Future-proofing your legal career: Why AI matters in your job application

The legal landscape is shifting, and savvy aspiring solicitors are harnessing the power of AI to stand out. But how can you use this innovative tool ethically and effectively in your training contract application?

Shoosmiths, a forward-thinking law firm, welcomes the responsible use of AI to enhance your application, not replace your unique voice. In this blog, we'll explore how you can use AI as a tool, not a shortcut.

The legal landscape is changing rapidly, and artificial intelligence (AI) is at the heart of this transformation. From automating research and due diligence to analysing legal documents and even predicting case outcomes, AI is transforming the way legal professionals work. As an aspiring legal professional, understanding AI and its impact is no longer optional; it's essential. This blog post will guide you on how to leverage AI responsibly in your Shoosmiths application.

Understanding expectations: Authenticity is key

At Shoosmiths, we’ve been working with AI for years and know a thing or two about what responsible AI can do for the legal profession. We embrace innovation, but we also value authenticity. Your application form is your chance to shine, so we don't condone simply copying and pasting AI-generated responses.

Effective communication and attention to detail are crucial for success at Shoosmiths, and an application form is the first opportunity you have to communicate as your authentic self. 

Your application should showcase these skills by:

  • Demonstrating genuine effort and unique perspectives
  • Reflecting your commercial awareness of the legal market and Shoosmiths
  • Highlighting how your strengths will contribute to the firm's future

You can use AI as a tool to refine and develop your own original thoughts, not replace them.

Don't let AI overshadow your integrity

While AI can be a valuable tool, aspiring solicitors must remember that integrity and honesty are fundamental attributes that cannot be replaced by technology. Here's what to avoid:

  • Falling into the AI trap: Don't blindly accept AI-generated content without understanding its sources or implications. Question everything, research independently, and ensure your application reflects your own informed opinions and values.
  • Overselling AI's role: Be transparent about your use of AI. Acknowledge its contribution while emphasising your own critical thinking, effort, and unique insights. Trying to pass off AI-generated content as solely your work undermines your credibility and demonstrates a lack of respect for the application process.
  • Sacrificing authenticity for efficiency: Remember, your application is about showcasing who you are and why Shoosmiths is the right fit for you. Don't prioritise speed and convenience over genuine storytelling and self-reflection. AI can assist, but it can't replace your personal narrative and the qualities that make you unique.

By upholding your integrity and honesty, you demonstrate the core values essential for a successful legal career. You build trust, showcase your ethical compass, and prove you're ready to navigate the complexities of the legal world with transparency and authenticity. Remember, AI is a tool, but it's your integrity that truly sets you apart.

Resources for upskilling

Here are some tips on how to leverage the generative AI tools available to you and understand how to use them to benefit you and your career development:

Start by understanding the fundamentals – Shoosmiths lawyers recently hosted an online webinar unravelling what AI is and how you can manage the risks and seize the opportunities, you can watch it here. You can also listen to our Shoosmiths podcast to hear about the effects of AI in more specific areas, such as the rail industry.

Working with others – Utilise platforms such as LinkedIn to express your thoughts and ideas and to also hear from others about their experiences. Yasmin King, a trainee solicitor in our London office, recently discussed her thoughts on the use of AI in the legal sector, you can read more about Yasmin’s perspective here.

Stay up to date with AI – As with all trends, things will change and evolve, so you need to ensure you are up to date with your knowledge. Below are some great channels to help keep you in the know:

  • Unite.AI – a news platform offering detailed analysis on the latest trends within AI technology
  • AI Weekly – a weekly newsletter full of recent AI news, straight to your email.
  • Attend AI focussed events and webinars, Legal Cheek, AllAboutLaw and LawCareersNet are great platforms that will often cover this topic area with a variety of law firms. 

Utilising AI in your application: A strategic approach

AI is a tool, not a shortcut. We welcome the thoughtful and innovative use of AI in your application form. This doesn’t mean asking AI to do the work for you, or copying and pasting answers, as this would limit the way you can showcase your unique perspective and strengths in each of your answers.

We welcome you to use AI in your initial application when you are applying to Shoosmiths for the Discover placement, a training contract or solicitor apprenticeship. As part of the application, you will be asked a number of questions each with a 300-word count. Your answers will help us to learn about you and your strengths, and your understanding of a future career in the legal profession.

If you have, you may also choose to include specific examples of how you have utilised generative AI to elevate part of your application to Shoosmiths, in these answers.

Here’s some ways you can use it thoughtfully to enhance your application:

  • Conduct legal market research and stay informed: Explore niche areas and develop your own informed opinions using resources from a number of different places (including insight evenings, law fairs and our website).
  • Manage your time and meet deadlines: Utilise productivity tools like Clockwise to stay organised.
  • “Make suggestions for how I can make this more appealing to a future employer”: Ask AI to suggest improvements to your draft answers.
  • “Summarise my key points”: If your answers are too long, ask AI to help you highlight the key points to remain within the word count.
  • “Check my work for grammatical and spelling errors”: Elevate your answers by ensuring there are zero mistakes.
  • Understand how Shoosmiths will use AI in the future to enhance the business: Your commercial understanding of how the legal profession will embrace legal tech is a great topic for you to form an opinion on.

Finally

  • Authenticity and thoughtfulness are irreplaceable.
  • AI can amplify your strengths, but it can't replace your unique voice and perspective.
  • Fuse the power of AI with your personal qualities to showcase the lawyer you aspire to be.

By embracing AI responsibly and demonstrating your understanding of its potential, you'll set yourself apart as a future-proof legal professional. Remember, at Shoosmiths, we value innovation, authenticity, and a commitment to shaping the future of the legal industry.

Now that you’re ready to submit your application, head to our apply now page. We look forward to reading your application!

We used AI to assist us in developing the ideas in this blog post. Specifically, it helped us to create a more engaging and helpful blog post that effectively appeals to our audience – let us know if you think it was successful!

Take a look at our other recent posts, or if you have any questions specifically about training contracts, you might find your answer on our FAQ page.

You can get in touch with us about career-related queries at [email protected].

Disclaimer

This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.

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