The Sherwood Silk Team and what we do

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Since the introduction of the new competency based selection process for silk in 2005,  Sherwood has been working with barristers to help them maximise the impact of their applications and the interview process.  We had 45/119 of the successful candidates on the latest silk list with a success rate of 54% compared with 44% for the whole competition.  So we worked with  38% of all the successful silks this year in some shape or form (big picture review, application form, interview or both).  11/17 of the women we saw got silk, with a 65% success rate. We are very proud of these statistics.

So, what worries you about the process?

  • Where do I start reviewing the personal qualities or competencies on the application form?
  • What can I do to prepare for a competency based selection process?
  • How do I choose the best assessors to represent me?
  • I haven’t had an interview for years, so I have no idea how I come across to others in an interview scenario
  • I’m usually the one asking the questions.  What kind of questions will they ask me?

How can we help?

We understand how you feel and can help you make the most of this opportunity to prove yourself.  In one or more confidential sessions you will have the opportunity to:

  • Review your approach to the application form
  • Address any other issues that really concern you about your application
  • Understand the competencies or qualities required of a silk
  • Practice some interview questions
  • Get robust, confidential feedback about how you come across and how you might improve

One-to-one coaching sessions are tailored to suit your needs and requirements.  For those new to the process you may find two meetings useful for the application form at a fixed fee of £1,600 + VAT – the first meeting would be for an hour to help you build the “big picture” start point for your application and help you better understand the process.  You then produce a draft application form.  We would then pre-read the draft and provide feedback, guidance and ideas to help improve it in a one-to-one meeting of up to ninety minutes.  Post-meeting feedback on your final draft would then be provided by email or telephone.  For those who have applied before or are more confident about the process, you may want to skip the first meeting and go straight to the draft.  The fixed fee for just one meeting and email feedback is £1,200 + VAT.

For work outside the range of work outlined above, plus subsequent work or meetings, costs will be based on an hourly rate of £325 + VAT – some clients have also wanted to focus on a particular competency, Diversity for example, so this can also be done as an hourly charge.  Or indeed sit down and review their practice for a future application.

If you are then selected for interview, a 2 hour interview preparation session with two of our coaches is immensely useful at £1,100 + VAT.  This includes reviewing your application in advance of the meeting and identifying any potential gaps, as well as the mock interview session itself.  We seek to reproduce the actual interview scenario with a lay and a lawyer member, where possible, and give robust, confidential feedback about how you come across and some tools and techniques to help you improve.  Having had this session you may want a “top-up” session a day or two before your interview with one of the original two coaches at £350 + VAT for an hour.  The top-up is only available to those who have had the main session first.

For some of our clients, we are working with them a year or two in advance of their planned applications, running individually focused career coaching sessions to help them understand what is required, understand themselves and their strengths, and goals and objective setting sessions to give them the best shot at their silk application.

SHERWOOD TEAM MEMBERS – include Kate Blackburn, Gwyn Price, Simon McCall and Ann Collier.


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