Making your application stand out

article Making your application stand out

Some of the world’s biggest and toughest legal assignments regularly land on our desks. When they do, what does it take to handle them? 

A quick, enquiring mind is a given. We look for a strong academic record that features excellent results from GCSE (or equivalent) onwards, and includes a good 2:1 or above (or equivalent). Commercial nous is vital too. You’ll need to get to grips not only with the world of law, but with the business worlds our clients operate in.

Then there’s the ability to think around corners and see beyond the obvious. We like to challenge conventional approaches here – pooling our expertise to do things differently from others and from what we’ve done in the past. Team spirit is another essential. We’ll want you to pitch in, collaborate with colleagues from different sectors and countries, and help us deliver seamlessly for clients across borders.

Since globalisation is a fact of life, and we’re one of the world’s largest global legal practices, we also look for an international outlook. You’ll be someone who adapts naturally to new surroundings, responds to cultural nuances and tackles the unpredictable with confidence. 

Last, but not least, you’ll be resilient. Rigorous attention to detail won’t faze you, nor will the pressure of complex work, deadlines or putting in the extra hours to deliver the most professional job possible.

Competition for places at our firm is tough. Making a good first impression is vital. Luckily there are plenty of ways to make sure your online application does you justice. 

  • 1. "Make a note of the application deadlines. Give yourself enough time to do yourself justice."

  • 2. “Use legal placements, law fairs, legal open days and information from universities (career advisers, law students, student law society events) to demonstrate your research into, and understanding of, the law and a legal career.”

  • 3. “Don’t feed back quotes from our own publicity, however great they are. It’s you we are interested in, and your reasons for choosing law and Hogan Lovells.”

  • 4. “The best preparation is to ask yourself difficult questions. Why do you want to pursue this career, at this firm? What will make you stand out from the other 3,900 applicants?”

  • 5. “Print off a copy and draft answers before finally completing and submitting the form.”

  • 6. “Don’t under sell yourself. Try to connect your experiences with what you know the firm is looking for, and give examples of when you have used those skills, for example business knowledge.”

  • 7. “Keep a copy of your completed form. If you are invited to an assessment day you will need to refresh your memory about what you said.”

  • 8. “The person reading your form will be assessing many applications, so convey your personality and make the form engaging, interesting and individual to you.”

  • 9. “Pay attention to your spelling and grammar. You are applying for a job as a lawyer – written and oral communication, and attention to detail needs to be of a high standard.”

  • 10. “Use any work placements (legal or non-legal) to demonstrate you understand business, time management, communicating with people and meeting deadlines.”