Application Review

Vacation scheme and training contract application reviews

Law firms receive thousands of applications for vacation schemes and training contracts every year. If you don't learn effective application technique, you won't be invited to interview.

But application technique isn't about applying a set of rigid rules to your applications. It's about presenting who you are on paper. It's about showcasing your motivations, experiences and potential to a recruiter. It's about knowing how to tailor your applications and stand out from the crowd.

We at The Corporate Law Academy know how competitive it is. We take your application reviews very seriously.

Our thorough and personal application review service, offers you detailed, line-by-line comments on your vacation scheme or training contract application. These reviews are firm-specific and cover the following areas:

  • how well you answer the question[s] asked;
  • your use of language and your overall structure;
  • how well you’ve tailored your application to the specific firm; and
  • how well you've met a firm’s competencies.

As we review your application, we'll factor in the strength of your application against the thousands of applications we have reviewed. Many of our students go on to secure training contracts at top commercial firms, including the magic circle and New York’s elite law firms.

Why use our application review service?

We've reviewed thousands of applications since 2017.

On a typical day, we review anywhere between 5 and 10 applications. Our experience has taught us what works and what doesn’t. We know how to sell your experiences, demonstrate your motivation and make an application stand out.

Comprehensive feedback.

Due to the volume of applications we receive, we are able to benchmark the strength of your application against other candidates applying to the same firm. In addition to our line by line comments, you'll receive practical guidance on how to apply our feedback to future applications.

High-level, specific, actionable advice.

There's a reason we only review law firm applications. That's our niche and we're good at what we do. We’re not here to give you generic advice on your applications. Instead, we provide bespoke, actionable advice based on your existing application answers, your experiences and motivations, and the firm you’re applying to. We very rarely come across a firm we haven't reviewed hundreds of applications for!

A&O application review

Finally, note, the purpose of our reviews is to help you get your applications into the best shape you can. We'll point out red flags and advise you on how to improve your answers, however, we cannot guarantee you will move onto the next stage.

Application Reviews Exclusively For Premium Members!

Kindly note, application reviews are only available to members of TCLA Premium.

As of September 2020, the application review team consists of Jaysen (TCLA's founder), Alice G (a future trainee at a magic circle law firm) and Jessica Booker (a former graduate recruiter across multiple magic circle firms). We each work together to make sure your application is reviewed to the highest standard possible.

Silver members are entitled to one standard application review every month (returned in 3 working days), while Gold members are entitled to one fast-track review each month (returned in 1 working day).

You can send your application to us using the contact form below. Kindly note, in our application reviews, we only review application questions (and not the work experience section or CVs). Please send over your application as a Word document with the application questions included.

If your application is submitted after 6pm, the date of submission will be considered to be the next working day. (This means a Gold application will be returned the following day.)

Looking for more reviews?

If you are an existing premium member, you can purchase additional application reviews here. Gold Members are entitled to a 50% discount on all additional application reviews (please see the 'Gold section' of the TCLA Premium curriculum for your discount code).

Submit your application here!

by Alina Kazmi on The Corporate Law Academy

Applying for training contracts can be quite daunting at first. I wanted to perfect my applications before submitting them. Initially, I got my applications reviewed by my family & friends, my university’s career services and my lecturers. However, the feedback I received was not even close to the standard of critical feedback I received from Jaysen. I thought my application was good until I received the feedback from Jaysen and realised there was still a lot of room for improvement. The feedback I received was incredibly useful that I decided to use that feedback and improve another set of applications to submit for a review. Jaysen’s feedback has not only helped strengthen my applications but has developed my writing skills for future applications. I would 100% recommend this service.

by Hajra Rehman on The Corporate Law Academy

Jaysen as extremely prompt in his help and was thorough in his analysis of my application. He provided feedback on various different aspects I.e use of language, grammar, how to showcase my skills and experience fully and relevancy to the question. He has an excellent eye for spotting the small details which will differentiate a mediocre application to an exemplary one.

This is service is incredible! Jaysen provides tailored advice, breaking down virtually every word, making sure I’ve answered the question and displaying my full potential as a candidate. The quality of my applications have jumped significantly. This service is an absolute must for anyone applying to training contracts.

by Ailish White on The Corporate Law Academy

I cannot recommend this service enough! Jaysen provides tailored advice and seriously improves the quality of your application. I liked how he asked questions about my answers which encouraged me to make them more specific. I have noticed a huge difference in the quality of my application since receiving Jaysen’s help. If you are looking to improve the quality of your applications this service is perfect for you!

by Syafiqkay92 on The Corporate Law Academy

I asked for Jaysen’s helped in reviewing my application and I learned a lot from it. He helped me identify where to focus my answer based on what I have already written. He also identified parts of the answer that doesn’t answer the question. Really useful. Would definitely be using his service a lot more.

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Feedback from Students

  • Fezan
    Jaysen is one of the most knowledgeable and friendliest advisors working in this field! His advice is clear and simple and he shows real understanding of a candidate's strengths/weaknesses. I cannot recommend him enough. My best wishes, F
    Paralegal at MC firm
  • Kavi
    Hi Jaysen, I hope you are well. Just wanted to say thank you so much for all of your help as I was offered a place on the CMS vac scheme following my assessment centre! The mock interview you set up for me and the CLA in general, were by far the most useful resources I used when preparing (even compared to my University's career service) so thanks again! Kavi
    Future CMS vac schemer
  • Bonnie
    Hi Jaysen, I just wanted to send you a message thanking you for the fantastic work you are doing here and on the Student Room. I got a TC offer from Ashurst this morning (still in shock!) and without a law degree or any vac schemes under my belt, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have happened without all the helpful advice that you've put out there. I'm sure it has helped so many people, not just me - so well done and keep going!
    Future trainee at Ashurst
  • Lottie
    Jaysen's help with my application was incredible. He generously dedicated his time to helping improve my app, looking at 2/3 drafts and offering his comments which were really helpful. I feel I submitted the best application to date and am actively looking forward to hearing back from the firm. Thank you so much!
  • Lewis Malkin
    Following a rejection post vacation scheme from a silver circle firm this summer, I began my September by commencing the long and arduous application process for the second time. Unfortunately, following a number of interviews it felt like I was destined for another round of multiple rejections; I continued to find myself coming unstuck at the assessment centre stage and it was not until I was put in contact with Jaysen that my fortunes began to change. I went into my first ‘session’ with Jaysen not really knowing what to expect. From the first minute, Jaysen made me feel really at ease and I felt he was genuinely interested in getting to know my struggles and woes. This was followed by a discussion of some potential questions that I could be given during my upcoming interviews and I was frankly astounded by his detailed knowledge of each firm. Working together, we were able to analyse my whole interview strategy and devise a few more techniques that gave me back the control as the interviewee.

    Ever since chatting to Jaysen, I have managed to secure a winter vacation scheme with a major US firm and have a number of other assessment centres lined up. More importantly however, Jaysen has given me back the confidence I lost in the summer and I now feel ready to face these challenges head on. We have all faced rejection at some point during the process of applying to law firms, and sometimes you just need a little extra push to get you over the line. Jaysen to me was that push. I am truly grateful for all the help he has given me and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to a friend.
    Lewis Malkin
    Trainee at Baker Mckenzie (6 vac schemes)
  • Sophia
    After receiving countless rejections, finding and signing up to The Corporate Law Academy has definitely increased my confidence when applying for a Training Contract. Upon receiving feedback on my application, I was surprised at the amount of effort that Jaysen had put in to his response. Taking the comments on board, I produced a second draft and Jaysen was more than willing to take a look. Jaysen’s recommendations are always detailed, clear and very constructive. The same can be said for his weekly commercial awareness articles. I would definitely recommend The Corporate Law Academy to anyone wishing to improve their applications or interview techniques!
    London School of Economics
  • Nicholas Ioannou
    Ever since I first met Jaysen, I have admired his keen willingness to help students. Whether it be by answering queries, reviewing applications or sending commercial awareness newsletters, Jaysen has been on hand to do it all. I was relatively sceptical about getting in-touch with Jaysen at first, as I did not know what to expect. However, I put those thoughts aside, since I could tell that he genuinely wants to help students, and he has proved to be a great aid thus far. I remember when Jaysen reviewed my first app, I was in shock as to the amount of detail and effort that he put into the feedback. I believe I replied, "wow, even my uni careers office don't go to that much trouble." Likewise, when I received a rejection email, Jaysen was there to offer console and remind me that it's all a part of the process. Though I am yet to secure a training contract, this is my first cycle of applications. I have no doubt that I will be able to edit this post in the near future, stating that I have been offered a TC, as a result of Jaysen's help.
    Nicholas Ioannou
    University College London
  • Derrick Tan
    You must have received countless gratitude messages by now, but I am still determined to write you one. Thank you for what you do and being as selfless as you are. Everytime I feel like giving up, your words have the inspiring effect to pick me up. You are truly a star!
    Derrick Tan
    University of Leicester
  • Ibtisam Arif
    All the best with all this - You have become a true inspiration for me and If I ever get in a position where I can make the kind of difference you are making it will be because of you.
    Ibtisam Arif
  • Arun Sohan-Pali
    What took me by surprise about the application advice was that every sentence was treated with the utmost importance. When a string of well-structured sentences come together, it makes a monumental impact on how the application reads as a whole. Jaysen refused to let anything, no matter how seemingly insignificant, go and the result is the strongest possible representation of yourself in front of recruiters, which is ultimately the end goal.
    Arun Sohan-Pali
    London School of Economics
  • Sylvester Tan
    I attended the training session. Jaysen was incredibly insightful down to the last detail and even provided guidance to us on how to approach applications and interviews. Jaysen was very genuine and personal in helping me with my application review and provided me with detailed recommendations line-by-line. He responds quickly and is very approachable and reliable as he understands what it was like to be a student. I would recommend him to any student who wishes to improve the quality of their applications.
    Sylvester Tan
    Vac schemes at Clifford Chance, Weil and Winston & Strawn
  • Ugo Onwumelu
    The “How to apply to Weil” training was very insightful. I think what stood out for me was the detail of the answers to our questions. For instance, the answers not only focused on what makes Weil an interesting place to work but also highlighted its difference from other US-headquartered firms. Such examples included the fact that Weil works for both the banks (lenders) and the private equity firms borrowing from the banks, something that some of its peers do not do. Furthermore, the application checklist that Jaysen gave us after the training session was both an added value and an embodiment of care to help us succeed. It strengthened my resolve to apply to Weil!
    Ugo Onwumelu
    University of Westminster
  • Ulyana Habka
    I found your answers quite useful as it helped me to understand a bit of the firm’s culture (by speaking to you and your colleagues) and to get an insight into the work you do on daily basis. I learnt about an early responsibility and what is expected of a trainee or how to make a good impression on your colleagues.I found you and your colleagues very friendly and open – minded. This is important when deciding where to apply.
    Ulyana Habka
    GDL Student at BPP