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    Dear all,

    Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I will try to be as concise as possible.
    This year my utmost goal will be securing a training contract.

    I have just recently graduated from UEA (University of East Anglia) with a high 2:1 in Law. In a few weeks, I will start my LLM at LSE (The London School of Economics).

    These past two years I have applied for vac schemes and training contracts and was always unsuccessful, I never made it past the online application stage. I believe the most recently failed applications were fairly good although too close to the deadline (this is the reason why I believe I failed).

    I have 6 legal work experiences of 2 weeks each, but I never obtained a vac scheme. All of these work experiences I obtained by applying myself or through contacts. (I also believe that never securing a vac scheme has been one of the reasons why I never obtained a training contract in first place).


    Apart from my work experience, I speak 3 languages and have a wide array of extracurricular activities such as sports. (I hope this will be helpful) This year I want things to be different and I am willing to give it my all in order to obtain a training contract.

    The most logical thing that comes to mind would be immediately applying for vac schemes as soon as they are out. The reason why I am writing here is that I honestly feel a bit lost after having been only rejected thus far. I would really appreciate any piece of advice you could throw my way.

    These are currently my greatest uncertainties:

    -As a postgraduate, can I only apply to winter and Eastervac schemes?

    -Should I reapply to firms that already rejected me?

    -How can I prepare for online tests? (Logical, Verbal Reasoning, Watson Glaser)

    -What is the best way to conduct research of a firm? (How can I demonstrate that I know why they are different?) - this is currently my weakest point

    -Should I not apply to MC’s given the fact that I do not come from an Oxbridge background? How realistic do I need to be?

    -How can you demonstrate commercial acumen in online application forms?

    -Should I look out for open days? Are the useful or not?

    -Is there a way of understanding which firms to apply to? (The ones I have the greatest chances of obtaining a TC, and the ones I have none)

    Literally, any piece of advice that would help me tackle vac scheme apps and training contracts better would be incredibly appreciated. I am quite demotivated to have only received rejections thus far, but until I give it my all I do not want to quit.

    Thank you so much for reading this post and thank you so much for any help/tip you might provide me with! I really want to fulfill my dream of becoming a commercial lawyer this year

    Kind Regards,
    Anthony
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    -As a postgraduate, can I only apply to winter and Easter vac schemes?

    No - it depends on the individual firm's policy. Some will restrict you to some schemes, others won't.

    -Should I reapply to firms that already rejected me?

    Only if you think you can put in a much stronger application (your LLM does not equate to this on its own). Also check the individual firm's policy on subsequent applications. Some do restrict you and don't allow you to reapply

    -How can I prepare for online tests? (Logical, Verbal Reasoning, Watson Glaser) -

    Abit of practice (you can't over practice and perfect your ability unfortunately), but most of it is about your raw ability and doing it when you are at your best. Other tips are to try and be decisive quickly (eliminating quickly answers that are clearly wrong) and focus on the information presented alone (too many people try to put the scenarios in real life situations where other factors would be present and so over choose the "cannot determine" option).

    -What is the best way to conduct research of a firm? (How can I demonstrate that I know why they are different?) -This is currently my weakest point

    Really depends what works for you. Look at honest insights into firms with publications like Chambers Student Guide and Inside Buzz - these are not written by the firms unlike their brochures/websites, so are usually a little more transparent. Go to careers events that the firms are attending. Meet their people and talk to them.

    -Should I not apply to MC’s given the fact that I do not come from an Oxbridge background? How realistic do I need to be?

    This is going to sound really harsh, but if that's your attitude, then yes you shouldn't apply to those firms. Part of the reason Oxbridge students are so heavily represented in MC firms is that they have far less fear in applying. Don't fall for the worst myth out there that you can only succeed if you are an Oxbridge grad. The alumni from your undergrad university who are currently at MC firms clearly didn't.

    -How can you demonstrate commercial acumen in online application forms?

    This can be done in so many ways. People do this through their academics (module choices), work experience, extra curriculars or career motivation questions. You have to play to your strengths given your individual circumstances.

    -Should I look out for open days? Are the useful or not?

    Yes, and yes they can be very useful. Great way to get your face in front of the firm before you apply and a great opportunity to make a very positive impression.

    -Is there a way of understanding which firms to apply to? (The ones I have the greatest chances of obtaining a TC, and the ones I have none)
    Apply to the firms you want to apply to, not the ones you think you have a better chance of getting a TC with. Make sure you are eligible for the firm. There's no point applying if you don't meet their basic requirements, but beyond that the best way to understand the firms is through research.
 
 
 
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