I have been applying for Training Contracts since 2015 (2nd year of my single honours Law degree). I have also been applying for Vacation Schemes over the same period, if the firms are taking applications for them at the same time. I have literally got no response whatsoever in over 2 years. During this time, I graduated with a 2:1 Law degree and I am now on course to achieve a Commendation for my Masters degree.
Admittedly, my biggest weakness is my complete lack of experience. I am trying to apply for Paralegal work, however I am getting the same level of response. I am completely willing to play the long game and work in different positions at a law firm before eventually beginning my Training Contract (at best, it looks like the earliest possible start will be 2019), but I can't even attract the employers attention for these other jobs because of lack of experience. I feel like I have exhausted all avenues and I'd just like some suggestions on any action I can take.
The 2 main practice areas which interest me are Commercial Law and Criminal Law. I appreciate that it is unlikely to find a commercial law firm that specialises in Criminal, but rather have it as a segment of Private Client work. However, becoming a Commercial Lawyer is certainly the priority for me. I selected Company Law and Commercial Law as my option modules as part of my Law degree, and now I've studied Commercial Law and Practice & Commercial Dispute Resolution as my electives to supplement the Business Law and Practice & Dispute Resolution compulsory modules. I enjoy working in business and want to pursue a career that revolves around it. However, it seems I keep getting the door shut in my face before I can even get started.
I'm quite sure one of the issues is the application forms, I struggle with questions like "why do you want to be a (commercial) lawyer)" or "why do you want to specifically work with our firm" without just entering the using generic answers. I do extensive research into the firms I apply for, but it's to explain what distinguishing qualities they have and demonstrating my interest. I probably have the same problem with the questions regarding my reasons behind pursuing a career in law. Of course, without sounding naive (I appreciate the importance of employers finding employees with real long-term commitment), it is so frustrating because I 100% know that I want this. I wouldn't have spent 4 years studying and purposefully selecting modules relating to commercial work if I wasn't. I found it profoundly more difficult to decide what career path I wanted to pursue, but this is because I knew I needed to be completely honest with myself. My results are half-decent, and I don't want to lower my standards too much and thus apply for firms that aren't of the stature with which I want to work. Nonetheless, I have kept an open mind and applied for a multitude of firms, but got nothing back.
Can anyone offer any guidance on what my next steps could be?
Thanks in advance
Help!! LLB LPC MSc (Law, Business & Management) Graduate failing to get foot in door Watch
- Thread Starter
- 21-07-2017 00:51
- 21-07-2017 06:39
By got nothing back do you mean not a single interview? If so then the problem is most definitely with your application forms, it would be easier to take them to someone and ask where they think you're going wrong.
What sort of firms are you applying to?
- Community Assistant
- 21-07-2017 08:26
Feel free to PM me a recent application you have submitted and I'll have a look over it and explain where the issues are.
It's impossible to guess/give advice without seeing one.
But how many firms have a commercial and criminal practice areas? Are you really applying to the right type of firms as this seems an odd combination unless you are looking at high street practices (criminal is not my area of expertise though!).
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- Thread Starter
- 21-07-2017 18:40
I really do mean "nothing back", the furthest I've ever gotten is the automated email confirming my application has been sent. I've done plenty of research, but I really can't see what I'm doing wrong.
I've attempted to try my luck everywhere. I know commercial firms by and large don't cover criminal practice, so I've applied to mid-sized city/regional firms that simply specialise in your typical commercial firm practice areas, but then also took a shot with smaller high street firms that provide a more diverse range of practices.
J-SP: That would be hugely appreciated. I'm in the midst of applying to Pinsent Masons, I'll send it you once I've finished!
- 27-07-2017 11:32
Just a thought and do what I did(btw before this i had NO legal experience), Apply for an admin role in HMCTS and then move around within the court "court usher, clerk etc.. They usually have agencies that recruit for them on 3 month contracts "I think the agency called brook street but not 100% sure these days"
Now it's not a firm but it'll put you in good stead to meet advocates and judges that can help you on your path as to writing your applications and eventually gaining references from them (i got a reference for my GDL from someone high court level in the judiciary, helped massively). Also the court system is having a huge "remodelling" atm with large "call centers" that will allow people to ring the court and gain information about case. Again it's not working for a firm but experience is hard to come by these days and law experience is experience at the end of the day. This is gonna be met with a huge recruitment drive in the coming months so keep you eyes peeled
Hope this helps in a way.Last edited by Tronster; 27-07-2017 at 13:47.
- 30-07-2017 10:00
Go and work in business for a couple of years and come back to law, honestly you will see how easy it is to get in that way and you will look back and see how much of a ball ache it is to get a law grad job lol. Go into insurance, compliance heck even the civil service knuckle down then you will see how little your grades matter compared to your experience. No rush to get a TC, most of the lawyers I know went and did unrelated stuff out of uni for a good few years. Who knows, you might even enjoy your line of work and not want to go for that TC which will see you work 80+ hour weeks and spend no time seeing family whilst getting burnt out and depressed etc....law isn't everything and the sooner you realise this the easier it will become for you to rationalise in your head and also secure a TC should you want thatLast edited by neal95; 30-07-2017 at 10:01.