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Advice on where to apply for a TC please watch

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    Hello,

    I'd really appreciate some advice on how to narrow down a list of firms to make TC applications to this summer. What made you all choose the firms you're applying to/you applied for?

    I know I'd like to be based in London... that's it. That's all I have to go on.

    My uni/grades probably exclude me from the MC firms. I have AAAB at A level (no general studies), 2:1 English Lit, Commendation GDL, Distinction LLM - all from Sheffield uni.

    I have 2 years experience working as a paralegal in a commercial department. I'd like to stick with commercial work but my (happy to accept) second choice would be public law (my thesis was related to public law).

    Any ideas on how to start composing a list?
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    Why would your uni and grades exclude you from MC firms?
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    (Original post by MrLintonJones)
    Why would your uni and grades exclude you from MC firms?
    Hi Mr LJ, I assumed I'd have less of a chance against the 1st class/distinctions from the top Uni's. I have a couple of oxbridge friends with similar results that failed at the very early stages of the application process to MC firms and this definitely put me off. It's not a bad thing as I'd probably be more suited to a smaller outfit. It's just that there are so many, I don't know where to start.
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    (Original post by BaileyTale)
    Hi Mr LJ, I assumed I'd have less of a chance against the 1st class/distinctions from the top Uni's. I have a couple of oxbridge friends with similar results that failed at the very early stages of the application process to MC firms and this definitely put me off. It's not a bad thing as I'd probably be more suited to a smaller outfit. It's just that there are so many, I don't know where to start.
    Plenty of Oxbridge 1sts will fail to get MC, and plenty of non-Oxbridge 2:1s will get MC. So don’t rule yourself down to just that.
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    IMHO you should not apply to an MC firm unless you really want it. The very long hours and "tiny cog in a massive machine" feel are definitely not for everybody.

    Reading TSR one sometimes gets the impression that its MC or nothing but this is absolutely not true. The good news is that there are large number of excellent firms out there which do solid commercial work. I think the Lex100 is a good place to start.

    You still have a decision to make as to whether you want to go for an extremely large firm (e.g. DLA Piper or Trowers Hamlins) which will be able to give you a very varied TC, or a smaller firm. The disadvantage of smaller firms is that they are often focussed on a particular practice area. So for example if you are particularly interested in shipping or particularly interested in acting for start-ups or want to work on IT/telecoms transactions, there are great choices, but you won't quite get the seat choice you'd get in a larger firm.
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    Thank you both, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.

    I feel a bit behind with it all, my flatmates are deep into VS apps and have detailed lists of firms to apply to and I just don't know where to start.

    I think the work is more important to me than the firm but I would like to do my training somewhere reputable enough to open up doors in the future.

    I'd love to include as much travel as possible in my job, maybe looking at international firms would make that more likely?

    Thank you again for the help. I'll get started with the Lex100.
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    (Original post by BaileyTale)
    I'd love to include as much travel as possible in my job, maybe looking at international firms would make that more likely?
    As a word of warning, while it would help to be at an international firm for secondment opportunities, the vast majority of city lawyers are not going to be doing very much business travel.
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    Apply to the MC, statistically you have a good shot. It can be more competitive to get a smaller firm because people don't realise the odds. There are just less spaces elsewhere.

    MC can sometimes be close to 1 in 15, 1 in 20. That's not bad. They also take idiots all the time, the quality of the cohort is a bit mixed (because of course they take a lot of top talent too). They take 80 odd people (or whathaveyou) with 1500-2000 applications.

    There are shops which take c.15 and have 800 people applying.

    Years ago I got an offer at Slaughters. Easy as pie - I did have a first, but the app took me an hour at most, and it was 1 very basic interview. US firm interviews were a lot tougher, repeated call backs.

    The work is also just better quality at good shops. If I were you I would really put a lot of effort into the MC, SC firms, making connections, networking, as well as US firms.

    Would I be doing what I do for 60-70k? No way. Also don't be mislead by the above - the hours are horrendous whatever City shop you go to. They're bad in the MC, just as bad in the US, just as bad at Ashurst, DLA, Dentons...there's no respite. Know what you're trying to sign up for.

    I'd actually say focus on a batch of firms, but don't narrow yourself to just looking at law - look at options outside too.

    And what BlindMonk said about the travel - bit naive. You'll be based in London. Even trainee secondments are usually 50% PR - many or most don't get them and sometimes they're a distraction/make it more difficult to qualify into a preferred seat, or give you less London office experience to a different relevant department.
 
 
 
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