Rejection. I hate that word, such an ugly word. Such a cruel word, it makes you feel as though you weren’t good enough as though you are worthless.
Rejection in law is common, more common than you’d like to think. Everyone has been rejected at some point in their life and career, whether it by the guy you really liked, or the university you really wanted to attend and of course by the law firm you had your heart set on. I often ask lawyers at networking events how do you overcome rejection, to which they always respond, ‘what a difficult question’, ‘what a good question’. I once spoke to a future trainee who was rejected 15 times before he was accepted. There are plenty of people who have been rejected. But the question is how do you find the motivation to continue in the pursuit of a pupillage or training contract.
Honestly, there is no magic answer, we just do. You just do. They just do. Everyone just continues applying and applying and hopefully improving on their past applications.
In fact, I am writing this post because I have a strong feeling that the law firm I have applied for has rejected me for their vacation scheme. I feel shit, I spent ages working on their application and asking people for their advice and attending networking events, talking to lawyers and trainees. I spent years researching how to write a good application and in all honesty wishing there was a magic potion I could take to make the law firm accept me.
So how do you overcome it? You simply just think of things that motivate you, for me, that is a career in a field I enjoy and believe that I could see myself in 20 years times.
I have read that some law firms receive more than 800 applications per year for some 30 places, obviously, A LOT of people will be rejected, I mean there are more law graduates than law jobs and there are more LPC places than training contracts, so rejection is inevitable.
I should point out that you are more likely to succeed in your applications you meticulously check your spelling and grammar and make sure that you treat your training contract application like a law school essay.
It is important to learn from your mistakes and continue trying because for some it has taken them years, more than 100 tries to receive even an interview. I remember the first application I wrote was terrible and looking back on it now I can understand why I was rejected. But I have since learnt skills such as writing using the STAR method and asking for help from Linkedin contacts and researching the firm really makes all the difference in submitting a well-researched application.
If you are looking for tips check out the Advice section.