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Please help, need advice - qualified overseas, low GDL results, seeking a TC Watch

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    Hello everyone


    I would be very grateful if you could share your opinion on my situation.


    I am a lawyer, qualified overseas (non-EU, sorry for not naming the country, it might make you biased).
    I took GDL last year and it turned out to be a complete hell for me as a non-native speaker. Nevertheless, I somehow managed to survive and got 51 overall, which presumably is not enough to secure a TC (or is it?).
    Lets assume the law firm I am going to apply to is interested in my region and my native language, and other credentials are good (LLB equivalent to 1st, PQE 3+ in corporate, etc). Also, I genuinely thought that an Oxbridge postgraduate degree might open some doors, so I applied last year and received offers from both, but still dont know whether I will be able to take up my place (money matters, need to take a loan). I do not reside in the UK, I need a visa to be able to work full-time and I intend to return home after having qualified (by an internal transfer within the firm if possible). It might also be worth noting that I am a mature applicant (28 y.o.).
    So, the question is, what is the likelihood, in your opinion, of finding a TC in my case?


    Feel free to comment and criticise!


    Kind regards
    snailinthebottle
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    I'm sure I've seen this on the trainee solicitor forum...
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    Why are you looking for an (incredibly hard to get) training contract, when you are already qualified in corporate law which is highly transferable. What about the QLTS? If I were you I'd be looking for experienced lawyer roles, not a training contract.
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    (Original post by Crumpet1)
    Why are you looking for an (incredibly hard to get) training contract, when you are already qualified in corporate law which is highly transferable. What about the QLTS? If I were you I'd be looking for experienced lawyer roles, not a training contract.
    It might be transferable, from some other common law jurisdiction, but I am from a civil law country. I do not aim to move to the UK, I want to get the 'solicitor' label to be able to get a top job in my home country, UK qualified solicitors are in high demand here.

    Re the QLTS, I did consider this route, but first I need to become an advocate in my home country to be eligible (equivalent to a barrister in the UK), so unfortunately this is not an option for me. I would call it a Plan B :^_^:
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    So you are not interested in practising here in the UK for any longer than the 2 years necessary to complete a training contract in the UK? And you want that only because you want to have the label 'UK solicitor'?

    I'm not sure you fully comprehend how competitive it is to get a TC. I'd be incredibly surprised if your lack of commitment to the UK isn't identified at some point during the process, resulting in you getting no offers. I would also invite you to consider the fact that if you DO get an offer, you are filling a place that a dedicated British student - one of your GDL peers - needs in order to qualify at all, and that person may never qualify if TC places are filled by overseas lawyers who have no intention of practising here.

    Forget about getting a UK training contract. Your GDL results and lack of commitment will count severely against you.

    Instead look again at your own country's advocacy qualification, and then at the QLTS. Go for your Plan B. Don't be the person who stands in the way of a young person qualifying at all, just because you want a top job in some other country.
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    OK, thank you for the standard "they come here and steal our jobs" reply, but let me disagree with you.
    I would like to explain the reasons why I consider it a nonsense.

    First of all, I see no reason why I should commit to the UK, I am not a British national. I commit to the ILF (international law firm) I am going to apply to. The majority of ILFs are not British companies, they just happen to have an office in London. As long as I want to transfer within the firm, why should I be bothered about any other commitments? Do you realise that any ILF has clients all over the world and that all ILFs mainly deal with transnational agreements, where the lawyer should be familiar with both jurisdictions?

    Secondly, we live in a competitive world. Why should I give way to anyone, regardless of his nationality and, what is more, his/her ethnicity? Dear Crumpet, why are YOU filling a place of a fellow British student? Shouldn't you just back up as someone might never get what you want to get? I admire your large-heartedness, but you will never achieve anything if you continue to use this logic.
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    I didn't say don't come here and work for two years. I said come as a qualified solicitor, which is an option that you have but UK students do not.

    If you want to work at an international law firm they'll be far happier to have you as a qualified lawyer - they can charge you out at higher rates and won't have to pay to train you, for starters. You'll get paid more and won't have to shell out tens of thousands in pointless GDL and LPC fees. In circumstances where you seem highly unlikely to secure a training contract anyway, I remain baffled why you would go any other route.
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    Thank you, now it sounds much more sensible!
    All true, except many say that becoming a solicitor through the QLTS is like being a half-solicitor, it is unlikely that anyone would ever want to hire me.
    So, I thought maybe I should give it a shot, but I am not sure how well I can shoot, that's why I am here.
    From what you said, it seems that I don't stand a chance, so I guess I will lower my expectations to lower my disappointments...
    Anyway, thanks for the advice
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    With a 51 in the GDL I would honestly assume that obtaining a TC will be nigh on impossible anyway. A Post grad course is unlikely to make up for a GDL mark which may demonstrate that your understanding of English is too limited to perform well working for an English firm.

    I did the LPC with an number of European people who were qualified already in foreign countries but were unable to obtain a TC in England, despite getting a commendation/ distinction or distinction/distinction on the GDL/LPC respectively. One, from Eastern Europe, also had top A level equivalents and a 1st from a good American university.

    Not sure where you are from but the types of international firm you will be looking for are likely to be top tier and have hundreds of oxbridge and russell group applicants. The only languages I can imagine most of those firms are looking for are western european or Mandarin.

    Obviously up to you but I personally wouldn't take such a big risk (funding post-grad etc) given your GDL mark. good luck in whatever you choose!
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    Thank you JTTTT, sounds fair
    But, isn't it a matter of perspective? Could I say that despite being a non-native speaker I achieved 51, when many native speakers at the UoL received lower results and even failed? Doesn't it show my determination?

    I admit, I did process information in English slower than the majority of my fellow GDLers, but still, my understanding was comprehensive, it just took more time.
    More time is good, isn't it, more billable hours?) joking
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    Determination really doesn't seem to count for much when it comes to obtaining or getting a TC. I have a distinction in both my GDL and LPC, self-funded, and am struggling to get a TC here (based on my a-levels among other things).

    It is admirable you beat some native speakers in the GDL, but there's no point really comparing yourself to those who didn't pass it. Some of those will lose their TC offers as a result, others will be self-funding and not go on to a career in law. The competition here is pretty fierce, as Crumpet mentioned, so everyone who ever gets a TC is determined, has strong extra-curriculars, strong academics etc.

    If I were you I would try the other way around - in your current jurisdiction move to an international law firm and then see if they will allow you to move to the UK and back. That said, I highly doubt they would; almost all law firms will ask a foreign applicant/someone applying to a regional office where they do not currently live WHY they are choosing to apply to that location. If your answer is 'to increase your pay packet at home', they will shove you off a cliff. If your answer is because you want to stay in the UK then that instantly puts you in competition with all other applicants, and would also reflect really badly on you if after two years you want to return home.
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    (Original post by JTTTT)
    I have a distinction in both my GDL and LPC, self-funded
    Wow, this is impressive. I wish you all the best, I hope you will find a TC soon.

    (Original post by JTTTT)
    They will shove you off a cliff
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    (Original post by snailinthebottle)
    Thank you, now it sounds much more sensible!
    All true, except many say that becoming a solicitor through the QLTS is like being a half-solicitor, it is unlikely that anyone would ever want to hire me.
    So, I thought maybe I should give it a shot, but I am not sure how well I can shoot, that's why I am here.
    From what you said, it seems that I don't stand a chance, so I guess I will lower my expectations to lower my disappointments...
    Anyway, thanks for the advice
    I can't say I have ever heard any one say that, so I don't know who these "many" are. I've worked with plenty of overseas lawyers. They usually have their overseas qualification in brackets with their job title until they pass their QLTS then afterwards they just have the same job title as everyone else and get paid according to their PQE. They are exactly the same as the rest of us.

    You would normally be hired by a UK firm as an overseas qualified lawyer before taking the QLTS, then you would do your QLTS whilst working. And I've never known anybody who qualified here through the QLTS system have any problem with subsequent moves to other law firms.

    You might as well apply for qualified lawyer positions, you haven't got anything to lose.
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    (Original post by JTTTT)
    struggling to get a TC here
    FYI, this might help

    http://www.legalcheek.com/2014/07/de...ralegal-entry/
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    Hi

    I am an 33 year old American just got a placement for GDL in Lonon. I see that it is difficult to get TC even after GDL and LPC. How much more difficult is it for a 33 year old American citizen??

    I went Columbia university with Economics with average GPA. Have about 7 years of work experience in IT colsulting at Deloitte
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    (Original post by hachac)
    Hi

    I am an 33 year old American just got a placement for GDL in Lonon. I see that it is difficult to get TC even after GDL and LPC. How much more difficult is it for a 33 year old American citizen??

    I went Columbia university with Economics with average GPA. Have about 7 years of work experience in IT colsulting at Deloitte
    Despite your commercial background, it will be very hard. Have you emigrated? Do you have a commitment to living life in the UK? As explained above, firms have no interest in spending £100,000 training a trainee only for them to leave the country at the end of two years ( just as they start to get cost effective).

    Have you made any applications for TCs? What is your work status in the UK? If you have indefinite leave to remain you should be in a better position than if you would require sponsorship for a visa.
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    No I don't have a TC or have work permit in the UK.

    If I don't get a TC after my GDL and LPC, what are my options... I heard some people go to Asia to work...
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    (Original post by hachac)
    No I don't have a TC or have work permit in the UK.

    If I don't get a TC after my GDL and LPC, what are my options... I heard some people go to Asia to work...
    You will need the local languages outside of the UK, and they will probably prefer you to be a qualified lawyer.

    You can do TCs in place like Dubai/Hong Kong but they will probably want you to be able to commit to a career in the region.
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    (Original post by hachac)
    No I don't have a TC or have work permit in the UK.

    If I don't get a TC after my GDL and LPC, what are my options... I heard some people go to Asia to work...
    Not sure about other Asian jurisdictions, but can confirm what J-SP said about Hong Kong at least. Mandarin and/or Cantonese language abilities would be a huge asset. Also, don't assume that TCs are easier to obtain in Asia - that's not necessarily the case, and competition is also very keen.
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    (Original post by hachac)
    No I don't have a TC or have work permit in the UK.

    If I don't get a TC after my GDL and LPC, what are my options... I heard some people go to Asia to work...
    Hachac, you will not be a qualified lawyer after the GDL and LPC. Realistically even if you do the GDL, you should think very carefully about whether it is financially sensible to go on and do the LPC at all if you haven't got a training contract lined up before then. You need to spend time (now) finding out whose deadlines haven't passed (many closed on 31 July) and get some applications in. You also need to think about how you will persuade firms that you are committed to the UK. Are you sure you should be giving up a secure job with Deloitte to take such a chance?
 
 
 
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