Following on from my last post reminding you all of the looming deadlines for vacation scheme applications, there follows some tips to help you succeed.
As with most things connected to the pursuit of a legal career, time spent at the researching stage will stand you in good stead down the line. Ensure that you research the different law firms that offer formal vacation schemes and make sure you only apply to those that are a good fit for your background and personality and the type of law you might want to train in. Also consider which are the ones that will have the most positive influence on your career and can offer you the broadest experience.
A good way to pre-select which firms you might want to apply to for vacation schemes is to attend law fairs and firm open days. These allow you to talk to representatives from the firms in order to get a flavour of what they are all about.
As with training contracts, competition for vacation scheme places is high with some firms getting as many as 2000 applications for around 200 places. It is therefore essential that you spend time on your applications so that those you submit are of a high quality.
Similar considerations to training contract applications will be applied by the firms such as:
- good academics (often a minimum of a 2:1 degree or degree marks so far)
- connections with, and a commitment to, the local area
- positions of responsibility held
- evidence you have thought out your preferred career direction
- possession of a genuine interest in the specific firm and their vacation scheme
Your applications should seek to set you apart from the competition by specifically letting the firm know how your experience to date, coupled with your skills, can benefit them.
Always aim for quality of applications as opposed to quantity and ensure they are absolutely error free – re-read them several times and get someone else to review them also.
For some more information about vacation schemes take a look at the legal work experience section of this site.