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    I'm about to embark on my final year studying Music, and have begun the process of applying for one Christmas vacation scheme (aimed specifically at non-law finalists/graduates), before I apply for a whole range of summer placements later on this year.

    I have the issue that I don't want to sound contrived, superficial in my application (e.g. my cover letter), but at the same time I can hardly relay a load of facts I find 'interesting', such as how I'm supposedly really impressed by the fact that X firm is ranked in X place for such and such area, when having never studied law before I'm still in the position where I want to find out if law is really for me.

    I can be general about my interests, e.g. interested in public sector becuase of this voluntary experience I had with an NGO, or employment because of this reading and case I've been following, but I really want to use the vacation scheme to find out if the law really is for me.

    Any advice, advice from non-law people as well as law students would be much appreciated.


    I fully appreciate your problem, but I think you do have to make an effort to say something about what interests you. I would be as specific as possible. With these things it is generally better to be confident and go for it.

    Most of these firms run events where you can go and meet some of their people. A great application line is "What really attracts me to Firm X, is the people. I met some associates at Event Y and found them to be extremely impressive, personable etc etc"

    Every firm loves to hear this! :p:

    You have to be able to answer the questions 'why law', 'why this firm' persuasively.

    In the early stages, I answered the why law question by going through the other career paths I had explored and showing how law had their upsides without the downsides. Then, I added in people I'd met at law fairs, firm presentations and, later, open days/workshops, work shadowing in regional firm.

    For 'why this firm', what Dillon said and demonstrate your research skills. Read everything you can about that firm: chambers, ROF, legalweek profiles, follow deals in legal press, read website beyond grad recruitment pages.

    VS are undoubtedly a big help in gaining a TC but they are not always essential. You do need to sell yourself and your experinece in applications though. A the moment, you sound a bit diffident.

    Unfortunately, most firms use VS as a tool for recruiting/selecting the best candidates. You'll be lucky to get on a VS over people who have already decided law is for them and have their story perfectly manicured to secure one. Open days are sometimes less competitive (and sometimes consolation prizes for people who didn't quite make the cut).

    Good luck

    For why

    I feel bad for you but tbh there will be hundreds of other people applying for that vac scheme that are 100% sure that law is for them and want it more than anything and have worked so hard to get the relevant skills and experience. Therefore, unless you put specific reasons why you want to go on that scheme and why you're interested in law, they won't like you. It just won't be fair on the others.
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