What makes Linklaters stand out and why do you think members should launch their career at the firm?
Linklaters offers outstanding training and development. Wherever you qualify it will be in a top tier practice group working for clients that are household names. At Linklaters, you can expect significant responsibility from the moment you start your training contract. You will be supported in your professional development throughout your whole career with both informal training opportunities such as lunch and learns, and excellent structured training. You’ll also have the chance to further broaden your skillset with an international or client secondment.
Much of your formal training, all the way up to partner level, will be gained through the unique Linklaters Law and Business School. You’ll benefit from training on how to pitch to clients, how to present and network, and you’ll develop a broader understanding of what is happening in the legal arena. Balancing training with client demands will build your time management and prioritisation skills, and you’ll benefit from the support of mentors and a principle who is a qualified associate.
How would you describe the Linklaters’ company culture? What is Linklaters doing to create a diverse and inclusive workplace?
Linklaters is characterised by a one-team approach, within which each team member works together to ensure it's best in class. This is how we provide the best service to clients, the best quality of work for trainees and build our supportive and friendly firm culture. We want our trainees to build a long-term career, so we make sure that our culture supports them to reach their full potential.
We also have lots of fantastic networks and societies, including religious, LGBT, BAME and Ally networks. There is also the VisAbility network supporting our people with disabilities, as well as those who have experience of disability through family, friends or colleagues. These societies all organise amazing events and activities, from film screenings to inspirational speakers. For example, during Pride month, the LGBT network ran an educational campaign to encourage employees to become allies. You are also able to join our sports teams or social clubs, a brilliant way to make friends and unwind after work.
What experience and skills do you look for in a stand out applicant and what can members do at university to demonstrate this?
1. Well rounded:
While academics are important, a stand out applicant can also demonstrate that you are proactive and have essential practical skills, including leadership and communication. Take on positions of responsibility and really consider what skills you are developing – this will help you when you are asked for examples at interview.
2. Enthusiastic about Linklaters and a career in commercial law:
Demonstrate that you are genuinely excited about starting your career as a commercial lawyer at Linklaters by attending events, asking our representatives questions and putting together an application that is tailored to our firm. Before meeting us on campus make sure you prepare some thoughtful questions.
3. Clear communicator:
Legal work is frequently about problem solving, so you must be able to show that you can communicate in a concise and structured way.
4. Experience in a commercial environment and good commercial awareness:
It’s important to gain work experience, even if it’s not at a law firm. Working in a shop or at your local bar, you will develop a better understanding of customer management and relations. What makes a stand out candidate though, is one that puts their work experience into its wider context – consider consumer behavior, the market and what is impacting it. Really understanding what the client needs and what is commercially viable for them as a business in the current climate is central to becoming a successful Linklaters lawyer.
Commercial awareness is also important when engaging with current affairs. Make sure you are keeping on top of the news but again, consider the broader impact and context of events. You don’t need to have an in-depth knowledge of every story in the news, instead follow a few that you are genuinely interested in, read around them and develop an opinion.
What are the benefits of doing a Vacation Scheme?
The vacation scheme gives you a real insight into what Linklaters is all about, our culture and our work. You’re treated the same as a trainee, given real work and responsibility. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to build your network, both at the firm and with your fellow vacation scheme students. And, of course, at the end of the scheme you will have a guaranteed training contract interview.
What would you say to students concerned about going into law from a non-law background?
This is now a well-established route and you will by no means be in the minority. When it comes to the application process, the problems are based on logic, reason and research, so you don’t need to be studying law to do well.
For non-law students, it’s especially important that you can demonstrate that you are really interested in commercial law, either by gaining legal experience or researching the role so that you can clearly articulate what a commercial lawyer does and why you are passionate about this career path.
Do you have any final advice for members going through the application process?
Read through your application form several times. If you think it’s ready, take a couple of days and then read it again, out loud, and this way you’ll notice any mistakes or anything that is not tailored to Linklaters.
Remember that no one is here to trick you during the application process – we want to get the best from you. Be yourself and as much as you can, relax, this will help you to really show us what you have to offer.
Find out more about opportunities at Linklaters here.