Elusive. Unattainable. Inaccessible. Just some of the adjectives used to describe the process of acquiring a place as trainee solicitor. What can I say? Welcome to Contracts R Competitive.
So given that there’s a mighty big crowd jostling for pole position, how can you come out ahead?
Ace that race
No guarantees – there never are – but you should be able to increase your chances by judicious application of not three, not four, but five Rs….
Research: A.k.a. applications are time consuming. Stake out the course beforehand and minimise the effort needed later. Let www.lawcareers.net/ be your friend, your guide, your constant companion.
Realism: Do you – literally – make the grade? The right clutch of UCAS points, the potential 2i? (C’mon, honesty really is the best policy here) Mitigating circumstances aside, without these, you’ll be sifted out by certain firms faster than a speeding bullet. So aim for the moon by all means, but be prepared to settle for the stars. Focus on firms where your talents will be appreciated. And have a Plan A, B and, yes, C. Just in case.
Relevant experience: Without which there’s a vast and possibly fatal flaw in your CV. Don’t just rely on ready made summer internships: these are as coveted and cut-throat as training contracts themselves. Grow your own. Write, email, knock on doors. Which brings us to….
Ratlike cunning: Network like there’s no tomorrow. Inside information = inspiration. Encounters = experience. Contacts = contracts (eventually).
Resilience: Given the extent of the opposition, rejection is always a possibility. Deal with it. Persistence DOES pays off – but only if it’s properly placed and perfectly pitched.
Training contracts: wise up – they’re within your grasp.