“I am worth investing in.”
That’s what you need to communicate in an interview.
Think about it from a law firm’s perspective. Offering a training contract is an expensive investment. And if they choose you, they must turn down another potentially-excellent lawyer.
You must show that you’ll:
1) stay at the firm for the long term
2) become an excellent lawyer
3) fit well within the firm
But, to be worth investing in, you don’t need to be like everyone else. That’s a myth. In fact, if you’re from a different background, if you’ve faced hardship, if you’ve got unique interests, that’s exactly what you should leverage to show why you’re worth investing in.
You also don’t need to be perfect right now. In fact, ‘perfect’ candidates are often just polished candidates. The strongest candidates are vulnerable: they know their strengths but also own their flaws. You need to show you’ve got a hunger to learn and grow, and with the right support, you’ll become an excellent commercial lawyer.
Finally, be clear about who you are. Go beyond scripted answers and think deeply about your motivations. What will keep you working long hours, day after day? What will get you through the hard times? To be worth investing in, you have to be convincing, and to be convincing, you have to be authentic.