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10 tips for a successful vacation scheme application

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At Bright Network we know that the prospect of putting in a Vacation Scheme application can be daunting, so we’ve put together our ten top tips to give you the best possible chance of success.

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1. Research the attributes of a successful commercial lawyer

Think carefully about the skills and attributes needed to get ahead in law, and match each to an instance where you have demonstrated that quality. For example, lawyers are analytically minded, detail-oriented and commercially aware. Are you? 

Everything you need to know about vacation schemes

2. Do your due diligence on your chosen firms 

Be prepared to discuss why you have chosen to apply for each Vacation Scheme. Your interviewer is sure to ask you why you have applied to their firm, so make sure you can tell them your reasons.  

3. Think about when you have been in positions of responsibility and leadership

What did you learn? The key to answering competency questions is to demonstrate in a structured way how you tackled a challenge and what you learned from it. 

Read: How to secure a vacation scheme

4. Keep abreast of current affairs

You may be tested on your commercial knowledge, so make sure you start picking up the Economist or FT and be prepared to tell your interviewer what recent articles interested you, and why. 

5. Find out what life as a lawyer is really like

Obviously, work experience is invaluable, but if you also know any lawyers - parents, relatives, friends - speak to them! The more research you do, the better. You need to be able to show that you have really weighed up the pros and cons of a career in law.

Read: Breaking into Law with a disability

Develop your skills with Bright Network Academy

Learn everything you need to know before you head to work with these free e-learning courses. Discover everything from how to develop your transferable and digital skills to how to smash the application process. 

6. Know your main strengths and weaknesses 

This question comes up frequently. Be honest in how you approach it and avoid answering with "my main weakness is that I work too hard". Trust us, it’s been done. 

7. Be ready to talk about your extracurricular interests and activities

Whether you enjoy sport, film, writing, playing the trombone – your future employers want to know that you are a well-rounded, interesting individual. 

8. Don’t leave your application to the last minute

You are fighting against fierce competition and Vacation Scheme places are limited. Get ahead and apply early. 

9. Don’t let yourself down with a silly typo! 

Double check and triple check your application form and CV for mistakes. Accuracy is key to being a great lawyer. Don't let a silly typo stand in the way of your success. 

10. And the obvious... 

Dress smart and be punctual for your interview.

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