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TC with a medical degree? watch

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    Hello,

    I currently study medicine at an RG university outside of London, and due to some reflection and an assessment of my priorities, I feel I may want to move into law.

    My reason for this is because I want to operate within something bigger than NHS drama. I always expected medicine to provide me with a life where I can work and make significant changes, but I've come to realise that there are so many behind-the-scenes bodies making decisions, and doctors are powerless in that they have to accept whatever injustices are thrown at them.

    If I go down this route, I'd want a TC with a good firm (Magic/Silver Circle, or American), because I have high expectations for myself, and I'd want to have every possible advantage if taking this career choice.

    So, what would I need to do to make myself competitive? I have 2-3 more years of my degree left, so I have some time to make my CV look as well-rounded as possible, whatever career choice I make.
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    (Original post by hihg)
    Hello,

    I currently study medicine at an RG university outside of London, and due to some reflection and an assessment of my priorities, I feel I may want to move into law.

    My reason for this is because I want to operate within something bigger than NHS drama. I always expected medicine to provide me with a life where I can work and make significant changes, but I've come to realise that there are so many behind-the-scenes bodies making decisions, and doctors are powerless in that they have to accept whatever injustices are thrown at them.

    If I go down this route, I'd want a TC with a good firm (Magic/Silver Circle, or American), because I have high expectations for myself, and I'd want to have every possible advantage if taking this career choice.

    So, what would I need to do to make myself competitive? I have 2-3 more years of my degree left, so I have some time to make my CV look as well-rounded as possible, whatever career choice I make.
    Good degree, good grades, good CV, experience, interview well.

    You would have a few advantages, but it is still very competitive. A lot of talented applicants will have chosen to go into Law directly and also from a lot of other disciplines. Doesnt do any harm to have gotten some work experience as well.
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    Start applying for non law opportunities (open days/careers events/work experience). Everything else should be fairly straight forward if you have a good CV. It’s just explaining why the transition, but seen medical students do it.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Start applying for non law opportunities (open days/careers events/work experience). Everything else should be fairly straight forward if you have a good CV. It’s just explaining why the transition, but seen medical students do it.
    Thanks. What else would I need to do to ensure I'm able to attract the right firms?
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    (Original post by hihg)
    Thanks. What else would I need to do to ensure I'm able to attract the right firms?
    If you can, it helps to get some kind of commercial work experience. It doesn't have to be law but it helps to be able to show that you can do office based work.
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    (Original post by hihg)
    Thanks. What else would I need to do to ensure I'm able to attract the right firms?
    Know why law and why the type of firms you mentioned (the prestige you talk about means very little); get any work experience - a part time job in retail can add as much to your CV as Work shadowing a lawyer for a couple of days; ensure you keep yourself busy and that you are not just focused on your academics; learn to write super concisely and accurately; do anything that shows you are adaptable, like responsibility, and like working with others.
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    (Original post by The Blind Monk)
    If you can, it helps to get some kind of commercial work experience. It doesn't have to be law but it helps to be able to show that you can do office based work.
    I've been an admin assistant for a year, and an HR recruitment officer for 2 months (during holidays). Don't really think it gave me any exposure to law though.
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    (Original post by hihg)
    I've been an admin assistant for a year, and an HR recruitment officer for 2 months (during holidays). Don't really think it gave me any exposure to law though.
    They will have developed transferable skills though
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    I'm a law student and I went to an open day at a law firm and I was told by the recruitment lady that they sometimes prefer if a candidate has non-law experience because it shows they can adapt to new (and different) environments and that they're flexible and 'adventurous' (I was surprised she used that word). So don't worry if you have no law experience or struggle in finding any, it's not the end of the world.

    Good luck
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    (Original post by hihg)
    I've been an admin assistant for a year, and an HR recruitment officer for 2 months (during holidays). Don't really think it gave me any exposure to law though.
    That's all good stuff pre-graduation. I wouldn't worry about it. You should always try and draw out any legal elements e.g. employment law related issues while in your HR job. While people like me are a dying breed, I got a TC at a Silver Circle firm with no legal work experience (and I am currently an associate at a US firm).

    Obviously you should be trying to get on insight days/get legal work experience wherever you can, but I wouldn't be too discouraged by a lack of legal work experience. It's really not the be all and end all.
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    You have a fine profile, 50% or so of entrants are non-law.

    You're not going to be doing God's work doing this though.

    Advice not offered above - could get yourself on a finance or law society committee. Or set up your own e.g. debt finance society or law review. Get law firms to sponsor it.

    Nowadays, law firms mostly recruit through their vac schemes. So the vac schemes are essentially apprentice style interviews for training contracts. At most places, you have to do them. Cleary even goes so far as to demand a student does their silly insight day for a place on their vacation scheme and the vac scheme is compulsory for a TC.
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    (Original post by flatlined)
    You have a fine profile, 50% or so of entrants are non-law.

    You're not going to be doing God's work doing this though.

    Advice not offered above - could get yourself on a finance or law society committee. Or set up your own e.g. debt finance society or law review. Get law firms to sponsor it.

    Nowadays, law firms mostly recruit through their vac schemes. So the vac schemes are essentially apprentice style interviews for training contracts. At most places, you have to do them. Cleary even goes so far as to demand a student does their silly insight day for a place on their vacation scheme and the vac scheme is compulsory for a TC.
    (Original post by The Blind Monk)
    That's all good stuff pre-graduation. I wouldn't worry about it. You should always try and draw out any legal elements e.g. employment law related issues while in your HR job. While people like me are a dying breed, I got a TC at a Silver Circle firm with no legal work experience (and I am currently an associate at a US firm).

    Obviously you should be trying to get on insight days/get legal work experience wherever you can, but I wouldn't be too discouraged by a lack of legal work experience. It's really not the be all and end all.
    Just one more thing I should have mentioned. I'm an international student.

    Am I more or less undesirable now?
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    (Original post by hihg)
    Just one more thing I should have mentioned. I'm an international student.

    Am I more or less undesirable now?
    You will be limited to a much smaller number of firms who can offer training contracts with a sponsored tier 2 visa, but they are the type of firms you are aiming for anyway.

    You need to ensure your application is strong in every way and probably will get tested a little more on why law in the UK and why would you stay in the UK for the medium term, but again it’s all possible.

    There are a few complications with the change of the qualification process in 2020. No one is quite sure how this will impact work permit processes, and what kind of course will be provided to non-law grads as an alternative to the GDL. But law firms will need to continue non-law applicants and international students, so if you are good enough it will all be possible, just a little hazy on the how it will be at present.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    You will be limited to a much smaller number of firms who can offer training contracts with a sponsored tier 2 visa, but they are the type of firms you are aiming for anyway.

    You need to ensure your application is strong in every way and probably will get tested a little more on why law in the UK and why would you stay in the UK for the medium term, but again it’s all possible.

    There are a few complications with the change of the qualification process in 2020. No one is quite sure how this will impact work permit processes, and what kind of course will be provided to non-law grads as an alternative to the GDL. But law firms will need to continue non-law applicants and international students, so if you are good enough it will all be possible, just a little hazy on the how it will be at present.
    Okay. Understood.

    So what do I need to plan next? I was thinking about attending open days, planning vacation schemes, etc. But is there anything I need to do before this, as I hear that these are quite competitive as well?

    I was wondering if there were any ways to get more insight on what it's actually like to work as a solicitor. Do big firms have informal shadowing sessions?
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    (Original post by hihg)
    Okay. Understood.

    So what do I need to plan next? I was thinking about attending open days, planning vacation schemes, etc. But is there anything I need to do before this, as I hear that these are quite competitive as well?

    I was wondering if there were any ways to get more insight on what it's actually like to work as a solicitor. Do big firms have informal shadowing sessions?
    You could try to get some informal work shadowing but firms won’t have programmes for this. You usually have to find a lawyer who’s be happy to help you with that. Typically people do that though connections or alumni networks. Even then, it might not always be possible.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    You could try to get some informal work shadowing but firms won’t have programmes for this. You usually have to find a lawyer who’s be happy to help you with that. Typically people do that though connections or alumni networks. Even then, it might not always be possible.
    One more thing is that a medical degree is only pass/fail. There are no firsts or 2:1

    Is that a problem?
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    (Original post by hihg)
    One more thing is that a medical degree is only pass/fail. There are no firsts or 2:1

    Is that a problem?
    You’d need to explain that.

    Do you not get any form of module results or assessment grades throughout your degree? The overall classification is one thing, but most firms will look closely at individual module results too.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Start applying for non law opportunities (open days/careers events/work experience). Everything else should be fairly straight forward if you have a good CV. It’s just explaining why the transition, but seen medical students do it.
    I switched over, this is the best advice you can get.

    Make sure you are aware of the huge financial investment necessary. The necessary courses aren't cheap.
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    (Original post by hihg)
    One more thing is that a medical degree is only pass/fail. There are no firsts or 2:1

    Is that a problem?
    Not really. Point out how it is graded overall. We still had low pass, pass, merit, distinction but that was based on the standard deviation - so Semester One progress test LP was 29% but Year Five progress test LP was 70.1.5%.

    The degree itself is impressive. A good line I used informally discussing the classification system was "who would want a second class doctor". Obviously, interviews are not the place to say that...
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    (Original post by Mimir)
    I switched over, this is the best advice you can get.

    Make sure you are aware of the huge financial investment necessary. The necessary courses aren't cheap.
    Don't firms fund our GDL and LPC?
 
 
 
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