HM Insights

Get your application right so that you don't end up taking the 'L'

The Harper Macleod summer placement application process is now open. So, for part five of our trainee blog series, the current trainees thought it would be helpful to put together some top tips for completing the application form.

These tips come directly from our very own HR team, who will be reviewing the applications … so, without further ado, the top tips are:

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1. Get the firm's name correct and make sure to proof read your application

Filling out an application form can be tricky. First, you have to read the questions, think about what you want to include, potentially spend hours drafting your answers, then re-read and re-read it again and again. The effort that goes into your application form may be overshadowed by one mistake, and it can be as easy as misspelling or inserting the wrong firm's name. Make sure to check that you have referred to the correct name throughout and that you have the correct spelling.

Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors do not look good on an application form. Treat your application form as you would an assignment. Create a draft then, after some time away, come back and proof read it.

Oh, and remember, there is no capital 'L' in Macleod!

2. Do your research

Every law firm is different; it is important to do your research as you need to know that the firm you are applying to is the correct firm for you.

Look through the firm's social media platforms, the legal press and the firm's website to find out as much information as you can. You should look to see what work they do, what they specialise in and the types of cases or transactions that they have recently been involved in. On filling out the application form, pinpoint the information that is relevant to your interests or experiences. Use this information and demonstrate to the firm that you are a good fit.

3. Answer and provide all the required information

You should aim to add as much detail as you can and provide all relevant experience, extra-curricular activities (e.g. Law Society, sporting clubs, social clubs, committees) and grades right through from school and college to university (and if applicable any others).

It may also seem obvious but make sure that you answer all of the questions in the application form.

4. Be yourself!

It may sound like a cliché but use the application form as an opportunity to sell yourself. Everyone is unique so tell us about you and what makes you stand out.


We hope that these tips have been helpful and now that you are feeling 'motivated' you can download the application form here and get started.

Our application process closes at 5pm on Friday 24th January.