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    Hello, I suppose essentially I am asking for advice about my suitability for obtaining a vacation scheme and ultimately a training contract at one of these firms. I have been looking into a career in law for a couple of years now and I keep alternating between feeling confident that I have a chance and feeling like I'm wasting my time, so I would greatly appreciate some advice for my current circumstances.

    Presently, I am in my third year of an integrated masters biology degree at the University of Leeds, in the midst of taking my final undergraduate examinations. Second year I achieved a high 2:1 and am likely to match or exceed this with a 1st for my overall grade. However, I did not get very good first year results (scraped a 2:2) and I got three B's at A-Level (History, Geography and Biology). I have work experience from my year out as a manual labourer and I intend to get work this summer as a bartender.

    After consideration, I have decided that I would not like to work/live in London and that I would undoubtedly prefer to remain in Leeds. If anyone could estimate my chances of making progress at one of the big six firms or other mid sized Leeds-based firms, I would be grateful. My intention right now, is to spend summer researching these firms in depth in order to send off vac scheme/training contract applications come September time. Also, to try and spend my fourth year at uni getting involved in more extracurricular activities for the purpose of my CV.

    If I cannot obtain a training contract, my intention was to self fund the part-time GDL at BPP law or UoL and try and use their careers services concurrently to improve my chances. However, I have read lots of conflicting information about how good of an idea that is without having secured a training contract beforehand, so please feel free to weigh into that as well. Thank you for your time!
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    I can't estimate your chances on this alone. The combination of your A-level grades and 1st year grades are a bit of a hurdle (basically 3 years of study that are slightly under par), but if you do well this year and next year that could be overcome.

    It sounds like you know the holes on your CV already though if you know you need to improve your extra curriculars. Basically try to get things on your CV that show any of the following: commitment, leadership or teamwork, responsibility and determination to succeed.

    Try open days/workshops etc first before applying - it sounds like you need to get some legal work experience on your CV and these are a first step if you haven't got any. Try and join an access organisation like Aspiring Solicitors too.

    Go to the careers event in Autumn term at your university. Although you are not interested in London, many city firms will be running presentations and attending the law fair - you could learn a lot from these events that then helps your application, so tactically choose a few to attend.

    I think you have got a decent chance purely where you sound quite self aware. Work on the things you need to and don't rush into direct TC applications. Your first step should be events/workshops, then vac schemes and then TCs. This will also give you the time to develop your Cv accordingly.

    Only "self-fund" the GDL if you get a part of full scholarship or if the financial commitment is not a big deal to you. I'd personally advise people to work rather than get the GDL, although many do both and choose to do the GDL part-time, which is a good option is you can be focused enough to balance 2 big commitments.


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    Having problems logging into my account, but still the same person!

    Thank you very much for your prompt reply, I have seen you comment on this board before and am under the impression that you have much experience in the field, so I definitely value your opinion. My A-level and first year grades are my main area of concern in terms of succeeding, I hope a first class degree can mitigate my academic short-comings to some extent. Throughout this year I have been to talks/events I have become aware of through the Law4nonLaw society at my university, having inquired a couple of times about how a masters qualification would be viewed by law firm recruiters I have received answers ranging from an outright no to a maybe. So I am still a little unsure of how my past academics can be rectified, but I am guessing that the different answers reflect different recruitment criteria of firms and my only way of fully knowing is by applying to vacation schemes/training contracts and finding out. Some part of me was under the impression that regional firms might be more permissive to giving out vs/tc to below average A-Levels and first year results, but I am fully prepared to admit that was probably wishful thinking! (and it did not factor into to my reluctance to live in London).

    In terms of trying to fill gaps in my extracurricular, I am going to attempt to gain a position of some responsibility at a university society next year. I will also try and get involved in some regional charity because I feel like that might resonate with Leeds based firms? I have been researching and trying to formulate some idea of how I can also be involved in some kind of program/scheme/volunteering that ties in with intellectual property, particularly the bio/genetech side of things, as this is my main interest within the legal professional. So far I have not been able come up with anything or found any organisations that could facilitate this.

    I am not too worried about the idea of balancing the GDL with work over a two year period, it is mainly the idea of finishing it without having secured anything because I most likely won't be able to fund the LPC without considerably additional time and effort. Thank you for replying, If you could shed any further light on any of these specific queries I would greatly appreciate it!

    Edit: Also by legal work experience do you mean vacation schemes?

    (Original post by J-SP)
    I can't estimate your chances on this alone. The combination of your A-level grades and 1st year grades are a bit of a hurdle (basically 3 years of study that are slightly under par), but if you do well this year and next year that could be overcome.

    It sounds like you know the holes on your CV already though if you know you need to improve your extra curriculars. Basically try to get things on your CV that show any of the following: commitment, leadership or teamwork, responsibility and determination to succeed.

    Try open days/workshops etc first before applying - it sounds like you need to get some legal work experience on your CV and these are a first step if you haven't got any. Try and join an access organisation like Aspiring Solicitors too.

    Go to the careers event in Autumn term at your university. Although you are not interested in London, many city firms will be running presentations and attending the law fair - you could learn a lot from these events that then helps your application, so tactically choose a few to attend.

    I think you have got a decent chance purely where you sound quite self aware. Work on the things you need to and don't rush into direct TC applications. Your first step should be events/workshops, then vac schemes and then TCs. This will also give you the time to develop your Cv accordingly.

    Only "self-fund" the GDL if you get a part of full scholarship or if the financial commitment is not a big deal to you. I'd personally advise people to work rather than get the GDL, although many do both and choose to do the GDL part-time, which is a good option is you can be focused enough to balance 2 big commitments.


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    (Original post by love2law2)
    Thank you for replying, If you could shed any further light on any of these specific queries I would greatly appreciate it!

    Edit: Also by legal work experience do you mean vacation schemes?
    Sounds like you are doing everything you should. No other advice, just keep persevering.

    Legal work experience is much wider than vacation schemes. Vac schemes are only a fraction of the legal opportunities out there.
 
 
 
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