securing a training contract for an overseas student Watch

neverminder123
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Hi to everyone,

I am an overseas student who very soon is going to embark on my PhD in law and I was wondering what are the chances of getting a training contract after having completed the PhD? By the time I finish my PhD I will be 33 years old, does this fact reduce my chances?
thanks
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Avril_92
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Under UK legislation you don't need to disclose your age and it shouldn't matter at all.

I think your chances will basically be based on grades, work experience and how rounded you are like everyone else. There are a few books online which are good and give you loads of advice - best one I've read was called 'The Training Contract Bible' from Amazon.

Either way just keep applying and sure you'll get at least an interview.
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neverminder123
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Thank you very much for your reply, that’s really helpful 🙂
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arrowhead
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Age is not allowed to play a factor, but who really knows what goes on behind closed doors? In my intake, we had one guy who had had a 10-year career in the FCO before moving over to corporate law for his training. He was 36 when we started our TCs.

(Unrelated - He immediately went back to the FCO upon qualifying - can't say that was a shocker.)
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neverminder123
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Thanks for you replies, so hopefully based on these information there is always a chance of securing a TC. But another concern is that as far as I know many big international law firms recruit potential trainees via vacation schemes, though some firms don’t, but this practice seems to be prevalent especially amongst the US law firms operating worldwide, and is it true that an overseas student won’t be eligible for such a vacation scheme due to visa restrictions, I.e. working hours limit ? Do you know any other way of getting a TC, I mean if I didn’t use this vacation scheme route, would it be still possible to apply?
Thank you very much
(Original post by arrowhead)
Age is not allowed to play a factor, but who really knows what goes on behind closed doors? In my intake, we had one guy who had had a 10-year career in the FCO before moving over to corporate law for his training. He was 36 when we started our TCs.

(Unrelated - He immediately went back to the FCO upon qualifying - can't say that was a shocker.)
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mishieru07
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(Original post by neverminder123)
Thanks for you replies, so hopefully based on these information there is always a chance of securing a TC. But another concern is that as far as I know many big international law firms recruit potential trainees via vacation schemes, though some firms don’t, but this practice seems to be prevalent especially amongst the US law firms operating worldwide, and is it true that an overseas student won’t be eligible for such a vacation scheme due to visa restrictions, I.e. working hours limit ? Do you know any other way of getting a TC, I mean if I didn’t use this vacation scheme route, would it be still possible to apply?
Thank you very much
Vacation schemes take place during the holidays - they (typically) don't take place during term time. You shouldn't have a problem if you're on a UK student visa.
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Varis
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(Original post by neverminder123)
Thanks for you replies, so hopefully based on these information there is always a chance of securing a TC. But another concern is that as far as I know many big international law firms recruit potential trainees via vacation schemes, though some firms don’t, but this practice seems to be prevalent especially amongst the US law firms operating worldwide, and is it true that an overseas student won’t be eligible for such a vacation scheme due to visa restrictions, I.e. working hours limit ? Do you know any other way of getting a TC, I mean if I didn’t use this vacation scheme route, would it be still possible to apply?
Thank you very much
You'll have to check your official term-time. If there is a clash, you will have to talk to the firm to see if something can be arranged. I personally only realised my term-time clash after I was offered the vacation scheme. I was provided an alternative scheme, where, for the first week where the clash occurred, I did not attend any of the socials and only worked 4 of the 5 days in the work week. I was still offered a training contract, but i definitely felt, at the time, that I was disadvantaged given the lesser time I had to network, meet people, attend presentations, socials, etc.

However, generally, you should not have issues with the visa restrictions in the Summer. It is very unlikely you'll be able to attend Winter or Easter vacations schemes, however, given that they tend to clash.

Therefore, you should look at the term-times first, and then primarily focus on securing Summer VSs, and then consider some direct training contract applications.
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neverminder123
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Thank you very much for such great advice. So it is more reasonable to consult the University first before applying for a VS. And again I deeply appreciate your time for clearing it up, I am very grateful!
(Original post by Varis)
You'll have to check your official term-time. If there is a clash, you will have to talk to the firm to see if something can be arranged. I personally only realised my term-time clash after I was offered the vacation scheme. I was provided an alternative scheme, where, for the first week where the clash occurred, I did not attend any of the socials and only worked 4 of the 5 days in the work week. I was still offered a training contract, but i definitely felt, at the time, that I was disadvantaged given the lesser time I had to network, meet people, attend presentations, socials, etc.

However, generally, you should not have issues with the visa restrictions in the Summer. It is very unlikely you'll be able to attend Winter or Easter vacations schemes, however, given that they tend to clash.

Therefore, you should look at the term-times first, and then primarily focus on securing Summer VSs, and then consider some direct training contract applications.
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arrowhead
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(Original post by neverminder123)
Thanks for you replies, so hopefully based on these information there is always a chance of securing a TC. But another concern is that as far as I know many big international law firms recruit potential trainees via vacation schemes, though some firms don’t, but this practice seems to be prevalent especially amongst the US law firms operating worldwide, and is it true that an overseas student won’t be eligible for such a vacation scheme due to visa restrictions, I.e. working hours limit ? Do you know any other way of getting a TC, I mean if I didn’t use this vacation scheme route, would it be still possible to apply?
Thank you very much
More and more firms rely on Vacation Schemes to assess potential trainees. It's all a bit of a lark to be honest. You have to individually check different firms' websites to ascertain whether or not they accept straight TC applications or not.

Then too, you need to accept the fact that the visa restrictions are so onerous now that unless you're already a student in the UK and directly moving to a TC post-LPC completion, it's become next to impossible to hire internationals. One of my closest friends didn't get retained upon qualification (she's international), so she had to leave the country because she couldn't secure a job elsewhere. As soon as she left the country, she was immediately subject to a 1 year "cooling off" period, which means she couldn't come back to work in the UK for a year. After the 1 year period ended, she managed to land a job at a top firm that was willing to sponsor her visa and then they had to come back and say they couldn't hire her because the visa process was so convoluted in her circumstances. Not saying that will happen to you, but just adjusting your expectations about the fact that being an international student in the UK makes things much, much harder when it comes to recruitment, regardless of industry (but Law is pretty bad for this generally and your options are limited).

Beyond the anecdotal evidence, as an international student myself who secured a TC and struggled through the process, I can tell you that it is no walk in the park and I have lost countless hours of sleep because of it.
Last edited by arrowhead; 3 weeks ago
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--nino--
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Arrowhead can I message you, please? I am an overseas student and I think I need to adjust my expectations
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