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    Hi, I have made another thread about Politics MA but am also considering my options and just wanted to enquire about a law conversion course. Again, I know there is info in other places on the website, but would greatly appreciate any responses tailored to my questions.

    I have got a 2'1 history degree from Leeds uni and am considering a law conversion course, but know little about it and some of the info can be quite confusing.
    I believe getting on the conversion course is quite easy, but quite expensive. Do most people self-fund this stage or get sponsored by law firms? I am worried if I self-funded then I would already start far behind others who already have a law firm helping with their fees???
    I then understand you apply for a further study and a training contract. Realistically, just how easy is it to get one (especially considering I have little work experience)?? What happens if you don't get one?? Is it just the big London firms who hand them out or smaller firms across the country?? Does not getting one make becoming a solicitor very difficult and in a sense make the previous year redundant?
    When choosing a law conversion course, which ones are looked on most favourably by employers and have the best reputation, and what is their application criteria like?? I am keen not to go to London due to high rent costs!
    Also I understand the 1 year is a very hard, intense year. Should my 2'1 in history (68 grade, 1st in dissertation etc) give me the confidence to believe I can pass it as I know a girl who found it too difficult and dropped out.

    Greatly appreciate all and any help on this subject, or links to relevant pages!

    From experience of others (sister, friends etc): some people do the law conversion with training contracts already sorted, others try to get them once they've started, but that is very expensive. You do the first year (GDL) then apply for the Legal Practice Course (for solicitors) or the bar.

    It can be very difficult to get training contracts, especially at the moment, and work experience is vital. Many law firms run 'vac schemes', often paid, that give you a month's work experience in the firm during the holidays. They are quite competitive, but help with training contract applications - if you do a vac scheme they will often guarantee you an interview for a training contract.

    All law firms offer training contracts, as far as I know, not just the big law firms.

    From what I understand, the course involves a large amount of information, which may be less interesting than what you have studied before. It can be a lot of work and quite intense, but there is no reason that you wouldn't be able to do it if you are interested.

    I plan on maybe doing a law conversion course, although I haven't even started university yet. In fact, I haven't even picked a course yet, I need to make a decision very soon on whether I want to do history or sociology at Liverpool univerisity. Would the course I choose effect a law conversion ? Or would this not matter ?

    Also, can you take the course at almost any university which offers law as a subject? or are there only specific universities which offer conversion courses for law ?

    My partner is starting in January. He won't touch either the LPC or the LPTC until he has a job offer, with or without sponsorship. That's what I'd advise anyone starting this to do.

    Not all law firms offer training contracts and not all universities offer the GDL. Some universities have links with law firms such as BPP who offer two days work experience at the bar or in a law firm as an integral part of their GDL.

    There is a range of pricing available for different courses, with private colleges like BPP and the College of Law being some of the most expensive, but different fees structures include different things and it is worth researching courses in terms of value for money. A good careers service, pro-bono centre and links to major firms are essential. Some course providers actually include coursebooks and a virtual learning environment as part of their fees.

    Work experience in law [vac schemes, shadowing, mini pupillages etc] are incredibly important to your application but don't underestimate the value of things such as commercial awareness, communication skills and motivation. Working in a corporate environment, sales work, etc are all good points to be able to include on your application.

    Think about what you want to achieve in your career. What sector do you want to work in? If you don't have a huge amount of experience in law, focussing on a niche sector of law like family law or environmental law or something fairly under-represented or under-subscribed and tailoring your application/CV building strategy to fit might yield more results than entering the scrum for the top training contracts/pupillages.
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