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Confused 2nd Year Law Student

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    I've just finished my 2nd year of my 3 year Law degree at Leeds Met...
    I work really hard and always turn up to lectures/seminars but this year i've averaged a 2:2 which I'm so disappointed with given that I've worked so hard this year.

    I haven't been able to find any work experience and have to keep my job at a supermarket during holidays/term time as I only have enough student finance for my rent and can't really take time off unless I have dates 6 weeks in advance. I applied to 25-30 law firms in my area and heard nothing back. I know its really negative but I don't see the point in applying for a vacation scheme as I don't have amazing grades. As much as I love Leeds Met its not the best uni in the world and an employer is always going to pick someone from a better uni.

    Everyones always told me I'd be a really good teacher, really creative, good with children and have lots of patience. I don't know what to do - do my LPC and try and get work as a lawyer or do a PGCE and became a teacher. Don't get me wrong, I do love my degree but don't think i'm clever enough to gain a really good degree i.e a 2:1.

    Has anyone else been in this position? Is it possible to get a training contract with a 2:1 degree with no experience OR became a teacher with a law degree, surely they're more likely to employ someone with a primary education degree (this is the age i'd like to teach)

    please please help - so confused!!!
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    It's not essential to get a 2:1 to secure a job at a top law firm, let alone a law firm. It's important to realise that it'll, obviously, make securing a job at a top firm that much harder to obtain, but it doesn't necessarily spell the end for your career as a solicitor.

    First off, in relation to gaining a 2:2: you'll certainly be able to obtain something, providing you have experience and extra curricular activities to support your CV. Obviously, firms look for these as standard, but the more relevant experience/extracurricular experience you have, the better. I have yet to do a vacation scheme, but intend to do one in third year (providing I achieve a better 2:2/2:1 and spend more time on the applications), however, in the mean time I'm working at several firms and a chambers in Sydney this summer. Any extracurricular or legal experience you can gain will help: vacation schemes, working a few days a week in a solicitor's, mooting, volunteering at CAB etc

    There's plenty to do with a degree, even if it's working in a regional solicitor's. If you want to go into the profession, it's worth a try, despite the cost of the LPC. If you don't want to teach, don't teach. There's plenty to do other than teach with a law degree; such as going into finance, doing something else after the degree (i.e journalism) etc are all popular alternatives.
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    (Original post by areyoufeeling_fashionable)
    I've just finished my 2nd year of my 3 year Law degree at Leeds Met...
    I work really hard and always turn up to lectures/seminars but this year i've averaged a 2:2 which I'm so disappointed with given that I've worked so hard this year.

    I haven't been able to find any work experience and have to keep my job at a supermarket during holidays/term time as I only have enough student finance for my rent and can't really take time off unless I have dates 6 weeks in advance. I applied to 25-30 law firms in my area and heard nothing back. I know its really negative but I don't see the point in applying for a vacation scheme as I don't have amazing grades. As much as I love Leeds Met its not the best uni in the world and an employer is always going to pick someone from a better uni.

    Everyones always told me I'd be a really good teacher, really creative, good with children and have lots of patience. I don't know what to do - do my LPC and try and get work as a lawyer or do a PGCE and became a teacher. Don't get me wrong, I do love my degree but don't think i'm clever enough to gain a really good degree i.e a 2:1.

    Has anyone else been in this position? Is it possible to get a training contract with a 2:1 degree with no experience OR became a teacher with a law degree, surely they're more likely to employ someone with a primary education degree (this is the age i'd like to teach)

    please please help - so confused!!!
    I couldn't agree more with the above poster. It's not essential to get a 2.1 but it helps if you want to secure a top job, going to a good university also helps. But in your case it's both unfortunate and slightly daunting to know that you have a 2.2. Can I ask, is it towards the top end of a 2.2?

    Either way, rather than trying the usual commercial firms, why not try criminal (if you have an interest) or civil firms. You have to accept they probably won't reward you financially as much as a commercial firm, but money isn't everything.

    But don't be too down-hearted, most people don't get a TC until the end of LPC, so just be patient. If you really intend on being a lawyer, the high street option is still there.

    But you will be fine, just work hard on the LPC. It's not nice when people intend on being lawyers and have to branch out to something else.

    Beef up your CV as much as you can, do lots of work experience, vac schemes, anything legal related. Your job you need to keep and don't under-estimate it's value, it shows grit and determination.

    So just work hard!!!
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    I don't want to crush your hopes, because you still have a year to go and probably at least six more modules, and there is still potential there to bring your grade up to a 2:1...depending on how low a 2:2 you gained this year. The only thing that I'd point out is your own assertion that you don't think you can get a 2:1, and that you worked really hard and attended all lectures and seminars and still only managed a 2:2.

    Whilst it is possible to gain a TC with a 2:2 you do need to be mindful that irrespective of all the advice given above regarding gaining extra curriculars and work experience, virtually everyone applying will have similar/same things on their CVs, but they may also have a 2:1 or a 1st and good A levels (which are generally a first point of filter for a lot of firms - so if you have poor A levels AND a poor degree then your chances slip even further).

    You're trying to be realistic and think of other careers. If you want to teach, you'll find information at www.tda.gov.uk.

    In the meantime, have a lecturer go over any essays/assignments you did this past year and ask for help with how to improve your methods of study, tips on where you went wrong, and how you could change things to up your grades.
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    Yep, you need to be a realist.
    With 2:2 from Leeds met, which is not a particularly respected uni, your chances of getting a TC at a prestigious firm are close to zero.
    The problem is that you are actually, according to you, doing your best, work very hard and still manage to get a 2:2 only.Perhaps you should think of other career.

    Even if you, hypothetically, get a TC at a Magic circle firm, the fact that you get so bad grades while doing your best, probably means that you are not enjoying law and it`s just not right for you.
    I am not saying you are not smart enough to do law, I am saying that probably it isnt right for you.
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    (Original post by Ivan Stanchev)
    Yep, you need to be a realist.
    With 2:2 from Leeds met, which is not a particularly respected uni, your chances of getting a TC at a prestigious firm are close to zero.
    The problem is that you are actually, according to you, doing your best, work very hard and still manage to get a 2:2 only.Perhaps you should think of other career.

    Even if you, hypothetically, get a TC at a Magic circle firm, the fact that you get so bad grades while doing your best, probably means that you are not enjoying law and it`s just not right for you.
    I am not saying you are not smart enough to do law, I am saying that probably it isnt right for you.

    I'm a little upset that you've stated that a 2:2 is a 'bad grade' when you haven't even started your law degree yet. You have no idea how hard it is.
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    Thanks for all your help guys, I have looked at my grades at they are 56, 58 58 and 52 so I'd say it was a mid 2:2. I know i will never get a training contract at a magic circle firm but its just the fact I can't even get work experience at a local firm let alone with a training contract. I will finish my law degree, do my best to get the best grade possible and maybe take a year out after to realise what i want to do and if its law, then get try even more just to get some work experience to boost my employability.
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    (Original post by areyoufeeling_fashionable)
    I'm a little upset that you've stated that a 2:2 is a 'bad grade' when you haven't even started your law degree yet. You have no idea how hard it is.
    I don't think he said it's a bad grade, btw he is an A-level student, just bear that in mind.

    I don't think a 2.2 is a bad grade at all, for courses such as Civil Engineering 55 at degree level will get you into most top firms. Law is competitive so there is a high requirement, 2.1 is the minimum. I think people get 2.2 for two reasons, 1) They don't balance out the time on each quesiton and 2) they didn't practise questions during revision to get a feel.

    2.2 doesn't mean your stupid as such, it's just on the day your time management probably went out of hand. Don't worry, you've still got another year. :yep:
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    (Original post by barrista)
    I couldn't agree more with the above poster. It's not essential to get a 2.1 but it helps if you want to secure a top job, going to a good university also helps. But in your case it's both unfortunate and slightly daunting to know that you have a 2.2. Can I ask, is it towards the top end of a 2.2?

    Either way, rather than trying the usual commercial firms, why not try criminal (if you have an interest) or civil firms. You have to accept they probably won't reward you financially as much as a commercial firm, but money isn't everything.

    But don't be too down-hearted, most people don't get a TC until the end of LPC, so just be patient. If you really intend on being a lawyer, the high street option is still there.

    But you will be fine, just work hard on the LPC. It's not nice when people intend on being lawyers and have to branch out to something else.

    Beef up your CV as much as you can, do lots of work experience, vac schemes, anything legal related. Your job you need to keep and don't under-estimate it's value, it shows grit and determination.

    So just work hard!!!
    What do you mean by this bit in bold above?
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    (Original post by chalks)
    What do you mean by this bit in bold above?
    Firms that practise in Personal Injury, Housing etc who don't have strict requirements, not as much as Commercial firms anyway.
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    Hey,
    It's not too late, you still have 1 year left. Go and talk to your tutors and see if they can advise how to strengthen your essay writing. I find that this helps as you begin to realise what you're lacking. Good luck!
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    I am sorry to say, but yes, 2:ii in law in a uni like Leeds Met is bad, quite bad.
    I may not even have started my law degree yet and I don`t know what is like to study law except for the fact that law students spend a lot of time in the library; yet I think that 2:ii is bad.
    Pure statistics - the average for a law student in the UK is 2:i.
    However, this is not to say that you should just give up.Work harder and see what you can do.

    Is it possible, theoretically, to increase to 2:i after doing amazingly in your last year ?
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    (Original post by areyoufeeling_fashionable)
    Thanks for all your help guys, I have looked at my grades at they are 56, 58 58 and 52 so I'd say it was a mid 2:2. I know i will never get a training contract at a magic circle firm but its just the fact I can't even get work experience at a local firm let alone with a training contract. I will finish my law degree, do my best to get the best grade possible and maybe take a year out after to realise what i want to do and if its law, then get try even more just to get some work experience to boost my employability.
    You can spend the summer making applications for some work experience to various firms, including high street firms. In addition look for other areas of volunteering which will also help to boost your CV.

    Your grades aren't so terrible that you can't gain a 2:1 next year, but you're going to have to understand where you need to improve. Generally a 2:2 grade means that you covered the relevant material and many of the issues and you showed evidence of thought and application, but your answers contained some irrelevancy and minor errors...to gain a 2:1 you require a good understanding, critical thought and appreciation of the issues raised by the question, your answer should be well organised and show evidence of wider reading...

    You need to speak to your lecturers, take a look at sample exam answers, create structures to your answers before you begin to write (form a plan). Running out of time in an exam is generally not the reason for gaining a 2:2 unless running out of time makes your final answer so poor that it drags your two good answers down.

    I found that it made more sense for me to spend 10 minutes writing a plan, putting case names down and so forth before beginning to write - a well structured answer doesn't need to be long and waffling and 30 minutes is generally more than enough time to answer a question even to a 1st standard.
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    (Original post by Ivan Stanchev)
    I am sorry to say, but yes, 2:ii in law in a uni like Leeds Met is bad, quite bad.
    I may not even have started my law degree yet and I don`t know what is like to study law except for the fact that law students spend a lot of time in the library; yet I think that 2:ii is bad.
    Pure statistics - the average for a law student in the UK is 2:i.
    However, this is not to say that you should just give up.Work harder and see what you can do.

    Is it possible, theoretically, to increase to 2:i after doing amazingly in your last year ?
    2.2 isn't actually bad, as stated earlier, most people that get 2.2 aren't 'stupid' but rather they messed up in the exam, through lack of time etc. It's not the end of the world, but they have to make up for the grade by getting a good grade in 3rd year.
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    (Original post by SevenStars)
    You can spend the summer making applications for some work experience to various firms, including high street firms. In addition look for other areas of volunteering which will also help to boost your CV.

    Your grades aren't so terrible that you can't gain a 2:1 next year, but you're going to have to understand where you need to improve. Generally a 2:2 grade means that you covered the relevant material and many of the issues and you showed evidence of thought and application, but your answers contained some irrelevancy and minor errors...to gain a 2:1 you require a good understanding, critical thought and appreciation of the issues raised by the question, your answer should be well organised and show evidence of wider reading...

    You need to speak to your lecturers, take a look at sample exam answers, create structures to your answers before you begin to write (form a plan). Running out of time in an exam is generally not the reason for gaining a 2:2 unless running out of time makes your final answer so poor that it drags your two good answers down.

    I found that it made more sense for me to spend 10 minutes writing a plan, putting case names down and so forth before beginning to write - a well structured answer doesn't need to be long and waffling and 30 minutes is generally more than enough time to answer a question even to a 1st standard.
    Exactly my point.
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    Use your uni's career service, and have a big, long think about where your career is going.
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    Wise advice from jacket potato. In terms of your degree- think carefully about how you are expressing yourself in essays. It is obviously important to work hard and make sure you have a good grasp of the law, but when answering questions (particularly essay questions) make sure you are actually giving the examiner/marker what they want to read. Arrange a meeting with a tutor and perhaps ask them for 1 to 1 feedback on where you are going wrong and whether your technique could perhaps be improved. A 2.2 can often be pushed up to a 2.1 with a bit of polishing off.

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