Completion of a training contract is the final stage of qualifying as a solicitor. Despite finishing the LPC, it is only when starting their training contract that most people can finally see the finishing line. It is important to remember a training contract should be used as a platform into your career - as a result you must make the most of those two years.
Law firms are not "one size fits all" and unfortunately, in a generation where they may seem like gold dust, it is all too easy to apply to every law firm and pick the first one offered to you. Instead it is vital to research each firm in order to find a placement which is right for you.
In his last blog "What you should consider when applying for training contracts," Nicholas Conway recommended factors to consider when comparing training contracts. Whilst this may seem like a daunting task with so many law firms recruiting and competition being so fierce, there are a number of tools you can use to help you find the right one for you:
- There are many websites and schemes that specifically collate information on training contracts. For example, the Lex 100 interviews over 3,000 trainees across the UK asking questions relating to job satisfaction, quality of work, stress levels etc. Trainees are given the opportunity to submit their honest opinion to the survey. The results of the 2015 survey can be found here: www.lex100.com/index.php/survey-results/winners. I'm pleased to say that Woodfines were honoured to have been selected as a top firm in five categories, an achievement which has been recognised by the local press.
- You may have peers who have already started their training contracts, alternatively your university is likely to have alumni who have been through or are doing their training contracts - use these contacts, offer to take them for coffee away from the office and ask them how they are enjoying working at their firm.
- Do your own research into firms, most will use their websites to showcase their achievements, with articles, blogs, and case studies. These can be used to establish whether the type of work they undertake interests you.
- Many firms will now have a large social media footprint. This can be a great way to get a feel for the firm and their clientele. Don’t be afraid to follow/like/link with a firm.
- Make the most of law fairs. Woodfines often has representatives at the local university law careers events. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to ask any questions directly to representatives: What is the structure of the training contract? Do they have six month rotations? Does the firm provide mentors?
I hope I have briefly shown you that resources are available to help with the process of finding the right training contract for you. These are all tried and tested methods that will provide valuable assistance to those who take full advantage.
Should you wish to learn more about a training contract with Woodfines, please visit: www.woodfines.co.uk/training-contracts