Trainee Blog - Q&A

Thursday 6th February 2020

Q. How do I make my application stand out?

At the risk of sounding obvious, focus on your differences. Your peers will have excellent academics – that’s to be expected. Everyone has different life experiences, however, whether from vacation schemes, part-time jobs, hobbies or passions. You’ve learnt important life skills outside university and you mustn’t forget about those. They’ll help you with your application. You must be able to demonstrate your personality.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice to get through the application process?

Don’t see rejection as failure; it’s just a part of the process. There are so many applicants that not everyone can succeed and you’re likely to face rejection along the way. View it as an opportunity to learn: ask for feedback. Firms are usually happy to give you their thoughts on how you did. The feedback might help you for upcoming interviews, or give you something to go away and work on for next year. The important thing is that you consider and act on the feedback.  If you then reapply to a firm and show a positive response, that says a lot about you.

Q. Do I need to study certain modules on the LPC in order to do a particular seat?

Not at Gordons. Some firms are prescriptive in the modules they expect you to study, but Gordons allow you to choose your own. My advice would be to go with the electives that interest you. Ideally these will correspond with the likely experience on offer, otherwise you should consider whether a firm is right for you. Having said that you won’t miss out if your electives don’t match the experience on offer – the level of supervision and training at Gordons is such that your progress won’t be affected if you haven’t done a particular module.

Q. What level of responsibility are you given at Gordons?

Loads and on a wide variety of work. You are trusted to draft documents, such as leases and sale contracts, and have plenty of client contact, but it isn’t a case of being thrown in at the deep end. My supervisors help to build my skills and experience carefully but also challenge me by involving me in deals of increasing complexity. The variety of work is monitored to ensure that you experience the breadth of work done by a particular team.

Q. Do you feel like an important part of the firm as a trainee?

You’re made to feel welcome immediately. In the two years between accepting my training contract and finally starting it, the firm kept in regular contact and invited all future trainees to social events throughout the year. As soon as you join, you are given opportunities to attend training seminars and networking events with clients, representing the firm. You also play a really big part in the firm’s efforts to attract new trainees and apprentices. The amount of time that has been put into my supervision, including one to one time with partners, shows the importance the firm places on the development of trainees.