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    First time poster, long time lurker...

    Im a 23 year old graduate (non-law) and would like to enter the legal profession as a barrister, Im just looking for a bit of advice about if my previous experience / grades/ universities will discount me from every achieving my aim..

    I have:

    - a BSc in Criminology and Forensic Science from Northumbria University (2:1)
    - a MSc in Forensic Science from Teesside University (no grading)
    - A levels: Psychology (B), Maths (D), Chemistry (D), Critical Thinking (C) - i had major doubts about myself at college, hence the below average grades despite me being on the gifted and talented list throughout school/college
    - GCSE's x10 A*-B

    I currently work in a County Court as a civil and family court clerk and have done for around 6 months. This has alowed me to build relationships with Judges, barristers and solicitors and gain a real understanding of how the court (more so civil and family than criminal) works...

    I planning on completing a GDL via distance learning / part time and then move onto the BPTC however, I am wary of being ruled out before I even start, particularly due to my below average A-Levels...

    I know I have very little direct law experience but I would hope to build this up while undertaking the studies...

    Thanks for any help / indications
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    (Original post by Woollbert)
    First time poster, long time lurker...

    Im a 23 year old graduate (non-law) and would like to enter the legal profession as a barrister, Im just looking for a bit of advice about if my previous experience / grades/ universities will discount me from every achieving my aim..

    I have:

    - a BSc in Criminology and Forensic Science from Northumbria University (2:1)
    - a MSc in Forensic Science from Teesside University (no grading)
    - A levels: Psychology (B), Maths (D), Chemistry (D), Critical Thinking (C) - i had major doubts about myself at college, hence the below average grades despite me being on the gifted and talented list throughout school/college
    - GCSE's x10 A*-B

    I currently work in a County Court as a civil and family court clerk and have done for around 6 months. This has alowed me to build relationships with Judges, barristers and solicitors and gain a real understanding of how the court (more so civil and family than criminal) works...

    I planning on completing a GDL via distance learning / part time and then move onto the BPTC however, I am wary of being ruled out before I even start, particularly due to my below average A-Levels...

    I know I have very little direct law experience but I would hope to build this up while undertaking the studies...

    Thanks for any help / indications
    A distinction on the GDL will help, although I think you may still struggle. Are you going to get one? If not, I'd say that a pupillage may well be out of reach.

    Which practice areas are you interested in? Crime and family tend to have slightly less restrictive entry requirements.

    Your legal experience helps. You need public speaking/advocacy experience as well. You also should start doing some pro bono.
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    (Original post by resipsaloq)
    A distinction on the GDL will help, although I think you may still struggle. Are you going to get one? If not, I'd say that a pupillage may well be out of reach.
    I wouldn't necessarily say that pupillage is out of reach without a distinction on the GDL, but at the very least resipsaloq's post is fair warning and there is no doubt that your A-Level grades will stick out on your application forms and will make securing interviews more difficult.

    A distinction on the GDL will be a boost if at all possible, but aside from that you need to ensure that the rest of your experience and qualifications make up for the blip in relation to your A-Level results. The clerking experience is good as it is something that relatively few applicants will have, and at least shows a desire to work in the industry generally. Resipsaloq is right about the further experience that you need; advocacy/public speaking experience is valuable, as is other pro bono work that you can find. It is also worth looking into mini pupillages if you haven't already.

    You are also going to need to compensate for your poor A-Level grades in relation to your attitude towards this process as well. Unfortunately those grades do put up something of a barrier in that they will make the process of securing pupillage more difficult than it is for the majority of candidates. As a result you may have to be ready for a long road to pupillage, and that will require a not insignificant amount of determination and drive to succeed. I mention that because a lot of people say that they really want to be a barrister when in fact they are somewhat half hearted about it. Only you know how much you really do want this, and the simple fact is that if you are at all half hearted about it you may want to reconsider. This will be a long, difficult and expensive path. Don't start walking down it unless you are prepared for the struggle in getting to the end of it.
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    (Original post by Crazy Jamie)
    I wouldn't necessarily say that pupillage is out of reach without a distinction on the GDL, but at the very least resipsaloq's post is fair warning and there is no doubt that your A-Level grades will stick out on your application forms and will make securing interviews more difficult.
    My phrasing was ambiguous. What I meant to suggest was that unless you feel you are capable of getting a distinction then pupillage will be out of reach. In order to make up for poor grades you really do need to be an exceptional candidate.
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    (Original post by resipsaloq)
    My phrasing was ambiguous. What I meant to suggest was that unless you feel you are capable of getting a distinction then pupillage will be out of reach. In order to make up for poor grades you really do need to be an exceptional candidate.
    That's fair enough. I wasn't seeking to knock you at all in my post; I wholly endorse realistic advice about the difficulties in applying for pupillage with qualifications that fall short of the majority of applicants. I just don't want to obliterate all hope for those few candidates who may be exceptional notwithstanding shortcomings on paper.
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    (Original post by Crazy Jamie)
    That's fair enough. I wasn't seeking to knock you at all in my post; I wholly endorse realistic advice about the difficulties in applying for pupillage with qualifications that fall short of the majority of applicants. I just don't want to obliterate all hope for those few candidates who may be exceptional notwithstanding shortcomings on paper.
    I agree with that sentiment
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    Honestly, it's going to be very tough for you. You might be very good but on paper you most likely won't make the cut If you have any connections you should try to use them, once you're in somewhere you can then convince them in person, which should give a better impression than the CV in your case.
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    I think I am capable of getting a distinction in the GDL with some hard work, but I am prepared and willing to put the time and effort into this...

    I know with my A Level resutls itll be a struggle but I am determined and if given the chance I think I could impress.

    Is there anything that I could do (pro bono work, mini pupilages etc) that would really make me stand out as something different from others with higher A Level grades??
 
 
 
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