As the search for 2021 summer placement students gets under way, it's my responsibility to find the best applicants. 

One of the most common questions I get asked is "how can I make my application stand out?"

The first thing to say is, there is no single right answer to this. We receive many applications every year so it's important to set the bar high, present yourself as eloquently as you can - and write an application we are going to remember.

To help you on your way, here are some top tips:

  • Highlight skills you believe might be transferrable to working in law. We aren't expecting you to be the summer student answer to Suits' Harvey Specter, but that doesn't mean you don't possess the makings of a great lawyer. It's important to include part-time work, sports activities, or hobbies and interests, particularly ones where you learned or applied skills that would be useful to a lawyer.

  • Think about how you have used your time this year. 2020 has been unlike any other - how did you adapt to studying at home? Did you use your free time to volunteer or take up a new hobby or interest? We're interested in finding out more about how you adapted.

  • Learn about our business and our people; it's important to understand our core values and what we stand for as a firm. This will help to identify if and why we are the right choice for you. Ultimately, you may be offered a traineeship with us so it's important that you assess whether Brodies is the right choice from the onset.

  • Legal knowledge isn't the only thing we look for - and this is echoed in the supporting information section of our application form. Think about the other skills that are valuable in a  legal setting and can be found in a good lawyer.

  • Check, check and check again - first impressions are everything, so make sure your spelling and grammar are correct. Proofread your application and if you're not sure, ask someone else to cast their eye over it too.

  • Don't tell us things you think we want to hear; keep it authentic. Captivate us with information and insights about the real you. There isn't a set mould for a Brodies trainee, and that's why our firm is made up of people with many skills, experiences and personalities. Let your qualities shine through in your application form.

Applications for our 2021 summer student placements are open until Monday 11 January 2021.


Wendy Murphy

Graduate Programme Manager at Brodies LLP