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Is it too late now for training contract? (I'm an architect..) Watch

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    Hello TSR,

    (My fist post at TSR, late night career panic!!)

    I'm at final year at uni studying architecture, realised that I don't want a career in architecture and was suggested to look at going into law by some of my law mates.

    One of my modules at university is a basic course involving the legal and management of land and property development, such as land regulation, planning permissions, and contracts. I know it is not the same as any actual law course, but I like looking at rules and making sense of them.. I didn't realise this until I finished this module recently and started looking at it in hindsight.

    I'm panicking because for some visa reason I need a job by this summer.

    But the problem is, I dont have any law experience on my CV, I have missed most of the vacation schemes (right?) So the only way is to apply straight for training contracts. My question is, is it worth it? As I have no experience at all, they are likely to reject me. Do you have any advice?

    Thanks for reading! X

    (the only thing vaguely related to law was when I did contract translation and drafting proposals at my internships.)
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    (Original post by rizlaswan)
    Hello TSR,

    (My fist post at TSR, late night career panic!!)

    I'm at final year at uni studying architecture, realised that I don't want a career in architecture and was suggested to look at going into law by some of my law mates.

    One of my modules at university is a basic course involving the legal and management of land and property development, such as land regulation, planning permissions, and contracts. I know it is not the same as any actual law course, but I like looking at rules and making sense of them.. I didn't realise this until I finished this module recently and started looking at it in hindsight.

    I'm panicking because for some visa reason I need a job by this summer.

    But the problem is, I dont have any law experience on my CV, I have missed most of the vacation schemes (right?) So the only way is to apply straight for training contracts. My question is, is it worth it? As I have no experience at all, they are likely to reject me. Do you have any advice?

    Thanks for reading! X

    (the only thing vaguely related to law was when I did contract translation and drafting proposals at my internships.)
    very possible to have a career in law, by this summer is different. To be short, no. The TC scheme is a nightmare process, it may take a few years to get a TC in your position.
    However if it was based on getting a career and gaining employment potentially apply for a paralegal/ legal secretary (they are slightly different) but is more attainable (ish ) and so might allow you the time to work through a company, gain your other qualifications ect and at the end of it apply for training contracts.
    Alternatively apply for shelf stacking at a supermarket whilst applying for Training contracts for the next year or so.
    My point being that it will be unlikely you walk into a TC and if you do gain one you will have to wait a few years as often they recruit a few years in advance and you still need to do your GDL
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    (Original post by woody-wood)
    very possible to have a career in law, by this summer is different. To be short, no. The TC scheme is a nightmare process, it may take a few years to get a TC in your position.
    However if it was based on getting a career and gaining employment potentially apply for a paralegal/ legal secretary (they are slightly different) but is more attainable (ish ) and so might allow you the time to work through a company, gain your other qualifications ect and at the end of it apply for training contracts.
    Alternatively apply for shelf stacking at a supermarket whilst applying for Training contracts for the next year or so.
    My point being that it will be unlikely you walk into a TC and if you do gain one you will have to wait a few years as often they recruit a few years in advance and you still need to do your GDL
    Many non-law uni students do get into TC straight after they graduate - but most of them would have done a vacation scheme/open day prior to the TC application. I was just wondering if it's worth applying for a TC without the vac scheme/open day on my CV. so you think it's going to be very difficult?

    Why do you think it would take a few years? if I could do some vac schemes this coming year, i could possibly gain a TC from fall 2014? (i mean the 4 year TC, 2 year in school, 2 in firm)

    paralegal/ legal secretary sound like a good alternative, do you have any advice on sourcing those jobs? all the legal jobs on my uni career site are patent attorney with science/engineering education..

    I can't actually work in a supermarket, the law requires non-EU workers to earn at least 20k per year, with an employer who would sponsor their work permit. Both Tesco and Sainsbury do not sponsor non-EU workers.
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    A career in law is not an easy route - training contracts are massively oversubscribed. Apply by all means, but you'll probably achieve what you want (namely a graduate position paying the right amount) by applying to any of the big graduate recruiters, not just law.
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    (Original post by rizlaswan)
    Many non-law uni students do get into TC straight after they graduate - but most of them would have done a vacation scheme/open day prior to the TC application. I was just wondering if it's worth applying for a TC without the vac scheme/open day on my CV. so you think it's going to be very difficult?

    Why do you think it would take a few years? if I could do some vac schemes this coming year, i could possibly gain a TC from fall 2014? (i mean the 4 year TC, 2 year in school, 2 in firm)

    paralegal/ legal secretary sound like a good alternative, do you have any advice on sourcing those jobs? all the legal jobs on my uni career site are patent attorney with science/engineering education..

    I can't actually work in a supermarket, the law requires non-EU workers to earn at least 20k per year, with an employer who would sponsor their work permit. Both Tesco and Sainsbury do not sponsor non-EU workers.
    I believe by 4 year TC you mean 1 yr GDL 1yr LPC and two years TC in a firm. You are not being sponsored for anything else here apart from education so you will not be paid during your GDL except for course fees. It will naturally take a few years, lets assume your academics are fine, you then need to find a vac scheme which is a bit of an issue then after that do a GDL. Realistically if you can't find someone to sponsor you, you will be stuck in the mud. There are way too many assumptions here that you are relying on to be able to stay in the country on.
    The paralegal route/ legal secretary route, go on to every solicitor firm, look at their vacancy list. If there are or aren't any on the list still give them a call and tell them you want to work in the legal field. Everyone and anyone who has a practice. In the meanwhile collect your experience and ask around about how to further develop this career. You are unfortunately changing career very rapidly and that will not be looked positively on by TC providers.
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    (Original post by woody-wood)
    I believe by 4 year TC you mean 1 yr GDL 1yr LPC and two years TC in a firm. You are not being sponsored for anything else here apart from education so you will not be paid during your GDL except for course fees. It will naturally take a few years, lets assume your academics are fine, you then need to find a vac scheme which is a bit of an issue then after that do a GDL. Realistically if you can't find someone to sponsor you, you will be stuck in the mud. There are way too many assumptions here that you are relying on to be able to stay in the country on.
    The paralegal route/ legal secretary route, go on to every solicitor firm, look at their vacancy list. If there are or aren't any on the list still give them a call and tell them you want to work in the legal field. Everyone and anyone who has a practice. In the meanwhile collect your experience and ask around about how to further develop this career. You are unfortunately changing career very rapidly and that will not be looked positively on by TC providers.
    sorry i didn't make that clear, what i meant is, i have to be sponsored when i'm working, not when I'm in education. (sponsor is a confusing term used by the border agency, it doesn't mean financial sponsorship, just 'support' for work permit application)

    I probably used the wrong term, i was looking at the 4 year as one TC, as it's kind of a continuous process. but yes i do mean 1 yr GDL 1yr LPC and two years TC in a firm. sorry I wasn't being clear.

    I do understand actual process of the 4 years (I thought you meant I need a few years before I start a GDL), I was just not sure how to arrive at the start of these 4 years. I guess from what you said, I should probably gain some experience before applying, but I guess now is too late to get into a 4-year GDL-LPC-TC programme starting this fall..

    (Original post by Crumpet1)
    A career in law is not an easy route - training contracts are massively oversubscribed. Apply by all means, but you'll probably achieve what you want (namely a graduate position paying the right amount) by applying to any of the big graduate recruiters, not just law.
    Thanks and yes I do realise it's not an easy route.. It's not really about what I want but what/who wants me. I just thought law firms were trying to diversify their intake, and many non-law students have been successful in getting into law. I guess it was just an illusion..
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    (Original post by rizlaswan)
    Thanks and yes I do realise it's not an easy route.. It's not really about what I want but what/who wants me. I just thought law firms were trying to diversify their intake, and many non-law students have been successful in getting into law. I guess it was just an illusion..
    Not an illusion - the entry into legal practice has had a significant number of entrants who are non-lawyers for many years. But those who succeed will be very focused (whereas I'm not sure you're at that stage yet), and will have at least a 2:1 probably from an Russell Group or equivalent reputation university. Assuming you have that grade and pedigree definitely do look at making applications. Get a Legal 500 and find the top 25 firms. Go on to every single one of their websites and work out what the deadlines are, both for training contracts and summer placements. Get your applications in early, don't wait for the last week before the deadline.

    But as it doesn't sound as though you are really sure about this career choice I would strongly recommend you are also applying for all appropriate grad scheme positions on Prospects.co.uk as well. Good luck!
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    (Original post by Crumpet1)
    Not an illusion - the entry into legal practice has had a significant number of entrants who are non-lawyers for many years. But those who succeed will be very focused (whereas I'm not sure you're at that stage yet), and will have at least a 2:1 probably from an Russell Group or equivalent reputation university. Assuming you have that grade and pedigree definitely do look at making applications. Get a Legal 500 and find the top 25 firms. Go on to every single one of their websites and work out what the deadlines are, both for training contracts and summer placements. Get your applications in early, don't wait for the last week before the deadline.

    But as it doesn't sound as though you are really sure about this career choice I would strongly recommend you are also applying for all appropriate grad scheme positions on Prospects.co.uk as well. Good luck!
    Thanks!

    Would you say law firms generally prefer top-tier uni like oxbridge, over the red bricks and london unis? are you applying to do law yourself?

    That website seems to be an education services provider? Most generic grad schemes don't actually hire non-EU, and I've tried the few that does.. Banks and law firms seem to be the ones big enough to hire international people..
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    (Original post by rizlaswan)
    Thanks!

    Would you say law firms generally prefer top-tier uni like oxbridge, over the red bricks and london unis? are you applying to do law yourself?

    That website seems to be an education services provider? Most generic grad schemes don't actually hire non-EU, and I've tried the few that does.. Banks and law firms seem to be the ones big enough to hire international people..
    Oxbridge is well-represented in training contracts, that would be fair to say - but then again their students are incredibly bright and all credit to them for getting in. That isn't to say that Oxbridge grads are guaranteed every job they apply for - that certainly is not the case, but they do have a fractionally easier time of it. If you went to the other RG or 1994 universities, getting a training contract is testing and competitive. Outside those universities it is exceptionally tough to get a training contract. (I am a lawyer.) This link gives a good indication of the universities that crop up most often. http://d1d1tdqerevjwu.cloudfront.net...university.pdf

    Sorry I got the grad schemes link wrong - http://www.prospects.ac.uk/graduate_...FYjLtAodx0UA1g

    Unfortunately if grad schemes don't work out, you may find that the option you are left with is to return to your home country, get experience in whatever field you choose, then try to get a job in the UK later on as an experienced hire.
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    You are probably too late to apply for TCs starting in the summer. Law firms recruit significantly in advance of starting the TC or LPC.

    I am not an expert on such things but I doubt whether a graduate legal secretary or paralegal position would pay more than 20k outside London.

    You might have to start doing something else and move over to law later.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    You are probably too late to apply for TCs starting in the summer. Law firms recruit significantly in advance of starting the TC or LPC.

    I am not an expert on such things but I doubt whether a graduate legal secretary or paralegal position would pay more than 20k outside London.

    You might have to start doing something else and move over to law later.
    Even leaving aside the salary of paralegals etc., your (read: one's) bigger problem is likely to be being stuck in a legal job and unable to get a TC. Given how many LPC grads are unable to obtain TCs, it seems that having completed the LPC is almost a pre-requisite even for becoming a paralegal these days, and firms taking on paralegals either say "there might be a TC going for you" (but don't specify when, if at all), or they say they're not looking for anyone who thinks it's an easy route to a TC. The ILEX route isn't overly great either, since I think you have to be 25+ to become a Fellow of the Institute, which you have to do in order to circumvent the TC requirement to become a solicitor.

    Alternatively, OP mentioned that he's non-EU. I haven't researched this aspect, since I'm no polyglot (:p:), but if he's able to speak Chinese/Japanese etc. it might be worth looking into firms with offices over there, particularly considering how difficult it is for non-native speakers to learn those languages. It might help to set him apart.
 
 
 
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