TCLA Direct Training Contract Applications Discussion Thread 2021-22 (#1)

AvniD

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Just received rejection from WBD, post-VI. I can't help but feel very lost, it's been 3 years since I began applying and this was the first time that I'd ever even made it past the application stage, so I can't shake this sinking feeling that I've just lost my one and only chance at a TC. I don't know how confident I feel about my remaining apps, and whether I can even make it past application stages for those.

I rarely write on these forums, mostly just browsing around reading other people's experiences as I find solace and reassurance that I am not the only one struggling. Amongst all the amazing successes, it is hard not to feel left behind and wonder what I'm doing wrong and nitpicking at what I could've done better. I felt compelled just to write this one time as I just feel so dejected that the one time I've come the farthest in the TC application stage, I've failed once again. I know the most important thing is to pick yourself up after moments like these, but in all honesty, pouring in so much effort and still not making it through is a tough pill to swallow.

I don't want to dampen or take away from anyone's successes, and I truly hope other people's VI results are positive. But I also just wanted to write down and process my feelings; whilst I don't know if anyone else feels the same or will even read this post, I just wanted to try and get these feelings off my chest.
Rejections are painful, isolating and confusing but what they test more than anything is your motivation to keep going. When you're ready and have processed your feelings about this rejection, take some time to assess where you're at with applications.

Do you think you've done everything you could with the time and resources you have to make strong applications? Is a career in commercial law really something you want or could you also explore other industries that may also capture your interest to a similar extent? Is there a gap in your knowledge about working in commercial law that you need to fill? Are you picking the right firms? Are you submitting applications that are well written, demonstrate your motivations and are well researched?

Depending on what your answers to these questions are, I hope you realise that this wasn't your last chance at securing a TC and you can have many more chances if you're confident this is the industry for you and that you're willing to put in the work towards securing your place in it. We're here for you to support you with your applications should you choose to reapply in the next cycle and I 100% believe that you can do this if you put your mind to it. You've got this!
 

O

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Does anyone know if Dentons host their ACs virtually or in person? I received an email from the Grad Recruit confirming that their ACs will be held through June-July. The problem is I may not be in the UK during that time......
Hey when did you email and did you pass the telephone interview? I didn’t get any email about that or any contact since the TI
 
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AvniD

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Does anybody have tips for progressing to the AC stage? There's been a few instances where I've reached the VI but don't progress further than that. I suppose I need to practice interviews more, but besides that, does anyone have any advice/tips?
My biggest tip would be to review three areas of your application for improvement-
  1. Motivation- have you demonstrated your motivation to work in commercial law and at the firm you've applied at? A good answer about your motivations will be backed up with evidence that shows you've taken the initiative to find out more about this career and have grounded reasons for wanted to work in it. Do you have this evidence (attending webinars, open days, speaking to commercial lawyers etc.) or do you need to collect it ahead of the next time you apply? If you do have this evidence, are you linking it well to your motivations? So if you say that you want to work in commercial law, are you linking experiences you've had with commercial law to evidence this and bolster your answer?

  2. Firm research- this is crucial to demonstrate your motivations for why you want to work at a particular firm. Although this is from a few years ago, I found using Law with Farah's research grids incredibly helpful while researching for firms and organising the information I'd collect. Ensure you're collecting information on how the TC is structured, what opportunities to develop professionally are available at the firm and what the firm's ethos/business strategy/culture is. Once you've done this, link it with your motivations to demonstrate that you've done the groundwork and know exactly why you're choosing to apply to this firm over any other.

  3. Reflect on life experiences- this is so that you can have a list of the most standout experiences that changed your perspective and helped you develop your character which will be useful when answering questions about 'why you'. What was a time that challenged your ability to think creatively? When did you have to display resilience? When did you have to put the team's interests ahead of your own to achieve a common goal? When did you have balance multiple priorities at the same time? Know that no life experience is too big or too small to qualify as a good answer- it could be anything from working to the UN to volunteering to pursuing a hobby in your own time to working on a group project.
I hope this helps!
 

Unknown

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Mar 3, 2022
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Thank you so much for your advice, really appreciate the help! :) I think the thing I struggle with is showing my knowledge of the firm and the area they specialise in depending on the question. If the question is a lot more related to me I find it difficult to show that I have done my research on them if that makes sense. I also have trouble with giving specific examples of past experiences of mine as I'm always worried with VIs that I'm going to keep talking and not realise that the recording has finished as we are not meant to look at the screen when we respond so it's quite tricky.
My biggest tip would be to review three areas of your application for improvement-
  1. Motivation- have you demonstrated your motivation to work in commercial law and at the firm you've applied at? A good answer about your motivations will be backed up with evidence that shows you've taken the initiative to find out more about this career and have grounded reasons for wanted to work in it. Do you have this evidence (attending webinars, open days, speaking to commercial lawyers etc.) or do you need to collect it ahead of the next time you apply? If you do have this evidence, are you linking it well to your motivations? So if you say that you want to work in commercial law, are you linking experiences you've had with commercial law to evidence this and bolster your answer?

  2. Firm research- this is crucial to demonstrate your motivations for why you want to work at a particular firm. Although this is from a few years ago, I found using Law with Farah's research grids incredibly helpful while researching for firms and organising the information I'd collect. Ensure you're collecting information on how the TC is structured, what opportunities to develop professionally are available at the firm and what the firm's ethos/business strategy/culture is. Once you've done this, link it with your motivations to demonstrate that you've done the groundwork and know exactly why you're choosing to apply to this firm over any other.

  3. Reflect on life experiences- this is so that you can have a list of the most standout experiences that changed your perspective and helped you develop your character which will be useful when answering questions about 'why you'. What was a time that challenged your ability to think creatively? When did you have to display resilience? When did you have to put the team's interests ahead of your own to achieve a common goal? When did you have balance multiple priorities at the same time? Know that no life experience is too big or too small to qualify as a good answer- it could be anything from working to the UN to volunteering to pursuing a hobby in your own time to working on a group project.
I hope this helps!
 

rogerd123

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    Thank you so much for your advice, really appreciate the help! :) I think the thing I struggle with is showing my knowledge of the firm and the area they specialise in depending on the question. If the question is a lot more related to me I find it difficult to show that I have done my research on them if that makes sense. I also have trouble with giving specific examples of past experiences of mine as I'm always worried with VIs that I'm going to keep talking and not realise that the recording has finished as we are not meant to look at the screen when we respond so it's quite tricky.
    I think if the question is related to you, you don't always have to show firm research. For example, if it's a competency Q like "when is a time you have worked in a team", I personally would not mention the firm in this answer.

    I used to be scared of VIs - practice made me soo much better. I literally recorded myself on Photo Booth answering every question imaginable within a 60 sec time limit, and you get so good at it! I also bullet pointed examples for almost every competency so I wouldn't freeze when the question came up.

    Even though you're supposed to look at the camera, I think it's totally fine to look down at the time 1/2 or even 3 times!

    Hope that this helps. Whilst your answer is important, I think that 50% of it is in the delivery of your answer - making eye contact, always finishing before the time is up, smiling (even when it feels a bit forced), speaking slowly and not using too many filler words ("ums"/"ahs") will get you far! If you practice loads, you will become a pro :)
     

    NaimK

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    May 6, 2019
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    I just completed the Bird & Bird VI interview. My first interview so it's hard to tell how I did. I did come across as confident though so I recommend you don't let the questions phase you even if you're unprepared because it will show on camera. Say everything in confidence and look into the camera. Try not to say 'umm' too many times (or at all) and there's no need to feel an unusual amount of pressure because it is NOT a live interview. Take advantage of that. If you feel you don't have enough points to make to cover the 2 mins, speak slower. Time goes much faster than you think, so try to have just 2 examples in response to every question to effectively flesh them out.
     
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