One of the typical questions you're likely to be asked as part of any application or interview is 'why this firm?'
It's important to do your research and produce a well-thought out, genuine answer to this question. This is an opportunity to stand out; to be pictured by your interviewers as part of the team and to assure them that you can contribute to the values and wider growth strategy of the firm.
To help with your own thought process, here's why I chose TLT and how my experience with the firm has both affirmed those reasons and exceeded my expectations.
TLT first came to my attention in 2009 simply because of its commercial approach and culture, which appeared to fit with my own preferences.
When the Manchester office opened it only stoked my interest further and I became determined to pursue my legal career with TLT.
I joined the firm's Manchester office as a Legal Assistant in 2014, straight after completing my Legal Practice Course. In 2015 I became a Trainee and I've since experienced seats with our teams in:
It's no secret that Manchester is one of the biggest UK legal markets outside of London. Part of the 'Northern Powerhouse', Manchester and Salford are receiving rapidly increasing investment and it's exciting to see our bricks and mortar landscape reflecting this dizzying pace.
The teams, practice areas and opportunities in our Manchester office have also quickly expanded and it's interesting to pause and reflect on the differences from when I first joined.
I moved to the city centre in 2007 for my law degree and never looked back. I love what the city provides by way of the events it hosts, the people you can meet and the way it's developing for the community and for tourism.
Although Manchester is my city of choice I was also keen not to join a purely Manchester or North West-based law firm. My aim was to work in Manchester but be part of something bigger. TLT's client-driven locations across all three UK jurisdictions provide for this. I have had great opportunities to collaborate with colleagues in Northern Ireland and Scotland, not just our English offices, and learnt some interesting law along the way.
TLT offers its own soft skills courses to Legal Assistants and Trainees I regularly meet colleagues and fellow trainees from across all offices at training events on topics such as time management, communication skills and networking skills.
Trainees also complete the core elements of their Professional Skills Course at the Bristol office, delivered in-house. This is a great opportunity to socialise (and revise!) together. And should a future call for assistance from another office be required in future, for example from a litigation perspective when preparing for a trial at a not-so-local court, those connections pay dividends.
I think there is an unrivalled amount of opportunity to get involved and take on responsibilities during your training contract at TLT and this has been confirmed when I've spoken to my peers at other firms.
I've worked with a great variety of clients and the work has accordingly been diverse and interesting. I've listed some highlights below but really, most of these are routine occurrences:
A lot of law firms can sound quite similar on a quick skim of their marketing and recruitment materials. Dig a little deeper and you can work out the nuances that will make all the difference in your decision about where to complete your training contract.
Although it's important to check out a firm's tailored graduate recruitment page, you can learn a lot from their general website and in particular about the firm's teams, its people, typical work/clients within those teams and the firm's chosen values.
TLT's national presence, client-led and forward-thinking approach is part of what attracted me to the firm as a 'brand' in the first place. It was also important to me in my initial interview to ask for examples of when the firm's values had been put into practice. I recommend it’s a question you ask at law fairs or open evenings (once you've done some research!) in order to help you confirm your likelihood of fitting in with a firm and getting the most out of your experience.
Culture/values are a big focus of employee retention strategies for many businesses, including law firms and it's not hard to see why; it makes a big difference to employee wellbeing, productivity and personal development and therefore ultimately, how long and how much an employee is happy to commit to an employer.
The approachability and support of the teams I've worked in helps with developing each other's skills and knowledge at all levels whilst meeting and exceeding client outcomes, even when we're under pressure. It's one of the reasons why I've enjoyed almost every day of my two years at TLT.
The way TLT chooses to work, invest and grow its experience and expertise are all intended to benefit its people and of course, as a direct positive influence, our clients. Even at trainee level you're a part of this and TLT listens to your ideas and encourage you to get involved.
I've taken up the many opportunities offered during my training contract at TLT so far in order to challenge myself and develop to my full potential. I'm excited by what I can continue to achieve through TLT in order to become the commercial solicitor I aspire to be.
It's your turn now. Why do you want to be a trainee at TLT?