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Biochem @ Imperial; good enough for Magic Circle Firms? Watch

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    Hi, I will be studying biochemistry at imperial from sept/october (grades permitting). If I were to get a 2:1, do you think it'd be good enough to - eventually - get a TC from a Magic Circle Firm? Are science subjects okay?
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    Are science subjects okay?
    Science subjects are fine. The only reason they tend to be under-represented in trainee intakes, is because scientists tend not to go into law. Sciences, arguably, require greater analytical and deductive reasoning skills than undergraduate law. As long as you develop appropriate competencies you should be fine.

    If I were to get a 2:1, do you think it'd be good enough to - eventually - get a TC from a Magic Circle Firm?
    A 2.1 from Imperial by itself will not be sufficient. Grades are not, and will never be the be all and end all. The most successful candidates are those that are well rounded in all aspects of their lives. So you can't rely on going to an excellent institution (which Imperial is) to do the leg work. You need to develop other skills beyond those cultivated in academia.

    May I ask what your fascination with the Magic Circle is? It is, in my opinion, quite stupid to attend a university on the wing and a prayer of entering one of four/five firms. Imperial is fine for getting into law. Whether it is good enough to get you into a Magic Circle firm is an entirely different thing - it isn't so much dependent on the university but on the candidate, their interests, their skills and "professional" work experience profile etc.
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    (Original post by Redeyejedi)
    Science subjects are fine. The only reason they tend to be under-represented in trainee intakes, is because scientists tend not to go into law. Sciences, arguably, require greater analytical and deductive reasoning skills than undergraduate law. As long as you develop appropriate competencies you should be fine.



    A 2.1 from Imperial by itself will not be sufficient. Grades are not, and will never be the be all and end all. The most successful candidates are those that are well rounded in all aspects of their lives. So you can't rely on going to an excellent institution (which Imperial is) to do the leg work. You need to develop other skills beyond those cultivated in academia.

    May I ask what your fascination with the Magic Circle is? It is, in my opinion, quite stupid to attend a university on the wing and a prayer of entering one of four/five firms. Imperial is fine for getting into law. Whether it is good enough to get you into a Magic Circle firm is an entirely different thing - it isn't so much dependent on the university but on the candidate, their interests, their skills and "professional" work experience profile etc.
    What I like about magic circle firms:
    1) The pay
    2) Large Company
    3) In London
    4) More international opportunities
    5) Can hopefully, continue using my languages at work

    I am into a few sports, write for the school newspaper (and want to carry on at university), also read a bit of literature and am fluent in 3 languages (hopefully 4, by the time I graduate).

    I am a decent applicant, I believe. I really like to get engaged with school/uni life etc, I was just asking, whether it would put me at a disadvantage because:

    - i am a scientist
    - i am not oxbridge or lse
    - sciences won't necessarily equip me with the 'right' qualities for law. ]
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    Roughly 50% of city lawyers study a non-law related degree. Some of them have backrounds in arts, some in science; either way you'll be at no particular disadvantage. Similarly, it's not necessary for you to study at Oxbridge - I and a handful of my friends at Warwick have managed to secure places at Magic Circle firms. You do need to do your research thoroughly though. The pay is great but I'm not sure that should be your sole or even most important motivation for applying to the top firms.
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    (Original post by The West Wing)
    ^
    On this point, me and lots of my friends at Cambridge who got 2.i's in first year have not yet secured vacation schemes anywhere, let alone magic circle firms, and have only gotten a string of rejections.
    Oh, that seems a little surprising for me, now, I am starting to think I don't start a chance ;k

    thanks for your input guys XD
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    Well, I'm an Imperial graduate with a 2.1, and I've yet to a vacation schemes with any top firms. So you need more than just intellect if you really want to stand a good chance at getting into MC, and I'm inclined to say a bit of luck coupled with brilliant ECs and other law/non-law related work experience.

    By the time you graduate, the market is going to be even more competitive. But you've already made a pre-emptive decision in coming to TSR to discuss this possibility, which is good. From my time at Imperial, most of the students set their sights on investment banking, rather than law.
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    (Original post by Rofl)
    Well, I'm an Imperial graduate with a 2.1, and I've yet to a vacation schemes with any top firms. So you need more than just intellect if you really want to stand a good chance at getting into MC, and I'm inclined to say a bit of luck coupled with brilliant ECs and other law/non-law related work experience.

    By the time you graduate, the market is going to be even more competitive. But you've already made a pre-emptive decision in coming to TSR to discuss this possibility, which is good. From my time at Imperial, most of the students set their sights on investment banking, rather than law.
    I would have thought IB was much more competitive than law?
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    It probably was, but you'll be surprised at how many banks actually recruit IC graduates - especially from the Mechanical Engineering/Maths subjects.

    And it's not just about competitiveness. There's generally a lot of campus activity centring around IB, so I think the more awareness the students get about a particular career, the more inclined they are to pursue it. On the other hand, there's relatively little awareness about using a science degree to pursue a career in law.
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    (Original post by Yuko)
    Hi, I will be studying biochemistry at imperial from sept/october (grades permitting). If I were to get a 2:1, do you think it'd be good enough to - eventually - get a TC from a Magic Circle Firm? Are science subjects okay?
    Oh, and I'm surprised that Imperial gave you a conditional offer of AAB. They must have liked you. The standard offer is probably closer to AAA/A*AA for most courses now.

    I don't want to disencourage you, but you're gonna have to put in some serious work just to get a 2:1 at Imperial, let alone a 1st. They're notoriously fussy about dumbing down standards, so there's no relative marking, and they are starting to abolish past papers.
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    Hell no, if you're nly going to get a 2.1 it needs to be from Oxbridge... and even then you'll need to have been elected to the Commons and scored a hatrick in the world cup finals to justify such ***** grades.
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    (Original post by Labayu)
    Hell no, if you're nly going to get a 2.1 it needs to be from Oxbridge... and even then you'll need to have been elected to the Commons and scored a hatrick in the world cup finals to justify such ***** grades.
    I thought a 2:1 was quite good?
    So, are you guys saying it's verging on impossible to get into MC without a 1st from oxbridge (unless you're an AMAZING applicant from a 1st from warwick or lse)?
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    (Original post by Rofl)
    Oh, and I'm surprised that Imperial gave you a conditional offer of AAB. They must have liked you. The standard offer is probably closer to AAA/A*AA for most courses now.

    I don't want to disencourage you, but you're gonna have to put in some serious work just to get a 2:1 at Imperial, let alone a 1st. They're notoriously fussy about dumbing down standards, so there's no relative marking, and they are starting to abolish past papers.

    I got my offer really early Imperial <3 I think it was my personal statement tbh ... so, are you saying it's more-or-less impossible?
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    (Original post by Yuko)
    I got my offer really early Imperial <3 I think it was my personal statement tbh ... so, are you saying it's more-or-less impossible?
    Ditto. I think I got my offer the next morning, and my parents thought it was going to be a rejection judging by how quick it was, lol.

    It's not going to be impossible. If I can remember, there was one Imperial graduate who studied Biochemistry and went on to become a trainee for Linklaters, and another who studied some engineering course and got into A&O. These people represented the law firms at the career fair, and spoke openly about how the firms value the logical/deductive reasoning skills gained via a scientific course. The main thing is that you really need to stand out above all the other applicants and have something to differentiate yourself.

    As for the 2:1, you should know Imperial place a heavy emphasis on practical assessments, and if you can nail these as well as put in a reasonable effort into the exams, then you should be fine.
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    (Original post by Rofl)
    Ditto. I think I got my offer the next morning, and my parents thought it was going to be a rejection judging by how quick it was, lol.

    It's not going to be impossible. If I can remember, there was one Imperial graduate who studied Biochemistry and went on to become a trainee for A&O/Linklaters, and another who studied some engineering course and got into A&O. These people represented the law firms at the career fair, and spoke openly about how the firms value the logical/deductive skills that the gain via a scientific course. The main thing is that really need to stand out above all the other applicants, and have something to really differentiate yourself.

    As for the 2:1, you should know Imperial place a heavy emphasis on practical assessments, and if you can nail these as well as put in a reasonable effort into the exams, then you should be fine.
    Hehe, thanks for the help! You've given me confidence! I shall work hard at Imperial!!!
    May I ask, you said you got a 2:1, how hard did you work?
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    (Original post by Rofl)
    No problem. I would probably have to say not-a-lot/average for the first two years, then really gave myself a kick in the backside for the third since my average was dropping. I still managed to get consistent 2:1s for each year, but had to make sure that I didn't end up getting a 2:2 in the third which would have pulled down my overall degree classification.

    I think I was one of those individuals who really learnt the hard way; I didn't think the level of work was comparable to that of Oxbridge but I was surprised that it actually is from talking to some of my friends there. So there was a bit of complacency near the beginning.

    Anyway, I probably got lucky... or some people would say that I'm a bit above the 'average'. Nevertheless, I don't think you should follow the same risks that I took, or you'll end up playing a game where you're trying to desperately salvage a respectable 2:1!

    Isshoukenmei ganbatte ne
    hehe, doumo arigatou

    Yes, I have a friend studying chemistry (I think ) at Imperial now, and he said the workload is comparable for oxbridge. I think I am in a better mind-set now, compared to a year ago, where I thought as long as it's not medicine, it shouldn't be that much work :p:

    Thanks for the help!!!
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    The legal profession got hit hard by the financial crisis, I'd expect things to be generally more competitive for a while.
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    I would have thought a BSc Prestidigitation would be better preparation to get into the Magic Circle...
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    Grad entry hardly matters, 5 years of work and you'll either have been reeled in by a magic circle firm because you are an amazing lawyer, or you'll be at a middle tier firm or a bottom one. It doesn't matter where you went after a few years: in the law business it's not "no win, no fee" - it's "no win, no job "
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    threads like this make me laugh. You want a career in law then surely it is common sense to study law. The GDL should never have been invented imo. I cannot stress how fierce the competition is for training contracts alone, let alone MC firms. Even the best of the best find it really hard. Prob best to go down Science route or languages route
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    Yes, but it's hard for some to muster up the confidence to study law, let alone pursue a career in it; given the relatively little exposure you get at secondary school. You go on to do a subject at university because you like that subject, not necessarily because you want to be bound by the possibilities or opportunities that accompany it.

    It is a good assumption to make that people who have come from a non-law route have gained a far broader range of competencies than law students, and these are the skills that are highly valued by law firms.
 
 
 
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