HHLS application advice

Application season is upon us, and the Hughes Hall Law Society gathered a few resources to help students in their first steps to a law career.

Insight and Vacation scheme opportunities

The best place to find opportunities is on a firm’s graduate recruitment website, however, there are a lot of firms out there, so I recommend Legal Cheek and All About Law (links below) for a comprehensive list of opportunities available.

Law fairs are also a great resource and an opportunity to let the firms see your face and for you to gather information about them that you may not otherwise find online.  

Cambridge careers team – Law fairs

Other career fairs:

Application Tips

  1. Know the firm.
  1. Personalise your applications and cover letters.
  • When asked a question in an application, try to include a case that the firm has worked on in your answer. But remember you could be interviewed by someone who worked on that case, so don’t exaggerate your knowledge, also be sure that the office you are working at handled that case. For example, if you are applying to London, don’t use a case from the New York office.
  • Don’t be tempted to copy your cover letter and add the firm’s name. Many recruiters now use software to see how many times you mention the firm in your cover letter. To try and catch these ones out. We have heard embarrassing stories of the forgotten “Insert name here” or a wrong firm name used in a cover letter. This is sure to spoil your chances.
  1. Proofread. Proofread and proofread again!
  • Shearman and Sterling announced at their application workshop that they stop reading when they see an application error. Errors include spelling and grammar, leaving questions unanswered, checking a box but not completing the additional information required etc. 
  • Therefore, you must read the application carefully and triple-check for mistakes. You don’t want an amazing application to be wasted because you misspelt it chremistry! (That is a real example)
  1. Prepare for any tests
Application tips for barristershttps://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/law-firms/getting-a-training-contract/making-successful-applications 
Application tips for solicitorshttps://www.thelawyerportal.com/solicitor/training-contract-overview/training-contract-applications/ 
Watson Glaser practicehttps://www.thelawyerportal.com/e-learning/free-watson-glaser-practice-test/ 
Mental agility practicehttps://www.practice4me.co.uk/mcquaig-mental-agility-test/ https://www.assessmentcentrehq.com/mcquaig-mental-agility-test/ 

Online work experience

Can’t wait to get started? Join Forage, an online work experience platform that many firms use. The firm can see the work you have completed, showing that you are interested in their firm.

Other resources 

Cambridge careers servicehttps://www.careers.cam.ac.uk/  and https://cam.joinhandshake.co.uk/edu/articles/491  are great resources available to you as a student.

Law firms are becoming much more socially aware, and there are now multiple charities working alongside firms to promote diversity and give additional opportunities to underrepresented people in the law profession. These are great resources if you do fit the criteria, and we recommend registering your interest if you feel that you do. The opportunities available can vary from application advice to work experience and mentorship schemes. 

SEO Londonhttps://www.seo-london.org/ 

Unpreach https://upreach.org.uk/ 

AS Aspirehttps://www.aspiringsolicitors.co.uk/as-aspire/ 

Mentoring for Underrepresented Groups (commercial bar, top chambers) https://www.combar.com/mentoring-for-underrepresented-groups/  

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