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    (Original post by Donette93)
    I really want to be a lawyer,A solicitor and im currently in the middle of my undergraduate law degree however I tried applying for many vacation schemes in January with no success. I have this negative perception in my mind that i didn't (and wont be able to) get any legal experience in a (London) city firm due to my uni being quite low in the league tables for law (an ex-poly uni).

    I chose this uni when i was in college as first choice due to my predicted a-level grades and I ended up obtaining ABC.I achieved a first in my first year however i know maintaining good grades is not enough but how am i supposed to gain legal work experience if no firm will give me any due to my lack of legal experience/uni snobbery.

    Really not sure whether to give up my dream of working for a central london city firm, all the odds seem to be against me and the goal seems unobtainable for people like me especially being an ethnic minority from a less well off background so many barriers in the legal profession so im trying to be realistic but id like to hear other peoples views on how important university prestige/reputation is and advice on next steps i could take to gain experience?
    The reason an employer in the city may have prejudice against your degree is not in relation to any socio-economic discrimination, instead they will question why a candidate with ABC can get a first from an ex poly whilst a nottingham grad with near flawless academic credentials will struggle and toil to get a 2:1. Whether some on this forum like to admit it city law firms will discriminate between universities and I say this term vaguely but will blacklist or not recognise other universities. This is due to the reason I gave above. Of course other barriers materialise as a result of this discrimination.
    On the other hand you are perhaps asking the wrong questions, not if you can but why you can't. Firstly the top 50 ish firms have A level grade boundaries starting at ABB which would mean a human resource drone will filter you out.
    So unless you are willing to potentially retake A levels then yes your dream of working for perhaps these top 50 firms is over, however below this are very good law firms, there are also niche firms without these barriers to entry all in the City of London too, so is your dream of being a top london lawyer in general over? Potentially not.
    Finally in regards to work experience I do believe you are tasting the result of your A levels and university choice, the only way you will gain experience is by starting at a lower end of the ladder. This means magistrates, shadowing judges and city open days. Get these on your c.v to show interest.
    This may sound harsh but believe me it is also encouraging, with a 2:1 or first and ABC at A level you could become a lawyer, whether this is in the city at a top firm is highly questionable but it doesn't rule you out from working your way up there if you were to take an alternative route.
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    (Original post by Donette93)
    I really want to be a lawyer,A solicitor and im currently in the middle of my undergraduate law degree however I tried applying for many vacation schemes in January with no success. I have this negative perception in my mind that i didn't (and wont be able to) get any legal experience in a (London) city firm due to my uni being quite low in the league tables for law (an ex-poly uni).

    I chose this uni when i was in college as first choice due to my predicted a-level grades and I ended up obtaining ABC.I achieved a first in my first year however i know maintaining good grades is not enough but how am i supposed to gain legal work experience if no firm will give me any due to my lack of legal experience/uni snobbery.

    Really not sure whether to give up my dream of working for a central london city firm, all the odds seem to be against me and the goal seems unobtainable for people like me especially being an ethnic minority from a less well off background so many barriers in the legal profession so im trying to be realistic but id like to hear other peoples views on how important university prestige/reputation is and advice on next steps i could take to gain experience?
    Are you sure the city firms you applied to don't require at least ABB at a level? Many require ABB or AAB.

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    (Original post by Donette93)
    I really want to be a lawyer,A solicitor and im currently in the middle of my undergraduate law degree however I tried applying for many vacation schemes in January with no success. I have this negative perception in my mind that i didn't (and wont be able to) get any legal experience in a (London) city firm due to my uni being quite low in the league tables for law (an ex-poly uni).
    Only about 1 in 5 law graduates will ever qualify as lawyers. For a very few, disproportionately reflected on TSR, there will be a royal road of stellar academics, impressive degree from 1st rate university to funded training contract at a top city firm. A good number of those won't be practising law
    in 5 years time. For the rest, it is a much harder slog. You are not on that royal road and you went off it many years ago. I think making excuses for yourself is not a constructive thing. I think you really need to knuckle down and try and get experience where you can.


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    Hey!

    I was (sort of) in the same position as you... but I didn't have the same A-Levels. But what happened was I made all these applications to firms and stuff in second year and got nowhere. It wasn't that I wasn't GOOD enough, not at all, it was just that my approach was all wrong.

    I am wondering if this is the case for you?

    As others have said - check the filtering things and make sure you have the right requirements.

    Also, if this is a barrier to getting work experience you need to think of others ways to get experience. So try and get some high street experience, CAB experience and even working in other industries that are relevant to the industries you want to join.

    Also, are you doing too many applications? Sometimes you know the scatter gun approach isn't too good lol.

    I think maybe you need to either reevaluate how you are applying or apply to OTHER firms. So for example look at firms within your local area and things. I know this isn't your dream but you may have more of a chance.

    In terms of 'reputation' I am not sure - you don't say where you actually went to? I completed my LLB at Kent and have been receiving a lot of interviews within the legal world, but this is probably because of my tailored approach and really, really understanding the firms that I am applying to.

    I also have a lot of experience in different firms that has helped push my application. I would strongly advise you to look at a variety of different places for experience.

    Hope it helps!
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Only about 1 in 5 law graduates will ever qualify as lawyers. For a very few, disproportionately reflected on TSR, there will be a royal road of stellar academics, impressive degree from 1st rate university to funded training contract at a top city firm. A good number of those won't be practising law
    in 5 years time. For the rest, it is a much harder slog. You are not on that royal road and you went off it many years ago. I think making excuses for yourself is not a constructive thing. I think you really need to knuckle down and try and get experience where you can.


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    at no point have i made any excuses :s ... Im simply outlining my situation and asking advice
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    (Original post by tizzybelle)
    Hey!

    I was (sort of) in the same position as you... but I didn't have the same A-Levels. But what happened was I made all these applications to firms and stuff in second year and got nowhere. It wasn't that I wasn't GOOD enough, not at all, it was just that my approach was all wrong.

    I am wondering if this is the case for you?

    As others have said - check the filtering things and make sure you have the right requirements.

    Also, if this is a barrier to getting work experience you need to think of others ways to get experience. So try and get some high street experience, CAB experience and even working in other industries that are relevant to the industries you want to join.

    Also, are you doing too many applications? Sometimes you know the scatter gun approach isn't too good lol.

    I think maybe you need to either reevaluate how you are applying or apply to OTHER firms. So for example look at firms within your local area and things. I know this isn't your dream but you may have more of a chance.

    In terms of 'reputation' I am not sure - you don't say where you actually went to? I completed my LLB at Kent and have been receiving a lot of interviews within the legal world, but this is probably because of my tailored approach and really, really understanding the firms that I am applying to.

    I also have a lot of experience in different firms that has helped push my application. I would strongly advise you to look at a variety of different places for experience.

    Hope it helps!
    Thanks for the response!,
    yeah maybe i should lower my aims and try for local firms in greater london instead, it couldve been my approach to the applications wasnt uniquely tailored to the companies enough... or my lack of legal experience, whats CAB?
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    Sorry to burst your bubble, but at the end of a day, a 1st from an ex-poly will not be regarded by employers as equal to a 1st from a top 10. I'm not saying that it's fair or right but that's how it is. Many ex-poly grads therefore feel the need to 'prove themselves' and go on to a top 10 for post-grad. Getting a good post-grad degree from a top 10 will be a huge help in getting you into a City firm.
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    (Original post by Donette93)
    Wait....
    I manage to get 1sts not because my uni's standards are somehow lower than (example) Nottingham's.. its simply because i worked damn hard to maintain good grades and i have developed and matured in my approach to/quality of work since my A-levels over 2 years ago.

    You seem to have the exact same snobbery and prejudice i dislike... the idea that those who get 1'sts in ex poly uni's must have achieved such a result because the uni is inferior and makes it easy :s

    I think its worth adding in my second year A-level results i obtained all A's... the only reason my overall grades were ABC was due to my first year grades (unless you would like to attribute my A's to my college being somehow inferior therefore getting better grades would be easy :rolleyes: )
    so just because that Nottingham student had an 'almost flawless' past academic record doesn't mean i'm not equally as academically able and surely the basis for judgment should largely be on the actual degree classifications rather than a-levels (?)

    That Nottingham student may struggle because they struggled to transition effectively to university standard of work or carrying out independent learning etc.
    Stats tend to imply that Nottingham is a bit of a special case where fewer 2:1s/1sts are given out than almost every other uni.


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    Also there is a different perception. I spoke to a recruiter at a law fair who flat out said a candidate from a lower ranked uni would NEED a 1st to even get a slight look in.

    The same person was then massively impressed with my friend who has a 1st from Bristol.


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    (Original post by Donette93)
    Wait....
    I manage to get 1sts not because my uni's standards are somehow lower than (example) Nottingham's.. its simply because i worked damn hard to maintain good grades and i have developed and matured in my approach to/quality of work since my A-levels over 2 years ago.

    You seem to have the exact same snobbery and prejudice i dislike... the idea that those who get 1'sts in ex poly uni's must have achieved such a result because the uni is inferior and makes it easy :s

    I think its worth adding in my second year A-level results i obtained all A's... the only reason my overall grades were ABC was due to my first year grades (unless you would like to attribute my A's to my college being somehow inferior therefore getting better grades would be easy :rolleyes: )
    so just because that Nottingham student had an 'almost flawless' past academic record doesn't mean i'm not equally as academically able and surely the basis for judgment should largely be on the actual degree classifications rather than a-levels (?)

    That Nottingham student may struggle because they struggled to transition effectively to university standard of work or carrying out independent learning etc.
    Also, you seem a bit keen to jump down Woody's throat when he/she is just relating what most of us have picked up from our own application experiences.


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    (Original post by Donette93)
    Wait....
    I manage to get 1sts not because my uni's standards are somehow lower than (example) Nottingham's.. its simply because i worked damn hard to maintain good grades and i have developed and matured in my approach to/quality of work since my A-levels over 2 years ago.

    You seem to have the exact same snobbery and prejudice i dislike... the idea that those who get 1'sts in ex poly uni's must have achieved such a result because the uni is inferior and makes it easy :s

    I think its worth adding in my second year A-level results i obtained all A's... the only reason my overall grades were ABC was due to my first year grades (unless you would like to attribute my A's to my college being somehow inferior therefore getting better grades would be easy :rolleyes: )
    so just because that Nottingham student had an 'almost flawless' past academic record doesn't mean i'm not equally as academically able and surely the basis for judgment should largely be on the actual degree classifications rather than a-levels (?)

    That Nottingham student may struggle because they struggled to transition effectively to university standard of work or carrying out independent learning etc.
    I wasn't trying to offend, in fact someone picked up on here that nottingham was a bit of an outlier in the way it hands out 2:1's and 1sts. But it does serve my example really well. Im not personally attacking you or your work ethic or uni, i am trying to take the point of view of the employers that you have applied to will have.
    You are the one who has to convince the employer that where you went to uni has not had a softer approach on degree grades. They will get a lot of grads from ex polys applying with firsts expecting a position because in their minds a degree is a degree and they have a first, the reality is many employers will be from the russell group or alike. These are the universities they will trust. This is not a great example but i know a partner at a small niche firm who will no longer take applications from surrey, whether this is right or wrong is not for debate here but it is suggesting that a uni like surrey really is the line at which employers will start thinking less of your degree.
    All i can suggest is go to smaller, regional firms who care less about institute and more about grade and locality of applicant
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    (Original post by Donette93)
    Thanks for the response!,
    yeah maybe i should lower my aims and try for local firms in greater london instead, it couldve been my approach to the applications wasnt uniquely tailored to the companies enough... or my lack of legal experience, whats CAB?
    If you are still at uni, try and get someone (careers advisor//good tutor who's actually had experience of the field) to have a look through your applications. I found this was quite useful. Although my uni couldn't help with my smaller firms, it was still good to have an outside point of view and know that there was enough research done.

    It's a horrid situation to be in - the whole work experience one! But you know keep trying and use your contacts if you have any!! For example in house legal teams are quite a good idea just to experience things. I found that in house is very interesting because it is very business orientated to the company you are working for, which I liked. But yeah keep trying!

    CAB - Citizens Advice Bureau. It's the place everyone goes to for advice, law students are always volunteering there as you get the chance to offer advice/support to 'clients' directly. It also shows commitment if you have been doing this for a few months etc. + what with all the cuts and things they are desperate for people to join them, try and find your local one. There is also a solicitor in there who offers advice to people, you can always build a connection with her once you are in =)
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    (Original post by woody-wood)
    I wasn't trying to offend, in fact someone picked up on here that nottingham was a bit of an outlier in the way it hands out 2:1's and 1sts. But it does serve my example really well. Im not personally attacking you or your work ethic or uni, i am trying to take the point of view of the employers that you have applied to will have.
    You are the one who has to convince the employer that where you went to uni has not had a softer approach on degree grades. They will get a lot of grads from ex polys applying with firsts expecting a position because in their minds a degree is a degree and they have a first, the reality is many employers will be from the russell group or alike. These are the universities they will trust. This is not a great example but i know a partner at a small niche firm who will no longer take applications from surrey, whether this is right or wrong is not for debate here but it is suggesting that a uni like surrey really is the line at which employers will start thinking less of your degree.
    All i can suggest is go to smaller, regional firms who care less about institute and more about grade and locality of applicant
    Have to agree with Woody-Wood!!! I have my First but you know, I am not even bothering with the top City Law Firms (although I now have an Oxbridge MSc, which is apparently a good thing according to employees I have spoken to at Linklaters and Freshfields) because of this attitude. One of my friends did a vac scheme at a big City Firm and she said that something like 4/12 weren't from Oxbridge....

    I have been told by various people within the field that this is just how it is and institution does matter a lot for these firms. Luckily for me I'm all about regional and wanting to stay in the local area so I don't have to put up with it.
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    (Original post by Barrister65456)
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but at the end of a day, a 1st from an ex-poly will not be regarded by employers as equal to a 1st from a top 10. I'm not saying that it's fair or right but that's how it is. Many ex-poly grads therefore feel the need to 'prove themselves' and go on to a top 10 for post-grad. Getting a good post-grad degree from a top 10 will be a huge help in getting you into a City firm.
    I hate to say it, but the poster I quoted is correct.
    'Uni Snobbery' is a real thing. Yet in my opinion, it's only fair.
    Many ex-poly universities simply are 'easier' than top 10/Russell Group. Obviously it's not one rule for all, there are differences in the difficulty of courses between universities in general, and even between courses within the same institutions (As an example, I go to an ex-poly. I am given far more work than anyone else in my flat, most of whom study some variation of business. While I would say the difficulty of my work is similar to my girlfriends, there is a massive difference in the amount of work we're both given. She studies a related degree at a leading Russell Group university.)
    Again, this obviously isn't the case for all ex-poly universities, but as a general rule it stands.
    I can't speak about the world of law, I know nothing of it.
    But to follow the career path I'm aiming for, I am under no illusions that I will need a Msc from university similar to the one my girlfriend attends to be given a realistic chance of gaining a strong foot on the career ladder.

    I've met countless people who have graduated from my university and told me employers don't care where you went, only to find out they aren't in 'highly' placed roles within the working world. The few who have been blunt with me have said exactly what Barrister65456 is saying, and that includes a world renowned academic who is a professor at my university, who has worked at 3 of the top 10 universities in the world.

    Like I said, it's only fair.
    Why should those who attended an ex-poly, with lower entry requirements and (generally) easier work making up the degree be valued as highly as someone who attended a leading university? It's not snobbery, it's rewarding hard work.
    Like you OP, I worked damn hard in my final year of A levels, going from UUD to ABCD. And again, I work so hard for my degree. But from my experience we are in the minority at ex-poly universities. It's perhaps unfair we are penalised for the past and not rewarded for our current work ethic, but employers have to separate people some how.

    Like I said, I don't know what it's like in the law world. But I am very much aiming to continue in academia. There is plenty of funding on offer for masters in the roles I'm aiming for.
    The sad fact is during A levels I was lazy and immature towards work. My girlfriend was not, she worked damn hard. She deserves a place at a brilliant university, at the time I did not.
    I think of my university as a stepping stone onto something bigger. It's a bit more slippy than my girlfriends stepping stone, but a stepping stone it is nonetheless. If I work hard, prove my self and gain a masters degree, I will be able to move onto something more solid.
    But there isn't much point worrying about it, the university you attend doesn't decide your entire future. It just makes the path to the future you really want that bit longer and that bit harder (obviously more expensive )

    I'm sure there will be some good advice from people here, far better than mine. Some of the advice will be real world help, stuff you can act on to help you get into the job you want.
    I just wanted to give my two cents on university snobbery.

    Sorry for any spelling mistakes, I'm a full on ******* when it comes to reading/writing.
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    (Original post by lonelykatana)
    I hate to say it, but the poster I quoted is correct.
    'Uni Snobbery' is a real thing. Yet in my opinion, it's only fair.
    Many ex-poly universities simply are 'easier' than top 10/Russell Group. Obviously it's not one rule for all, there are differences in the difficulty of courses between universities in general, and even between courses within the same institutions (As an example, I go to an ex-poly. I am given far more work than anyone else in my flat, most of whom study some variation of business. While I would say the difficulty of my work is similar to my girlfriends, there is a massive difference in the amount of work we're both given. She studies a related degree at a leading Russell Group university.)
    Again, this obviously isn't the case for all ex-poly universities, but as a general rule it stands.
    I can't speak about the world of law, I know nothing of it.
    But to follow the career path I'm aiming for, I am under no illusions that I will need a Msc from university similar to the one my girlfriend attends to be given a realistic chance of gaining a strong foot on the career ladder.

    I've met countless people who have graduated from my university and told me employers don't care where you went, only to find out they aren't in 'highly' placed roles within the working world. The few who have been blunt with me have said exactly what Barrister65456 is saying, and that includes a world renowned academic who is a professor at my university, who has worked at 3 of the top 10 universities in the world.

    Like I said, it's only fair.
    Why should those who attended an ex-poly, with lower entry requirements and (generally) easier work making up the degree be valued as highly as someone who attended a leading university? It's not snobbery, it's rewarding hard work.
    Like you OP, I worked damn hard in my final year of A levels, going from UUD to ABCD. And again, I work so hard for my degree. But from my experience we are in the minority at ex-poly universities. It's perhaps unfair we are penalised for the past and not rewarded for our current work ethic, but employers have to separate people some how.

    Like I said, I don't know what it's like in the law world. But I am very much aiming to continue in academia. There is plenty of funding on offer for masters in the roles I'm aiming for.
    The sad fact is during A levels I was lazy and immature towards work. My girlfriend was not, she worked damn hard. She deserves a place at a brilliant university, at the time I did not.
    I think of my university as a stepping stone onto something bigger. It's a bit more slippy than my girlfriends stepping stone, but a stepping stone it is nonetheless. If I work hard, prove my self and gain a masters degree, I will be able to move onto something more solid.
    But there isn't much point worrying about it, the university you attend doesn't decide your entire future. It just makes the path to the future you really want that bit longer and that bit harder (obviously more expensive )

    I'm sure there will be some good advice from people here, far better than mine. Some of the advice will be real world help, stuff you can act on to help you get into the job you want.
    I just wanted to give my two cents on university snobbery.

    Sorry for any spelling mistakes, I'm a full on ******* when it comes to reading/writing.
    Hmm although i do think its highly unfair current academic achievements will be overlooked you do have very valid points so ive given the post positive rep and i guess my approach to the legal professional will have to differ and expectations lowered
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    PS ; To those giving negs when all ive done is explain my situation and ask advice... just lol.
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    (Original post by Donette93)
    at no point have i made any excuses :s ... Im simply outlining my situation and asking advice

    I'm sorry but:
    I have this negative perception in my mind that i didn't (and wont be able to) get any legal experience in a (London) city firm due to my uni being quite low in the league tables for law (an ex-poly uni).
    I chose this uni ... due to my predicted a-level grades
    how am i supposed to gain legal work experience if no firm will give me any due to...uni snobbery.
    All the odds seem to be against me
    the goal seems unobtainable for people like me
    especially being an ethnic minority
    from a less well off background
    read like series of reasons why you can't be a lawyer rather than a plan for becoming one.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I'm sorry but:



    read like series of reasons why you can't be a lawyer rather than a plan for becoming one.
    But how can he ask for advice if he doesn't explain his background?

    But yeah! You are right you need a good plan of action, stop looking at the negatives and get working on positives You need to talk to employers and HR people! This will give you a better insight I think...
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    (Original post by tizzybelle)
    But how can he ask for advice if he doesn't explain his background?

    But yeah! You are right you need a good plan of action, stop looking at the negatives and get working on positives You need to talk to employers and HR people! This will give you a better insight I think...
    exactly loooooool,smh

    and will do, thanks for your help
 
 
 
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