What Ignition Law look for in a candidate...
1) What do you look for in candidates?
We look for people who can demonstrate they are: fast learners, are interested in our clients and the legal industry, have managed some interesting projects (either at work or at uni) and have experience of an office environment - not necessarily in a law firm, though.
2) How can a candidate standout - both as an applicant and in the workplace?
It’s great when people can clearly explain what they know how to do and what they’ve done before; it really helps lawyers managing matters. In an application, saying that you’ve written cover letters to Companies House is way more useful than saying you’ve shadowed a partner!
3) What are the most common mistakes of new hires?
I think the biggest mistakes are:
- Worrying too much when something isn’t “perfect” – working in a law firm is a steep learning curve but if you’ve tried your best to follow instructions, don’t beat yourself up if you get tepid feedback. Not all lawyers are good communicators and so having self-belief is vital; and
- Not setting boundaries – law firms hire smart, conscientious people. It’s easy to stay an extra hour or skip lunch breaks to try and close off a project but there will always more work and if you don’t manage your work load you will be working 24/7.
4) Top tips for making a good impression in a temporary role?
Keep a personal “learning record”. If you send your learning record to your supervisor on the last day, you will be the first person they think to get back next time they need help with the tasks you’ve listed!
Other general tips: focus on outcomes by always picturing the goal you’re trying to achieve, write down all instructions in a notebook and send follow up emails straight after meetings.