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    Can anyone shed some light on how they approached the Macfarlanes application? The one thing that is confusing me is the competency questions coupled with the inclusion of a cover letter. What makes it even more difficult to approach is the 500 word limit for each question. I understand that it is good to always, if possible, write to the word limit exhausting why you want a position etc but that leaves me wondering what to include in the cover letter considering they don't want it to be a repetition of the answer to the questions...?
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    (Original post by Defragmentation)
    Is it still worth applying to Freshfields now or is it too late?
    Still time. Chance has obviously decreased, but attempt to get it in before the New Year and then hope for the best.
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    Quick question, in a cover letter is it ok to say that one of the reasons I am interested in the firm is because it is a small firm but they deal with international matters, so kind of punching above their weight - if so, how would it best to word it, can I literally use "punching above your weight" line? Thanks guys!
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    (Original post by Swimmer)
    Quick question, in a cover letter is it ok to say that one of the reasons I am interested in the firm is because it is a small firm but they deal with international matters, so kind of punching above their weight - if so, how would it best to word it, can I literally use "punching above your weight" line? Thanks guys!
    Definitely would not use the 'punching above your weight line'

    The best way to phrase it would be to incorporate why the size would benefit you.

    I.e (the small size may mean that you'll have early responsibility and exposure to these multi-jurisdictional deals and as a result you feel you'll develop rapidly as a lawyer)

    A firm which is small is also likely to remain completely connected, i.e no chance of you being just a number (able to learn from professionals at the top of their game through frequent interaction.
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    (Original post by liarpoker)
    Definitely would not use the 'punching above your weight line'

    The best way to phrase it would be to incorporate why the size would benefit you.

    I.e (the small size may mean that you'll have early responsibility and exposure to these multi-jurisdictional deals and as a result you feel you'll develop rapidly as a lawyer)

    A firm which is small is also likely to remain completely connected, i.e no chance of you being just a number (able to learn from professionals at the top of their game through frequent interaction.
    Thank you!!
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    I have a few questions - would appreciate any advice!

    1. How long should a cover letter be if there is no word limit?
    2. The firm has given 3 specific questions that need to be answered in the cover letter - should I use headings to answer each one or is it better not to? Im assuming I shouldn't, but just wanted a second opinion
    3. One of the questions is: please explain one of the firms published cases and why you found it interesting. Should I literally just give a summary of the case and then say why I find it interesting, or is there more of an analysis involved? I know that is what the question says to do, but I'm not sure if firms are looking for more than that?
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    (Original post by t.o)
    Can anyone shed some light on how they approached the Macfarlanes application? The one thing that is confusing me is the competency questions coupled with the inclusion of a cover letter. What makes it even more difficult to approach is the 500 word limit for each question. I understand that it is good to always, if possible, write to the word limit exhausting why you want a position etc but that leaves me wondering what to include in the cover letter considering they don't want it to be a repetition of the answer to the questions...?
    Don't just hit the word limit if you'll only be filling words, waffling and repeating yourself to do so. Concise will always be better - my word counts for the Macfarlanes competencies were often 300-350 words out of 500, I think one was even about 280, and I've been invited to interview.

    As for the competencies and cover letter situation, that struck me also but all I did was quite simply use different stuff! ie imagine you have a massive list of why you want to be a commercial lawyer or why you are applying to Macfarlanes. Simply divvy it up between competency Q and cover letter (obviously ensuring it all fits and flows where it is placed.)
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    (Original post by ap28)
    I have a few questions - would appreciate any advice!

    1. How long should a cover letter be if there is no word limit?
    2. The firm has given 3 specific questions that need to be answered in the cover letter - should I use headings to answer each one or is it better not to? Im assuming I shouldn't, but just wanted a second opinion
    3. One of the questions is: please explain one of the firms published cases and why you found it interesting. Should I literally just give a summary of the case and then say why I find it interesting, or is there more of an analysis involved? I know that is what the question says to do, but I'm not sure if firms are looking for more than that?
    1) no more than a page of A4 (once you have taken out all the formal address formatting). Ideally you should get in on one page with the formatting but it sounds like in this situation they want a bit more info

    2) I wouldn't use headings personally. Three well structured paragraphs (one for each question) should be sufficient

    3) they are trying to see how concise you can be along with seeing your own interests in commercial matters. Focus on the key aspect of the case or what was so interesting/important about it (think about it like an elevator pitch - what information will have the most impact by you telling it). But make sure you state clearly why you chose that over everything else. They will be more interested in your opinion than anything factual about the case.


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    (Original post by J-SP)
    1) no more than a page of A4 (once you have taken out all the formal address formatting). Ideally you should get in on one page with the formatting but it sounds like in this situation they want a bit more info

    2) I wouldn't use headings personally. Three well structured paragraphs (one for each question) should be sufficient

    3) they are trying to see how concise you can be along with seeing your own interests in commercial matters. Focus on the key aspect of the case or what was so interesting/important about it (think about it like an elevator pitch - what information will have the most impact by you telling it). But make sure you state clearly why you chose that over everything else. They will be more interested in your opinion than anything factual about the case.


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    That is really helpful, thankyou!!
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    (Original post by t.o)
    Can anyone shed some light on how they approached the Macfarlanes application? The one thing that is confusing me is the competency questions coupled with the inclusion of a cover letter. What makes it even more difficult to approach is the 500 word limit for each question. I understand that it is good to always, if possible, write to the word limit exhausting why you want a position etc but that leaves me wondering what to include in the cover letter considering they don't want it to be a repetition of the answer to the questions...?
    In my application, I focused on 'Why Law?' and gave a couple of extra reasons for 'Why Macfarlanes?' in the cover letter. I think the main thing is not to repeat any information previously given. Regarding word limits, I would say to get as close to the word limit as you can, but not at the cost of waffling or giving unnecessary information. Good luck!
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    Guessing firms will be reopening at least til Wednesday this week :beard:
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    (Original post by ChoccyWoccy)
    Guessing firms will be reopening at least til Wednesday this week :beard:
    How long did it take A&O to get back to you my dear ChoccyWoccy?
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    Hi guys, for any of you who are interested, these are the statuses of my apps - I've applied for summer vac schemes:

    Rejected from: Herbert Smith, Cleary Gott (by post!), Baker McKenzie (easter vac)

    Interviews for: Mayer Brown, Latham Watkins

    Waiting on: Davis Polk, Skadden, Jones Day, Travers and Weil
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    PFO from Shearman
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    If anyone hears from A&O after christmas break holla at me
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    (Original post by boing36)
    Hi guys, for any of you who are interested, these are the statuses of my apps - I've applied for summer vac schemes:

    Rejected from: Herbert Smith, Cleary Gott (by post!), Baker McKenzie (easter vac)

    Interviews for: Mayer Brown, Latham Watkins

    Waiting on: Davis Polk, Skadden, Jones Day, Travers and Weil
    All the best for the interviews! May I know how long did it take for MB to get back?
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    (Original post by boing36)
    Hi guys, for any of you who are interested, these are the statuses of my apps - I've applied for summer vac schemes:

    Rejected from: Herbert Smith, Cleary Gott (by post!), Baker McKenzie (easter vac)

    Interviews for: Mayer Brown, Latham Watkins

    Waiting on: Davis Polk, Skadden, Jones Day, Travers and Weil
    Well done on Latham and Mayer Brown. When did you submit your Latham application, if I may ask? Thanks
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    Just realised I haven't added my second year modules (which I haven't yet been examined on) onto one of my applications - only put my first year ones on there. Hope that isn't an issue :erm:
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    (Original post by TrainingChopeful)
    Bristol - only Bristol one I'm applying for so decided to apply for a VS to find out a bit more about the firm. Yeah I want to apply for a couple more - currently have a half completed one for Withers. Have you had any luck? Best of luck for your other applications!
    Oh cool I was curious since I haven't made any apps to firms outside of London. I've got an offer from FF and an interview with Slaughters, so it's going alright I guess
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    (Original post by excito)
    Well done on Latham and Mayer Brown. When did you submit your Latham application, if I may ask? Thanks
    I submitted Latham app early Dec and heard back mid Dec - they were pretty quick so you shouldn't be waiting too long!
 
 
 
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