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    Hi, I'm converting to law next year and I thought it would be a good idea to get some information about VAC schemes.

    I graduated from Warwick this year with a degree in English literature and an average of 66. However, there are some things about my application, mainly the academic criteria, that slightly worry me. Unfortunately in my second year I gained one 2:2 (58) in one of my modules and a 61 in another. I was wondering if anyone knew if law firms are strict about their expectations? i.e. you must get good 2:1s in every single module. I managed to achieve upper 2:1s and Firsts in my Final year, but I'm really worried that these two modules will hinder my chances despite them being non-law modules.

    In addition, does anyone know if law firms also take into consideration of GCSEs when applying for VAC schemes? Do they expect you to gain a majority of A*s and As? I'm not bothered about MC law firms, and might really only apply to one SC law firm, but I'm aiming for a mid size commercial law firm in the city.

    Thanks for reading this post!
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    (Original post by coke_addict2010)
    Hi, I'm converting to law next year and I thought it would be a good idea to get some information about VAC schemes.

    I graduated from Warwick this year with a degree in English literature and an average of 66. However, there are some things about my application, mainly the academic criteria, that slightly worry me. Unfortunately in my second year I gained one 2:2 (58) in one of my modules and a 61 in another. I was wondering if anyone knew if law firms are strict about their expectations? i.e. you must get good 2:1s in every single module. I managed to achieve upper 2:1s and Firsts in my Final year, but I'm really worried that these two modules will hinder my chances despite them being non-law modules.

    In addition, does anyone know if law firms also take into consideration of GCSEs when applying for VAC schemes? Do they expect you to gain a majority of A*s and As? I'm not bothered about MC law firms, and might really only apply to one SC law firm, but I'm aiming for a mid size commercial law firm in the city.

    Thanks for reading this post!
    The main thing I would check is your eligibility for the schemes first - where you have graduated you may not be eligible as firms may only accept applications from those in their final year/penultimate year of their degree etc.

    GCSE requirements will vary from firm to firm, some ask for them, some don't. But as academics go, GCSEs will probably be the last thing they consider and they will focus more on the degree results/modules.

    I doubt many firms want to you have achieved a 2.1 in every module, although they will probably expect you to have achieved a 2.1 overall for each year of your studies. If you have one 2.2 module out of what I am guessing is at least 12 university modules, then this is a very minor "blip". I am pretty sure there are plenty of vac scheme students currently in placements with a lot worse than this.

    Everyone assumes academics are the things that make applications unsuccessful, but there is a lot more that is taken into consideration.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    The main thing I would check is your eligibility for the schemes first - where you have graduated you may not be eligible as firms may only accept applications from those in their final year/penultimate year of their degree etc.

    GCSE requirements will vary from firm to firm, some ask for them, some don't. But as academics go, GCSEs will probably be the last thing they consider and they will focus more on the degree results/modules.

    I doubt many firms want to you have achieved a 2.1 in every module, although they will probably expect you to have achieved a 2.1 overall for each year of your studies. If you have one 2.2 module out of what I am guessing is at least 12 university modules, then this is a very minor "blip". I am pretty sure there are plenty of vac scheme students currently in placements with a lot worse than this.

    Everyone assumes academics are the things that make applications unsuccessful, but there is a lot more that is taken into consideration.
    Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I figured that some VAC scheme placements don't apply to graduates. I know Slaughter & May only really choose from penultimate/ final year students. On the other hand, I'm really not interested in working for Slaughter & May or any of the other MC law firms. The only 'high ranking' law firm I want to apply to is Herbert Smith Freehills and I know that their summer VAC scheme is open to those who have graduated as well.

    I know there's a lot more to take into consideration than academics but for some reason I always get so worked up over them because I know they're not perfect in comparison to a lot of other people applying. But, again, thank you so much for your perspective and advice!
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    (Original post by coke_addict2010)
    Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I figured that some VAC scheme placements don't apply to graduates. I know Slaughter & May only really choose from penultimate/ final year students. On the other hand, I'm really not interested in working for Slaughter & May or any of the other MC law firms. The only 'high ranking' law firm I want to apply to is Herbert Smith Freehills and I know that their summer VAC scheme is open to those who have graduated as well.

    I know there's a lot more to take into consideration than academics but for some reason I always get so worked up over them because I know they're not perfect in comparison to a lot of other people applying. But, again, thank you so much for your perspective and advice!
    I think most people get worked up on the academics point. In some ways it is the easiest thing to compare people against because it is so linear, so people can easily think "but they are better than me" far too quickly....

    No candidate is perfect though and even when "comparing" there is so much you don't know about the other candidates that you are only doing it in this crazy, highly theoretical and likely to be pessimistic way.

    Although I have seen some people take it to the other extreme and think they are the best thing since sliced bread, being positive and driven are important qualities in a lawyer, but also is having a real sense of perspective!

    Good luck with your applications
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    (Original post by Cutmeloose)
    Only just scraped a 2.1 at LSE for first year so not overly optimistic.

    Inclined to channel most of my focus into second year and mounting competitive TC applications + quite eager to do a summer internship in banking and can't do both!
    i also just finished my first year in LSE! i got a 2.1 as well but did badly for the two half units :s
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    Hi all! I was just wondering who is reading what to 'increase commercial awareness'? As from what I've heart through the Open Days, etc. firms really appreciate knowledge of what's happening in the world and it may well help with the interviews for VS. I am currently just following the news on-line, but was wondering if anyone would suggest subscribing for things like the Economist or maybe something specifically legal?
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    Hi, I would suggest reading the financial times maybe once a week it only costs £2.50 and is available at most newsagents. BBC Business News Report is always informative, and free!
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    Hi all.

    Law grad here. 2.1 degree, Top 15 uni, AAA etc etc etc. Would you recommend that I apply for vacation schemes this autumn or direct TC's? Like someone mentioned earlier I don't want to apply for a VS, get rejected, and then get frozen out of the TC round.

    VS's are extremely competitive, more so than TC's, and so these odds make me lean towards the TC side more..

    (Additionally, there aren't LOADS of vac schemes for graduates anyway)
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    (Original post by unluckyinlaw1)
    Hi all.

    Law grad here. 2.1 degree, Top 15 uni, AAA etc etc etc. Would you recommend that I apply for vacation schemes this autumn or direct TC's? Like someone mentioned earlier I don't want to apply for a VS, get rejected, and then get frozen out of the TC round.

    VS's are extremely competitive, more so than TC's, and so these odds make me lean towards the TC side more..

    (Additionally, there aren't LOADS of vac schemes for graduates anyway)
    ^ Very keen to know this too, I'm trying to assess what the best strategy is to take.
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    (Original post by unluckyinlaw1)
    Hi all.

    Law grad here. 2.1 degree, Top 15 uni, AAA etc etc etc. Would you recommend that I apply for vacation schemes this autumn or direct TC's? Like someone mentioned earlier I don't want to apply for a VS, get rejected, and then get frozen out of the TC round.

    VS's are extremely competitive, more so than TC's, and so these odds make me lean towards the TC side more..

    (Additionally, there aren't LOADS of vac schemes for graduates anyway)
    Go to the law fairs and ask the firms about their policy on applying for either or both.

    Some have a policy of once successful, you shouldn't apply again. Others may actively encourage you to reapply (if your application was pretty good to start with) as they know their vac schemes are more competitive than their TCs.


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    Does anyone know what firms in London do not test applicants before an interview? I can't seem to find this information.
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    just decided I want to do law and going into my third year of undergraduate degree- does any one know when training contracts open, and also some advice on what the best way of building up relevant experiences ASAp, because I haven't done any law related jobs, so how can I prove I am committed to a career??

    Help! Thanks
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    (Original post by wallis_direct)
    just decided I want to do law and going into my third year of undergraduate degree- does any one know when training contracts open, and also some advice on what the best way of building up relevant experiences ASAp, because I haven't done any law related jobs, so how can I prove I am committed to a career??

    Help! Thanks
    Depends on the type of firms you are looking at. But usually non-law applications open either on 1 Oct or 1 Nov.

    I would recommend going along to any law firm presentations/events at your university between Oct-Nov as well as your university's law fair and speak to the firms you want to apply to and find out if they offer any winter vacation schemes or workshops.


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    (Original post by sallyanne)
    Does anyone know what firms in London do not test applicants before an interview? I can't seem to find this information.
    You need to check the websites. I am making a list :/ Time consuming process indeed
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    (Original post by coke_addict2010)
    Hi, I'm converting to law next year and I thought it would be a good idea to get some information about VAC schemes.

    I graduated from Warwick this year with a degree in English literature and an average of 66. However, there are some things about my application, mainly the academic criteria, that slightly worry me. Unfortunately in my second year I gained one 2:2 (58) in one of my modules and a 61 in another. I was wondering if anyone knew if law firms are strict about their expectations? i.e. you must get good 2:1s in every single module. I managed to achieve upper 2:1s and Firsts in my Final year, but I'm really worried that these two modules will hinder my chances despite them being non-law modules.

    In addition, does anyone know if law firms also take into consideration of GCSEs when applying for VAC schemes? Do they expect you to gain a majority of A*s and As? I'm not bothered about MC law firms, and might really only apply to one SC law firm, but I'm aiming for a mid size commercial law firm in the city.

    Thanks for reading this post!

    I'm just going to ease your worries slightly. Here are some of my academic details:

    GCSE: 4 A's 6 B's 1 D
    AS Level: ABBC
    A2 Level: A*A*A (third highest mark in year and highest in each subject)
    1st year Psychology: 68% (2.1 and above in all modules)
    1st year Law: 67% (2.1 and above in all modules)
    2nd year Law: 64.75% (2.1 and above in all modules, highest mark in one module)

    My personal tutor often says I'm too negative about my performance. I wanted 66%+ in my second year of law but achieved 60% and 61% in a couple of the modules. You need to demonstrate academic flare and getting the odd 2.2 or low 2.1 doesn't matter. I've been offered a training contract from White & Case. I was also offered a VAC scheme interview with Travers Smith. As long as you achieve a mid 2.1 + there shouldn't be any problems in applying to a mid sized commercial law firm. Recent grades are far more important than earlier ones. It's more important to focus on experience, commercial awareness, demonstrating your enthusiasm for commercial law and yourself as a character. As long as you meet their requirements, which the firm often specifies, there shouldn't be a problem with academic details.
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    Jones & Day applications have opened if anyone's interested in applying there.
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    (Original post by Defragmentation)
    Jones & Day applications have opened if anyone's interested in applying there.
    Argh it's all happening so fast :woo:
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    (Original post by ChoccyWoccy)
    Argh it's all happening so fast :woo:
    Yeah, I still lack the slightest clue to where I wanna apply ahah! Also, need to hurry up and make my CV!
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    (Original post by Defragmentation)
    Yeah, I still lack the slightest clue to where I wanna apply ahah! Also, need to hurry up and make my CV!
    I've been going through the Jones Day application filling in all the standard stuff (personal details, A levels etc) but I'm not sure how to differentiate between work experience and extra-curriculars. I guess the things I do are more extra-curricular, but some do sort of overlap with a work experience context.
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    (Original post by ChoccyWoccy)
    I've been going through the Jones Day application filling in all the standard stuff (personal details, A levels etc) but I'm not sure how to differentiate between work experience and extra-curriculars. I guess the things I do are more extra-curricular, but some do sort of overlap with a work experience context.
    Are you applying already? :O
 
 
 
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