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Finding a Traineeship

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My Experience Securing a Traineeship:

My name is Ross Colquhoun, and I am 23 years old. Recently, I secured a traineeship after a long and gruelling 2 years of countless assessment centres and interviews at different firms across Scotland. My traineeship search commenced whilst undertaking my final year of the LLB at the University of Dundee. Arguably, I should have begun applying earlier, however between completing work experience and studying for exams, traineeship applications seemed too far in the distance to worry about, especially as I was already applying for vacation schemes at the same time.


Application Process:

As expected, the application process often varies depending on the firm you are applying to. For example, city firms may have three application stages: an aptitude test, an interview with HR and a final interview with a partner. On the other hand, high street firms often only have one stage of the process which is an interview with one or two partners. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s extremely important to do your research on the firm you are applying to, as the questions asked during interviews are almost always tailored to identify those with generic applications and no invested interest in the firm. My general experience during interviews has been positive, and realistically there is nothing to be afraid of. In the worst-case scenario that you don’t succeed, you are in no worse a position than before you applied.


The Rejection Process:

Unfortunately, rejection comes part and parcel of applying for jobs in the legal sector. It is an extremely competitive industry and often there are hundreds of candidates applying to fill two or three vacancies within a firm. Rejection is extremely important in life, and for me it kept me grounded and hungry for success. Furthermore, the feedback I received from several interviews I was unsuccessful in assisted me in succeeding in the end.



As Robert the Bruce once said, “try, try and try again”. Securing a traineeship undoubtably takes a combination of luck and skill, however I would argue it definitely requires more luck. I always made a conscious effort to network at university, especially whilst completing the Diploma. This ensured that I was kept in the loop with potential vacancies, as well as in contact with other likeminded individuals who I could share advice with. I would recommend signing up to ‘LawScot Jobs’, as they advertise opportunities on a year-round basis. Securing a traineeship is a gruelling process, however it makes success all the more sweeter in the end.