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    Hi everyone,

    After a lot of soul searching I finally came to the conclusion this year that I want to become a commercial solicitor. I have a first class degree in History from a top UK university and am currently doing an MA.
    I applied for a few vac schemes in the winter, had two interviews (one at a US and one at a MC firm), but at the moment it looks like none of my applications were successful, which means I don't have a TC for next year.

    I pretty much know what my problem is - I don't have sufficient and serious legal work experience. All the other interviewees at the ACs I attended had much better work experiences than me (or studied law, which obviously shows commitment - and these were all for vac schemes, not even TCs...).
    So after this first, unsuccessful attempt I am determined to try again next year; gain more experience, improve my application, apply earlier etc., but I would love to hear some advice on how to do this.

    Unfortunately I will not be able to self-fund the GDL, so that is not an option.
    For this summer I have pretty much secured a 1-2 month long internship at a medium-sized law firm through networking, which is going to be an amazing experience (they do not offer TCs).
    Unfortunately from the summer onwards I will need to find a job that pays me enough to continue living in London etc. and I was wondering what kind of jobs do you think I should be looking for?
    I thought for example that I'd apply for a job at Chambers and Partners - do you guys think that would improve my application? I guess what I want is a job that will pay me enough to sustain myself AND actively improve my chances of getting a TC next year.

    Thanks again for any helpful responses.
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    Perhaps you could apply to be a paralegal?
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    (Original post by 111222)
    Hi everyone,

    After a lot of soul searching I finally came to the conclusion this year that I want to become a commercial solicitor. I have a first class degree in History from a top UK university and am currently doing an MA.
    I applied for a few vac schemes in the winter, had two interviews (one at a US and one at a MC firm), but at the moment it looks like none of my applications were successful, which means I don't have a TC for next year.

    I pretty much know what my problem is - I don't have sufficient and serious legal work experience. All the other interviewees at the ACs I attended had much better work experiences than me (or studied law, which obviously shows commitment - and these were all for vac schemes, not even TCs...).
    So after this first, unsuccessful attempt I am determined to try again next year; gain more experience, improve my application, apply earlier etc., but I would love to hear some advice on how to do this.

    Unfortunately I will not be able to self-fund the GDL, so that is not an option.
    For this summer I have pretty much secured a 1-2 month long internship at a medium-sized law firm through networking, which is going to be an amazing experience (they do not offer TCs).
    Unfortunately from the summer onwards I will need to find a job that pays me enough to continue living in London etc. and I was wondering what kind of jobs do you think I should be looking for?
    I thought for example that I'd apply for a job at Chambers and Partners - do you guys think that would improve my application? I guess what I want is a job that will pay me enough to sustain myself AND actively improve my chances of getting a TC next year.

    Thanks again for any helpful responses.
    Anything connected to the legal world will be great - yes roles at Chambers or other legal publications could be an option. Also try interim entry level business service roles within law firms (there's little point applying for permanent roles) - admin roles in Marketing, Pro-bono teams, Business Development etc. Or if not n law firms, try any accountancy firms that also are a partnership business structure. Paralegal roles will be difficult with the GDL or LPC, but are not impossible to get either.

    Also try organisations that work with law firms - I have seen a few people who have worked with organisations who deal with Graduate Recruiters within the legal sector then get TCs - they built up their knowledge of law firms and their recruitment processes by working closely with them.

    But I have seen plenty of non-legal related work experience help people get a TC - public sector roles, teaching, Finance roles - nothing that is directly related to law at all, but yet bring a transferable skills set.

    Also try open days and careers events (workshops etc) as a way of building up your legal experience. It can really help show your motivation/drive for learning more about the industry.
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    (Original post by likezerogravity)
    Perhaps you could apply to be a paralegal?
    Difficult (but not impossible) without the GDL and/or LPC.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Difficult (but not impossible) without the GDL and/or LPC.
    Ah sorry, didn't know that.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Anything connected to the legal world will be great - yes roles at Chambers or other legal publications could be an option. Also try interim entry level business service roles within law firms (there's little point applying for permanent roles) - admin roles in Marketing, Pro-bono teams, Business Development etc. Or if not n law firms, try any accountancy firms that also are a partnership business structure. Paralegal roles will be difficult with the GDL or LPC, but are not impossible to get either.

    Also try organisations that work with law firms - I have seen a few people who have worked with organisations who deal with Graduate Recruiters within the legal sector then get TCs - they built up their knowledge of law firms and their recruitment processes by working closely with them.

    But I have seen plenty of non-legal related work experience help people get a TC - public sector roles, teaching, Finance roles - nothing that is directly related to law at all, but yet bring a transferable skills set.

    Also try open days and careers events (workshops etc) as a way of building up your legal experience. It can really help show your motivation/drive for learning more about the industry.
    Thank you, that's really helpful.
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    (Original post by 111222)
    Hi everyone,

    After a lot of soul searching I finally came to the conclusion this year that I want to become a commercial solicitor. I have a first class degree in History from a top UK university and am currently doing an MA.
    I applied for a few vac schemes in the winter, had two interviews (one at a US and one at a MC firm), but at the moment it looks like none of my applications were successful, which means I don't have a TC for next year.

    I pretty much know what my problem is - I don't have sufficient and serious legal work experience. All the other interviewees at the ACs I attended had much better work experiences than me (or studied law, which obviously shows commitment - and these were all for vac schemes, not even TCs...).
    So after this first, unsuccessful attempt I am determined to try again next year; gain more experience, improve my application, apply earlier etc., but I would love to hear some advice on how to do this.

    Unfortunately I will not be able to self-fund the GDL, so that is not an option.
    For this summer I have pretty much secured a 1-2 month long internship at a medium-sized law firm through networking, which is going to be an amazing experience (they do not offer TCs).
    Unfortunately from the summer onwards I will need to find a job that pays me enough to continue living in London etc. and I was wondering what kind of jobs do you think I should be looking for?
    I thought for example that I'd apply for a job at Chambers and Partners - do you guys think that would improve my application? I guess what I want is a job that will pay me enough to sustain myself AND actively improve my chances of getting a TC next year.

    Thanks again for any helpful responses.
    The fact that you have already been interviewed at a MC and at a US firm is promising. Particularly as you have very little experience currently.

    My personal feeling is that the 1-2 month long internship you have already organised, alongside some open days at the firms, or similar firms, as the ones you are going to apply to should be enough legal work experience.

    Therefore, whilst any legal work you manage to secure during your year off would be great, I wouldn't be too strung up on it.

    Any role in a professional environment would be regarded as useful for your applications, so if I was you I would just focus on trying to secure the most interesting role I could for the year that paid the bills. If I was being really selective I would most likely attempt to work for the types of clients the law firms I was applying to most commonly work for.
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    (Original post by Conzy210)
    The fact that you have already been interviewed at a MC and at a US firm is promising. Particularly as you have very little experience currently.

    My personal feeling is that the 1-2 month long internship you have already organised, alongside some open days at the firms, or similar firms, as the ones you are going to apply to should be enough legal work experience.

    Therefore, whilst any legal work you manage to secure during your year off would be great, I wouldn't be too strung up on it.

    Any role in a professional environment would be regarded as useful for your applications, so if I was you I would just focus on trying to secure the most interesting role I could for the year that paid the bills. If I was being really selective I would most likely attempt to work for the types of clients the law firms I was applying to most commonly work for.
    This is spot on advice - also try speculative applications to in-house legal teams. It might not be the best paid work out there, but it can look great on a CV/application form.
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    I'm a few years qualified at a MC firm. My personal advice is that I don't think you should worry too much about the lack of legal experience. Some people do ridiculous amounts of work experience but I honestly don't think it adds very much to VS/TC applications. I think the internship you describe is a good idea and should be more than enough legal experience to get on a vac scheme.

    Firms are equally interested in non-legal experience which demonstrates determination and other transferable skills. I think a few months travelling or working abroad, or a few months doing voluntary work, would do just as much for your application (probably more) than a few more months in a law firm. If you can't afford to do that then working in a law firm is fine but feel free to look at other jobs too.

    As firms receive so many applications, the whole process is a bit of a lottery. The fact you got interviews shows that you are capable, and your interview technique will improve each time. I think you should make a large number of applications (no reason why you can't do 15-20) to increase your chances of success.
 
 
 
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