I know there are a few of these threads around but I am just wondering whether anyone would be able to help me.
Basically, I graduated in 2006 and worked as a mortgage underwriter for 4 years after leaving university. However, after three years in the role I decided to apply for the part time GDL and have just started my second year of a two year course. I am currently applying for a couple of vacation schemes and in particular I hope to apply to Ashurst for their Easter vacation scheme when applications open on the 1st December. The problem I am having is that I have no legal work experience. I have just sent off my application for CAB, have arranged a week work experience for a local law firm for January and have open days for CMS Cameron McKenna, Norton Rose and Mayer Brown in the beginning of next year but as these are not until next year I won't have them to write about in my application. I don't know whether to wait until late January to apply so I will have something to write about, but I know Ashurst recruit on a rolling basis.
Do you think that this lack of legal work experience will hinder my application for a vacation placement? I am worried that it may look like I am not serious about a legal career as I am a non-law student with no legal experience. Has anyone here secured any VS without any previous law experience?
(Just for further information I have all A* and A's at GCSE, 3 As at A level and a 2.1 from The University of Manchester and am on course for a distinction for the GDL)
Any help/ advice would be very much appreciated
Help for non law graduate Watch
- Thread Starter
- 28-11-2010 20:13
- 28-11-2010 20:45
I had a lot of these same concerns, I'm a non-law student too, and only really had done a couple of work shadowing days at local firms and with a barrister, however did get a VS at Linklaters, although a series of rejections at other firms, like Norton Rose, Travers Smith etc.
I think definitely mention that you have secured open days if your thinking of applying now. Anything like this I think you should definitely mention, as when I went for my first interviews and was asked "How do we know you will stick with law/ how do you know you want to do it/ what legal experience do you have etc" I was pretty honest and said "Well, none really, hence i'm applying for a VS".
This was not a good strategy. I think just really make the most of whatever you have done, ie, been to law fairs, company presentations, speech from a lawyer at a society event, been to open day, or even just that you have got them planned in the future, I think it still shows that you are keen.
Tbh, i don't think you'll have as much of a problem as taking the GDL definitely shows you're up for it, but yeh just make the most of what you've got/planned, and it shouldnt really be an issue...
- 28-11-2010 21:07
jasonm is absolutely right.
Try and make the most of anything that is somehow related to law. I am in a similar situation, have no legal work experience and now try to convert to law (so far I have a few open days and one VS interview). Tbh, in big firms the non-law intake is close to 50% and your previous job sounds like a fantastic connection to the things you'll be doing in the future. I guess it just depends on how well you argue your case.
Btw, you should def mention your future open days and work shadowing intentions. And don't wait too long with your applications as you already mentioned yourself that some companies won't be waiting for you.
- 28-11-2010 22:08
I'm in a similar situation too. I'm a recent graduate with no legal work experience and I'd like to be a solicitor. I have a full-time job so I'm using my annual leave to attend open days, workshops, and law fairs. I'm currently applying for vacation schemes and I have been referring to the things I've done, or will be doing, to confirm my interest in the law; I don't see why you shouldn't be doing the same thing!
- 28-11-2010 22:12
If it helps I did the CPE with zero law experience at all. Well worth it and loved every second. Where are you thinking of applying? I know I often say this a lot but Keele is amazing for law if you want to find a lot of good and passionate people.