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You are here:   Ultimate Law Guide > Articles > Become Rejection Proof

Become rejection-proof with Ultimate Law Guide

On our way to get tickets for the Euro Millions Lottery draw, I and a friend were discussing what cars we would buy if we were lucky enough to actually win! He wants the fastest most flash car out there, whereas I’d probably go for a car oozing luxury and comfort.


Law firms are in the fortunate position of being able to pick and choose the students they wish to offer a training contract. They will pick those who they see as being the best students and the students most likely to fit in and integrate with the values and ethos of that firm’s culture. However, having said that, it is well known for some candidates to be the best thing since sliced bread for firm A, but totally the opposite to firm B.

Just as I would pick garage A for my choice of car, and my friend garage B for his, just because you are not successful with one firm, does not necessarily mean that you will not be successful with another.

Rejection Letters:

It can be a very soul-destroying experience when you receive rejection letters from law firms, especially when you have spent a great deal of time on your application. Do not take this too personally as there are many other talented aspiring solicitors receiving the very same letters as you – you’re not alone!


Tip – Make a file of all the correspondence you receive from law firms. This way you can keep track of who you have applied to, when, what the outcome was, and, if unsuccessful look back on your original letter/application to see where you might be able to improve. On the front of my folder I wrote the words ‘Rejection = Motivation’. Each time I received a rejection letter and closed the folder shut I would read this phrase and become even more determined to prove them all wrong!


Interview Feedback:

As highlighted above, different firms look for different attributes when selecting their trainee solicitors. If you have attended an interview, always try to contact the firms to find out why your application was unsuccessful. Continue to ask yourself which type of firms you are interested in and whether your skills match with what those particular firms are looking for in their candidates.


Tip – The more interviews you have, the more confident you will become. Remember the quote ‘Never a failure, always a lesson’. If unsuccessful, ask yourself, ‘What important lesson I have I learnt ready for my next interview?



If your application did not make it to the interview stage, try and put it into perspective, you are one of many hundreds of talented applicants who have faced this hurdle. Review your applications and consider objectively whether you could improve them. The process of becoming rejection- proof will start by looking at the application form, section by section and asking yourself the following questions:


  • With hindsight, did you answer each section adequately?

  • Do you feel you need more work experience? Work experience is vital to an application but is your experience really relevant to the firm that you are applying for? Carefully consider how you present your work experience so that you make it relevant to the firm to which you are applying.

  • Were you being realistic when you applied to this firm? Be honest with yourself, should you perhaps be targeting firms with less stringent entry criteria? Should you be casting your net further in terms of geographical location? Have you thought about targeting a smaller, less competitive firm? Remember you can always move to another firm after your training contract.

  • Have you sought advice with your applications? Utilise your contacts during your degree and GDL/LPC to see if tutors and mentors are willing to go over your applications with you. Remember your tutors may well be qualified solicitors with a wealth of experience and know- how to assist you at this vital stage of your career.

Attitude = Latitude:

If you don’t think you deserve a training contract then it is very likely that a law firm will come to the same conclusion. Having a positive and determined attitude throughout the application stage is crucial to successfully overcoming rejection. With the right attitude you can take yourself to wherever you want to be. Try not to get too hung up on those rejection letters as rejections and ultimately disappointment are part and parcel of life at the end of the day.

Remember – even the greatest of lawyers have at some point experienced rejection. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, it’s the getting back up that counts!


Tip – You must continue to remind yourself what you have accomplished in your life, and how much of an asset you will be to your future firm! This will mean different things to different people but don’t be afraid to sell yourself. Did you manage to save up the money to afford the trip of a lifetime? Did you get a 1st in a subject you found practically impossible when you first started studying? Are you the first in your family to graduate from university?

Continue to believe in your ability and constantly look for ways of improving the level of your applications. Be confident in who you are and what you can offer and your confidence will start to shine through your applications and interviews to achieve your training contract success!


It can and does happen:

We recognize that rejection letters are difficult to accept after all the hard work you have put into striving to secure a training contract. But remember that, with perseverance, determination, dedication a clear focus and sterling effort all it takes is for one letter to arrive offering you a training contract – and you are there!

Myself, and the rest of the Ultimate Law Guide team are proof that no matter where you come from or who you are you can go on to achieve training contract success.



This article is written by Luke Murphy. Luke is a member of the Ultimate Law Guide team and a future trainee solicitor at Clarke Willmott.



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