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Freshfields - official representative thread

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    (Original post by MalleusMaleficarum)
    Hey,

    I have a brief question about pre-university work experience. I'm doing my A-Levels at the moment, and I'm considering trying to get some work experience after exams, prior to going to university next year; however, I have to balance this with trying to get a job and earn some money as well. I know that experience at some stage during an undergraduate degree is more or less essential, but how important would it be to have experience at this stage? Would it impact on future applications for internships/vacation schemes etcetera?
    Hi there,

    Any work experience at this stage will look good on future application forms.

    Your approach of trying to balance work experience with paid work is a good one.

    Many candidates underestimate the value paid work has on their CV/application forms. Whether it be hospitality, retail, volunteer work or something in an office environment, that type of holiday work can develop your skills and set you up well for working in a law firm as an intern/trainee.

    What work experience will help with is your motivation for the career and your explainations for why you think the career will be for you. It might be a day or two work-shadowing at a high-street firm or volunteering at something like the Citizens Advice Bureau, but getting exposure to any legal work at this early stage will show your interest/motivation.

    It is great that you are thinking about this so early but there will also be plenty of opportunities to learn more about careers in law while you are at university too.

    I hope that is of help.

    Regards

    Jess




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    (Original post by Konran)
    I have a serious set of questions for you, to put those questions into context, it is a question relating to the diversity of applicants and how you measure them.

    I went to an open day at Linklaters and during that event I spoke to a partner who was kind enough to spend some of his day with us, on that day he spoke about their commitment to diversity within the legal profession, bringing in people from different backgrounds whether social or ethnic. I assume as a top tier legal firm that Freshfields eschews the exclusivity that currently exists within the legal profession.

    The problem I had was that these words don't amount to much when the recruitment process has not changed in the past decade. A recruitment process that has led to the position where those within the profession are talking about the need to be more diverse. Yet without a change to the recruitment process this situation will continue.

    I say this because Linklaters pretty much stated outright that they filter applicants by a set criteria. My problem is that the criteria used to filter applicants is exactly the problem that has led to a driving need to increase diversity. Those from more diverse backgrounds generally get filtered out at the earlier stages of the recruitment process because their lives are very different to the standard which law firms, and for that matter chambers, are accustomed to.

    So, eventually we get to the questions.

    What does Freshfields do to ensure that their recruitment process does not perpetuate the problems of exclusivity. How does Freshfields ensure that their recruitment processes are inclusive of those from diverse backgrounds that don't conform to the standard that currently exists? What has Freshfields done to change their recruitment process, and not merely attending different Universities or asking for applicants form different backgrounds, but actively changing their recruitment filtering process to ensure that those from different backgrounds are given adequate merit for the lives they have led that do not conform to the standard?

    I would be interested in your reply and I hope you can be honest with us as this is how we will change diversity within the legal profession, by asking tough questions and getting honest answers and working on a solution.
    Hi there,

    Each year we review our recruitment processes to ensure that they are the best that they can be, as well as fair and appropriate to the roles we are recruiting for.

    This means over the years we have made changes to our application form and selection methods. We will continue to review these processes each year.

    In my personal opinion, I do truly believe our recruitment processes do allow us to recruit a diverse group of candidates. Freshfields does not have a minimum requirement when it comes to academics and the 850 word personal statement provides a "blank sheet" for candidates to demonstrate their motivations and experiences.

    The recruitment process is only one aspect though. The legal sector as a whole recognises its need to be more accessible and to help inspire/support people to the career. More is happening in this respect and the Prime initiative is just one of many programmes happening to support this aim.

    I do feel that a lot of other work is happening to improve the diversity of the legal sector and in many different ways. There are many panel/review boards discussing these issues. There are more events, school programmes and involvement with not for profit organisations/community programmes. I know many other firms are also looking at their recruitment processes and training programmes.

    This is something that I am very passionate about and I know many other people, whether they are recruiters or fee earners, who have that same drive to want to ensure that the sector recruits the best people in the best way, no matter what their background. The work we are doing, whether it be within our individual firms or collaboratively are helping us to influence and change things that will help us with this aim.

    Kind Regards

    Jess










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    Hi everyone,

    I was recently interviewed for an article on Targetjobs about things I look for in CVs and application forms. Other recruiters from other city firms were also interviewed for the article.

    Please find attached a link if it is of interest:

    http://targetjobs.co.uk/career-secto...-legal-cv-no-0

    Kind Regards

    Jess
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    Hey Jess,

    I am just finishing up my A-Levels, but have not yet applied to university. The reason for this is because I was unsure on what course I really wanted to take. I am hopeful to become a solicitor after university, taking the GDL route. I had read that your intake on non-law to law graduates is about 50:50, is this the case?

    I know it may seem silly, not doing a degree in law, when in actual fact I want to become a lawyer. However I do feel the non-law degree route to law, offers more academic diversity which I hope will play as one of my major strengths in the near future.

    What to do at university, I am still unsure. Are there any degrees (or degree types to narrow the list) that you do not really consider as a great basis for the GDL. For instance a degree in Architecture over a degree in Geography? Or a degree in Biology over a degree in Photography?

    I look forward to your reply,
    Kind Regards
    Charlie
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    (Original post by charlie_perkins)
    Hey Jess,

    I am just finishing up my A-Levels, but have not yet applied to university. The reason for this is because I was unsure on what course I really wanted to take. I am hopeful to become a solicitor after university, taking the GDL route. I had read that your intake on non-law to law graduates is about 50:50, is this the case?

    I know it may seem silly, not doing a degree in law, when in actual fact I want to become a lawyer. However I do feel the non-law degree route to law, offers more academic diversity which I hope will play as one of my major strengths in the near future.

    What to do at university, I am still unsure. Are there any degrees (or degree types to narrow the list) that you do not really consider as a great basis for the GDL. For instance a degree in Architecture over a degree in Geography? Or a degree in Biology over a degree in Photography?

    I look forward to your reply,
    Kind Regards
    Charlie

    Hi Charlie,

    I would not worry about choosing a non-law degree route. Many of our lawyers choose this route (around 35-40% of our current trainees). Studying law is very different to law in practice anyway, so you are not going to be at a disadvantage.

    My advice would be to choose a degree subject you are interested in and that you think you will do well in. Some of the best candidates we see at interview stage talk about their degree and experiences at university with enthusiasm, and that comes across so positively.

    Our lawyers come from a real range of degree subjects, whether they are arts, science or humanities based subjects. We have trainees who have studied construction management, experimental pyschology, archaeology, visual culture, religous studies, chemistry, human resource management, fine art and accounting. Many trainees have studied law degrees and we have a fair number of trainees who studied a language or a social science.

    Once you start a training contract no one knows (or really minds) what your background is, as the GDL and LPC courses mean it is a level playing field on your first day in regards to technical knowledge.

    Kind Regards

    Jess
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    Hi everyone,

    One of our associates, Chloe, has recently been on secondment to LOCOG. We intereviewed her to find out more about her time there. To see the interview please click here.

    Regards

    Jess
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    (Original post by lselaw)
    Hi!

    I was wondering what the grad recruitment team would prefer to see in terms of module scores. What would be received more favourably: consistent 2:1s or a few firsts, a few 2:1s and a 2:2, for example. Thanks!
    Hi there,

    Sorry for the delay in coming back to you.

    The stronger and more consistent grades will be looked upon more favourably. However, undergraduate degree grades only make up one part of what we look for in "academics". We will also look at A-levels (or equivalent), academic prizes you have won/achieved and the result of your online verbal reasoning test.

    Added to this we then look at the written style of the application, extra curricular activities and positions of responsibility, work experience and most importantly a candidate's rationale and motivation for pursuing a career in commercial law.

    Therefore someone who has 2.1s and the odd 2.2 could be looked upon much more favourably than someone with consistent firsts, based on the other evidence they put on their application.

    Kind Regards

    Jess
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    Hi everyone,

    We have now joined Twitter and Facebook.

    Please feel free to have a look at our pages at:

    Twitter: www.twitter.com/uktrainees
    Facebook: facebook.com/FreshfieldsUkTrainees

    Kind Regards

    Jess
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    Hello,

    I am currently a Teach First participant, and have a 2.1 degree in Economics. How do Freshfields view Teach First? If I were a law conversion and then an LPC I would be at least 28 before I could start at a firm- would this slightly older age be a hinderance to success?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by Kubed)
    Hello,

    I am currently a Teach First participant, and have a 2.1 degree in Economics. How do Freshfields view Teach First? If I were a law conversion and then an LPC I would be at least 28 before I could start at a firm- would this slightly older age be a hinderance to success?

    Thanks
    Hi there,

    We support Teach First teachers with a number of internship opportunities during the school holidays and participate in a number of their employability events.

    We have had a number of trainees come to us having been on the Teach First programme. We have also made at least one offer this year to someone who was currently a Teach First teacher.

    There are a number of trainees who come to us not directly out of their degree at the age of approximately 21. We have a number of career changers or mature students and their age has no impact on their ability to do the job or succeed at it.

    If you are interested in applying for a training contract, our 2015 intakes will open to non-law graduates on 1 November 2012 and will remain open until 1 May 2013. All applications will need to be made via our website www.freshfields.com/uktrainees.

    Kind Regards

    Jess
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    Thanks Jess. I will certainly be considering my options- do you have any open days/events that are open to graduates?

    (Original post by uktrainees@freshfields)
    Hi there,

    We support Teach First teachers with a number of internship opportunities during the school holidays and participate in a number of their employability events.

    We have had a number of trainees come to us having been on the Teach First programme. We have also made at least one offer this year to someone who was currently a Teach First teacher.

    There are a number of trainees who come to us not directly out of their degree at the age of approximately 21. We have a number of career changers or mature students and their age has no impact on their ability to do the job or succeed at it.

    If you are interested in applying for a training contract, our 2015 intakes will open to non-law graduates on 1 November 2012 and will remain open until 1 May 2013. All applications will need to be made via our website www.freshfields.com/uktrainees.

    Kind Regards

    Jess
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    (Original post by Kubed)
    Thanks Jess. I will certainly be considering my options- do you have any open days/events that are open to graduates?
    Hi there,

    I would recommend our two day non-law workshop to you.

    Applications will be open throughout November 2012 and the event takes place in early January. Further information can be found on our website, www.freshfields.com/uktrainees.

    Kind Regards

    Jess




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    (Original post by uktrainees@freshfields)
    x
    Hi there. I am interested in becoming a corporate lawyer. Is it possible to gain a training contract with Freshfields if you have a non-law degree from abroad. Is this uncommon? Are universities such as University of Toronto or McGill well regarded by your firm in London offices or would it be better for me to apply in North America instead? Sorry about the abundance of questions, I am not well informed about this career path.
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    (Original post by Yash13)
    Hi there. I am interested in becoming a corporate lawyer. Is it possible to gain a training contract with Freshfields if you have a non-law degree from abroad. Is this uncommon? Are universities such as University of Toronto or McGill well regarded by your firm in London offices or would it be better for me to apply in North America instead? Sorry about the abundance of questions, I am not well informed about this career path.
    Hi there,

    We do recruit non-law students from outside of the UK and have recruited trainees from both American and Canadian universities.

    The routes to being able to work as a lawyer in the US and UK are very different. Unfortunately I am not much of an expert on the US recruitment side, but I recommend having a look at their careers website for more information on how they recruit, http://www.freshfields.com/en/united...ers/graduates/.

    In the UK you would need to complete the GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) and LPC (Legal Practice Course) before you could start as a trainee. You would then complete two years of a training contract before you become a qualified associate. I would recommend visiting websites like lawcareers.net, allaboutlaw.co.uk or thelawyer2b.com for further information on these courses.

    The main thing to think about is where you want to start the early part of your career. I do not think there is any clear advantage of completing one or the other and therefore your choice of where you want to live and work will be the most important factor to consider.

    Kind Regards

    Jess
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    Hi everyone,

    Just a quick (but somewhat obvious!) reminder that applications for our 2014 training contracts close to law students and graduates at 23.59pm tomorrow (Tuesday 31 July).

    I strongly recommend that you do not leave it until then though. The Trainee Recruitment team will be in the office until 5.30pm on Tuesday so will be able to support you should you face any technical problems with the form.

    All applications need to be made via our website www.freshfields.com/uktrainees.

    Kind Regards

    Jess
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    Hey Jess,

    How long is it usually between the training contract interview and getting a rejection/offer?

    Thanks,

    X
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    (Original post by xobile)
    Hey Jess,

    How long is it usually between the training contract interview and getting a rejection/offer?

    Thanks,

    X
    Hi there,

    It depends on the circumstances. If you are a penultimate year student, then we cannot tell you the outcome before 1 September of each year, no matter when you are interviewed.

    All other candidates should hear back within 7-10 days at the latest.

    Kind Regards

    Jess
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    (Original post by uktrainees@freshfields)
    Hi there,

    It depends on the circumstances. If you are a penultimate year student, then we cannot tell you the outcome before 1 September of each year, no matter when you are interviewed.

    All other candidates should hear back within 7-10 days at the latest.

    Kind Regards

    Jess
    Thank you! I am a penultimate year student, so I guess it'll be a long wait for me.
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    (Original post by xobile)
    Thank you! I am a penultimate year student, so I guess it'll be a long wait for me.
    Most candidates will be in the same position. All firms are supposed to abide by the SRA's code of best practice and not let candidates know whether they have been successful or not (post interview) until 1 September, if they are a penultimate year undergraduate.


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    If an applicant had a 2:2 in their first year of their law degree, had no extenuating circumstances but then achieved a very strong 2:1 in their second year, would they be hugely disadvantaged if they had an otherwise strong application?

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