City Training Contract prior to starting GDL? Watch

Schott
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#1
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Right so I've heard it's possible to gain a training contract at the end of your non-law degree (during the third year presumably?), and that the big city firms will then fund your GDL and LPC.

How exactly do you convince them to take you on even when you have relatively little knowledge of Law apart from vacation schemes? Is there a separate admissions process for this or are non-law students competing against those with law degrees (for the LPC anyway) for funding?

Also I read on lawyer2b.com that certain city firms like you to go to a specific college to do a special 'city' LPC. Presumably, does this mean you have to apply for the training contract before you apply for the LPC? (because if you apply after you might be accepted at a school that they don't favour - if that makes sense?)

Thanks for any advice.
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rah2
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You are hugely well organied for someone who hasn't even started their degree. Anyway I got my TC before I started the GDL, quite a lot of the larger city firms tend to have seperate recruiting times for third year non-law and second year law students. For example my interview was in feburary of my third year, far earlier than the traditional june/july/august.

There are plenty of opportunities beyond just the set vacation schemes, for example i did a week at a small law firm near me at the end of my second year, achieved purely by ringing around in the yellow pages. Because of this i was able to back up my law interest on application forms and got christmas and easter schemes in my third year. Plus there are several large firms that will also take second year non-law as well.

As for the firm specific LPCs, i think if you are good enough it is likely that they will take you even if you've done your LPC elsewhere. So long as you've chosen the appropriate electives the LPC is pretty much the same everywhere.
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Schott
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Aha, that's really really helpful thanks . I've applied for summer work at a local solicitor's practice and also for a winter vacation scheme at BAE systems commercial export department which I'm hoping mayhave some relevance to Law. Thanks again for the advice. By the way, which firm did you get a TC with? I'm not sure if I'm allowed to ask that or not on here, or whether it's appropriate, so if you can't answer that's fine too .
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Schott
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OK just to clear something up, do you apply for your GDL or your training contract first?

Also I know this has kind of been answered but just to make sure...
In The Lawyer.com Guide to a Career in Law, it says "However, if you land a training contract with one of 8 city firms, you will have no choice where you study. _ _ & _ prefer candidates to take the 'city LPC' ... runexclusively through BPP. However, since then, three firms _ _ & _ started to run their tailor made LPC through the College of Law". Sooo my question is, if you've applied to do your LPC somewhere else, will they still fund it, should you achieve a training contract? Or would they ask you to change?

Also though it makes reference to prefered LPCs, I assume they don't necessarily have any huge hang-ups about where you do your GDL?

One of the reasons I ask these questions is because if I manage to get it funded, I'd do it at a uni in my university town just so I can stay there an extra year. However, if it's not funded, I'd do it at a uni within commuting distance. Therefore it'd be advantageous (though not sure if possible) to know you had a TC and funding grants BEFORE choosing where you did your GDL/LPC.
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Kerrigan
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I don't know of a firm that specifies where its future trainees should do the GDL - they are not that bothered. It is different for the LPC, you are correct. I believe they would ask you to change if you secured a training contract with them after you had secured an LPC place, however, a lot of the big firms who fund & specify LPC courses tend to recruit 2 years in advance of starting the TC, so you wouldn't be at the LPC acceptance stage anyway...

Some firms do recruit less than 2 years in advance as a matter of course and occasionally some places do it having under-recruited (Nabarro Nathanson did this not so long ago).
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rah2
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(Original post by tony_ron)
OK just to clear something up, do you apply for your GDL or your training contract first?
Applications for the first GDL round have to be in by the end of January so you apply for your GDL first. Remember only around 20%, sometimes less, of GDL-ers start the course with a TC. Firms really don't care where you do the GDL but some will pay the same maintenance grant wherever you so it can be sensible to choose somewhere like Nottingham or Cardiff, if you want to live well.
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Schott
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OK thanks again, very useful. Am on of those weird people who like to know where they're headed without playing it by ear lol.
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silence
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(Original post by rah2)
Applications for the first GDL round have to be in by the end of January so you apply for your GDL first. Remember only around 20%, sometimes less, of GDL-ers start the course with a TC. Firms really don't care where you do the GDL but some will pay the same maintenance grant wherever you so it can be sensible to choose somewhere like Nottingham or Cardiff, if you want to live well.
is it seriously that low? if you don't get one, do you just have to keep applying at regular intervals throughout study?
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rah2
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(Original post by silence)
is it seriously that low? if you don't get one, do you just have to keep applying at regular intervals throughout study?
In my housemates GDL class of 40 there were only 6 people with TCs, mine had about 15. So yeah basically if you don't have one when you are about to start the GDL then don't panic. If don't have one before starting the LPC, DO panic

I lived with two LPCers and one GDL student, none of them got TCs this year despite applying/having regular interviews etc. One went to Warwick, one to Durham and the other to Kent. 2.1s all round, decent A Levels. Just as a warning it really isn't as easy as it seems, as www.traineesolicitor.co.uk will testify.
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tomdav
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(Original post by rah2)
In my housemates GDL class of 40 there were only 6 people with TCs, mine had about 15. So yeah basically if you don't have one when you are about to start the GDL then don't panic. If don't have one before starting the LPC, DO panic

I lived with two LPCers and one GDL student, none of them got TCs this year despite applying/having regular interviews etc. One went to Warwick, one to Durham and the other to Kent. 2.1s all round, decent A Levels. Just as a warning it really isn't as easy as it seems, as www.traineesolicitor.co.uk will testify.
Do you mind me asking if they were applying to bigger city firms or smaller firms? Or is this irrelevant? Thanks
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rah2
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Generally middle and regional firms I think, Burges Salmon, Clyde & Co etc. I imagine this did make it harder on them but none of them were that set as to where they wanted to go.
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tomdav
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(Original post by rah2)
Generally middle and regional firms I think, Burges Salmon, Clyde & Co etc. I imagine this did make it harder on them but none of them were that set as to where they wanted to go.
Thanks I must be wrong in thinking that places like Durham and Warwick stand you in quite good stead when applying to such firms.
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always + forever
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I must be wrong in thinking that places like Durham and Warwick stand you in quite good stead when applying to such firms.
It's not that they don't - rather, they don't get you through the interview.
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tomdav
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(Original post by always + forever)
It's not that they don't - rather, they don't get you through the interview.
That makes sense, thanks
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rah2
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(Original post by tomdav)
Thanks I must be wrong in thinking that places like Durham and Warwick stand you in quite good stead when applying to such firms.
They do, however there still aren't many places in relation to well qualified applicants. As Always+Forever says interview technique is essential with smaller firms who will see 30 applicants for one TC, you really have to stand out in person and not just on paper.
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Lewisy-boy
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At interview is when the kid from Durham can suddenly look like a nobbo when placed next to the kid from Reading or wherever, don't rest on your laurels just because you have a top 10 uni behind you!
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TKR
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No uni is enough to "get you through" an interview.
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tomdav
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No I wasnt trying to claim that, but considering Warwick and Durham were put together with Kent (not that I mean to degrade Kent or anything) I was just interested as to how far your uni remains an influence.
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always + forever
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I was just interested as to how far your uni remains an influence.
It may help in the application stage: if they're recruited other people from the same uni (or your uni is well respected) it will probably work in your favour. BUT - obviously your application still has to be well-written: clear, concise etc. When you're actually being interviewed it's not important. You might be asked why you chose to go to that uni, but nothing else really.
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tomdav
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(Original post by always + forever)
It may help in the application stage: if they're recruited other people from the same uni (or your uni is well respected) it will probably work in your favour. BUT - obviously your application still has to be well-written: clear, concise etc. When you're actually being interviewed it's not important. You might be asked why you chose to go to that uni, but nothing else really.
Thanks that makes sense.
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