Our Recruitment Process
The application form
The application form is your opportunity to tell us about your interests and achievements, and your career rationale – why you are interested in law and in HFW/our sectors.
View the application form as a chance to sell yourself – what skills have you already developed that would help you to hit the ground running as a solicitor? Why would you be suited to life at an international law firm? We receive lots of applications each year, the strongest ones are underpinned by thorough research, plenty of evidence (rather than broad-brush statements), and a genuine passion for law and the work that we do.
We also use the application form to form a view on your written communication skills (spelling, punctuation and grammar) and your research skills so invest time in researching the firm, and in proof reading your application.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis so to give yourself the best possible chance avoid leaving your application to the last minute, or applying very close to the deadline.
You will need to include:
- Details of your academic track record - GCSEs, A Levels (or equivalents)/ IB and a breakdown of your results for your university modules. We consider extenuating circumstances when reviewing your results. If you have studied overseas there is an option to tell us about the exam system that you followed and to provide additional context.
- Details of your work experience/ part time jobs– legal and non-legal. This enables us to see the skills that you have developed to-date. Every work placement (whether legal or non-legal) is valuable. Be prepared to write about what you learnt through your work experience placement / job, and evidence your skills' development with examples. If you are changing careers, use the work experience section to help us to understand your career rationale and why you are looking to change.
- Your answer to a short question relating to your extra-curricular activities and achievements. You should try to relate these to the skills needed by a commercial lawyer, and explain why your achievements are relevant to your application. Here we are looking to see if your examples would be transferrable into a legal career, and again for you to provide tangible evidence of how you have developed these skills - the STAR format is a useful structure to follow here.
- Your answer to questions exploring why you want to be a lawyer in an international firm and why you have applied to HFW. You should aim to give specific reasons for your application. This is all about us seeing that you have a career rationale, and credible reasons behind your application.
- Your answer to a short commercial essay question. With this question we are looking at your ability to articulate an argument/viewpoint, as well as at your communication skills, spelling, grammar and punctuation and commercial acumen. Try to write about something that is relevant and recent.
How can I stand out?
- Do your research on the firm – find out about our practice areas, recent deals, what industry publications say about us. Think about where we are placed in the legal market and how we differ from our competitors.
- Think about the skills that a commercial lawyer needs. Try to provide evidence of having developed these skills in your academic and extracurricular activities. The most important thing here is that your examples are backed up with evidence. Don't just tell us that you work well in teams – tell us about a successful team you have worked in, what your role was, and actions you took. Build a picture for us of what you do well.
- Ensure that your answers are free from spelling and grammatical errors. One of the things that we really focus on is your attention to detail - this is a key skill for lawyers, and your application form should show that you can draft clearly, succinctly and accurately.
- Don't be afraid to show some personality. We want to recruit people who can gel with our clients and who are interesting and interested. Being good with clients is about being able to connect with people and build rapport, so try to provide us with examples of times when you have done this.
- Think about the international nature of the firm and our clients. Why are you drawn to work at an international firm, or as a solicitor opposed to a barrister (or indeed any other profession).
Can I obtain feedback on my application?
Due to the volume of applications that we receive we are unable to provide specific feedback on your application form.