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Advice needed- non-law student!

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    Hello,

    I am currently studying Business Management at a well regarded university but I aspire to eventually convert into law. I want to apply for a training contract with a leading law firm but would like some advice on my prospects.

    My A-Levels are above the minimum requirement for the large firms; I achieved an A* in philosophy and ethics as well as As in history and business studies. From Slaughter and May's website they say that 50% of their trainees are non-law students so this does provide me with some reassurance. Does anyone know the reasoning behind this however? I was thinking it was because there are thousands of law graduates who have all learnt effectively the same degree so cannot really differentiate themselves.

    For work experience I have got in contact with my local council's legal department in order to gain a few weeks there. Similarly if I can gain contacts at the council, they might be able to help me with further legal work experience e.g. at the county or crown court. Also I've registered interest in applying for a voluntary position at the citizen's advice bureau since this deals with legal issues.

    Is there anything else I could do to really stand out?

    Thanks for the advice in advance!
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    Non-law students have to do the GDL course for a year before they can do the LPC (following which you hopefully will have a training contract), where you learn basically what you do in a law degree, but condensed into a year, so they aren't all that different from law graduates in their legal knowledge.
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    I would advise you to start looking for vacation placements in your second year of university, many of the top firms accept non-law students in their penultimate year. Your vacation schemes will likely lead to a training contract and, if not, will count as experience to help you stand out when applying for training contracts. Any commercial work experience (e.g. investment banking, consultancy, etc) would also help you stand out.

    Extra-curricular activities should also help you stand out. Get involved in societies, sports teams, get leadership positions, etc in areas you're interested in. This will help you demonstrate some of the skills law firms are looking for.

    Know why you want to become a lawyer and communicate your motivations clearly.

    Research each firm you apply to thoroughly and make tailored applications.

    Obviously ensure that your module grades at university are kept at a high level as law firms all want to see these grades and it might hurt your chances if they're not good enough.
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    (Original post by maghreblover)
    I would advise you to start looking for vacation placements in your second year of university, many of the top firms accept non-law students in their penultimate year. Your vacation schemes will likely lead to a training contract and, if not, will count as experience to help you stand out when applying for training contracts. Any commercial work experience (e.g. investment banking, consultancy, etc) would also help you stand out.

    Extra-curricular activities should also help you stand out. Get involved in societies, sports teams, get leadership positions, etc in areas you're interested in. This will help you demonstrate some of the skills law firms are looking for.

    Know why you want to become a lawyer and communicate your motivations clearly.

    Research each firm you apply to thoroughly and make tailored applications.

    Obviously ensure that your module grades at university are kept at a high level as law firms all want to see these grades and it might hurt your chances if they're not good enough.
    Thanks for the advice! I average out as a first this year, only one of my modules is not a 2.1 or first. Do you think this will matter too much?
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    (Original post by KRBHAM)
    Thanks for the advice! I average out as a first this year, only one of my modules is not a 2.1 or first. Do you think this will matter too much?
    Not at most firms. Rumour has it that some firms (e.g Slaughter and May) would not want any averages below 65- but it is merely a rumour as I interviewed there despite having a 62 in one of my modules. I also know people with 2.2s in one module who interviewed there, so I'm sure you'll be fine, especially as you averaged a first.
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    (Original post by maghreblover)
    Not at most firms. Rumour has it that some firms (e.g Slaughter and May) would not want any averages below 65- but it is merely a rumour as I interviewed there despite having a 62 in one of my modules. I also know people with 2.2s in one module who interviewed there, so I'm sure you'll be fine, especially as you averaged a first.
    Yeah, I was disappointed with only getting 57% in one of my modules. Although it was only in a module that wasn't really relevant to my degree! I did get 81% in my law module so I hope this suggests I showed an interest in that field.

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