While studying my GDL in London, I first came across Ashfords at a virtual law fair and was intrigued by their national work and supportive firm culture, leading me to apply for a South-West training contract.
After researching the firm further, I reached out to a few of the Ashfords trainees through LinkedIn to gain insight into how the firm operates. I was struck by how friendly and supportive these trainees were, going above and beyond to host phone calls and respond to emails to help me understand Ashfords’ culture and values.
Additionally, HR were more than happy to address any gaps in my knowledge when it came to answering the application questions. Taking these steps really helped me to write a credible and convincing application, which demonstrated my motivation to train at Ashfords. This is something that the firm really likes to see!
I was then thrilled to be invited to the Summer Scheme. One of the most motivating aspects of the entire application process, was seeing the partner's passion for the work that they do and the impact it has on their clients and the wider community. It was refreshing to see the partners actively engaging with the candidates and making an effort to get to know us on a personal level.
During the Summer Scheme, we were split into groups and given tasks to complete together, which allowed us to get to know each other and work together to achieve a common goal. It was great to build these relationships during the summer scheme as many of these candidates are now my colleagues.
On the final day of the Summer Scheme, we had the Assessment Centre. During this time, we were assigned a written exercise designed to challenge us and push us outside of our comfort zones. As someone who always struggled with this aspect of assessment centres, the guidance and transparency of the assessors made all the difference. They provided clarity around exactly what they were looking for and gave feedback throughout the preparation and presentation of the report I had written, which helped me perform much better than usual.
During the partner interview, the interviewers’ approachability (demonstrated by our opening discussion about a shared passion for Love Island) put me at ease and enabled me to then authentically share my interests, prior experience and motivations. The interviewers were clearly interested in getting to know me rather than just treating the interview like a competency tick-box exercise. It was a valuable chance for us to compare our key values to determine whether I was a good match for the firm and visa versa.
Overall, the application process at Ashfords was a positive and enriching experience. The firm's commitment to its values and the way they were actively demonstrated throughout the day was impressive. The support and guidance I received from the trainees and partners also made me feel valued and welcomed into, what really is, team Ashfords.