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    Does this prove that where you go does matter, regardless of grades?

    I have two friends, one is at Durham studying Law, the other is at Leeds studying Law.

    They both went to the same college (Winstanley if any of you are bothered), Durham Girl got 3A's, Leeds Girl got 4A's (Pre-A* grade system).

    Leeds girl is averaging 69% up to now (both in final year), Durham girl averaging 62%!

    Durham girl never had a job, and to the best of my knowledge very little Work Exp (although she did do her Vac Scheme at Clifford, how she got it without any prior work exp is beyond me!) Leeds Girl has some work exp, unsure if she has had a vac scheme herself, forgot to ask (it wasn't a purely dedicated 'tell me about your law life' conversation lol)...

    So do you think that my friend who went to Durham got the VS and TC at Clifford Chance because it was Durham and my friend who went to Leeds hasn't had any offers and just one or two interviews, despite being actually better, paper-wise, in fact, person wise, Durham Girl is not as confident and outgoing as Leeds Girl. We are all from Bolton, yet Durham Girl has lost her accent and gone total RP, is her RP accent to do with it as well?)

    Thoughts? Clearly grades and work exp isn't all what its cut out to be....
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    I think you massively overestimate the importance of work exp. I don't think its normally possible to have meaningful legal exp pre-vacation scheme. There are a lot of other factors, such as how well you come across on applications and at interview. The HR people/partners that read the application are looking for someone who is going to make a good trainee - this will usually mean hard-working, reasonably smart and, most importantly, fairly easy to get along with.

    I don't think "outgoing" necessarily equates to doing well at interview. A lot of people are extremely confident socially but crack in formal situations or vice versa. Perhaps the Durham girl was able to talk sensibly about structured finance (demonstrating a knowledge of Clifford Chance's expertise) whereas the Leeds girl did not and treated her application as a generic application rather than one tailored towards the specific firm?

    There are a LOT of variables other than grades and work experience. When most candidates are extremely similar - nearly everyone will have a high 2:1 from a decent uni, decent ECs and some vacation schemes - and you have many applicants for each job - there can be a randomness to applications. My MC firm had something like 800 applications for 20 places on their Vacation Scheme, they can't possibly have bothered to look through 800 applications in detail. I've seen cases where people with firsts from Oxbridge picked up a string of rejections, and people with a 2:1 from UCL and a not-so-impressive application picked up a load of offers. This is one reason why people need to make a lot of applications.

    I think your general thesis is right though - I'm going to get negged for this (again) but the university you went to does make an important difference - hence why at least 40/50% of MC trainees come from Oxbridge, and I honestly don't think that recruiters treat a first from a less prestigious uni in the same way as a first from a more prestiguous uni. There's no reason why people from mid-ranking unis can't get TCs with MC firms, and there are plenty of other trainees who have done so, but such trainees are a definite minority. People need to appreciate that they are trying to pick up a TC in a very competitive environment and need to understand that an average application of 2:1 from a decent-but-not-amazing uni, some ECs and some work exp just aren't going to cut it if they are aiming for MC firms - if you aren't at a top 5 uni and you want a TC with a MC firm, you need to try and raise your game and turn yourself into an outstanding applicant.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    I think you massively overestimate the importance of work exp. I don't think its normally possible to have meaningful legal exp pre-vacation scheme. There are a lot of other factors, such as how well you come across on applications and at interview. The HR people/partners that read the application are looking for someone who is going to make a good trainee - this will usually mean hard-working, reasonably smart and, most importantly, fairly easy to get along with.

    I don't think "outgoing" necessarily equates to doing well at interview. A lot of people are extremely confident socially but crack in formal situations or vice versa. Perhaps the Durham girl was able to talk sensibly about structured finance (demonstrating a knowledge of Clifford Chance's expertise) whereas the Leeds girl did not and treated her application as a generic application rather than one tailored towards the specific firm?

    There are a LOT of variables other than grades and work experience. When most candidates are extremely similar - nearly everyone will have a high 2:1 from a decent uni, decent ECs and some vacation schemes - and you have many applicants for each job - there can be a randomness to applications. My MC firm had something like 800 applications for 20 places on their Vacation Scheme, they can't possibly have bothered to look through 800 applications in detail. I've seen cases where people with firsts from Oxbridge picked up a string of rejections, and people with a 2:1 from UCL and a not-so-impressive application picked up a load of offers. This is one reason why people need to make a lot of applications.

    I think your general thesis is right though - I'm going to get negged for this (again) but the university you went to does make an important difference - hence why at least 40/50% of MC trainees come from Oxbridge, and I honestly don't think that recruiters treat a first from a less prestigious uni in the same way as a first from a more prestiguous uni. There's no reason why people from mid-ranking unis can't get TCs with MC firms, and there are plenty of other trainees who have done so, but such trainees are a definite minority. People need to appreciate that they are trying to pick up a TC in a very competitive environment and need to understand that an average application of 2:1 from a decent-but-not-amazing uni, some ECs and some work exp just aren't going to cut it if they are aiming for MC firms - if you aren't at a top 5 uni and you want a TC with a MC firm, you need to try and raise your game and turn yourself into an outstanding applicant.
    Quite.
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    Not all degrees are equal, and it's not all about academics. Can the recruiter put the person in front of a client, can they think outside the box, do they have attention to detail etc?
 
 
 
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