Training contract applications are highly competitive. For example, Clifford Chance received about 3,000 applications for a single training contract cycle with only 95 available contracts. Multiple sources report there is approximately a 2% chance of receiving an offer.

It can be difficult to distinguish yourself from other candidates unless you create well-tailored and authentic applications which reflect your personality. The key to success is good research and industry knowledge. There are plenty of resources out there that can be used in your research process. However, you must know how to use these resources if you want to succeed with your application.

Advice and information can sound vague, and it could be difficult to differentiate between firms preventing you from tailoring your answers. Many have heard if you take out the name of the firm from your application answers and they sound like they could be about any other firm, your answers are not tailored enough. But how exactly can you achieve that when all reputable firms have Equality and Diversity programs and work with prestigious clients? Commercial Law Academy provides you with these answers and helps you write answers that link to your interests and personality making them original and stand out from the competition. 

Commercial Law Academy

Commercial Law Academy’s website boasts a wide selection of courses designed to help you with the training contract application process. Courses such as “Writing Successful Applications”, “Commercial Awareness” and “A Firm’s Role on Transactions” are some of the core courses you need in order to understand how law firms operate and how to link your knowledge to your applications.

Commercial Law Academy Courses

There are also courses such as “Growth Mindset: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome and Rejection” to help you manage your wellbeing and “Launching, Running and Growing a Business” for those interested in starting a business alongside or even instead of your journey into the legal industry. Those who reached the psychometric test stage of the application process should check out the course on “Tacking Psychometric Tests” where each type of test is carefully broken down into sections. 

Detailed Law Firm Profiles

In the new “Law Firm Research, Profiles and Interview Insights” course, you will find 30+ detailed law firm profiles (complete with USPs for each) and comprehensive insights into the possible assessment centre processes you will encounter based on previous recruitment cycles. You will also learn how to successfully research and differentiate between firms, including through an interactive “walk-through” of the research process, plus there are dozens of example (verified) successful applications and cover letters for a broad range of firms. New content is regularly added, so expect over 50 law firm insights by July 2022.

The website also has a dedicated forum where you can ask your questions to other members of the community as well as founder Jake Schogger, plus subscribers can attend monthly private Q&As where Jake often gives feedback on applications live on air. This is a unique opportunity to receive ongoing advice from someone who has built a successful business alongside his legal career.

A Wide Variety of Useful Courses

The courses consist of a mixture of video presentations, text, exclusive webinar snippets, and extracts from the City Career Series best-selling handbooks. Most videos are under 10 minutes long and easy to watch on your daily commute. The information is presented in bite size chunks, so you only need to spare a short amount of time to learn key terms and how the legal industry works. Although once you start, it is difficult to stop! With each video, you learn something new and useful. 

The courses cover everything that could possibly be relevant to success in your training contract applications. They cover the structure of law firms and the role of each team within a firm, law firm insights, how to write a successful application, the recruitment process, how to build your commercial awareness, and how to develop core professional skills.

How to Get the Most from Commercial Law Academy

Personally, I would start with the content on “Writing Successful Applications”. The entire application process is broken down into sections to help you answer any questions that could come up. Have you struggled to answer why you are interested in law? A seemingly easy question poses difficulties in pinpointing the exact motivations behind your career move. This course will help you to dig deep, and instead of providing you with generic answers, will help you identify personal and authentic reasons for pursuing a career in law.

Commercial Law Academy Membership includes

A bonus is that Jake often draws from his personal experiences and gets you thinking about your own, which essentially gives you the tools to help yourself moving forward.

Most importantly, Commercial Academy Law manages to lift the cloud of confusion surrounding law firms because it covers content not covered by law schools and most workshops. For example, Jake’s personal experience as a practising lawyer plays a key role in being able to explain mergers and acquisitions, the role of trainee solicitors, and a law firm’s role on transactions.

This knowledge is key to succeeding in your application, as you need to know how law firms operate to understand how you would fit into the teams. And the experience of the course instructors (leading industry experts, practising lawyers at top firms etc.) ensures this knowledge is explained in a concise, easily-digestible way based on first-hand experience. Jake also explains topics in a way that will help you to ace case studies, in part by going through a number of example case studies in video form. 

This is only a portion of how the Commercial Law Academy courses can help you to achieve your goal of gaining a training contract. The courses also cover how you can deal with rejection and help you realise it is just a part of the process that is not personal. There is also content focusing on your professional skills once your career has started, such as writing professionally, networking, and presenting confidently. Proofreading is also covered, which should not be overlooked: many applications fail at this hurdle, and even professionals struggle with the faux pas covered by the “Writing Professionally” course. Whatever it is that you are looking for, you will find it in one of these courses.