FIONA - Litigation Paralegal at Serious Fraud Office
SITUATION BEFORE COACHING
WHAT WE WORKED ON
During our coaching Fiona has received a Vacation Scheme offer at Lewis Silkin and secured Litigation Paralegal position at Serious Fraud Office.
Recent LLB graduate, currently working as a Customer Advisor in a bank.
Fiona has reached out to me after spending the last 6 months applying for training contracts. Having graduated with 2.1 Law LLB degree from the University of Bristol, in addition to excellent A level degrees and in general being an academic overachiever, Fiona hasn't expected that she will struggle to secure a training contract in one of the top law firms let alone receiving interview invitations. Rejections came as a big surprise to her and she was extremely disappointed that she had to move back with her parents. All this experience led to Fiona losing her confidence and made her question whether law is the industry she wants to work in.
These were the reasons why Fiona hasn’t been as successful as she wanted:
• Lack of an understanding about the recruitment process and how law firms select candidates for vacations schemes and training contracts
• Very little practice prior practice and experience in writing a CV, cover letters and answering interview questions
• She didn’t understand how to “sell herself” effectively while writing cover letters and answering application and interview questions
• She didn’t have a targeted approach, research and application strategy
• She lacked an ability to present herself at interviews
• She lost her confidence • Lack of ability to deal with setbacks
Being the top performer in her class she assumed that securing a job will be just as easy. However looking for a job requires a completely different skillset. Having been successful all her life Fiona wasn’t prepared to deal setbacks, she didn’t know how to pull herself back and continue working towards her goals. So it was crucial to start our coaching with working on creating a positive mindset and boosting Fiona’s confidence. I shared practical tips on how to become confident with her and through the carefully designed exercises I helped her to identify her achievements which not only helped Ilaria to create targeted and accomplishment based CV but also enabled her to start believing in herself again. In order to be successful in her applications and interviews Fiona needed to get excited about law again. Together we explored her professional and personal values to identify potential careers options to match her strengths. We also worked on clarifying her desires, dreams and creating her own success formula. All this confirmed that a legal career is something Fiona still wants to pursue.
Next step we worked together was creating a research and application strategy. I assisted Fiona to identify the area of law she wants to practice in addition to the firms that matched her professional and personal values, followed by creating a targeted job search plan. I also taught Fiona how to demonstrate a genuine interest in law, her chosen firms and how to speak about her future career plans and ambitions. I also showed to her how to demonstrate she was the best candidate for the job. I revised all her cover letters and applications before she made any applications and I was there for her to guide, motivate, inspire and encourage her when she would start self-doubting herself again.
After 2 months of working together I received an email from Fiona saying that she has secured an offer to start a vacation scheme at Lewis Silkin – UK’s top 100 commercial law firm with offices in London, Oxford, Cardiff, Ireland and Hong Kong. It was one of the applications that we worked on together by assisting Fiona to write strong and unique answers to application questions. After she received an invitation to an interview, I’ve helped her to create her unique personal story to emphasise her skillset and prepare examples to competency and strength based questions. I’ve also prepared a commercial development plan to enhance her commercial awareness and conducted mock interview practices where I provided feedback on how to improve her answers.
Securing a vacation scheme just after 2 months of coaching was already a fantastic achievement, but we didn’t stop there. I’ve continued working with Fiona after she finished her time at Lewis Silkin. I’ve continued supporting her in submitting applications and preparing for interviews and just a few months later Fiona secured an offer from Serious Fraud Office for a Litigation Paralegal position to investigate and prosecute serious or complex fraud and corruption in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – the area of law she identified as her top choice in the beginning of our coaching.
While working with me Fiona received 2 offers – one for a vacation scheme at Lewis Silkin and later a job offer from Serious Fraud Office for a Litigation Paralegal position – two milestones in her legal career. Just 4 months after starting working with me Fiona regained her confidence, started her legal career and was able to move out from her parents’ house to start her independent professional life in London.
“I’ve got a call today from Lewis Silkin and I got the vacation scheme!! Can’t believe it! Thank you so much for all your help. Coaching sessions with you helped me a lot. I know what mistakes I made before and know how to improve them. Also thank you so much for helping me to prepare for interviews, I felt more confident and was able to answer all the questions."