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Help! Considering a dramatic career change and need some advice

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    • Thread Starter

    Hi team,

    This is a long one so please bear with me. I am a qualified vet, I graduated in 2015, after five years at uni and basically my entire life before that geared up towards becoming a vet. I stubbornly never let myself consider other career options, despite career profiling and teachers/parents etc telling me to, and always thinking at the back of my mind that I'd enjoy law. If I'm being honest I don't really enjoy being a practising vet and I'm having a bit of a crisis of direction. I could answer questions about career direction within my profession in my sleep so I'm hoping you guys can do the same for me with law.

    Firstly, if this is something I think I might want to pursue, where do I even start with work experience, vacation schemes, TCs, GDLs etc etc? There are so many aspects to this that I don't really know what any of them mean or how they would relate to my situation, so please could someone shed some light on that. Secondly, is it realistic to study part time and keep up my job? I can't afford to not work and as far as I can make out you need a TC with a firm that will pay for me to qualify or you have to self-fund - I already have a mountain of student loans and I'm worried about racking up huge debts as obviously I won't qualify for student finance again as a post-grad. Also if anyone has any experience with changing careers to law, what routes you took, what motivated you/made you decide to go for it I'd very much appreciate hearing them.

    I'm aware this may sound very wishy washy and vague, but there's little point boring you all with a rant about being a vet , so I'm just looking for some general advice because the more googling and reading I do the more confused I get.

    Thanks everyone!

    It's the same processes for you as a graduate career changer, as someone still studying.

    If it was me, I'd apply to some open days with firms as a first step. Maybe attend one of the big conferences (CityLawLive), careers events through the Law Society, or potentially sign up to something like Aspiring Solicitors. These will help you find out more about the profession/sector as a first step to work out if it is something you really want to do. You could also look for mature applicant/career changer events - there tends to be at least 1-2 each year in the legal sector.

    If you can take a week or two off work, look for informal work experience placements. As a recent graduate you should still have access to your careers service at uni, and so look at their database of vacancies for upcoming opportunities. Also use your networks (uni and work) to try and find people you might be able to work shadow for a day or two.

    Depending on where you are based, also look to go to firm's recruitment presentations in the autumn. There must be 150+ events over a 6-8 week weird in major cities and at university campuses. They are informal events where you just rock up and listen to the firm explain what they do as well as give you insight into their recruitment processes. There is a diary on lawcareers.net that lists a lot of the events.

    I could go into detail about the next steps but from what you are saying I think you need to find out more through these type of means rather than launching into vac scheme and training contract applications.

    You could invest in the GDL and you could balance it on a part time basis of you can spare 15-20 hours a week to study on top of your working hours and social life. But I wouldn't rush into that until you are more sure this is what you want to do.

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