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How to research law firms

OSHANA BENOTMANE | LEGAL JARGON WRITER



With vacation schemes and training contract applications opening this month, it is crucial to understand how to research the firms that interest you. Your application is more than sending in a CV, passing a test and doing an interview. Law is competitive and to secure your place with your dream law firm, you’ll need to show them you know their business inside-out.

So how do you research law firms effectively?

Find The Right Route For You.

First, know what you want to do. Are you interested in commercial law? Do you want to pass the bar? Or are you looking to go down the paralegal route? You must be certain of which area of law you want to practice in as your passion will be evident in your application.

Make a Table.

Before starting the actual research, I would suggest you make a little table, either on a word document or on paper, of exactly what you’re looking for during your research. This can include some of their current projects, practice areas, exciting things that you relate to and your reasons for applying. Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list, and I would encourage you to write down all the ‘topics’ you think will be relevant to your application. This way, you remain focused on what you are looking for during your research.

Research, Research, Research.

Do not limit your research to the firm’s website. Once again, these applications are competitive, so use all the resources around you. Here are some starting points:

  • The Legal Press: Find out what the press is saying on firms and their deals.

  • Newsletters: Firms usually have multiple newsletters you can subscribe to.

  • Social Media: Firms usually post updates about what’s going on their social media platforms. For example: LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

  • Graduates brochure: Some firms provide online brochures of their schemes which are a great starting point.

  • Annual Reports: Have a look at their annual reports, what stood out, what do you have to say about it?

  • Network: Have a look at your network and see if you can reach out to anyone if you have any questions.

Lastly, you can use legal blogs like this one to find out the latest news and keep up with your commercial awareness. Legal blogs also document trainee experiences, graduate recruitment top tips and much more.

At the end of the day, it is vital that your research proves how well you know the firm, why you are applying there and what you can bring to them. If you do your research earlier on, make sure you keep everything up to date and report on the latest news.


Oshana Benotmane


Oshana Benotmane is a second year law student at Queen Mary University of London. Outside her studies, Oshana is also involved with the Commercial Awareness Society and QMLAC. She is aspiring towards a career in corporate law in the fields of M&A and FinTech.

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