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UK recruiters share their top advice

October 2021: Are you considering applying for an opportunity with White & Case? In the coming months, many future lawyers will get to meet our Graduate Resourcing and Development team at virtual or in-person campus events and careers fairs across the UK.

Gemma Barns, Graduate Resourcing Manager, and Jessica Clark, Graduate Resourcing Advisor, share their top tips for every stage of the trainee application process. Read on to get their insider advice before starting your own submission.

Tell us your story

Gemma: Remember that we want to get to know you. Show us your personality and tell us about yourself. One of our partners, Joshua Siaw, who has gone on to specialise in African markets, said that if he was applying again, he would make more of his Ghanaian heritage and interest in working in Africa as his USP.

Jessica: There is no need to limit your application to solely law-related experiences, we want to hear about everything that has led you to apply to White & Case.

Gemma: It's a real shame to see people leaving out parts of their application form or giving incomplete answers. Without all the information, we can't make a judgement on whether you have the potential to succeed with the Firm.

Be accurate and pay attention to detail

Jessica: When reviewing your application before submitting, ask yourself: Does every statement add value? Does every statement help the person reading it gain a better understanding of who you are and your motivations?

Gemma: Attention to detail is critical for a lawyer. Check your written application for grammar and spelling—we do read every application form very carefully. We also check academic transcripts, so make sure that you record your academic achievements accurately.

Get ready for your interview

Jessica: Candidates are sometimes unsure as to what to expect with the video interviews, so please make use of the practice questions. Also have a think about which of your experiences align with our competencies. This will help you organise your thoughts when faced with the 15-second countdown.

Gemma: Make sure that you are familiar with your own application before your face-to-face interview and anticipate the questions that we will ask you. Ensure that you understand your own motivations behind wanting to pursue a career with the Firm and can discuss these, as well as any deals or transactions that have genuinely interested you. I also like it when candidates come ready to talk about other experiences, like part-time jobs, volunteering work or their involvement with student societies.

Show us that you have the right mindset

Jessica: A global mindset is essential as a trainee, given the international nature of our work. There are many ways to illustrate this during the recruitment process, not just your personal experiences of travelling or working abroad. For example, following international deals in the news demonstrates an interest in global affairs. Learning languages is another example. In addition, have a think about what you would gain from the experience of the guaranteed overseas seat.

Gemma: Take time to get a good understanding of what a trainee actually does. There are plenty of opportunities to learn about working at a commercial law firm; talking to us at a careers fair, completing our virtual learning programme, doing some online research or following us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Jessica: Be prepared to explain why you are interested in White & Case specifically. Tell us about the research you have done and why this motivated you to want to join our hard-working, diverse group of trainees.

We work with many organisations and universities to ensure we are reaching a diverse group of candidates

Gemma: I can definitely say that there's no such thing as a typical White & Case trainee.  We work with many organisations and universities to ensure we are reaching a diverse group of candidates. We also use blind recruitment and Rare's contextual recruitment system to further ensure our processes are as inclusive as possible. Our virtual learning programme has really given us an opportunity to engage with such a broad range of candidates across the globe, helping them to develop the relevant skills, knowledge and confidence to succeed.

Jessica: If you have extenuating circumstances that you want to disclose or need adjustments made at any stage of our process, please do let Gemma or me know. We are both Disability and Support Champions and are happy to speak in confidence on +44 20 7532 2899 or via [email protected].