The recruitment procedure for firms and students alike is a lengthy and emotionally exhausting process. As potential lawyers, we are thrust into a post-recession hiring proceess that’s more competitive than ever before.
For this purpose, concentration, motivation and preparation are all essential for achieving the gold medal – the training contract.
Like a 60m race, standing in the way of victory are five significant hurdles that must be jumped. They are as follows:
Hurdle 1 – Grades
Summer is a season where the average law student suffers from severe emotional turbulence. Having finished final exams, the indescribable wave of relief passes far too quickly as the nerves return in time for results.
A 2.1, a 1st? Congratulations, the first hurdle settles the fear. You reassure yourself that yes, you are in the right place. The race continues…
Hurdle 2 – Experience
Whilst your friends have spent their holidays, free time and weekends at their leisure, you have sweated it out to build your CV, volunteering, making the tea and doing the photocopying. It hasn’t been all bad - you have an opportunity to make an impression at the law fair or sponsored event. This is your chance – GO!
Hurdle 3 – Application
Resist the urge to quit now. You have come so far, don’t get put off by the questions - as difficult as they seem. The third hurdle requires real focus, one slip or spelling error and you fall flat on your face – effort wasted. Suddenly, writing about a time where ‘you feel you have been challenged’ seems like a daunting prospect. With a deadline swiftly approaching, you need to accelerate.
Hurdle 4 – The Interview
The penultimate hurdle is the toughest; you sit face-to-face with fate. You must stay calm as your technique is questioned by partners and graduate recruitment managers who scrutinise every move, every word. You take note of their smiles - is it pity or is it encouragement? You pray that it is the latter!
Hurdle 5 – The Vacation Scheme
For those fortunate enough to have reached the vacation scheme hurdle, the end is in sight… or is it? The final hurdle is a tricky one: handle it with confidence and enthusiasm and you may well get to the finish line; make an error of judgement and it could end in disappointment. The vacation scheme hurdle can be the most enjoyable one, your real chance to show off your capability. Be aware - Usain Bolt-style showboating will not be appreciated.
The Finish Line
If you manage to negotiate your way to the final stage, with a last-gasp dash and a stroke of luck, you can cross the finish line successfully!
However, before you get carried away remember, this was only a qualifying race. The main event begins in London 2012.