My chances of getting a TC? Watch

TCU
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Hi guys and girls,

Please provide your reasoned opinions on my potential to change to a career as a solicitor. In the interests of context:

I have a 1st class degree in Business Studies from Liverpool John Moores (graduating in 2007), grades BCC at A level (Law, History, French) and A* and As at GCSE. For the woefully inadequate A levels I have neither an excuse nor mitigating circumstance, I took my eye off the ball in my second year and have learned that particular lesson the hard way.

I am currently working in a good graduate level position (commercial, not law related) and earning an average salary for a fresh grad (between £25 and £30k). It is largely this job security (current climate considered) and an unwillingness to quit my job without a training contract which drives me to consider sponsorship for GDL and LPC as the best route for me into the law.

I fully understand that my A levels will negate the possibility of my obtaining sponsorship for a TC with an MC or SC firm. I would be very grateful if anyone would outline the types of firm for which I may be an appropriate candidate. I have been looking at the Wragge website with interest.

My initial reasons for giving serious consideration to career as a solicitor were for the improved job security (I work in an industry that has been hit hard by the downturn and this has opened my eyes), greater intellectual challenege, variety of work, meritocractic nature of the business (I hope this is not a false belief!), monetary reasons (I am happy to admit that I would like to be comfortable and am prepared to work as hard as is required) and prestige.

Interesting asides include the fact that I have completed 2 summers working at a US summer camp, went on a charity exped to Costa Rica for 3 months, achieved a pilots licence in my teens (working for free to achieve this dream) and captained a variety of sports teams, some to county level.

As I've said, i'm prepared to work bloody hard for this but wild goose chases are not the order of the day. I would massively appreciate honest advice with regards to avenues I could pursue.

Many thanks

TC
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chalks
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(Original post by TCU)
Hi guys and girls,

Please provide your reasoned opinions on my potential to change to a career as a solicitor. In the interests of context:

I have a 1st class degree in Business Studies from Liverpool John Moores (graduating in 2007), grades BCC at A level (Law, History, French) and A* and As at GCSE. For the woefully inadequate A levels I have neither an excuse nor mitigating circumstance, I took my eye off the ball in my second year and have learned that particular lesson the hard way.

I am currently working in a good graduate level position (commercial, not law related) and earning an average salary for a fresh grad (between £25 and £30k). It is largely this job security (current climate considered) and an unwillingness to quit my job without a training contract which drives me to consider sponsorship for GDL and LPC as the best route for me into the law.

I fully understand that my A levels will negate the possibility of my obtaining sponsorship for a TC with an MC or SC firm. I would be very grateful if anyone would outline the types of firm for which I may be an appropriate candidate. I have been looking at the Wragge website with interest.

My initial reasons for giving serious consideration to career as a solicitor were for the improved job security (I work in an industry that has been hit hard by the downturn and this has opened my eyes), greater intellectual challenege, variety of work, meritocractic nature of the business (I hope this is not a false belief!), monetary reasons (I am happy to admit that I would like to be comfortable and am prepared to work as hard as is required) and prestige.

Interesting asides include the fact that I have completed 2 summers working at a US summer camp, went on a charity exped to Costa Rica for 3 months, achieved a pilots licence in my teens (working for free to achieve this dream) and captained a variety of sports teams, some to county level.

As I've said, i'm prepared to work bloody hard for this but wild goose chases are not the order of the day. I would massively appreciate honest advice with regards to avenues I could pursue.

Many thanks

TC
What skills and abilities do you think are needed to be a solicitor, and how can you demonstrate them?
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Lord Hysteria
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(Original post by chalks)
What skills and abilities do you think are needed to be a solicitor, and how can you demonstrate them?
What special skills should a solicitor have? They are pretty much general business skills?
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pipsi
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Why would your A levels matter when you have a 1st class honours degree?
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chalks
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(Original post by Lord Hysteria)
What special skills should a solicitor have? They are pretty much general business skills?
What do you mean by "general business skills"?
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Lord Hysteria
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(Original post by chalks)
What do you mean by "general business skills"?
Skills that are required in businesses and are transferable; namely research skills, working under pressure, organisation skills, problem-solving aptitude and verbal and written communication skills.
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chalks
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(Original post by Lord Hysteria)
Skills that are required in businesses and are transferable; namely research skills, working under pressure, organisation skills, problem-solving aptitude and verbal and written communication skills.
Good. I think you're on the right lines, but there are probably a few others which you could add.

The issue for the OP is to be able to demonstrate that he has those skills through his experiences to date.

For example, saying that he/she has a pilots licence is, on the face of it, irrelevant to a TC application. It becomes relevant, however, if they are able to explain that through that course they learnt how to work under pressure or the fact they worked for free taught them dedication etc etc.
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TCU
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Good old competency based application questions! At a stab, I would suggest that some skills/abilities required for being a good solicitor (thanks Lord Hysteria ) are:

Research skills
Collating/analysing information
Reasoning
The ability to present a reasoned and inherently logical argument/opinion
Decision making
Communications skills (verbal and written)
Interpersonal skills
Reslience
Confidence
Problem solving
Drive/motivation
and finally a willingness to work rather hard..

I appreciate that the key issue is to be able to prove that I possess these traits and I would be fairly confident that I would be able to. I will put my mind to it in detail and perhaps ping a PM to you Chalks (i'd rather not reveal too much personal info here). I genuinely appreciate the feedback.

I know that you all only have a very brief knowledge of my background but do you think that this ambition is within the realms of possibility? What level of companies should I be aiming at?

I have done a fair deal of reasearch and I am currently researching more into the following firms as a starting point:
Wragge & Co
Walker Morris
Addleshaw Goddard
Osborne Clarke
Bond Pearce
TLT
Bevan Brittain

Some of these firms appeal to me more than others (for a variety of reasons) but I believe them to be attainable. I hope and trust i'm not being delusional? Some of the firms I have looked at require a minimum of 300 points at A level, which I do not have. Is there ever flexibility around this? I feel I can present a strong application, A levels and university attended (obviously a by-product of UCAS points) aside and I am a more than competent interviewee, I just want that one chance to get my foot in the door and show myself.

What should I be doing now? TC applications and Vac Scheme applications? Just the one for now? I really would appreciate any info as I am determined to do this the right way.

Best regards
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chalks
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(Original post by TCU)
...
You're certainly on the right track and understand the way in which these applications will need to be approached.

Very happy to discuss via PM if that suits.

It's always going to be difficult to advise on whether any given firm (they're not companies by the way) are going to look past your previous academic record and/or put more weight on your subsequent experiences.

Although law firms tend to be more accommodating than the Bar when it come to academic achievement, they still need to see a baseline level of academic ability - generally, that can only be demonstrated through exam results.
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Lord Hysteria
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(Original post by chalks)
Good. I think you're on the right lines, but there are probably a few others which you could add.

The issue for the OP is to be able to demonstrate that he has those skills through his experiences to date.

For example, saying that he/she has a pilots licence is, on the face of it, irrelevant to a TC application. It becomes relevant, however, if they are able to explain that through that course they learnt how to work under pressure or the fact they worked for free taught them dedication etc etc.
phew!! I am glad you agree with me
I was expecting an attack! :fan:
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TCU
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(Original post by chalks)
You're certainly on the right track and understand the way in which these applications will need to be approached.

Very happy to discuss via PM if that suits.

It's always going to be difficult to advise on whether any given firm (they're not companies by the way) are going to look past your previous academic record and/or put more weight on your subsequent experiences.

Although law firms tend to be more accommodating than the Bar when it come to academic achievement, they still need to see a baseline level of academic ability - generally, that can only be demonstrated through exam results.
Hi,

I was really wondering whether you thought I was targetting the right sort of companies, i.e. large regionals? Or whether you thought I should work also on some applications towards City firms?

I will ping a PM now also to discuss some finer detail.
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TommehR
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(Original post by TCU)
Hi,

I was really wondering whether you thought I was targetting the right sort of companies, i.e. large regionals? Or whether you thought I should work also on some applications towards City firms?

I will ping a PM now also to discuss some finer detail.
It depends on what sort of firm you want to work for. Looking at your credentials I can't see anything that would completely rule out large City firms (although you might need to contact HR directly to try and get around any A-level filter). I don't think there's anything really wrong with applying to a range of City and large, regional firms. The worst that can happen is that you spend a couple of hours on an application to Clifford Chance and they say no.
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TCU
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A very valid point, cheers. I think I have been a touch too concerned with A level results and any blockers to my application due to this. Nothing to lose and everything to gain.
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TCU
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Can someone shed some light on a potential timings issue? As I’ve previously stated, I'm very keen to secure a TC prior to my commencing GDL and LPC, so much so that I would prefer not to start the GDL without a TC in the bag. However, TC application don't open for a decent while yet and it would appear that decisions on 2012 TCs will not be made until approximately September next year, i.e. exactly when the GDL is starting. This leaves me with an obvious conundrum with a none too obvious solution! If I apply for a GDL and subsequently fail to secure a TC can I cancel the GDL very near to commencement? What would be my financial liability?

Thinking down a slightly different route, if I was able to secure a VS, I read that some firms assess you for a TC as a part of the VS. When would you hear about the TC if this was the case?

If anyone can shed any light I would be greatly appreciative.

Cheers
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chalks
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(Original post by TCU)
Hi,

I was really wondering whether you thought I was targetting the right sort of companies, i.e. large regionals? Or whether you thought I should work also on some applications towards City firms?

I will ping a PM now also to discuss some finer detail.
By all means try the large City firms (again, they're firms not companies!) but I think your A-level grades, and the Uni you went to, may hold you back. Some of the large regionals can be just as demanding when it comes to academic results.

Unlike other applicants who can really target their applications, you're going to have to take a far wider approach and apply to a substantial number.

I can't help with the timings question. Hopefully others on here can shed more light.
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legaleagle87
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(Original post by TCU)
As I’ve previously stated, I'm very keen to secure a TC prior to my commencing GDL and LPC, so much so that I would prefer not to start the GDL without a TC in the bag.
So would most people, but it is very unlikely you will get a TC before you start the GDL. Out of 100 people on my course (GDL), 2 people have TCs. Most people obtain them during the LPC.

You REALLY need to get some legal work experience too. A potential employer won't even look at you unless you have some.
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