brought to you by our friends at Osborne Clarke 

For many students and aspiring lawyers, obtaining a training contract is a vital step in beginning your career. However, the number of students vying for training contracts, particularly at prestigious firms, means that competition is high. Applicants often need to meet certain criteria before being eligible to apply at some firms so it’s essential that potential applicants identify which firms they will be applying to and prepare themselves accordingly.

Candidates are expected to have solid grades and display a range of extra-curricular activities but this isn’t necessarily enough to secure a training contract at the firm of your choice. Firms vary considerably, both in the areas of law they practice and in location and firm culture. It’s important for potential applicants to identify the appropriate choice for them and not to simply apply to top firms without undertaking significant research into the firm. Applicants will need to justify their choice of firm in order to obtain a training contract so genuine passion for the law and firm as well as an understanding of what’s required from junior lawyers is beneficial.

When determining which firms to apply to many aspiring lawyers look at average salaries and equity shares between partners. While this can provide valuable information for qualified lawyers, they may not provide a very good indication of what it’s like to begin your career with the firm. Although difficult to find, profit-per-lawyer figures can give a better indication of the firm in relation to more junior staff.

Many trainees find themselves undertaking larger amounts of admin work when they start, with legal tasks increasing during their training. It can be long hours of unglamorous work but newly qualified solicitors generally receive good remuneration and are able to tackle more complex legal issues as their careers progress. Assessing firms on their level of trainee involvement and support can prove useful to candidates as it gives an insight into how the firm trains graduates and what your day-to-day life at the firm would be like.

There are many aspects to securing a training contract but it’s essential that prospective applicants identify the relevant firms to apply to before making any applications. By identifying the type of firms, location and firm culture most suited to you and exemplifying your reasoning behind this, applicants will increase their chances of obtaining a training contract and are more likely to be happy and successful in their new working environment.

Taking on a training contract at Osborne Clarke is not an easy option. You'll be challenged, but you'll be rewarded for it. For more information please visit

No comments: