Hi, my name is Salma Mowlid and this is a short blog post describing three key tips that helped me secure a training contract at Clifford Chance.
1. Prepare Early
Before the application cycle opened, I created an excel spreadsheet listing out all the firms I wanted to apply to, listing out three reasons why I was interested in the firm, whether that related to the practice areas, speaking to representatives of the firm or any other unique selling point the firm offers in contrast to their competitors. This strategy will help you write tailored applications and advance past the application stage.
Attending open days will also strengthen your application and will confirm whether you are the right fit for the firm and vice versa. It will also allow you to learn more about the firm you’re interested in and meet various representatives across the firm who will offer you useful advice from the application to interview stage. However, networking should not be limited to attending open days at different law firms but also can extend to events hosted by Legal Cheek which discuss various topics such as ‘How to get into law from a STEM background’ to ‘How to differentiate law firms from one another’. Events of this nature will allow you to learn more about different law firms but also a chance to chat informally with the speakers – useful conversations which can feed into your applications.
Once you have completed your application, you may think you have an excellent application ready for submission, but have you considered getting someone to look over your application first? Having spent hours of research, writing and redrafting you may miss on vital selling or grammar mistakes which may prevent your application from advancing past the application stage. Having someone look over your application before you press submit will benefit you in the long run.
My experience with STRIVE
I was drawn to the STRIVE programme because I really valued the ethos of the programme and being partnered up with my amazing mentor Hanna Hewitt (seriously she was amazing)! The whole team’s engagement from the very first day, whether in the form of advice, tips, guidance, encouragement and reading my gazillion application drafts allowed me to pass the first stage of applications.
To anyone who is still looking for a vacation scheme and training contract, know that I received countless rejections before being offered a training contract from Clifford Chance – if you preserve, you will succeed, use every setback as an opportunity to improve and keep going, (also apply to the STRIVE mentoring scheme if you have not already, you will not regret it)!