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Legal Education >> Trainees >> whats an informal reception?

Message started by lean mean judicial machine on Oct 6th, 2007 at 3:20pm

Title: whats an informal reception?
Post by lean mean judicial machine on Oct 6th, 2007 at 3:20pm
I have a complete dilemma.  I'm in the process of trying to find a traineeship( which is proving a nightmare) and have been invited to a informal reception next week before the firm starts it interview process.  I'm really really keen on this firm and want to make a great first impression.  

However I'm at a loss as to what to expect from this informal reception? What should i wear?  Smart or casual?  Do i expect a informal interview? what should i ask? what they likely to ask? etc etc

Guys any help at all will be really appreciated

Please help

Title: Re: whats an informal reception?
Post by Deedee on Nov 2nd, 2007 at 1:10pm
Presumably by now you will have been to your "informal" reception. Would you like to enlighten the rest of us as to what it was like?

Title: Re: whats an informal reception?
Post by scottishlaw on Nov 3rd, 2007 at 9:54am
In my day, we all wore suits to these things but that was in 1999 so I have no idea what people wear now.  I do remember a few years back someone commenting that everyone was in 'business casual' (chinos and shirts type of thing) but I don't think they viewed that as a good thing.

My vote is for suit - if you turn up in a suit and you're the only one, it isn't as bad as turning up dressed down and being the only one.  All the partners, trainees and assistants will probably be in suits anyway.

Hopefully some helpful info on this page:

Title: Re: whats an informal reception?
Post by lean mean judicial machine on Nov 20th, 2007 at 7:55pm
In response to your question Deedee it was an opportunity for the senior partners to have a chat to you for 5-10 minutes each in a "informal" atmosphere and a highly mysterious if not suspicious selection process for the next round, which was interviews.  

I was not successful, despite being very smartly dressed and eloquent.  

im not completely disheartened YET despite everywhere else iv applied for a traineeship has been unsuccessful at the application stage.  

I haven't given up and really need advice from the current trainees..what are the law firms looking for?  

Please guys give your opinions on how tough it really is to get into the diploma and get a traineeship before I have a bad day and decide to pack it in?

I have a sparking CV, a good application technique, im on track for a 2.1 and may do the LLM if i dont get a traineeship for 2009 to kill some time.. But before I waste more time and money in the rat race.  I need honest opinions..

Please help  :)

Title: Re: whats an informal reception?
Post by Norse_mann on Nov 21st, 2007 at 5:57pm
LMJM: don't loose heart I have a HUGE folder full of my unsucessful applications and rejection letters, almost every one I know has a similar one apart from one guy but his dad's a judge ;)

The problem is no one really knows what the law firms are looking (I sometimes doubt they know themselves), I have seen absolute muppets get traineeships over people I thought were were switched on cookies.

The best advice I can give you is keep going, its just a matter of waiting till you find a firm where you fit in. A lot of the problem is that all your contempories have similar CVs (i.e. good grades, gap year in europe/africe/asia, on track for 2/1, duke of  edinburgh etc) and at the end of the day it really comes down to personality.

I note from your post that you have a "sparking CV" and "good application technique", even so it may be worth getting your uni's careers service to look over these,  a second opinion and maybe some minor pointers may be of some use, some law firms even offer a clinic to help with applications although i think that was in the dipoma.

Also think about what sort of law you want to do at the end of the day, I flunked an interview at an edinburgh niche property firm as they managed to work out that I had no interest whatsoever in commecial property. If you really want to do criminal work or general chambers work there is no real point applying to megafirm LLP as they will be able to work out you ahve no interest in drafting PFI agreements, you would be better off writing to local small firms asking about traineeships/work experience/shadowing etc.

Getting a traineeship/Diploma place is getting more difficult as there are now many more llb providers, the Diploma will really hinge upon your core marks and if these are not good you may wish to think about applying tactically (I do not know where you are studying) to Aberdeen or Robert Gordon, the former becasue they greatly expanded their diploma in 2006/7 to take on a lot of waifs an strays from elsewhere and the latter as their diploma is 2 years old and rapidly expanded from 15 folk odd to over 50 in its second.

Hope some of this helps, N-M

Title: Re: whats an informal reception?
Post by lean mean judicial machine on Nov 21st, 2007 at 6:16pm

Thank you so much for your honest speedy response.  I'm currently at Glasgow and my 1st and 2nd years aren't all that great (not lack of trying but their harsh marking technique in those 2 years) however, surprisingly, expected a 2.1 therefore your advice about applying to Aberdeen and the Robert Gordon make a lot of sense..

I've had my CV and applications checked by the careers service to the extent where their all on 1st name terms with me !!  ;D

Your comment about applying to firms in areas of law I'm interested in strikes a cord... I've been applying to most of the big commercial firms and have no interest in commercial or property law whatsoever..

Your wise words have given me renewed hope.. Thank you  :)


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