Get Hired – Employers’ Tips

Hello. My name is Lisa Mc Goldrick and I am the Graduate Programme Manager with William Fry. My background is in psychology and I work alongside both the HR and L&D (Learning & Development teams) in the Firm. I have responsibility for our graduate programmes (WFirst, university placements, summer internships and the traineeship programme) as well as managing trainee rotations and reviews and being a point of contact for all trainees. 

What makes a candidate stand out in their application? 

It is important to get the basics right – words are a solicitor's currency after all! So candidates must have their spelling, punctuation and grammar absolutely perfect. I would recommend that candidates complete their answers in a word document first before transferring them across to an online application form, and printing a copy of their application form before submitting as the formatting can look different when printed versus on screen. I would also recommend that candidates ask a family or friend to read their application form in advance of submitting. Candidates who have varied interests and experiences and who are well-rounded tend to succeed. Showing a genuine interest in the work of the firm and having well written answers comes across well. 

What experiences as an undergraduate will boost a student’s employability? 

There is no one right CV. But law firms do like to see varied experiences, so these can include part-time roles (not just in law), travel and work abroad (e.g. Erasmus or J1), society or college involvement, sporting interests, charity work etc. 

How can a student make a good impression at an event on campus? 

I would always recommend that candidates attend as many campus fairs and presentations as possible to allow them meet representatives from each firm, in particular trainees. This can help them get to know the firms and decide who they would like to apply to. When attending events, I think being yourself and being honest and interested comes across well. Trainees are a good resource so do ask them any questions you may have!

Are there specific degrees or subjects required for your programmes? 

No, but an interest in corporate or commercial law is important. We welcome candidates from all disciplines and have people with many backgrounds working in the firm. If you have a law background, partners will pay attention to the results in corporate subjects such as company or contract Law for example.

Are grades important? 

Yes, but they only form one part of the picture. We would always view a candidate's application form as a whole. We like to see candidates who have consistent academics throughout college so a 2:1 degree is recommended but not required.


This blog was written to give you tips from an employer perspective and produced for the Career Development Centre - NUI Galway.




LIsa McGoldrick

LIsa McGoldrick,

Graduate Programme Manager

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