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    Here's a brief overview of my qualifications:

    GCSE's - Mostly A's and A*'s, a few B's.

    A Levels - Painful - CDE

    University: Ex-poly non-law BA degree (in 2rd year now) - Straight Firsts in all modules to date.
    Founded a sports society (cycling). Working on my second (Kendo)
    1 week work placements with various solicitor's firms in local area.
    Working on getting a mini-pupillage over the summer.

    As you can see, when I was 16 I was a horrible student. But since then I've achieved a perfect academic record in all fields (usually over 80%).

    These are my concerns over getting a pupillage after completing the BVC:
    A) My current University will be looked down on (It's a mid-table leaguer) - and my academic achievements here could be seen as "bah, of COURSE you'd get a first studying there!".
    B) My A-levels.

    I'm confident I will continue to maintain my grades through post-grad law studies and achieve (at least) a "very competent". But will this be enough? Will a (hopefully) flawless Uni record make up for my early education?

    If anyone knows of pupillage applications that do not require UCAS points I'd love to hear from you

    Thanks for reading.
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    I wish you all the luck in the world, but it's going to be tough.

    I have shiite A-levels, so I feel your pain.
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    (Original post by DeadlyVeggie)
    Here's a brief overview of my qualifications:

    GCSE's - Mostly A's and A*'s, a few B's.

    A Levels - Painful - CDE

    University: Ex-poly non-law BA degree (in 2rd year now) - Straight Firsts in all modules to date.
    Founded a sports society (cycling). Working on my second (Kendo)
    1 week work placements with various solicitor's firms in local area.
    Working on getting a mini-pupillage over the summer.

    As you can see, when I was 16 I was a horrible student. But since then I've achieved a perfect academic record in all fields (usually over 80%).

    These are my concerns over getting a pupillage after completing the BVC:
    A) My current University will be looked down on (It's a mid-table leaguer) - and my academic achievements here could be seen as "bah, of COURSE you'd get a first studying there!".
    B) My A-levels.

    I'm confident I will continue to maintain my grades through post-grad law studies and achieve (at least) a "very competent". But will this be enough? Will a (hopefully) flawless Uni record make up for my early education?

    If anyone knows of pupillage applications that do not require UCAS points I'd love to hear from you

    Thanks for reading.
    The first point to emphasise is how hard it is to secure a pupillage for those whose academic records are pretty near flawless.

    If I was on a pupillage panel, and as a solicitor, I never will be, I would not really want to look at you until after you had completed both your GDL and BPTC. The basic reason for this is that I don't think I would have an adequate handle on what your first really stands for. Therefore, I would want to see your academic performance on my territory or on territory I recognise.

    If you are serious about the bar, I wouldn't think about the GDL. I would do a senior status law degree at the best place you could get into; Oxbridge, Durham, MA Bristol. With a first from an ex-Poly and a first or good 2:1 in law from a top university, your A levels do rather recede into the same class as your 50m swimming certificate.

    That doesn't guarantee you a pupillage. That merely makes you a viable candidate.
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    I'd think twice about doing the BVC with your academic record. Your uni will be looked down on and your A-levels as a large disadvantage. Even if you find chambers without minimum UCAS points/A-level grades, in reality you are going to find it very difficult unless there are other serious pluses to your application (getting a first and founding a sports society will not be enough - I'm thinking more along the lines of winning a range of academic prizes and competitions).

    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    That doesn't guarantee you a pupillage. That merely makes you a viable candidate.
    I agree wholeheartedly with this. Even then it would still be difficult, but I'm just not seeing how you are a viable candidate at the monent given the insane level of competition there is to get pupillage.
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    (Original post by DeadlyVeggie)
    Here's a brief overview of my qualifications:

    GCSE's - Mostly A's and A*'s, a few B's.

    A Levels - Painful - CDE

    University: Ex-poly non-law BA degree (in 2rd year now) - Straight Firsts in all modules to date.
    Founded a sports society (cycling). Working on my second (Kendo)
    1 week work placements with various solicitor's firms in local area.
    Working on getting a mini-pupillage over the summer.

    As you can see, when I was 16 I was a horrible student. But since then I've achieved a perfect academic record in all fields (usually over 80%).

    These are my concerns over getting a pupillage after completing the BVC:
    A) My current University will be looked down on (It's a mid-table leaguer) - and my academic achievements here could be seen as "bah, of COURSE you'd get a first studying there!".
    B) My A-levels.

    I'm confident I will continue to maintain my grades through post-grad law studies and achieve (at least) a "very competent". But will this be enough? Will a (hopefully) flawless Uni record make up for my early education?

    If anyone knows of pupillage applications that do not require UCAS points I'd love to hear from you

    Thanks for reading.
    Another thing that's going to be relevant is where you want to get a pupillage. What area of law do you aspire to practise in, and where? Provincial sets practising in common or criminal law are more likely to look past your earlier academic record/be less demanding--although I'd still recommend looking at the senior status approach Nulli discussed. Your chances at a commercial/chancery or big public law set in London would be near nil.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    The first point to emphasise is how hard it is to secure a pupillage for those whose academic records are pretty near flawless.

    If I was on a pupillage panel, and as a solicitor, I never will be, I would not really want to look at you until after you had completed both your GDL and BPTC. The basic reason for this is that I don't think I would have an adequate handle on what your first really stands for. Therefore, I would want to see your academic performance on my territory or on territory I recognise.

    If you are serious about the bar, I wouldn't think about the GDL. I would do a senior status law degree at the best place you could get into; Oxbridge, Durham, MA Bristol. With a first from an ex-Poly and a first or good 2:1 in law from a top university, your A levels do rather recede into the same class as your 50m swimming certificate.

    That doesn't guarantee you a pupillage. That merely makes you a viable candidate.
    Thanks for responding.

    I understand that the panel will want to see my performance on their turf before considering the application.

    As far as admission into the top 3 for the senior status - I had considered doing this to get the reputation of one of the three to my name, but post-grad admissions take UCAS points into consideration (I'd need between AAA and A*A*A*) - and there in lies the catch 22.

    If there is no way to sidestep this problem, do you have any advice for taking the solicitor route? I know TCs can be fiendishly difficult to acquire, and MC and city firms seem to require preset UCAS points. Do you know of a way of getting my post-a level CV to the desk of a recruiter?

    Thanks again for your help.
    (I actually do have a 50m swimming certificate if you think it'll help my app! :])
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    I'd think twice about doing the BVC with your academic record. Your uni will be looked down on and your A-levels as a large disadvantage. Even if you find chambers without minimum UCAS points/A-level grades, in reality you are going to find it very difficult unless there are other serious pluses to your application (getting a first and founding a sports society will not be enough - I'm thinking more along the lines of winning a range of academic prizes and competitions).


    I agree wholeheartedly with this. Even then it would still be difficult, but I'm just not seeing how you are a viable candidate at the monent given the insane level of competition there is to get pupillage.
    True, with my earlier record I'll never be a insat-hire candidate. However becoming a viable candidate is just that, becoming viable.

    As far as academic competitions - I've never lost a debate at the Society (I didn't help establish it, I'm just a member). Founding the Cycling and Kendo Societies is really more about management (macro and micro) than sporting prowess. Do you think the panel will respond better to more of the same, or someone who's been in national debating competitions?

    Thanks for your help
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    (Original post by DeadlyVeggie)
    True, with my earlier record I'll never be a insat-hire candidate. However becoming a viable candidate is just that, becoming viable.

    As far as academic competitions - I've never lost a debate at the Society (I didn't help establish it, I'm just a member). Founding the Cycling and Kendo Societies is really more about management (macro and micro) than sporting prowess. Do you think the panel will respond better to more of the same, or someone who's been in national debating competitions?

    Thanks for your help
    Doing really well at national debating competitions is great, but it isn't unusual amongst the calibre of people applying and personally I'm inclined to think that it isn't enough to make you a viable candidate. You may want to get better advice from barristers though, I'm a solicitor.
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    (Original post by DeadlyVeggie)
    Thanks for responding.

    I understand that the panel will want to see my performance on their turf before considering the application.

    As far as admission into the top 3 for the senior status - I had considered doing this to get the reputation of one of the three to my name, but post-grad admissions take UCAS points into consideration (I'd need between AAA and A*A*A*) - and there in lies the catch 22.
    I am not convinced that you are right about that. I had a look on the Bristol MA site and I couldn't see a whisper about it. It would be inconsistent with their approach to "academic" post-grad degrees.

    If there is no way to sidestep this problem, do you have any advice for taking the solicitor route? I know TCs can be fiendishly difficult to acquire, and MC and city firms seem to require preset UCAS points. Do you know of a way of getting my post-a level CV to the desk of a recruiter?
    One can always make a speculative email. However, I think the problem is the same-judging the merit of your first in a non-law subject from a not highly ranked institution. I think most recruiters are going to say that with lots of "safe" candidates applying why should they take a risk on just how good that first might be?

    If, for example your academic career went, LLB (Poly) 1st, LLM (Dunelm) distinction, DPhil (Oxon) OUP publication pending; only the most most moronic HR person is going be concerned about your geography A level. However, there would be a clear record of academic achievement in law.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I am not convinced that you are right about that. I had a look on the Bristol MA site and I couldn't see a whisper about it. It would be inconsistent with their approach to "academic" post-grad degrees.



    One can always make a speculative email. However, I think the problem is the same-judging the merit of your first in a non-law subject from a not highly ranked institution. I think most recruiters are going to say that with lots of "safe" candidates applying why should they take a risk on just how good that first might be?

    If, for example your academic career went, LLB (Poly) 1st, LLM (Dunelm) distinction, DPhil (Oxon) OUP publication pending; only the most most moronic HR person is going be concerned about your geography A level. However, there would be a clear record of academic achievement in law.
    It seems Bristol is a pleasant exception I browsed the Oxbridge sites requirements and thought AAA would be a prerequisite for all top Unis. I'll most probably apply there next year.

    Thank you for you help!
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    (Original post by DeadlyVeggie)
    It seems Bristol is a pleasant exception I browsed the Oxbridge sites requirements and thought AAA would be a prerequisite for all top Unis. I'll most probably apply there next year.

    Thank you for you help!
    I was going to say... I got ABB and got into the MA Law programme at Bristol no problem. Just concentrate on getting your first and lining up good referees. Good luck.

    EDIT: That being said, I was also interviewed at Oxford. They can't be too bent on A-levels.

    EDIT NO.2: Now I think back, Bristol didn't actually ask for my A-levels at all.
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    In terms of the solicitor route- I know this sounds a bit counter-intuitive but I think there is a danger of becoming over-qualified. A masters is acceptable, but I wouldn't take it any further than that, otherwise firms will tend to think that you're a wishy washy academic with no interest in the practical side of the law.

    Obviously the Bar is a bit different and generally academic prowess is very much treasured. However, I still think care has to be taken when making sweeping comments. The Bar is not a monolithic block. If you want to be a chancery/commercial barrister (i.e. someone who deals with big contractual disputes/company disputes/offshore trusts- it's a very broad practice area but that's the typical type of work) then I think you will have severe difficulties even getting an interview. The situation could perhaps be rectified if you did something like the Oxford BCL, the Cambridge LLM or the Harvard LLM as a post-grad degree. Clearly you would need a first to do that, and then you just hope that one of them lets you in! It sounds like you are on course for one though, so hopefully you will put yourself into the best possible position.

    However, at a criminal chambers or the CPS, or even a mixed criminal and civil, the odds are slightly higher. I'm by no means saying you would be guaranteed pupillage, because it's still tough, but I still think that a first, even from a mid-tier university, may be looked upon favourably.

    The bottom line is that you need to do the research on the types of areas that, with your CV, you could realistically practice in. It will be a hard road ahead, and you will probably experience a lot of rejection (something I am starting to get used to myself) as you go on the quest for that elusive pupillage. However, if you are really determined and focused there is no reason why you shouldn't give yourself a fighting chance.
 
 
 
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