How to get a training contract
4.3 (7 ratings)
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How to get a training contract

Everything you need to get a training contract at a commercial law firm
4.3 (7 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
40 students enrolled
Created by Will Foulkes
Last updated 12/2015
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Current price: $10 Original price: $35 Discount: 71% off
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  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand all the different stages to getting a training contract at a commercial law firm all the way from first notions of a career in law to interview;
  • Know how and what to research;
  • Know how to tackle an application form; and
  • Understand the type of questions they will be asked at interview and how to respond.
View Curriculum
  • Although no prior knowledge is required, this course is primarily designed for current students or recent graduates who have either yet to start applying to law firms, or who have already tried applying and been rejected and just need to know what they need to improve.

These 21 lessons cover everything that you need to know to give you a solid understanding of the training contract application process for commercial law firms. It is a step-by-step guide, starting from first notions of a career as a solicitor right the way to interview at a law firm.

The video lectures start with how you should go about selecting the law firm or group of law firms that could be right for you. Then, how to research them and the commercial market more generally so that you are able to talk with confidence both in your application and at interview about why you want to work with your chosen firm. There are hints and tips about how to get the necessary work experience to enable you to back-up your claim that you are interested in law. Next we go over detailed advice on how to respond to the different sections of the application form. Once you are invited to interview we tell you how to prepare, including what to wear and how to answer the questions. Finally, there is a section on video interviews with all the information you need to make sure you present yourself well.

In short it is a complete guide that condenses weeks of research into less than two hours. It has been made in consultation with law careers advisors at top UK universities as well as law firm graduate recruitment teams and interviews with current practicing solicitors who have successfully navigated through the process.
Who is the target audience?
  • This course is meant for anyone interested in getting a training contract with a commercial law firm. No prior knowledge of law or the law recruitment process is needed. This course is probably not for you if you have already decided that you want to become a barrister.
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Curriculum For This Course
21 Lectures
1 Lecture 04:33

This introductory lecture will give you a description of the course and its structure, some background on the author and Obiter and what you should get out of the course.

Preview 04:33
5 Lectures 31:28

This lecture will discuss the different paths to a career in law and some of the different educational institutions. The path differs depending on whether you study law as an undergraduate degree or as a post-graduate degree. The type of law that you want to practise and the type of law firm you want to work for will have a bearing on which path is right for you.

Preview 03:32

This is a lecture of two parts. It tackles some of the common questions and insecurities that can have a debilitating effect on a candidates motivation and ultimately chances of success. We break down these issues and give you strategies to deal with them.

Preview 07:26

This is the second part of the lecture.

Common questions and insecurities — Part two

This lecture covers:

  • What are the broad different areas of law?
  • Which firms do what?
  • What type of culture are you looking for?
  • Domestic / International firm?
Type of lawyer

This lecture will discuss:

  • How to develop self belief when faced with perceived insurmountable challenges
  • Power of research
  • How to self-deconstruct — who are you and what have you been doing all these years?
Believe it is possible
7 Lectures 40:17

This lecture describes the different key events that are of great importance to anyone looking to get a training contract. These are university law fairs, open days and vacation schemes. In addition to understanding what these are and in some cases how get a place, this lecture discusses the importance of organisation and how to keep track of key dates.


Commercial awareness is a term you will come across with increasing frequency. Just what does that mean? It is something that you will be expected to be very good at, and yet until you are in the law firm environment, it can be challenging to understand just what it is. This lecture goes through exactly what commercial awareness is and how you can develop your understanding of the commercial marketplace.

Commercial awareness

This lecture explains how to go about your firm specific research — what to prepare, what sources to use and how to structure your approach.

Firm-specific research

This lecture covers:

  • Why do you need work experience?
  • What kind of work experience counts / is viewed positively by law firms?
  • Vacation schemes — what are they and how do you get one?
  • How to get self created work experience with high street firms.
Work experience

This lecture covers how to present yourself in your application form and interview, what sort of stories of personal experience to use and how to use them to evidence certain skills.


This lecture gives detail on how the application form is structured and the typical sections. Next, how to approach answering the form, the importance of accuracy, how many you should do, writing tips for the form and organisation.

Application forms

This lecture gives you strategies for dealing with rejection. We show you what you must do to ensure that you learn from it and give yourself a better chance at succeeding next time.

How to deal with rejection
7 Lectures 45:34

This lecture sets out some key advice on how to prepare for an interview at a law firm. There are unwritten but nonetheless very real rules on how you should dress and behave when you are there which we explain. We also go through some subtle things to avoid that can create unnecessary barriers to your employment to ensure that you present yourself in the best possible way.

Interview preparation

Interview day has arrived. This lecture covers what you need to be doing on the day to get yourself in the right place mentally and stay on top of your nerves. We delve into body hacks and how to organise yourself to make sure that you don't have any last minute panics that could set you off balance.

The big day

This lecture details how you should conduct yourself at interview both with Human Resources and with a Partner including how to engage with your interviewer to make sure that you make an excellent first impression.

Interview conduct

This is a two part lecture which gives you some sample questions that are very likely to come up in some form and for which you should be prepared. We also give you some sample answers to get you thinking along the right lines. These answers should not be used verbatim, but rather should be used only to guide your preparation.

Potential questions and answers — Part one

This is the second part of the lecture.

Potential questions and answers — Part two

This lecture gives you some tips on how to set yourself apart from the competition. They have been collated from graduate recruitment teams and successful candidates and are not to be missed!

Interview tips

This lecture gives you some tips on how best to approach a Skype or Launchpad interview. Whilst not common, some law firms are using these as a form of pre-interview screening. If you have to do one then make sure you follow these guidelines.

Video interviews
1 Lecture 05:36

This lecture is a summary of the whole course. It covers the key take away points and gives you a boost to start work straight away on your preparation!

About the Instructor
Will Foulkes
4.3 Average rating
7 Reviews
40 Students
1 Course

My name is Will Foulkes and I am an English solicitor. Until recently I worked in the City of London for one of the top UK international commercial law firms, which form what is colloquially called the “Magic Circle”. As an Associate in the Finance and Projects departments in London, Paris and Milan I assisted on a variety of transactions and restructurings for multi-national businesses. During my time with the firm, I worked closely with the graduate recruitment department, attended law fairs and gave talks at universities on the law recruitment process.

During my time presenting at universities I noticed that the same questions kept coming up from students, so in order to reach more people I wrote a book in 2012 setting out the answers.

This year we started a project called Obiter. The goal of Obiter is to bridge the information gap between universities and law firms and to provide useful, impartial advice on how to navigate the application and interview process in order to get a training contract. We do this with the content on our website and through this set of video tutorials.