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December 5 2019

5 bitesize tips for training contract application glory

Legal Career Tips

Harry Coates

Harry Coates

5 bitesize tips for training contract application glory


Applying for a training contract is a daunting/ process and you’ll be spending at least two years at the firm that you secure a training contract with, so make sure that you are applying to the right firm for YOU.

Some of the things you should consider are:

·       What size of firm would suit you best

·       What areas of law are you interested in

·       Do you want to work abroad one day;

these are all things that you should be thinking hard about and researching.


Once you know which firms you want to apply to, set out your list in order of priority. Deadlines come thick and fast and despite your best efforts sometimes you can’t meet them all. Make sure the one’s you miss out on are the firms you weren’t as enthused about.

 You then need to work out what their application process is. Each firm is likely to have a unique process and a different set of deadlines, so make sure you know when any application forms are due. Once you know the deadlines, work backwards to give yourself enough time to write a standout application form. Applications are time consuming so be prepared to give up some weekends for them. It will be worth it!

Top tip: LawCareersNetwork have a MyLocker section which is synced to one of the application platforms that many law firms use. It enables you to put in all the pre-amble, personal details, degree etc. You can then save yourself precious time and your sanity!


Your application should be really well researched and tailored to that particular firm. Look for points of difference in the firm and why they speak to you. For example, if the firm has 6 instead of 4 seats, why is that important to you.

Copying and pasting the same answers for all of your applications won’t work. Firms intentionally ask slightly different questions so if you are using the same stock answers it is likely you are not answering that particular firm’s question properly.


If you get through to interview your application is likely to form the basis of that interview so there is absolutely no point in writing an application which isn’t true to you. You could be asked about anything on your application so think hard about what you are including and why and be prepared to justify your answers at interview! Make sure that you are ready to draw out examples from your experiences.


Attention to detail is really important to lawyers. For some firms any spelling mistakes, grammatical or formatting errors will mean your application will be unsuccessful so make sure you proofread your applications multiple times and please, please do not spell the name of the firm incorrectly.

A second pair of eyes is always a good idea so ask your friends, parents or particularly nice tutors to sense check your applications. Don’t trust spellcheck!