GDL or year out? Watch

ES123456
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Hi everyone,

I'm a final year non-law student at a RG uni. I applied for vac schemes and got two ACs (Dentons & Hogan Lovells). My feedback was positive enough, just need to improve interview technique even further. My issue now is what to do in September. I would obviously prefer to do a paralegal role, however I have noticed that most firms require at least the GDL. I also considered commercial work experience, but I feel as though I would benefit from more legal experience. Finally, I intend to make a lot more applications in the next round and I know that would be a lot easier to organise around the GDL than a full-time job.

I was wondering if anyone else has been in the same position? Or if anyone has any general advice, that would be great!
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jacketpotato
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My opinion, as a few-years qualified solicitor at a corporate firm similar to the firms you are applying to, is that you should take a year out.

There will be plenty of time to work in the city. It is more difficult to take a year out later in your career. Personally I regret not taking a year out when I had the chance.

Taking a year out to do something that sounds interesting will help improve your general life skills and gives you something to talk about in applications and interviews.

Personally I would definitely be trying to do something fun, maybe overseas, and would avoid being a paralegal. As a trainee and junior you will have enough boring legal grunt work to do without spending a year as a paralegal too. You do not need to have been a paralegal to secure a TC at a decent firm, vac schemes are plenty (though paralegal experience can help I guess). But that's just my opinion, plenty of people do become paralegals.
Last edited by jacketpotato; 3 weeks ago
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