How did you hear about the event?
I first came across the BAME City Law event through TARGETjobs’ mailing list. I have been subscribed to this mailing list since my first year, so I’m constantly updated on opportunities and events that they run throughout the year such as this one. Given that I’m from an ethnic minority background and study law, this event really appealed to me so I pre-registered on TARGETjobs’ website to be informed when the next application window opened.
Application process: what was this like?
The application process was straightforward. There were just two stages I needed to pass to get onto this event. Stage one required me to complete an online application form, outlining who I am, my career aspirations and my eligibility. My application was supplemented with my CV. My application was successful, which meant I proceeded to Stage two – a telephone interview with a representative from the TARGETjobs Events team. This was the first telephone interview I had done in a while, so I had to ensure that I prepared well. The interview lasted no longer than 30 minutes, with the interviewer finding out about my motivations for studying law, what I knew about the partner firms attending the event, what news articles interested me and why I should be accepted onto this event.
I had to wait a few weeks to hear back, but it was worth it as they confirmed that I was successful in my interview and had been selected from over 350 applicants to attend this bespoke event.
Run up to event
I was frequently updated by the events team in the build-up to this event. I was invited to join a private LinkedIn group, which allowed me to connect with other attendees and build a rapport prior to our attendance. Also, we were emailed the logistics of the day – arrival date and time, venue, attire and structure of the day – which addressed any pre-concerns we may have had. As a segment of the day involved a panel Q&A session, we were required to pre-submit questions we wanted to find out from an esteemed panel of senior representatives from the five partner firms.
Your experience at the event: feel free to highlight the best parts for you and can be main bulk if you wish.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day, but there were three sessions which particularly stood out for me. The first was the ‘how to get hired’ session. By picking the mind of a graduate recruitment partner and two trainee solicitors, I developed an understanding of the competencies assessed by various firms during the application process. Also, it was useful to be provided with tips on how to split information between your legal CV and cover letter.
The second session which stood out for me was the case study exercise. In teams of about eight attendees, and with guidance from trainees, we were given a hypothetical M&A scenario and had to undertake a SWOT analysis on various companies we were presented with to decide which one our client should acquire. Being commercially aware paid dividends in this exercise, as you were required to use your understanding of current trends in markets to aid the decision-making process. In addition, working in a team was great as each member was able to bring fresh ideas to the challenge and we leveraged each other’s strengths to deliver a strong presentation. Overall, this session mimicked a case study that would be assigned at an assessment centre, so it allowed me to learn more about markets and trends I was unfamiliar with, make mistakes and get feedback on how I could improve when faced with a similar task in the future.
The ‘insider’s insight’ was the third session which appealed to me the most. I spoke to representatives from three of the five partner firms, each being at a different stage in their career. It was interesting to listen to their insights about how developments in society affected the role of a lawyer and how, as an aspiring solicitor, I should be mindful of such developments. Also, being in such close proximity to them meant I could ask more in-depth questions about their route into law and what attracted them to their current firm.
How it helped with your applications to internships/grad roles
Through my attendance, I was able to use the advice I received to reformat my CV and cover letter to ensure the right level of detail was included in each document. Also, by speaking to different representatives, I gained further insight into the expertise each firm offers, what sectors they focus on and where they are positioned in the legal market. By building a rapport with the representatives I met, I was offered further advice on things I should be doing throughout the application process that could ultimately help me secure a training contract.
The experience on securing your role and how TARGETjobs Events has helped you with your career.
At the end of the event, we were informed that TARGETjobs would be sending our CVs to the five partner firms. I knew I had a lot of experience, but didn’t think from the event that anything would manifest from me simply emailing over my CV. However, I was wrong, as fast-forward to July, a graduate recruitment manager from one of the partner firms emailed me to inform me that, based on my attendance at the BAME City Law event and the strength of my CV, they wanted to offer me an internship this September.