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Paralegaling in HK with no Chinese Language Skills Watch

    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by J-SP)
    You are too hung up on the A-level thing to be honest - I think you seem to have an issue with it more than firms would. If a firm says their grade requirements are what you have then it is not an issue and you are not at the bottom of the pile at all. If you were then they would have a higher grade requirement.

    Some of that list isn't that accurate though, particularly with the "undisclosed" firms. So do some research, speak to firms directly

    It sounds like you are being quite picky with the firms you are choosing if you are still only "considering" applying to Macfarlanes and have eliminated AG from your list. Maybe it is time to have more of an open mind?

    And paralegal work is better than not working. Again maybe you are being a bit close minded to how helpful it might be?

    Send me a copy of a recent full application in a PM on here and I'll give you feedback on it.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Thank you very much J-SP! I will take you up on that offer, I should be done with my first app tomorrow and will send you in a PM the 6 questions that compose the vac-scheme app!

    I did not disclose my full situation, sorry for seeming "stupidly picky" about firms, I really am not. The thing is, I do not snob paralegal work, but must make sure that I make the best use of the years I have ahead of me. The thing is I am an Italian student that has done his UG here in the UK, with the aim of getting a TC.

    Among my work experiences is a 2 week work experience with a Top 5 Italian commercial firm with a London office and have been offered a place there. The catch is, I must be an Italian lawyer! i.e. 3-4 more years of studying (basically redoing my UG) and 1 year at least for passing my Bar exam! (It really is a numbers game unfortunately, and a very random one)

    So that is why I am not thrilled to do paralegal work, for if I am very scared to spend many years and then reach a dead-end, where I could have gone back to my country (and even though I die at thinking about studying for 4-5 more years) at least be a qualified lawyer with a job 95%.

    Obviously, that is my plan B. I am committed to getting a TC and working and living here in London. I do not want to write a monologue, but there are very specific and serious reasons why I want to stay here instead than go back to my home country!

    Again, thanks so much for all the help you have provided me with, as soon as I am done with my first app (most likely tomorrow) I will send it your way!
    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by mishieru07)
    I was thinking more of feedback from the firms, but I suspect they're not likely to offer any/ much if you got rejected before interview. Definitely take up J-SP's offer to check an application. She's a (former?) recruiter, and will be able to give you good advice on how to improve.

    Exactly how many firms have you been applying to over the past 4 cycles (by cycle and total), and particularly, which firms did you apply to? Are these firms for which you meet the A level requirements?

    To be honest, if I were in your position, I'd be applying to every single firm that I could conceivably see myself working for which does not have an A level auto-filter or where you meet the grade requirements. To put it bluntly, you're really not in a position to be very selective about which firms to apply to, considering that there aren't many where you won't be auto-filtered out, pending extenuating circumstances (eg you have a strong recommendation from a partner, there's a reason for your poor performance at A levels equivalent).

    4-5 is really not many applications. My usual advice to my juniors is that they should be putting in 8 or more good, solid VS/ TC applications if their goal is to secure a UK TC, unless they're lucky enough to get offers they like early on in the season. To some extent, it is a numbers game, and you need to maximize your odds as much as possible.

    I would really rather paralegal or take another job than be jobless to be honest. Even with a Master's. In fact, having done a Master's myself (Ox BCL), I don't think there's anything special about a Master's degree, except getting more specialized knowledge in certain fields.

    The other thing you can do is perhaps apply for more long-term internships or programmes in commercial/ business areas. For instance, an internship at a MNC or start-up might make you a more interesting candidate and give you fresh perspectives.
    I am sending 4-5 winter and about 3 summer ones, for a total of 7-9 Apps. The career centre at my uni actually told me to do only 2/3 in total, but I am sure they are used to exceptional UG students, given the institution. I would send 100 but in all honesty it is impossible for me. I have done about 40 apps so far (TC and Vac) and never ever went past the online stage.

    So not only do they seriously get in the way of my studying but they are starting to be a very depressing experience!I do not have much info about paralegaling in the UK, but the few people I asked suggested me to go and paralegal elsewhere than the UK, since I was told it is usually a dead end, especially in good commercial firms. (I don't know why that is, and how true this is). I was told that elsewhere like HK/Singa is the exact opposite.

    I saw a few paralegal vacancies but apparently they all require previous paralegal work experience, so I am also a bit confused on that. Do you think long internships would help? I do not know of any legal internships other than vac-schemes, which obviously do not fit your description!

    Hi Anthony,
    I'm Italian too.
    Singapore is very hard to get into - to practice law, the state requires you to attend very prestigious unis (they have their own list of specific unis...). But since you talk about paralegal work it could be easier probably, the fact is that I don't know if paralegal work is demanding in Singapore...
    HK should be easier to get into.
    I'll now send you an e-mail to talk, it could be easier since we are both Italian!
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