London090
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Does anyone have any experience in any magic circle law firm? How hard is it to get a job in one?
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CoolCavy
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Moved to legal.
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London090
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
Moved to legal.
thanks!
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idk01
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One of my distant relatives is a director at one of the Magic Circle Law Firms, however I am yet to contact them regarding it. During my Year 13 work experience, I spoke to trainee solicitors at LinkLaters & Clifford Chance; both people seemed very normal, in fact they actually appeared to be fairly shy when I was talking to them. That being said, they must have some special qualities as getting a contract with one of these firms is certainly a challenge, given their popularity amongst law graduates. I guess what I'm trying to say is anyone can get the job - provided you work hard and stand out from the crowd.
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jacketpotato
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It is very tough and requires a lot of effort and commitment. All city firms get vastly more applications than they have places. This is especially true of the Magic Circle.

I don't think the firms actually publish the number of applications but I've certainly overheard MC partners saying that there more than 30 applications for each spot. Partners involved in recruitment have also told me that basically everyone has at least AAB, a 2:1 from a good university and comes across as personable. I've also heard from a number of partners that they find it extremely difficult to distinguish between people who are all very impressive and all have great academics.

I worked in an MC firm until recently and would say that roughly 40% of the trainees studied at Cambridge or Oxford. The remainder studied at other Russell group universities.

As a general rule nearly all trainees will have a very good 2:1 from a highly ranked university and a minimum of AAB at A-level. Most successful candidates exceed that standard. I'm sure there are exceptions but as a general rule you need those grades to be a realistic candidate.

You also need to perform well at interview, demonstrate outside interests and "play the game" in terms of doing vacation schemes and attending assessment centres as part of the interview processes.

I would also say that most trainees are now something like 23-25. There are still a good number who start TCs straight out of university and the LPC but I would say they are in the minority. Most people do something else for a year or two before landing their TC.

There is are some detailed stats here. https://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/wh...d-universities.

I would also add that the MC is not the "be all and end all". There are plenty of other great firms doing all sorts of fascinating work - and many of them are ranked higher than the MC in certain areas of law. If you go to work at an MC firm you must be prepared to work into the early hours of the morning and to work weekends when required (not all the time, but some of the time). You must also be prepared to be right at the bottom of the rung and to spend a lot of time doing tasks like proofreading. You must also get comfortable with the sort of finance/corporate work you are likely to be doing. MC firms are not the best place for everybody (and indeed the attrition rate is high - associates leave in their droves once they get to about 2-3 years PQE) and that's OK.
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jacketpotato
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True - but my experience is that there were lots of whizz kids who got firsts from Oxford/Cambridge in my intake. And only perhaps 1 or 2 people who had something like a 2:1 from Newcastle.

It is very possible to get into the MC with a 2:1 from Newcastle, but it would be more difficult than with a first from Oxbridge ... the Newcastle kid would need to think about how he/she can stand out from the crowd.
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London090
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(Original post by jacketpotato)
It is tough. All city firms get vastly more applications than they have places, this is especially true of the Magic Circle.

I don't think the firms actually publish the number of applications but I've certainly overheard partners saying that there more than 30 applications for each spot. Partners involved in recruitment have also told me that basically everyone has at least AAB, a 2:1 from a good university and comes across as personable. I've also heard from a number of partners that they find it extremely difficult to distinguish between people who are all very impressive and all have great academics.

I worked in an MC firm until recently and would say that roughly 40% of the trainees studied at Cambridge or Oxford. The remainder studied at other Russell group universities.

As a general rule nearly all trainees will have a very good 2:1 from a highly ranked university and a minimum of AAB at A-level. Most successful candidates exceed that standard. I'm sure there are exceptions but as a general rule you need those grades to be a realistic candidate.

You also need to perform well at interview, demonstrate outside interests and "play the game" in terms of doing vacation schemes and attending assessment centres as part of the interview processes.

I would also say that most trainees are now something like 23-25. There are still a good number who start TCs straight out of university and the LPC but I would say they are in the minority. Most people do something else for a year or two before landing their TC.

There is are some detailed stats here. https://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/wh...d-universities.

I would also add that the MC is not the "be all and end all". There are plenty of other great firms doing all sorts of fascinating work. If you go to work at an MC firm you must be prepared to work into the early hours of the morning and to work weekends when required (not all the time, but some of the time). You must also be prepared to be right at the bottom of the rung and to spend a lot of time doing tasks like proofreading. You must also get comfortable with the sort of finance/corporate work you are likely to be doing. MC firms are not for everybody and that's OK.
Thank you for your reply, it was very detailed and helpful. I have checked the website and I can clearly see how you made the point that most people who get into the best firms are majorly graduated from Oxbridge. I hope to study at either LSE or UCL but Oxford is in my prospects but I'm not sure I would get in😅
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jacketpotato
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(Original post by London090)
Thank you for your reply, it was very detailed and helpful. I have checked the website and I can clearly see how you made the point that most people who get into the best firms are majorly graduated from Oxbridge. I hope to study at either LSE or UCL but Oxford is in my prospects but I'm not sure I would get in😅
Don't worry about that - there are lots and lots of LSE and UCL graduates in MC firms.
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sally_1912
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(Original post by jacketpotato)
True - but my experience is that there were lots of whizz kids who got firsts from Oxford/Cambridge in my intake. And only perhaps 1 or 2 people who had something like a 2:1 from Newcastle.

It is very possible to get into the MC with a 2:1 from Newcastle, but it would be more difficult than with a first from Oxbridge ... the Newcastle kid would need to think about how he/she can stand out from the crowd.
What if you got a First from a non Russell group uni?
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jacketpotato
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(Original post by sally_1912)
What if you got a First from a non Russell group uni?
You can still get into corporate/commercial law with a 2:1 or first from a non-Russell group uni. Getting a TC is very competitive so you would need to make sure that everything else which goes into your application is strong.
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lawcalling
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(Original post by jacketpotato)
It is very tough and requires a lot of effort and commitment. All city firms get vastly more applications than they have places. This is especially true of the Magic Circle.

I don't think the firms actually publish the number of applications but I've certainly overheard MC partners saying that there more than 30 applications for each spot. Partners involved in recruitment have also told me that basically everyone has at least AAB, a 2:1 from a good university and comes across as personable. I've also heard from a number of partners that they find it extremely difficult to distinguish between people who are all very impressive and all have great academics.

I worked in an MC firm until recently and would say that roughly 40% of the trainees studied at Cambridge or Oxford. The remainder studied at other Russell group universities.

As a general rule nearly all trainees will have a very good 2:1 from a highly ranked university and a minimum of AAB at A-level. Most successful candidates exceed that standard. I'm sure there are exceptions but as a general rule you need those grades to be a realistic candidate.

You also need to perform well at interview, demonstrate outside interests and "play the game" in terms of doing vacation schemes and attending assessment centres as part of the interview processes.

I would also say that most trainees are now something like 23-25. There are still a good number who start TCs straight out of university and the LPC but I would say they are in the minority. Most people do something else for a year or two before landing their TC.

There is are some detailed stats here. https://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/wh...d-universities.

I would also add that the MC is not the "be all and end all". There are plenty of other great firms doing all sorts of fascinating work - and many of them are ranked higher than the MC in certain areas of law. If you go to work at an MC firm you must be prepared to work into the early hours of the morning and to work weekends when required (not all the time, but some of the time). You must also be prepared to be right at the bottom of the rung and to spend a lot of time doing tasks like proofreading. You must also get comfortable with the sort of finance/corporate work you are likely to be doing. MC firms are not the best place for everybody (and indeed the attrition rate is high - associates leave in their droves once they get to about 2-3 years PQE) and that's OK.
Completely agree with the above. I’ve done an MC vac and TC interviews at two other MC firms. I’d say it varies between 1 to 5% success rate. As mentioned, a 2.1 is completely sufficient and I applied and interviewed at the above firms after achieving a good 2.1 in first year.

Feel free to ask me any questions!
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