17 March 2017

By resourcing specialist Grace Gough

I've been working within the recruitment team for two years now so I've become very familiar with the events throughout the trainee solicitor recruitment calendar. Our spring insight days are definitely one of the highlights of the year. Here's what you need to know about the insight day process.

1. Why should I come to an insight day?

I am frequently asked by students 'what makes a great training contract application'. One of my top tips will always be 'research'. It is difficult to work out what differentiates one firm from another simply from reading its website or marketing materials. Most will talk about 'top quality work', 'collaborative culture' and 'an open door policy'. These are a great starting point in your research, but won't give you the full picture. The most effective way to research a firm is to visit it in person and an insight day is the perfect opportunity to do this.

An insight day also gives you the opportunity to make a positive impression. I am responsible for sifting the hundreds of training contract and vacation scheme applications we receive each year. If you make a positive impression at an insight day, it will definitely help your chances of getting through to the next round.

2. How many candidates attend an insight day?

We invite around 50 candidates to each of our insight days. Although the process is fairly competitive, it isn't as competitive as the vacation scheme or training contract process. 

3. What are you looking for in the application form?

We ask candidates to fill in an application form as we want to offer our limited places to candidates who are seriously considering applying for a training contract with us. We therefore prioritise those who meet our academic requirements (340 UCAS points at A-level or equivalent and on track to obtain a 2.1 degree). In addition to this we are looking for candidates who can demonstrate a keen interest in a career in commercial law. 

4. What can I do to prepare for an insight day?

You will have ample opportunity to ask questions throughout the day so it would be worth thinking about some in advance. Don't ask questions that you could have found the answer to with some very basic research e.g. do you offer a vacation scheme?

Think about what you are looking for in a firm and ask questions to ascertain whether the firm can offer it. Think about what you may need to find out if you are planning on submitting a vacation scheme or training contract application, but don't come in and ask how to specifically answer certain questions on the form!

5. What should I wear to an insight day?

It's always better to come overly smart that overly casual. Even though it's not an interview, it's best to treat it as if it were.

6. How can I make a good impression?

Although it is not an assessment centre, don't underestimate the impression you can make. You will spend the entire day with trainees - they aren't there to assess you, but you can make an impression with them by being interested, asking them questions and showing an interest in them and their work. Enthusiasm goes a long way!

We run two insight days at Burges Salmon – one for first year law students and one for non-law students and graduates. For more information on the structure of the day and how to apply, visit our insight day page.

Key contact

Holly Fey

Holly Fey Head of Resourcing

  • Recruitment and resourcing
  • Inclusive employment
  • New starter onboarding

Insight day FAQs: everything you need to know before you attend

The most effective way to research a firm is to visit it in person and an insight day is the perfect opportunity to do this.
Grace Gough, Resourcing Specialist

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