We have been lucky enough to speak to Sarah Harte, Graduate Recruitment Officer at Taylor Wessing, about what they look for most in a potential trainee submitting an application to their firm. She also gives us an insight in to the mistakes commonly made by students applying for vacation schemes and training contract at the firm.
1. What are the minimum academic requirements to apply to become a trainee at Taylor Wessing?
We look for a lot of attributes in a candidate, but when it comes to academics we ask for a minimum of ABB grades at A-level and a 2:1 degree.
2. Do those applying for a Vacation Scheme or Training Contracts have to have legal work experience in order to apply?
Relevant experience is helpful but we recognise that everyone has to start somewhere and not everyone will have the opportunity, so don’t worry if you haven’t worked in a legal firm previously.
If you haven’t got work experience at a law firm then ensure you include other experiences that can support your motivation to law i.e. attending open days, workshops etc. to ensure you are serious about a career in law. As we are a client based industry we appreciate diverse experiences that can bring this expertise and commercial awareness into discussions with clients.
3. Are there any types of work experience in particular you look for?
We look for the quality of working experiences when reviewing applications; we look for experiences that will help you to become a well-rounded commercial advisor. It is important that these work experience provide a good overview/ description of the transferable skills developed and skills relating to the trainee recruitment competencies we look for e.g. Commercial awareness, Logical thinking, Team playing, Communication and interpersonal skills, Organisational and planning skills, Results driven or Agility. It is essential that you do not make the mistake of just listing tasks or actions but instead use the opportunity in the application form to reflect on experiences
4. How important is diversity in work experiences and job roles important to an application for Taylor Wessing?
The reason we look for diversity in experiences is because this is a reflection of our clients, who cover a broad spectrum of industries. As a firm we are ambitious for our clients and build a deep knowledge of their by businesses, understanding the key issues and strategic priorities. Our uncompromising commitment to helping clients achieve their aims is why we act for some of the world’s most successful companies.
Each student’s unique experiences and degree subjects are important in helping us provide the best service for each client we work with. Having candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds has essential commercial implications as it allows us to remain competitive with our service. We also like to see students who are flexible as due to the breadth of our client base and nature of our work means you will have responsibility and early exposure.
5. How much of your trainee intake come from a non-law background?
This varies depending on the individual candidates that apply year on year however it is normally 50:50.
6. Can you give some examples of the more common subject areas that trainees from non-law backgrounds have come from?
This is quite wide ranging across areas such as humanities, social sciences and scientific degrees. For instance, Politics, English, History, Languages, Engineering, Biochemistry, Biology, and Chemistry are all subject areas that we have recruited from in the past.
7. Why do you recruit from such a diverse range of backgrounds?
At Taylor Wessing we look to hire students from a diverse range of backgrounds, allowing us to benefit from different perspectives and skill sets to help us provide the best service for the clients we work with. People and relationships are our business. We take time to get to know each other, communicate openly and work collaboratively as one firm. We build successful relationships that span international boundaries and legal disciplines.
8. What type of attributes do you like potential trainees to demonstrate in applications?
- Passion and commitment for a career path in law.
- Strong connection with Taylor Wessing’s forward thinking culture and values of: ambition for clients, seeking innovation, building strong relationship and instinct for business.
- Commercial awareness and business insight.
- Team playing and communication.
- Organisational and planning skills.
9. What do you believe makes Taylor Wessing a unique law firm to work at?
Our innovative, modern approach is what defines us. We offer dynamic opportunities to work in exciting sectors. At Taylor Wessing, we focus on the four core industries changing the face of tomorrow: Energy, Life Sciences, Private Wealth, and Technology, Media & Communications. Our clients range from promising new start-ups to multinational leaders of industry, with a client base that includes 60% of the world’s top 50 brands. So with us, you’ll build a career that combines your passion with your legal expertise, to support the industries that will change our world.
At Taylor Wessing, we’re renowned for the support we provide to clients, and we’re equally proud of the support we offer to our trainees. With your drive and our support, you’ll open doors to become one of the brightest lawyers in your field.