Amy Lund is a future trainee solicitor at Addelshaw Goddard. You can view her Linkedin here.
What did you do to stand out in your application to Addleshaw Goddard?
‘The first thing I did to try and stand out was to show my in-depth research by ensuring my application was tailored to Addleshaw Goddard. I found it very useful to attend networking events, either that the firm was holding or that the firm was attending. I always made sure to note down who I spoke to and follow up with them on Linkedin. This will help you get a much more personal and unique insight into the firm, allowing you to include research in your application that no one else will have.
The second way I made my application stand out was by reflecting on my extracurricular activities. Personally, I have done a lot of pro bono work during university, so I used a lot of these experiences to evidence why I wanted to pursue law and why I would make a good trainee solicitor. However, it is really a matter of taking a look at yourself and what you are good at and enjoy. Really emphasise why the skills you have learned through these activities will make you a good lawyer. Don’t be afraid to be confident and talk yourself up!’
‘I could have been more effective in my commercial awareness research by focusing more on the stories that would affect the firm and its clients.’
What would you not waste your time on in hindsight in the pursuit of a training contract?
‘In my first year, I definitely spent too much time sending off a high quantity of applications. If you are not spending a lot of time on an application, the graduate recruitment team will recognise this. Later, I only submitted around 6 applications, but I had put a lot of effort and research into each one.
I also think I could have been more effective in my commercial awareness research by focusing more on the stories that would affect the firm and its clients. In my first year, I got quite caught up in trying to read the Financial Times and Economist every week. These are useful in helping familiarise yourself with terminology, but in my interviews I found my knowledge of the issues the firm and its clients would be facing was much more impressive!’
‘Apart from this, I do not think my academics were especially important in my application.’
How important do you think were your academics in your application?
‘Ultimately, unless you have extenuating circumstances, it is important that you have met, or are predicted to meet, the firm’s minimum academic requirements. Apart from this, I do not think my academics were especially important in my application. My A Level grades may have helped in making my application stand out a little, but ultimately I found the firm was more concerned with other things.
For example, how I had spent my time at university and how I expressed myself in my application and interview. If the firm wanted you to get all A*s and firsts, then that would be what they ask for! It is worth noting that different firms have different requirements, so make sure you check that you meet these before you start an application.’
‘if you can simply replace the firm’s name with another, then your application probably isn’t tailored to the firm enough!’
What one piece of advice would you give students who want a training contract at a firm like Addleshaw Goddard?
‘I would really focus on the quality of your applications as opposed to quantity. Really do your research into the firm. One of the best pieces of advice I got during the application process was if you can simply replace the firm’s name with another, then your application probably isn’t tailored to the firm enough! I’d recommend having a good idea about the firm’s practice areas, clients, business model, work environment, and any other characteristics that make that firm stand out to you!
The graduate recruitment team won’t just focus on the content of your answers, but also how you present them. So make sure your answers are to the point, well written and grammatically correct. Speak to your careers advisor to see if they will give you feedback on your answers, and ask your friends and family to poof read for you.’