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Top tips for applying for a training contract with Machins - Trainee Blog

Posted: 28th January 2021   In:

I am a Solicitor in the Dispute Resolution team at Machins, and have been involved with the trainee solicitor recruitment process for a few years now, since I was a trainee myself. When I attend law fairs and do talks for law students, lots of candidates ask what my top tips are for when they come to apply.


Firstly, don’t underplay your non-legal work experience. Lots of students assume that the insight days that they have attended at a big city firm do wonders for their application. Yes, attendance at open days or insight days show you have an interest in pursuing a career in law and have given you a taster of working at a law firm, but in reality we are far more interested in non-legal work experience that you have done over several months or years in which you have developed transferable skills that will help you in your career as a solicitor. Do that work experience justice, and think outside the box!


Remember that your formatting will be the first impression we get when we pick up your application. Make sure your formatting is professional and consistent. 


Do your research, and I don’t just mean so that you can include a section about why you are applying to Machins.  It’s important that you are the right fit for Machins, but also that Machins is the right fit for you! You need to bear in mind the facts you find out about Machins through your research (e.g. what our culture is like, what areas of law we cover, what areas we operate in etc) when drafting your application. By way of an example, there is no point starting the cover letter explaining why you are really interested in immigration when that isn’t an area of law that we cover. Be smart!


Make sure that your personality shines through your application. At Machins, we receive over 100 applications each year, and we read every single one. Keep this in mind when you are drafting your application – what makes your application stand out from the crowd?


Proof read your application! This tip is incredibly obvious, but you would be amazed at the number of applications that we receive that have basic errors on. Last year, two cover letters we received were addressed to entirely different firms based nearby! It might be a good idea to ask a family member or friend to proof-read it for you too as it’s sometimes difficult to see errors when you have been working on the same thing for hours!


I hope the above tips give you a helping hand when you come to apply. Best of luck!

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Posted by: Holly Baker
Dispute Resolution
Luton Office

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