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Realistic Chances of Training Contract? watch

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    Hi, I am in my second year of a law degree at a top RG university.

    My first year grades were pretty poor; one first 1-2 2:1s and the rest 2:2s and this ended up with an average of 59.5% for my first year (2:2).

    I am now going to be applying for TCs in the summer and I think I will get a 2:1 this semester. If I can somehow secure a 2:1 this year and get a first overall in my entire degree how good of a chance do I have at securing a good TC? My year 2 is 25% and year 3 is 75%.

    What firms can I realistically apply to this summer? How much do first year grades matter if I can show that I have gotten the higher grades when it matters?

    The firms I aspire to work for are Baker and Mckenzie, Skadden, White & Case, Clifford Chance etc but tbh I do not think these are realistic anymore due to my first year grades?

    What firms are more realistic?
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    (Original post by AspiringLawyr)
    The firms I aspire to work for are Skadden, White & Case, Clifford Chance
    Don't we all.
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    Which modules were the 2:2s in? If it was something like contract or tort law that may somewhat hinder your chances for those type of firms.
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    J-SP
    Perseverance


    should be able to help
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    It really depends on your strength in other areas. If you have a standout application elsewhere this all becomes less of an issue. If the rest of your form is fairly standard, then this is more of an issue.

    I don’t think there is any harm in applying to most of not all of these firms in the summer if you get a strong and consistent 2.1 in your second year modules. Don’t be too disheartened if it isn’t a successful season, you can always apply in your final year or after graduating.
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    (Original post by AspiringLawyr)
    Hi, I am in my second year of a law degree at a top RG university.

    My first year grades were pretty poor; one first 1-2 2:1s and the rest 2:2s and this ended up with an average of 59.5% for my first year (2:2).

    I am now going to be applying for TCs in the summer and I think I will get a 2:1 this semester. If I can somehow secure a 2:1 this year and get a first overall in my entire degree how good of a chance do I have at securing a good TC? My year 2 is 25% and year 3 is 75%.

    What firms can I realistically apply to this summer? How much do first year grades matter if I can show that I have gotten the higher grades when it matters?

    The firms I aspire to work for are Baker and Mckenzie, Skadden, White & Case, Clifford Chance etc but tbh I do not think these are realistic anymore due to my first year grades?

    What firms are more realistic?
    I think you'll be ok. It's a hurdle - for some firms more than others, but I wouldn’t discount yourself yet. Just be prepared to explain at interview.
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    (Original post by JohanGRK)
    Don't we all.
    hahaha should have thought about it more in first year
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    (Original post by AspiringLawyr)
    hahaha should have thought about it more in first year
    I say this as someone who has been rejected at some point by all three firms :'(

    First year law students are so on top of it these days that, if you're not applying for first year schemes by Christmas, you're doing something wrong. Kinda scary
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    (Original post by Perseverance)
    I think you'll be ok. It's a hurdle - for some firms more than others, but I wouldn’t discount yourself yet. Just be prepared to explain at interview.
    Yeah, unfortunately I got sucked into the "first year does not count" and relaxed and eased up far too much! Im hoping I can get mostly 2:1s and firsts this year. Will it help if I get a 1st overall in my degree? Shows improvement etc?

    (Original post by J-SP)
    It really depends on your strength in other areas. If you have a standout application elsewhere this all becomes less of an issue. If the rest of your form is fairly standard, then this is more of an issue.

    I don’t think there is any harm in applying to most of not all of these firms in the summer if you get a strong and consistent 2.1 in your second year modules. Don’t be too disheartened if it isn’t a successful season, you can always apply in your final year or after graduating.
    Do you have any tips on how to be a more standout applicant besides academics? I have work experience albeit not in the commercial sector. I did apply to a few vacation schemes which I am yet to hear back from.

    I am just hoping I can achieve a first in my overall degree and if not this year then get a 2021 TC.
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    (Original post by JohanGRK)
    I say this as someone who has been rejected at some point by all three firms :'(

    First year law students are so on top of it these days that, if you're not applying for first year schemes by Christmas, you're doing something wrong. Kinda scary
    I did not even bother applying as they would have laughed at my application.

    Yeah, honestly there are people in first year asking for help with applications etc its crazy. This is definitely a bad thing for us if we dont get TCs this year then this is the competition next season and its looking even more competitive, who could have thought.
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    (Original post by AspiringLawyr)
    I did not even bother applying as they would have laughed at my application.

    Yeah, honestly there are people in first year asking for help with applications etc its crazy. This is definitely a bad thing for us if we dont get TCs this year then this is the competition next season and its looking even more competitive, who could have thought.
    Indeed. I can only hope that my age and wisdom will help me out during my second round of applications (or third, if you count first year schemes). Doing apps is just part of university life at this point. It's like studying.
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    (Original post by JohanGRK)
    Indeed. I can only hope that my age and wisdom will help me out during my second round of applications (or third, if you count first year schemes). Doing apps is just part of university life at this point. It's like studying.
    Youre applying already? I assume for TCs? Is it not early?
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    (Original post by AspiringLawyr)
    Yeah, unfortunately I got sucked into the "first year does not count" and relaxed and eased up far too much! Im hoping I can get mostly 2:1s and firsts this year. Will it help if I get a 1st overall in my degree? Shows improvement etc?
    If you get a first you'll be among the top line of candidates grades-wise. Most students have a 2:1. Grades are just one part of the picture though, so as long as they're not a bottleneck it doesn't matter too much.
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    (Original post by Perseverance)
    If you get a first you'll be among the top line of candidates grades-wise. Most students have a 2:1. Grades are just one part of the picture though, so as long as they're not a bottleneck it doesn't matter too much.
    Do you have any advice on how to make my application stand out?
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    (Original post by AspiringLawyr)
    Do you have any advice on how to make my application stand out?
    • Write well: keep it simple, concise and relevant.
    • Demonstrate a genuine interest in commercial law, try to steer away from cliché.
    • Understand the firm you’re applying for, make it clear that this could never be a copy/paste application – tailor it.
    • Bring out your experiences, use a structure and sell yourself – even if you don’t think it’s an impressive extra-curricular, you can make it into.
    • Avoid common pitfalls like listing your qualities, typos or overusing meaningless words like ‘passionate’.
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    (Original post by AspiringLawyr)
    Youre applying already? I assume for TCs? Is it not early?
    Not yet - even though I see myself applying for vac schemes and TCs next year! (planning to take a year out even if I get a TC offer this September)
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    (Original post by AspiringLawyr)
    Do you have any tips on how to be a more standout applicant besides academics? I have work experience albeit not in the commercial sector. I did apply to a few vacation schemes which I am yet to hear back from.

    I am just hoping I can achieve a first in my overall degree and if not this year then get a 2021 TC.
    A good applicant typically has the vast majority of the following:

    Some work experience - if it isn’t an office environment job, then part-time work or volunteering will help. Basically you need to show you have worked outside of academia in some capacity and that you haven’t just sat back and only done the things you like doing.

    Extra curriculars - what this really means is showing evidence of committing to something, potentially working in team or with others, being determined to have some form of success/achievement from them, and that you keep yourself busy.

    Signs of doing well academically - dodgy grades can be looked past if you have subsequently gone on to do well, and especially if there is other evidence of strong academics (A-levels etc).

    Evidence of pursuing the career - whether it’s attending events, work experience, open days - basically any activity that shows you have decided to pursue the career or at least find out more about it.

    The non negotiables are though:

    A well written application
    Clear motivation for the firm and the career
    Some level of genuine interest in the matters that the firm works on
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    (Original post by JohanGRK)
    Not yet - even though I see myself applying for vac schemes and TCs next year! (planning to take a year out even if I get a TC offer this September)
    So youre in your second year too? Yeah I feel as though I will have to take a year out to even stand a chance at securing a decent TC. Not ideal considering I had a gap year already.
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    (Original post by AspiringLawyr)
    So youre in your second year too? Yeah I feel as though I will have to take a year out to even stand a chance at securing a decent TC. Not ideal considering I had a gap year already.
    There are always a significant proportion of trainees at most firms that don’t come to it straight from uni. Even if you did have another year out, you’d only be the same age as someone who did a four year non-law degree, or a non-law grad who had only had one gap year.

    I think most lawyers who are 2-4 are PQE and didn’t have a gap year or two wished they had taken the opportunity to take one (or more).
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    (Original post by AspiringLawyr)
    So youre in your second year too? Yeah I feel as though I will have to take a year out to even stand a chance at securing a decent TC. Not ideal considering I had a gap year already.
    Yep, second year

    I think that the key thing to remember is that where you start off your legal career will largely influence your prospects, salary, even practice area. So it's worth taking a year or two out, doing something productive with that time (while re-applying to better firms), in the hope of getting something better. It's worth it if you get something in the end!

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    Without meaning to sound brash, a lot of the people who I see applying to MC-tier firms would have little difficulty getting into national firms if they put in the effort into doing Open days, sending out good applications, preparing for interview, etc. However, they don't wish to start off at that level.
 
 
 
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