Musings of a training principal

1st May 2020

I’ve been involved in Blake Morgan’s graduate recruitment process for the past couple of years as the Trainee Regional Partner for the South Coast. I’ve really enjoyed meeting so many great applicants and hearing about their interests and motivation for a career in law.

In the past six months, I’ve taken over as the firm’s Training Principal, which is a role I’m relishing and which again causes me to reflect on how we provide a rich, varied and rewarding training period to those we recruit and ensure that our development programme supports continued learning. It’s also caused me to think about what was going through my mind as I was preparing to apply for my first role in law, and so I wanted to share what I wish someone had told me:

  • Be yourself: by this I mean show me who you are, be genuine and talk about the things that you’re passionate about and your personal values. Too often I meet people who give me the answer they think I want, rather than the one that helps me understand why we’re a great match for one another.
  • Be honest: none of us can be all things to all people, and we all have things we need to work on. I want to hear about the best of what you’ve achieved of course but I am also happy to hear about the things you’d like more experience with or the things you think you need to develop further.  I know I learn something new every day – and it’s okay to admit to that.
  • Be prepared: I know that making applications means time and effort – it can feel never-ending and repetitive – but it is so important to know what you want to say about yourself and how you want to say it. It is also essential to know what you want to ask about the firm you’re speaking with – we can all read a firm’s website and regurgitate some of the detail but I am really interested in talking with the people who have thought about what that means the firm can offer them and what they can offer the firm.  Have genuinely insightful questions for us and show us how the range of work we do and the clients we work with really match your experiences, strengths, values and ambition.
  • Be open: share your life experiences and talk about the things you have been personally involved with – that’s always more compelling. Be open to sharing what you learned from those experiences. It’s great to tell me about the time you captained the football team but what did that teach you about teamwork?
  • Be relaxed: easier said than done I know, but if you get the opportunity to come and meet us, think of it as a conversation rather than an interview. I like to have a chat and get to know people, I genuinely mean that. There are no trick questions here.

I wish you all the very best with your application and hope I’ll be chatting with you soon.


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