A huge congratulations to Bright Network member Jaspreet who has done brilliantly to secure herself a training contract at Browne Jacobson. She was kind enough to answer some of questions about her experience of the application process as well as offer some great advice for members looking to follow in her footsteps.
Why did you choose Browne Jacobson?
I was actually made two offers for a training contract, one from Browne Jacobson and one from another law firm. I decided to go with Browne Jacobson in the end because it seemed like the better fit for me. Many factors came into play when making this decision, including the reputation of the firm, areas of strength being compatible with the areas of law that I would like to enter into and location of the firm etc.
What was the toughest part of the application process? And your favourite part?
Usually, like most candidates, I dread the assessment centre part of the process. However, after taking part in a few assessment centres prior to this I knew what to expect and ended up falling in love with the firm/its people/culture when I got there! This made me feel at ease and I got to see the firm in all its glory.
I always seem to find the online assessments difficult, as it is hard to know how they went until you hear back from the firm.
Were you surprised by anything in the process?
I was surprised to know that the firm does not do the X-factor style removal of unsuccessful candidates after the first half of the assessment centre. This goes to show, do not always rely on information that you see online (e.g. studentroom)!
What three top tips would you give your fellow Bright Network members?
1. I know you must hear this enough but BE YOURSELF! If the firm does not like you for your unique personality, it is not the right fit for you! Always showcase your personality and don’t be afraid to show the assessors that you have more to offer than your legal knowledge/expertise. Embrace your quirks and use them to your advantage!
2. Quality over quantity when it comes to applications is key. I did 25 rushed vacation scheme applications and only had one successful one from that. Instead I should have spent more time making the ones I did perfect and catering them to the individual firm. When it came to training contract applications I changed my approach and focused on a smaller number of applications but spent more time doing research into each firm. I ended up getting 2 offers out of 7 applications, showing that this pays off!
3. Grades are definitely an important factor when it comes to applications, but it isn’t the be all and end all. Work experience is vital and having a wide range of roles on your CV helps you to stand out from the crowd (for example my CV was 4 pages long when it came to making applications). Also do not underestimate the value of extra-curricular activities, as these can make for good topics of conversation during interviews and are likely to be what you are remembered for!
How did Bright Network help through university?
The emails helped me recognise upcoming opportunities/events within the legal sector and decide which firms to apply to.
How did the university Careers Service help?
Anyone who knows me at university will be able to confirm that I practically lived at the Career Development Service during my time here! Before any interview/assessment centre with a firm I would book an appointment to prepare and take part in mock exercises. I would highly recommend anyone to seek the advice of your Careers Service during the application process, as they may know people who have applied to similar firms in the past and may have some insight into the types of questions/exercises you can expect!
What are you going to do with your first pay check?
My family tradition has always been to donate some of your first pay check, so I will be donating some of the money to my local temple. I will most likely save the rest.