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    Hi I was wondering if anybody could help me.

    I’m 19 years old and I am on my gap year. I left school with:

    GCSEs
    English lit C
    English Lang C
    Media Studies C
    Science C
    History C
    Spanish C
    Maths D
    Music E
    GNVQ CCCC pass

    A Levels
    History A
    Ancient History B
    English Lit C

    I missed all my offers of AAB/ABB for Ancient History and Classics and decided to take a gap year to re-evaluate my plans. After temping in various places and travelling I’m still determined to reapply for Ancient History after re-sitting English to get a B.

    Now that’s background done.

    To get to the point I’ve been contemplating taking a career in Law after temping at my local magistrates court and generally taking to other law students and trainee lawyers – they all suggested that I should consider Law as I am quite bold and a good debater as well really good at problem solver and generally quite analytical.
    I’ve been researching this good and proper and believe I can make it as a solicitor.
    I plan to study Ancient History and Classics at a reputable Uni such as Manchester, Nottingham etc and try and aim for a 2:1 or possibly a 1st. During my time at Uni I want to get as much work experience as possible applying for a vacation scheme too.
    In my third year, providing that I am on track for a 2:1 or 1st, I will apply for a training contract (they normally recruit two years early right?) to fund my GDL and pray I get accepted.

    My question is do you think my plan is feasible? – I’m not talking Magic Circle Firms as I probably don’t have a chance with my GCSE’s, A Levels as I have heard they really onlt accept straight A 1st class honours students from Oxbridge.

    It would be nice to apply for a TC at a MCF as their benefits pack is so appealing e.g the travelling, the prestige and rep attached to your name, the better quality clients work, the money etc etc – but I know I wont even have a look in.

    Do you think that I should re-sit and improve on my GCSE’s, take up a few more A Levels try and achieve as many A’s as possible and then apply to a top ten Uni for Law (or Classics) then try to secure a TC at a MCF?

    Oh I’m so confused. Am I being stupid? I’m a really ambitious person and really want to make it as a trainee solicitor at a top firm.
    What do you think I should realistically do?
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    go for it..
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    If you do manage to take a good degree from Manchester/Notts, then you will be in a reasonable position. Plenty of Manc/Notts etc. people at MCFs. You will definitely be at a disadvantage however: your GCSEs and A-levels are weak. A lot of the city firms automatically screen you out if you don't have AAB at A-level. I don't think a TC at a MCF is necessarily impossible or out of the universe, but I think realistically you are going to need some very strong stuff elsehwere in your application to be able to stand against other candidates. You should probably be aiming for a first and for some pretty outstanding extra-curriculars.

    I wouldn't set your heart on a MCF at the age of 19. You simply don't know enough about the law or the profession yet to set that kind of decision in stone. MCFs are great, but they aren't for everyone - there is plenty else out there :yes:
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    If you do manage to take a good degree from Manchester/Notts, then you will be in a reasonable position. Plenty of Manc/Notts etc. people at MCFs. You will definitely be at a disadvantage however: your GCSEs and A-levels are weak. A lot of the city firms automatically screen you out if you don't have AAB at A-level. I don't think a TC at a MCF is necessarily impossible or out of the universe, but I think realistically you are going to need some very strong stuff elsehwere in your application to be able to stand against other candidates. You should probably be aiming for a first and for some pretty outstanding extra-curriculars.

    I wouldn't set your heart on a MCF at the age of 19. You simply don't know enough about the law or the profession yet to set that kind of decision in stone. MCFs are great, but they aren't for everyone - there is plenty else out there :yes:
    I might be wrong (or the rules might have changed since I applied) but I think you need a B in GCSE maths to go to Manchester (although that might just be for law).

    Is there any chance you could re-sit GCSE Maths and English during your year out. Most Universities and law firms will want to see a good academic record. If you can get better results in some of your GCSEs (especially Maths and English) and re-sit some of your A level modules to get AAB/ABB then you will be in a much stronger position.

    I think you need to be realistic about which firms you are likely to get a job at. The magic circle is incredibly competitive and so are a lot of smaller firms/regional firms (believe me, I've been applying for vac schemes & suddenly nothing I've done seems that impressive).
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    It's not impossible but you'd definitely need a high 2.1, maybe a first (and in the nicest possible way,with your GCSEs and A levels that would be quite hard) and you would need really, really STELLAR extra curriculars, not just the stuff everyone else has, like you would have to go MENTAL

    Hmmm go for it if it's what you really want to do, even if you don't get in anywhere it's not like a degree from Notts/Manc is going to confine you to a life cleaning toilets. But I just wanted to be realistic (sorry if I came off really harsh)
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    Law is a competitive career choice. The facts are as follows most students will end up with a 2.1 so in order to differentiate between candidates firms have to look at A-Levels and even GCSE's. However, it is not all about your grades and they will also look at your other achievements and work experience. In this situation you have plenty of scope to work for a good firm if you build up the latter two...
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    Here is some honesty. Though it is "possible" for you to get a law degree, it is almost impossible for you to enter the law industry. Not only would you need fantastic grades/degree, but you would also need contacts.

    Law is an elite game.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    Here is some honesty. Though it is "possible" for you to get a law degree, it is almost impossible for you to enter the law industry. Not only would you need fantastic grades/degree, but you would also need contacts.

    Law is an elite game.
    That is pretty obvious.
    Everybody needs contacts whatever career they are getting into.

    And for me these contacts will be gained when getting work experience from various law firms (which ive already started with) as well when going to Uni and the people i meet etc etc

    Obviousy there are those who come from very rich and priviliged backgrounds and will obviously have an extra edge through the contacts of thier parents but if i work hard enough i can make it.

    Thanks for your advice anyway
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    (Original post by AllAboutLaw)
    Law is a competitive career choice. The facts are as follows most students will end up with a 2.1 so in order to differentiate between candidates firms have to look at A-Levels and even GCSE's. However, it is not all about your grades and they will also look at your other achievements and work experience. In this situation you have plenty of scope to work for a good firm if you build up the latter two...
    Thanks for the encouragement.
    I've decided to take an extra two years getting extra A Levels and then to apply to uni with higher and better grades.
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    (Original post by weet_ABI_x)
    It's not impossible but you'd definitely need a high 2.1, maybe a first (and in the nicest possible way,with your GCSEs and A levels that would be quite hard) and you would need really, really STELLAR extra curriculars, not just the stuff everyone else has, like you would have to go MENTAL

    Hmmm go for it if it's what you really want to do, even if you don't get in anywhere it's not like a degree from Notts/Manc is going to confine you to a life cleaning toilets. But I just wanted to be realistic (sorry if I came off really harsh)
    Thanks for the response and no you're not harsh.
    I just want to point out that i have valid reasons why my GCSE's are so **** and my A Level's aren't up to scratch.
    Anyway ive decided to take on an extra three A Levels, try to gain straight A's then apply to a good uni.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    you would also need contacts.
    Nonsense.

    (Original post by Buddy_Soliciter)
    Everybody needs contacts whatever career they are getting into.
    Don't believe it for a second. When it comes to MCFs, unless your contact is one of the small number of graduate recruitment partners, it will be of no relevance whatsoever. And thats if the GRP doesn't remove himself from the process. Application processes are much more formalised and fair than they used to be; you are unlikely to find that contacts will give you an advantage.
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    (Original post by little.miss.vicki)
    I might be wrong (or the rules might have changed since I applied) but I think you need a B in GCSE maths to go to Manchester (although that might just be for law).

    Is there any chance you could re-sit GCSE Maths and English during your year out. Most Universities and law firms will want to see a good academic record. If you can get better results in some of your GCSEs (especially Maths and English) and re-sit some of your A level modules to get AAB/ABB then you will be in a much stronger position.

    I think you need to be realistic about which firms you are likely to get a job at. The magic circle is incredibly competitive and so are a lot of smaller firms/regional firms (believe me, I've been applying for vac schemes & suddenly nothing I've done seems that impressive).
    Yeah for Manchester the law degree requires you to have at least 5 A's at GCSE and staright A's at Alevel - but i want to study AH and Classics (my passion lol) which only want ABB-BBB.

    I would love to resit my GCSE's but i dont want to waste a year doing that so i've decided to study for three more Alevels then to apply to a top ten uni with better grades.

    Yes i do understand how competitive MCF's are but i am so determined to make it work, i've got nothing to lose. If it dosent work out then its probably not meant to be, then i can at least try for the smaller firms.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    Nonsense. Don't believe it for a second. When it comes to MCFs, unless your contact is one of the small number of graduate recruitment partners, it will be of no relevance whatsoever. And thats if the GRP doesn't remove himself from the process. Application processes are much more formalised and fair than they used to be; you are unlikely to find that contacts will give you an advantage.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

    I've decided to take on a few A Levels then to apply to a top ten uni with better grades to give a better chance at law.
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    Op I don't mean to be rude but you know nothing about law...sitting in court and talking to people is all very well but you have never studied it so how do you even know the subject is is for you! You might find it tedious and boring!

    First thing to do is a taster session in law - eg how about you take it up as an AS/A Level. Secondly, if you want practice in law you need LOADS of experience-get writing to firms now. Thirdly - you need to think about you finances - The GDL/LPC/BVC are VERY expensive. You dont want to go down the wrong path here.


    To be honest, it is best if you have a degree in law so that you understand the foundations as well as what areas you enjoy most. IMO the GDL should never had been invented - You have to learn the 7 core areas of law in a year. With an LLB (Law Degree) You do this over 3 years AND other areas of law that may be more of interest of you (but you would never know if you did the GDL!

    Also, you say your passion is Classics? Do what you love! The legal image you have portrayed as travelling, great pay packet etc is a long way the hours of studying, £££ debt and fighting for TCs. Good luck whatever you do x
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    (Original post by Buddy_Soliciter)
    Yeah for Manchester the law degree requires you to have at least 5 A's at GCSE and staright A's at Alevel - but i want to study AH and Classics (my passion lol) which only want ABB-BBB.

    I would love to resit my GCSE's but i dont want to waste a year doing that so i've decided to study for three more Alevels then to apply to a top ten uni with better grades.

    Yes i do understand how competitive MCF's are but i am so determined to make it work, i've got nothing to lose. If it dosent work out then its probably not meant to be, then i can at least try for the smaller firms.
    Would it be possible for you to do a maths GCSE (a couple of the firms I've applied for ask for an A*-C in GCSE maths and English) it might be hard for you to find a job without it (my local college does it as an evening course, so if you're having a year out anyway you wouldn't be wasting a year).

    If you're really determined to make it work then you definitely don't have anything to lose by applying. I just wouldn't set your heart on the magic circle, I've got a lot of friends that haven't got TCs despite being determined and having very good academic records (although if you've got mitigating factors explaining your results at GCSE/A level then it will definitely help). There are plenty of other good firms out there, Magic Circle firms definitely aren't for everyone and you might find that you aren't really interested in the areas of law that they practice.

    You've got plenty of time to worry about where you want to apply. I'd focus on getting some amazing extra curriculars, good A levels, GCSE maths and a good degree.

    xxxx
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    (Original post by charli159)
    Op I don't mean to be rude but you know nothing about law...sitting in court and talking to people is all very well but you have never studied it so how do you even know the subject is is for you! You might find it tedious and boring!

    First thing to do is a taster session in law - eg how about you take it up as an AS/A Level. Secondly, if you want practice in law you need LOADS of experience-get writing to firms now. Thirdly - you need to think about you finances - The GDL/LPC/BVC are VERY expensive. You dont want to go down the wrong path here.


    To be honest, it is best if you have a degree in law so that you understand the foundations as well as what areas you enjoy most. IMO the GDL should never had been invented - You have to learn the 7 core areas of law in a year. With an LLB (Law Degree) You do this over 3 years AND other areas of law that may be more of interest of you (but you would never know if you did the GDL!

    Also, you say your passion is Classics? Do what you love! The legal image you have portrayed as travelling, great pay packet etc is a long way the hours of studying, £££ debt and fighting for TCs. Good luck whatever you do x
    Thanks for the advice.
    I do understand where your coming from about devoting my self to a career in which i haven't even yet studied. But i have researched law very very well and i know i would love to go down that route, and even if it does come to light during my degree that i dont want to study law and have an interest somewehere then its not like im stuck to it.

    I am planning to take up law as one of my A Levels
    I have already started with work experience.
    I am hoping to secure a TC to fund my GDL

    I have a passion for Classics which is why i want to study it at uni but i could never make a career out of it - and, as bad as it sounds, i really dont want to come out of uni temp for a year or two then decide what career i want to take. My sister did this when she graduated from Sheffield with a 1st in English having no idea what to do. She temped in various admin roles for two years and the decided to take a career in gov. I know his is the standard procedure but i dont like the idea of this. I want to leave uni in mind with one career and dont want to waste time considering ill be older than most who would've graduated at 21 - im 19 now!!

    I understand evreything that entails law. I CAN ensure you that im not doing this for the lifestyle. With a lot of respect i find that comment slightly patronising as nobody questions teenagers who want to go into medicine - do 15/16 year olds who decied to become doctors know what the job holds- how emotionally demanding and how stressful 5 years at med school is? yet they are not discouraged.

    Thanks for the advice very much appreciated.
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    (Original post by Buddy_Soliciter)
    Thanks for the advice.
    I do understand where your coming from about devoting my self to a career in which i haven't even yet studied. But i have researched law very very well and i know i would love to go down that route, and even if it does come to light during my degree that i dont want to study law and have an interest somewehere then its not like im stuck to it.

    I am planning to take up law as one of my A Levels
    I have already started with work experience.
    I am hoping to secure a TC to fund my GDL

    I have a passion for Classics which is why i want to study it at uni but i could never make a career out of it - and, as bad as it sounds, i really dont want to come out of uni temp for a year or two then decide what career i want to take. My sister did this when she graduated from Sheffield with a 1st in English having no idea what to do. She temped in various admin roles for two years and the decided to take a career in gov. I know his is the standard procedure but i dont like the idea of this. I want to leave uni in mind with one career and dont want to waste time considering ill be older than most who would've graduated at 21 - im 19 now!!

    I understand evreything that entails law. I CAN ensure you that im not doing this for the lifestyle. With a lot of respect i find that comment slightly patronising as nobody questions teenagers who want to go into medicine - do 15/16 year olds who decied to become doctors know what the job holds- how emotionally demanding and how stressful 5 years at med school is? yet they are not discouraged.

    Thanks for the advice very much appreciated.

    I did not mean to patronise you, just to help you understand how fierce the competition is in the legal world. It is good that you have a plan and I wish you all the luck in the world but I would say always have a back up plan. ps you are only 19 so don't worry about graduaating in your mid 20s plenty of people do
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    I am a little concerned that you spelt ¨budding solicitor¨ as Buddy Soliciter. If your language skills are that weak, how will you cope with law ?
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    (Original post by flugestuge)
    I am a little concerned that you spelt ¨budding solicitor¨ as Buddy Soliciter. If your language skills are that weak, how will you cope with law ?

    Lol HAHAH funny. :rolleyes:

    No my nickname is Buddy. My friends call it me because im the tomboy in the group and for other reasons i wont go in to . I wanted solictor buddy but it wouldn't let me have it for some reason.
    and the solicitor part... oh well..no biggie its only one measly letter thats wrong..

    Anyway so thanks.
 
 
 
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