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Taking 4 years to do the LLB - bad for applications? watch

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    I did 1 year of the LLB at a top 50 university - didn't enjoy my time there, didn't think it was good enough for the legal profession and couldn't face another year there.

    I looked into transferring; however, it was practically impossible in most cases due to the fact that most of the decent universities I looked at had different foundation modules in different years to my original university, and stated that they couldn't accommodate me unless I had done the same foundation modules as their students had done in their first years - which I had not in most cases.

    It just got to the point where I figured: stay at the university I dislike and which probably isn't good enough for decent firms/chambers or start the LLB afresh at a better institution where I might be happier.

    Because my first year LLB coursework results were good, I was accepted at a top 10 university and they secured me a place on the course for this year.

    I dropped out of the original university when this was confirmed (Summer) although they still sat me for exams which I obviously didn't attend. In retrospect I probably should have stuck it out until the end, but I just didn't see the point if I was going to do first year again and just wanted to leave.

    I am now in my first year at the new university and I am really enjoying it - it was definitely a decision I would make again even simply for my own happiness.

    Obviously, this might stick out on my CV as me taking 4 years to do the LLB. However, with the facts in mind (that I left to go to a better institution, couldn't really transfer, and so on) - will it really be fatal to any applications? The year I spent at my original university wasn't a complete waste of time - I did some ECs, had a year of legal education from different lecturers with different perspectives to my new university, etc.
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    Er, why mention it? You don't - you mention the grades you have at LLB - i.e. your first year at uni for vac schemes and first and second/third year results for training contracts. It's not relevant - at least I can't see a situation where it is - to talk about this year - if you're asked about it at interview or you see somewhere in a question on the application form where you could say something - lie and say you took a gap year.
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    Hi. I wouldn't have thought so - if you do well where you are at the momemnt I don't see that it will be a problem. I took 4 years to do mine (at a Russell group uni) - although that was due to illness and I have since been accepted at Bristol and Cambridge. Which uni will you be at if you don't mind me asking?
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    (Original post by Rancorous)
    Er, why mention it? You don't - you mention the grades you have at LLB - i.e. your first year at uni for vac schemes and first and second/third year results for training contracts. It's not relevant - at least I can't see a situation where it is - to talk about this year - if you're asked about it at interview or you see somewhere in a question on the application form where you could say something - lie and say you took a gap year.
    I'm afraid that I was on a gap year before the original university. So I will probably have to mention it.
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    While I wouldn't suggest lying about it, I do think you could probably omit it from applications.

    I studied a different course at a different uni for 6 months or so before I began my law degree. Never mentioned it on my applications, was never asked about it at interview.
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    (Original post by LostInLaw)
    While I wouldn't suggest lying about it, I do think you could probably omit it from applications.

    I studied a different course at a different uni for 6 months or so before I began my law degree. Never mentioned it on my applications, was never asked about it at interview.
    What about the gap though?

    And it's quite a big gap for me as I did a gap year before-hand. So it would essentially be a 2 year gap before starting the degree.

    Also, would an omission of that scale look dishonest?
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    (Original post by insepi)
    I'm afraid that I was on a gap year before the original university. So I will probably have to mention it.
    Not unless they ask which isn't that likely. If you can't think of anything to draw out, if they did ask I guess you have to tell the truth. Even if you did tell the truth, I doubt it would be an issue for any law firm.
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    (Original post by Rancorous)
    Not unless they ask which isn't that likely. If you can't think of anything to draw out, if they did ask I guess you have to tell the truth. Even if you did tell the truth, I doubt it would be an issue for any law firm.
    But as mentioned above, wouldn't an omission of that scale be considered dishonest? I can see a criminal set or firm quoting the fact that omissions exist in law or something, lol.

    Also, doesn't omitting it imply that I am ashamed of it? Thus making it rather awkward if it comes up in the interview.

    And, in terms of the paper application stage - which is more likely to stop me getting the interview: the year I did at the original uni (with ECs) or a 1 year gap of mostly unemployment (which would be there if I omit the first year at the original uni)?
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    (Original post by insepi)
    But as mentioned above, wouldn't an omission of that scale be considered dishonest? I can see a criminal set or firm quoting the fact that omissions exist in law or something, lol.

    Also, doesn't omitting it imply that I am ashamed of it? Thus making it rather awkward if it comes up in the interview.

    And, in terms of the paper application stage - which is more likely to stop me getting the interview: the year I did at the original uni (with ECs) or a 1 year gap of mostly unemployment (which would be there if I omit the first year at the original uni)?
    You're WAY overthinking this.

    NO, let me tell you it is unlikely they'll notice - HR looks through thousands of applications, and they care about your grades and how much of an asset you will be to the firm - it's like a lottery to be honest - if they do spot it, then it's unlikely they'll hold your honesty against you - it's not relevant to mention it anywhere, that's why you omit it. You didn't gain a qualification from it. End.
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    Double gap years aren't an unheard of thing these days. Plenty of people decide to do extensive travel, or work to fund uni etc. I wouldn't bother including it on CVs/application forms as you didn't finish the qualification and you didn't transfer so none of those modules are of any use.

    If asked about it at interview, tell the truth and put a positive spin on what you gained from that experience but I don't think it's significant enough to warrant inclusion. There are quite a few of us out there who got it wrong the first time round!
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    (Original post by insepi)
    Also, would an omission of that scale look dishonest?
    It's a fundamental part of covering your arse not to give away more than you need to in any circumstance. There's a sound legal skill for the future. It's certainly not any more dishonest than the myriad occasions in court where solicitors keep their mouths shut to protect their client's interests.

    Employers should realise that one of the first things any good book on CV writing or interview technique tells you to do is not to mention your negatives, but sell your positives.
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    (Original post by LostInLaw)
    Double gap years aren't an unheard of thing these days. Plenty of people decide to do extensive travel, or work to fund uni etc. I wouldn't bother including it on CVs/application forms as you didn't finish the qualification and you didn't transfer so none of those modules are of any use.

    If asked about it at interview, tell the truth and put a positive spin on what you gained from that experience but I don't think it's significant enough to warrant inclusion. There are quite a few of us out there who got it wrong the first time round!
    I guess, but doesn't that mean I have to remove the ECs I did at the university? For example, I worked at the uni's advice centre for months - it has the name of the uni in its title.
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    You will get asked about the year's gap, if not at interview then at the pre-employment screening stage, and obviously you can't lie at that point. I wonder if it would be better to include it - doing extremely well so that you can get transferred to a better university is a positive as it demonstrates dedication and self-improvement.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    You will get asked about the year's gap, if not at interview then at the pre-employment screening stage, and obviously you can't lie at that point.
    That's what I think. Not including it implies that I am ashamed of it, and when it comes up then it will be hard to put a positive spin on it.

    I wonder if it would be better to include it - doing extremely well so that you can get transferred to a better university is a positive as it demonstrates dedication and self-improvement.
    Obviously that wasn't the case with me, I did well in my coursework but obviously didn't attend the exams. However, I guess leaving to start at a better institution demonstrates a sense of self-improvement.
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    (Original post by insepi)
    That's what I think. Not including it implies that I am ashamed of it, and when it comes up then it will be hard to put a positive spin on it.



    Obviously that wasn't the case with me, I did well in my coursework but obviously didn't attend the exams. However, I guess leaving to start at a better institution demonstrates a sense of self-improvement.
    I'm not sure why you think you should have attended your exams when you already knew you were moving uni at that point? I don't see a problem personally.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    I'm not sure why you think you should have attended your exams when you already knew you were moving uni at that point? I don't see a problem personally.
    Well, I guess I would be able to put what I achieved for that year on my CV. If it was a 2.1 or whatever it might look better than nothing.
 
 
 
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