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TC advice for non-law graduates. What are my chances at MC/SC? Watch

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    I've always been interested in a legal career but convinced myself early on that studying law was beyond my reach (rural background, low-income family etc.). After seeing some non-law graduate friends getting training contracts with firms in the City, I've decided it's now or never but I'm not sure what my chances are of getting a good TC without a law degree.

    As it stands, I have two first-class honours degrees, a BA in Communication Studies from Dublin City University, Ireland, and an MSc in Political Science from Leiden University, the Netherlands. I have absolutely no law experience but I worked full-time throughout my undergraduate degree as an assistant manager at a cocktail bar (40 hours a week) and I held a lot of extracurricular positions e.g. online editor of the uni newspaper, class representative at the SU, and vice chairperson and public relations officer of the style society; and I won plenty of student awards for each of those positions. I also did internships with a national television broadcaster and one PR firm. Even with this experience, do you think law firms will look down on me because I haven't done law work? I'm also hoping for the gay diversity vote (lol).

    My number one choice is Freshfields, but I'm also planning on applying to Slaughter and May, Herbert Smith, and Hogan Lovells. Also considering White & Case, Latham & Watkins, and Reed Smith. Open to recommendations on any other firms worth applying to or firms that are known to have really good training contracts.

    I'm applying for Winter Workshops with Slaughter and May and Freshfields just to try and show future recruiters that I am interested in law but other than that, I can't decide if its better to apply for Spring vac schemes now or just cut out the middle man and apply directly for 2020 training contracts - I'm eager to start the GDL asap because I'm already 26.

    I'm also slight terrified that I'm just wasting my time and won't be considered so any advice on where to go from here would be much appreciated.
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    (Original post by ddavdd)
    I've always been interested in a legal career but convinced myself early on that studying law was beyond my reach (rural background, low-income family etc.). After seeing some non-law graduate friends getting training contracts with firms in the City, I've decided it's now or never but I'm not sure what my chances are of getting a good TC without a law degree.

    As it stands, I have two first-class honours degrees, a BA in Communication Studies from Dublin City University, Ireland, and an MSc in Political Science from Leiden University, the Netherlands. I have absolutely no law experience but I worked full-time throughout my undergraduate degree as an assistant manager at a cocktail bar (40 hours a week) and I held a lot of extracurricular positions e.g. online editor of the uni newspaper, class representative at the SU, and vice chairperson and public relations officer of the style society; and I won plenty of student awards for each of those positions. I also did internships with a national television broadcaster and one PR firm. Even with this experience, do you think law firms will look down on me because I haven't done law work? I'm also hoping for the gay diversity vote (lol).

    My number one choice is Freshfields, but I'm also planning on applying to Slaughter and May, Herbert Smith, and Hogan Lovells. Also considering White & Case, Latham & Watkins, and Reed Smith. Open to recommendations on any other firms worth applying to or firms that are known to have really good training contracts.

    I'm applying for Winter Workshops with Slaughter and May and Freshfields just to try and show future recruiters that I am interested in law but other than that, I can't decide if its better to apply for Spring vac schemes now or just cut out the middle man and apply directly for 2020 training contracts - I'm eager to start the GDL asap because I'm already 26.

    I'm also slight terrified that I'm just wasting my time and won't be considered so any advice on where to go from here would be much appreciated.
    Nothing you have said makes me think you shouldn’t apply to any of the firms you have mentioned, and could say the same for pretty much any other firm. You just need to explain why Law clearly, even for open days and vacation schemes.

    Will depend on other information though, like you A-level/Leaving Cert grades.

    You may also need to explain why London if you have no connection to the city.

    But you’re not wasting your time.
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    J-SP really knows his/her stuff on this issue, so I tend to defer to them. I do want to add two things:

    1) 26 is not old, and recruiters will simply want you to account for your time since finishing your MSc.

    2) Leiden is a very good university - is there any way for you to reach our through tutors/connections and find a lawyer who you can talk to? This may help when it comes to applications, even if they are not UK based.
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    My only advice would be to make more applications. I'm not convinced there is a great deal of difference between the experience you get most of the large city firms at the training contract level.

    You are more likely to have success if you make 10 applications rather than 4 - given the number of applicants there is a significant amount of randomness in the process.

    You don't need to have legal experience or a law degree, but you do need to be able to give a convincing answer to explain why you want to become a solicitor and why you want to do it at a city law firm.

    If you are convinced this is the path you want to go down, I personally would apply for training contracts directly rather than trying to get on a vac scheme.

    HSF did a very good series of short videos on youtube which give some very helpful pointers as to what they are looking for. Check them out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc8_DQ7aoHc
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)

    If you are convinced this is the path you want to go down, I personally would apply for training contracts directly rather than trying to get on a vac scheme.
    I'd personally wouldn't recommend direct applications for someone with no legal work experience unless they can be crystal clear as to why they want to be a lawyer. I would recommend open days/workshops etc to supplement non-legal work experience and show some pursuit of the career before a direct TC app.
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    Yes I completely agree, convincing reasons must be given as to why one wants to commit to training as a lawyer. GDL + LPC + TC is a 4 year commitment, so firms want to know that people are committed.

    This is more difficult to do without having done vac schemes, but not impossible.
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    Have you received confirmation of the winter non-law day at Freshfields?
 
 
 
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