After extensive time playing with prospects planner and browsing the websites of law firms I've suddenly had an epiphany that law might be the career for me.
Here's the thing- I'm in the final year of a non-law BA (Politics and Economics) and am feeling like maybe I've missed the boat.
Firstly, I'm just generally confused about dates.
For example, the DLA piper website states "there will be approximately 90 training contracts commencing in 2013. The training contract application form for 2013 will be available from 1 April 2011."
So if I applied in April 2011 (and got the job) when would I start training? By 2013 does it mean you begin the conversion course in 2013 or would you begin the conversion course in September 2011/2012 or what??
Or is the "training contract" with the firm not linked to the GDL/LPC at all?
Ideally, I would like to begin soon after I graduate next June.
Secondly, am I just too late?
I haven't got any legal work experience or related extra-curricular activities. I have some commercial work experience from an internship in audit and have been involved in a few extra-curriculars. I'm on course for a 2.1 from Oxford, although my first year grades weren't great.
Would I need work experience to be offered a training contract? Or something I else I just don't have.
Confused about timings. Is it too late for me to become a lawyer?? Watch
- Thread Starter
- 23-12-2010 04:16
- 23-12-2010 05:38
Others on here will be more up to date on the application process than I am, but generally you have not missed the boat for TCs. The boat is, however, getting rather full....
The timetable for you is, broadly:
- early 2011 apply for training contracts due to start 2013
- Sept/Oct 2011 start GDL (1 year conversion course at law school)
- Sept/Oct 2012 start LPC (1 year practical training course at law school)
- Sept/Oct 2013 start 2 year training contract with law firm
- Sept 2015 qualify as a solicitor
So, you won't be doing any work with a law firm until late 2013 at the earliest. You have 2 further years of study before then some of which will be funded if you're fortunate enough to secure a TC beforehand.
Work experience, generally in the form of law firm vacation placements, is very important (but not essential) when applying for training contracts. It enables you to demonstrate a real interest in the profession and answer knowledgably the questions about "why law", "why this firm?" etc etc. You will also need a good range of extra-currics which demonstrate the skills needed to be a lawyer (and I'm presuming you're aiming for commercial firms). You will also need to be able to deploy convincing answers on application forms about why you're now interested in law, and weren't
Essentially, you need to move quickly and start understanding the application process. Websites such as lawcareers and the student section of TheLawyer can assist. Bear in mind, however, that the major commercial law firms are phenomenally competitive to get into and you'll be up against students who have done the vac schemes & open days and researched the firms in detail. You have some catching up to do if you want to try and secure a 2013 TC.
- Thread Starter
- 23-12-2010 18:27
Thank you guys! I am feeling clearer about things now .
I have a few more queries if anyone knows... if I managed to get onto a Vacation Scheme for this Summer could I start my GDL in September 2011 or would I be too late?
Also, open days...how do I book to get onto them/ find out about them?
- 27-12-2010 00:32
probably worth doing a mini-pupillage as well, just to see if you are interested in that side of things. At the very least it shows experience.