How to Research a Law Firm
Completing application forms for law firms can be overwhelming and it can be tempting to just have a quick look at a law firm’s website and crack on with filling in the form. However, this rarely achieves a positive outcome as your application comes across as generic – a mistake there is no coming back from.
The solution…solid research.
Where do you research a law firm?
Just like in your university essays use primary and secondary sources. The most common primary source is the firm’s website. This is how the firm wishes to present itself to you, its clients and the wider public so it is often very well-structured – great for researching.
Secondary sources include Chambers True Picture (https://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/cripps-pemberton-greenish/true-picture/94/1 ), Legal 500 (https://www.legal500.com/firms/770-cripps-pemberton-greenish/2427-tunbridge-wells-england/ ) and of course attending events where your target firm is present. Another great source is the Aspiring Solicitors Professional Ambassadors network, where you can reach out to lawyers from a variety of different firms and strike up a conversation which can inform your application – always remembering to name drop anyone you have spoken with!
What are you looking to find out?
As much as you can!
However, I recommend creating a table to divide distinct areas. For example, your headings might be practice areas, major clients, deals/cases worked on, skills sought and culture. Applying this to Cripps Pemberton Greenish, you might discover the firm is full service with a focus on commercial property, corporate and private client work and its major clients range from wealthy individuals to household names like Deliveroo. The firm is very people-orientated with a non-hierarchal culture. That bit of research is on me…feel free to continue!
How to demonstrate your research in the application?
You could research a firm for days, but if this does not come through in your application it will have been pointless.
Think of your application as presenting a case to the firm as to why both you and the firm are a perfect match. Reflect everything you say about the firm back to yourself, giving examples unique to you of how you have shown a similar skill or value, or maybe why you are interested in its particular practice areas (beyond ‘because it interests me’). By the same logic relate everything you say about yourself back to the firm, do not leave it up to the reader to consider how the fact that you have travelled to many different countries makes you a good candidate for their firm specifically, tell them!
Happy researching and the best of luck in your applications!
The recruitment window for the Cripps Pemberton Greenish training contract programme is open until 15 July 2021 and the firm is recruiting for training contracts commencing September 2021 (just a few spaces) and September 2022. Full details on our website here