TCLA Vacation Scheme Applications Discussion Thread 2021-22 (#1)

therealellewoods

Star Member
  • Jan 20, 2022
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    It really needs something more tangible. But it doesn’t need anything big. This is more about how you bounce back from the failure, rather than the failure itself.
    Hi Jessica! I'm answering a similar question. I got two low 2:1 grades in the final year of university and then finished with good 2:1s and two firsts. I was thinking about speaking about this and saying how the failure was underperforming in my grades because of burnout/not implementing enough healthy habits and that I've now learnt from this and therefore improved in my final grades that year. But is this okay? Would this also make me look like a weaker candidate somehow if I talk about burnout etc? I want my response to be genuine and this really is my biggest failure and I can talk about how I genuinely learnt from it but I don't want to draw attention to my two bad grades and make myself look worse either.
     

    therealellewoods

    Star Member
  • Jan 20, 2022
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    62
    Hi everyone, could someone please help me with understanding whether finance and private equity are to be spoken about separately? e.g. finance like banks etc and then PE like PE firms. But does private equity come under finance? e.g. if I said 'im interested in both finance and private equity' is that a logical fallacy? Thanks in advance x
     

    LSELawsolicitor

    Valued Member
    Aug 3, 2021
    118
    411
    Hi Jessica! I'm answering a similar question. I got two low 2:1 grades in the final year of university and then finished with good 2:1s and two firsts. I was thinking about speaking about this and saying how the failure was underperforming in my grades because of burnout/not implementing enough healthy habits and that I've now learnt from this and therefore improved in my final grades that year. But is this okay? Would this also make me look like a weaker candidate somehow if I talk about burnout etc? I want my response to be genuine and this really is my biggest failure and I can talk about how I genuinely learnt from it but I don't want to draw attention to my two bad grades and make myself look worse either.
    I may be wrong on this so don't take my word for it. These are just my thoughts.

    I don't think getting 2 low 2:1's is a good example of bouncing back from failure. First of all, I think most people (law firms included) would not see low 2:1's as failing at all. In fact the requirement for firms is a mere 2:1- a low 2:1 suffices. So by deeming low 2:1's as failure, it kind of goes against common belief and is therefore not really a strong example of failure. I can understand why you may have been disappointed by those grades as you like many law students, are probably are a high achiever. But to deem a 2:1 as bad-despite it being low- might give off a bad impression of cockiness, which I am sure you are not.
     

    Rob93

    Legendary Member
    Premium Member
    Dec 29, 2020
    587
    1,544
    Hi everyone, could someone please help me with understanding whether finance and private equity are to be spoken about separately? e.g. finance like banks etc and then PE like PE firms. But does private equity come under finance? e.g. if I said 'im interested in both finance and private equity' is that a logical fallacy? Thanks in advance x
    Totally correct to discuss them separately, as they are separate (though often related) parts of a firm's business.

    A 'PE practice' can involve three main things: funds, which will be the raising of institutional capital placed in the equity part of a private equity transaction; corporate M&A with a PE focus (this is what is most commonly meant by a firm's private equity practice); and debt finance, where firms will help PE sponsors or lenders set up the debt financing which makes up the 'leverage' part of a leveraged buyout. Highly focused firms' competition, tax, employment and other 'support departments' may also be focused on work related to the funds, M&A or debt financing of PE clients.

    As a shorthand though, PE usually means PE m&a, whereas finance is the broad world of, mostly, debt finance - equity capital markets are often parked separately with corporate - in general terms corporate will cover off everything pertaining to the ownership & governance of a company. Finance will generally be loans, bonds, sometimes derivatives, securitisation (notionally still bonds usually).

    At some firms much of the finance work will be in the context of PE buyouts, so notionally its part of the PE offering, but it's still perfectly valid to differentiate - at most firms, in any case, finance will involve lots of deals that have nothing to do with PE at all.
     

    Dayna1980

    New Member
    Nov 3, 2021
    4
    9
    Freshfields AC! My first ever so I’m rly anxious. I feel like I have insufficient commercial knowledge and that it would be an issue esp in the analytical interview 😓 Any advice/resources on how I can brush up on everything, including the basics (bc what are counted as the commercial basics that I must know?)? The AC is in two weeks time.
    I have an AC coming up as well, and haven't been to one yet so not sure if the advice I am going to give is any good but this is what I did and I feel a lot more confident about my commercial awareness now.

    - Listen to some sky news, FT or another type of podcasts. Sky News has some really good business podcasts and it's free! I took notes on them so that I can look back to remind myself, which I think will be helpful in the days running up to remember what happened in the last few weeks.
    - Think about the firm's major clients/sectors and consider some key issues facing that industry/type of client
    - Brush up don't the latest big issues (Covid, Brexit, but also supply chain issues, energy crisis, and inflation) - try and understand why this is happening and how clients have been impacted/would be impacted
    - Find a few specific stories that REALLY GENUINELY interest you and then drive deep, think about how this is impacting the firm's clients, but maybe the world at large, and be curious about what this might mean in the future - this way you can talk about things you are genuinely interested in and confident talking about.
    - Lastly, but also really important, brush up on the legal industry itself (legal tech, the firms competitors and how they differ, how law firms remain competitive) and how news issues might be impacting law firms as a business themselves.

    Hope this gives you some ideas of where to start. Just like you, I felt pretty overwhelmed because there is so much information out there, but just stick to the basics and you should feel more confident! Just don't procrastinate, if you only have two weeks I would recommend starting today! :)
     

    Rachael.Elisa

    Star Member
    Jun 15, 2021
    49
    92
    I have an AC coming up as well, and haven't been to one yet so not sure if the advice I am going to give is any good but this is what I did and I feel a lot more confident about my commercial awareness now.

    - Listen to some sky news, FT or another type of podcasts. Sky News has some really good business podcasts and it's free! I took notes on them so that I can look back to remind myself, which I think will be helpful in the days running up to remember what happened in the last few weeks.
    - Think about the firm's major clients/sectors and consider some key issues facing that industry/type of client
    - Brush up don't the latest big issues (Covid, Brexit, but also supply chain issues, energy crisis, and inflation) - try and understand why this is happening and how clients have been impacted/would be impacted
    - Find a few specific stories that REALLY GENUINELY interest you and then drive deep, think about how this is impacting the firm's clients, but maybe the world at large, and be curious about what this might mean in the future - this way you can talk about things you are genuinely interested in and confident talking about.
    - Lastly, but also really important, brush up on the legal industry itself (legal tech, the firms competitors and how they differ, how law firms remain competitive) and how news issues might be impacting law firms as a business themselves.

    Hope this gives you some ideas of where to start. Just like you, I felt pretty overwhelmed because there is so much information out there, but just stick to the basics and you should feel more confident! Just don't procrastinate, if you only have two weeks I would recommend starting today! :)
    Hiya,

    I haven't been offered an AC yet but I recently did a mentoring scheme with Freshfields, during which I did a mock analytical interview.

    Just wanted to add to your advice and say that it is a good idea to research defining features of different world markets, including emerging markets. Also, when giving your answers in the interview, always try to give a complete answer in the first instance and be considerate and precise with your language. For example, during my interview I kept referring to the author of the article as 'they' rather than 'the author', and I was picked up on this.

    Hope that's helpful!
     
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    SLKEJRWOI97

    Legendary Member
    Premium Member
    2020 Community Winner
    Jan 22, 2020
    314
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    Hi Jessica! I'm answering a similar question. I got two low 2:1 grades in the final year of university and then finished with good 2:1s and two firsts. I was thinking about speaking about this and saying how the failure was underperforming in my grades because of burnout/not implementing enough healthy habits and that I've now learnt from this and therefore improved in my final grades that year. But is this okay? Would this also make me look like a weaker candidate somehow if I talk about burnout etc? I want my response to be genuine and this really is my biggest failure and I can talk about how I genuinely learnt from it but I don't want to draw attention to my two bad grades and make myself look worse either.
    Hey there!

    Just to clarify, you wouldn't look like a weaker candidate at all if you talked about burnout. We're all human so please don't think that.

    However, as @Jessica Booker mentioned, the example should be quite tangible. I would interpret this as a question asking about weakness and use that. For example:

    "As President of the X Society, my committee experienced a period of low morale due to a mindset I had which was "if you want it done right, do it yourself"... etc".
     

    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    9,080
    13,521
    Hi Jessica! I'm answering a similar question. I got two low 2:1 grades in the final year of university and then finished with good 2:1s and two firsts. I was thinking about speaking about this and saying how the failure was underperforming in my grades because of burnout/not implementing enough healthy habits and that I've now learnt from this and therefore improved in my final grades that year. But is this okay? Would this also make me look like a weaker candidate somehow if I talk about burnout etc? I want my response to be genuine and this really is my biggest failure and I can talk about how I genuinely learnt from it but I don't want to draw attention to my two bad grades and make myself look worse either.
    My only concern with this is could the low 2.1s really be classified as a failure?

    I think if the rest of your academics are strong (eg no other low 2.1 grades in first and second year) then it is a clear blip and a clear under performance that could be classified as a failure when contrasted with your other grades. However if you have other grades that are similar, then it’s hard to distinguish this as a failure, just a similar performance.

    However, these examples can sometimes work at the same time really don’t in others. It’s more the context behind the example that is relevant here rather than the headline, so hard for me to give advice on whether it’s appropriate or not unfortunately.
     

    therealellewoods

    Star Member
  • Jan 20, 2022
    45
    62
    I may be wrong on this so don't take my word for it. These are just my thoughts.

    I don't think getting 2 low 2:1's is a good example of bouncing back from failure. First of all, I think most people (law firms included) would not see low 2:1's as failing at all. In fact the requirement for firms is a mere 2:1- a low 2:1 suffices. So by deeming low 2:1's as failure, it kind of goes against common belief and is therefore not really a strong example of failure. I can understand why you may have been disappointed by those grades as you like many law students, are probably are a high achiever. But to deem a 2:1 as bad-despite it being low- might give off a bad impression of cockiness, which I am sure you are not.
    Thank you for this! The firm specifies ‘high’ 2:1s so I was worried low 2:1s would make me a weaker candidate in this instance but I totally agree they’re not necessarily a failure and I’m probably too harsh on myself. I wanted to use the example because I really did learn from it but after reading the comments you’re right it’s probably not the best example.
     
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    therealellewoods

    Star Member
  • Jan 20, 2022
    45
    62
    Totally correct to discuss them separately, as they are separate (though often related) parts of a firm's business.

    A 'PE practice' can involve three main things: funds, which will be the raising of institutional capital placed in the equity part of a private equity transaction; corporate M&A with a PE focus (this is what is most commonly meant by a firm's private equity practice); and debt finance, where firms will help PE sponsors or lenders set up the debt financing which makes up the 'leverage' part of a leveraged buyout. Highly focused firms' competition, tax, employment and other 'support departments' may also be focused on work related to the funds, M&A or debt financing of PE clients.

    As a shorthand though, PE usually means PE m&a, whereas finance is the broad world of, mostly, debt finance - equity capital markets are often parked separately with corporate - in general terms corporate will cover off everything pertaining to the ownership & governance of a company. Finance will generally be loans, bonds, sometimes derivatives, securitisation (notionally still bonds usually).

    At some firms much of the finance work will be in the context of PE buyouts, so notionally its part of the PE offering, but it's still perfectly valid to differentiate - at most firms, in any case, finance will involve lots of deals that have nothing to do with PE at all.
    This is super helpful! Thank you so much! 🙏🙏🙏🙏
     
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    therealellewoods

    Star Member
  • Jan 20, 2022
    45
    62
    I
    My only concern with this is could the low 2.1s really be classified as a failure?

    I think if the rest of your academics are strong (eg no other low 2.1 grades in first and second year) then it is a clear blip and a clear under performance that could be classified as a failure when contrasted with your other grades. However if you have other grades that are similar, then it’s hard to distinguish this as a failure, just a similar performance.

    However, these examples can sometimes work at the same time really don’t in others. It’s more the context behind the example that is relevant here rather than the headline, so hard for me to give advice on whether it’s appropriate or not unfortunately.
    Definitley agree! I think in context of my grades they were an under performance but potentially not the best example so I’ll probably try and think of a different example. Thank you!!
    Hey there!

    Just to clarify, you wouldn't look like a weaker candidate at all if you talked about burnout. We're all human so please don't think that.

    However, as @Jessica Booker mentioned, the example should be quite tangible. I would interpret this as a question asking about weakness and use that. For example:

    "As President of the X Society, my committee experienced a period of low morale due to a mindset I had which was "if you want it done right, do it yourself"... etc".
    Thanks so much ☺️
     
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    CorporateLaw101

    Legendary Member
  • Nov 16, 2021
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    Hey guys,

    I’m looking to apply to K&L Gates but one section of the application asks to describe the ‘Main Social, Leisure, Sporting Activities including community service and positions of responsibility held both in school and university.’

    I’m loving the other section of questions but unfortunately I’ve never been part of a society or sport, and generally haven’t held any positions of responsibility in these realms.

    instead, I have worked full time as a business owner during university. I really don’t know how to answer this question. Could I leave it blank? Am I just wasting my time even applying?
     
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