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Is my age a barrier for me going into law? Watch

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    I´m 23, in my final year of a joint honours degree in Politics and International Relations.

    After my degree, I am seriously considering doing the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and after that, (assuming I were to complete that succesfully) the bar profesional training course.

    Obviously I am aware that Entry to the bar is very competitive, and by the time I completed the bar profesional training course, I would be around 26 or 27.

    My question, therefore, is would the fact that I may be a bit older than some of the other people applying affect my chance of getting a pupillage?

    Any other general information related to this would be appreciated.

    Thanks
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    Absolutely not. I've recruited plenty of mature students and career changers in my time.

    There's plenty of trainees out there currently who are older (and in some cases significantly) than you.

    Sorry only just seen the Barrister bit - I'm sure Chambers will think the same as law firms though.


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    Do mature students/ career changers actually get recruited as trainee solicitors? (Even in places like magic circle firms?)
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    (Original post by NewDeparture)
    Do mature students/ career changers actually get recruited as trainee solicitors? (Even in places like magic circle firms?)
    Yes


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    Ah thanks, that's interesting. You'd think with such stringent time limits for climbing the ladder/ making partner etc. it'd be off limits to, say, 27/28 year olds. It must be hard starting out with 23/24 year olds, but I suppose age/ experience can be of major advantage too!
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    (Original post by NewDeparture)
    Ah thanks, that's interesting. You'd think with such stringent time limits for climbing the ladder/ making partner etc. it'd be off limits to, say, 27/28 year olds. It must be hard starting out with 23/24 year olds, but I suppose age/ experience can be of major advantage too!
    What stringent time limits?


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    The time limits by which it is expected that employees make partner etc. Not trying to start an argument about age, I was just surprised because you generally do not see older people in magic circle trainee starting groups.
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    (Original post by NewDeparture)
    The time limits by which it is expected that employees make partner etc. Not trying to start an argument about age, I was just surprised because you generally do not see older people in magic circle trainee starting groups.
    I guess it depends on what you classify as old I guess. But In my opinion and experience I would say you are very much mistaken.

    The reality is you don't get a lot of "older" people apply for TCs, but I've seen plenty who are to go on to have successful careers.

    The reality is even if someone is 10 years older than a "typical" fresh out of uni graduate, they could still have 20+ years as a partner in a law firm before early retirement.

    I've heard one candidate in an interview even state it would be easier for them, as their kids would have left home by the time they were on track to being a partner. They got the job and they are now a successful associate!


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    That's a novel take on the starting a family angle! And, just out of interest, what kind of career switches do you see? Have you, for example, ever seen a barrister switching over to becoming a solicitor? (I know somebody contemplating the process but worrying they will not get employment - they have completed pupillage and will be applying for a training contract. Bit of an awkward one.)
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    (Original post by NewDeparture)
    That's a novel take on the starting a family angle! And, just out of interest, what kind of career switches do you see? Have you, for example, ever seen a barrister switching over to becoming a solicitor? (I know somebody contemplating the process but worrying they will not get employment - they have completed pupillage and will be applying for a training contract. Bit of an awkward one.)
    Finance (IBs/Big 4)
    Teaching
    Politics/civil service
    Military
    International charities
    Paralegals
    Stay at home parents

    I have seen barrister to commercial lawyer (and very recently). It's rare though. The main issue for anyone looking to transfer is explaining why the TC isn't the "back-up plan" option.




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    It's a bit ridiculous that someone trying to go from commercial pupillage to commercial solicitor will encounter serious (and let's be honest, potentially insurmountable) obstacles, yet those transferring from some of the careers in the list above will be welcomed as late in life lawyers. Is there not an element of explaining in making any career switch?
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    (Original post by NewDeparture)
    It's a bit ridiculous that someone trying to go from commercial pupillage to commercial solicitor will encounter serious (and let's be honest, potentially insurmountable) obstacles, yet those transferring from some of the careers in the list above will be welcomed as late in life lawyers. Is there not an element of explaining in making any career switch?
    It's not insurmountable though if people manage it.

    The difference is (and I am generalising) there is an assumption with those who have pursued the barrister route is that they haven't been successful and they are settling for second best. With the other professions it is seen that they are aiming for something "higher", more challenging or with better career progression and therefore they have a stronger motivation for the career.

    Anyone who applies has got the opportunity to explain the change in career on their application form. Those who manage to articulate their rationale well will then have the chance to explain further at interview. Those who manage who do that well are probably going to be successful at securing a role.


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    (Original post by chriscahill9)
    I´m 23, in my final year of a joint honours degree in Politics and International Relations.

    After my degree, I am seriously considering doing the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and after that, (assuming I were to complete that succesfully) the bar profesional training course.

    Obviously I am aware that Entry to the bar is very competitive, and by the time I completed the bar profesional training course, I would be around 26 or 27.

    My question, therefore, is would the fact that I may be a bit older than some of the other people applying affect my chance of getting a pupillage?

    Any other general information related to this would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    You will only be two or three years older than someone who went straight through with no gap years and studied Law. Your age will not be a factor.
 
 
 
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