Low 2:1 and Vacation Schemes Watch

Matty60
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I received my 1st year module results at the beginning of June. My overall grade is 61%, with a low 2:2 in Contract Law. I don't want to talk about the circumstances which led to such a low result (they are not "extenuating").

Will I have to wait until my final year to apply for vacation schemes at City (SC/MC/US) firms? I'm guessing my work experience at City firms and extra-curricular stuff will be worthless with this poor Contract Law result. Even if I achieved a high 2:1 in 2nd year, would this grade prevent me from getting a TC at a "top" (SC/MC/US) firm?
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Varis
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(Original post by Matty60)
I received my 1st year module results at the beginning of June. My overall grade is 61%, with a low 2:2 in Contract Law. I don't want to talk about the circumstances which led to such a low result (they are not "extenuating").

Will I have to wait until my final year to apply for vacation schemes at City (SC/MC/US) firms? I'm guessing my work experience at City firms and extra-curricular stuff will be worthless with this poor Contract Law result. Even if I achieved a high 2:1 in 2nd year, would this grade prevent me from getting a TC at a "top" (SC/MC/US) firm?
You can still apply. Certain firms will have policies to 'automatically' reject you for your Contract Law grade (e.g. Davis Polk). Most US firms will also view this as a negative. However, with a strong, well written application, you can still get to interview stage and then it'll be primarily up to your performance. Therefore, you can apply to all / most firms, especially if you have a strong application notwithstanding your grades.

If you do get rejected, I'd also caution on primarily putting the 'blame' on your grades, since that can often be overstated and it prevents people from accepting that the answers you write are the main distinguishing factor from your application being great or trash.

I know a few people who have been very successful (Multiple TCs at SC, US and MC level). They had 2.2s in Contract. You'll naturally be asked about it at interview, so just prepare an answer. None of them have Extenuating Circumstances. It'll help to apply after some stronger grades, which may be your 1st Semester grades, etc, but it is not necessary. The reason why it helps is it'll be evidence to explain that it was a minor blip, rather than indicative of your intellectual capability. You don't really need it at the time of application, insofar as it is available in evidence during the interview phase.

Hope this helps.
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jacketpotato
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Which university are you at?

You will get more leeway for 2:2 grades from Oxbridge than a 2:2 from other universities.

If you get a high 2:1 overall that is enough, your whole academic history gets taken into account.
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Kitta
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I have 2 2:2 modules and it never got in the way for any of my applications, I was applying with 63% and never got rejected due to academic capabilities as far as I am aware. Even Bakers I got through and they're notoriously strict with academic requirements. If you're going for top eschelon US firm then yes it will hurt you but for MC / (not-top-elite) US firms you should be fine.

The firms where it would matter you'd almost certainly need a high 2:1 / first anyway, like Kirklands & David Polk
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flatlined
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(Original post by Matty60)
I received my 1st year module results at the beginning of June. My overall grade is 61%, with a low 2:2 in Contract Law. I don't want to talk about the circumstances which led to such a low result (they are not "extenuating").

Will I have to wait until my final year to apply for vacation schemes at City (SC/MC/US) firms? I'm guessing my work experience at City firms and extra-curricular stuff will be worthless with this poor Contract Law result. Even if I achieved a high 2:1 in 2nd year, would this grade prevent me from getting a TC at a "top" (SC/MC/US) firm?
Don't waste your life on this. It's totally crap. Vac schemes are just a piss up depending on the firm to get people in. Most city lawyers feel like this. Even if you are in the 1% of people who find it tolerable or "quite enjoy" it, there are so many easier ways to make a middle class professional salary with less hours, less stress and more fun.

I'm at a US firm, people work themselves here to an early grave. If this all sounds fine to you, then you're probably enough of a sociopath to make this career work.
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jacketpotato
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(Original post by flatlined)
I'm at a US firm, people work themselves here to an early grave.
You constantly complain on here about how you hate your job due to the hours and pressures.

Yet for some reason you choose to stay in a sort of firm right at the top end in terms of hours and pressure.

For the life of me I do not understand why you don't simply move to a different firm which will suit you better. It is easy enough to move to a mid-market UK firm where the pay is good, and the hours/pressure completely reasonable.

The vast majority of lawyers are working at firms with more reasonable requirements, the pressured US firms are a tiny minority of the market.
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flatlined
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You don’t help anyone by misrepresenting the truth that most people in big city firms are miserable and work insane hours.

And I am afraid the OP explicitly talks about those sorts of firms.

You were beasted and were a minority who qualified in a niche advisory area. From the sounds of things you’ve muddled out a nice senior associate gig with reasonable hours at a smaller firm. Good for you, but don’t represent that’s where most people at 5PQE are. Don’t represent that most people at 5PQE in big city firms are happy.

Then you can stop quoting me and I can stop replying. I don’t make public comments on my exact career direction. I might leave next week or next year, but I couldn’t disclose it! Thanks.
(Original post by jacketpotato)
You constantly complain on here about how you hate your job due to the hours and pressures.

Yet for some reason you choose to stay in a sort of firm right at the top end in terms of hours and pressure.

For the life of me I do not understand why you don't simply move to a different firm which will suit you better. It is easy enough to move to a mid-market UK firm where the pay is good, and the hours/pressure completely reasonable.

The vast majority of lawyers are working at firms with more reasonable requirements, the pressured US firms are a tiny minority of the market.
Last edited by flatlined; 1 week ago
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jacketpotato
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(Original post by flatlined)
You don’t help anyone by misrepresenting the truth that most people in big city firms are miserable and work insane hours.

And I am afraid the OP explicitly talks about those sorts of firms.

You were beasted and were a minority who qualified in a niche advisory area. From the sounds of things you’ve muddled out a nice senior associate gig with reasonable hours at a smaller firm. Good for you, but don’t represent that’s where most people at 5PQE are. Don’t represent that most people at 5PQE in big city firms are happy.
You might be confusing me with someone else. I do mainstream corporate in the city in a major international firm.

There is a noticeable difference between working at a "top" US firm vs. other US firms vs. Magic Circle vs. the rest of the other big city firms.

If you hate your job but don't do anything about it, particularly in a buoyant market with countless good options available both in private practice and in house, you have only yourself to blame to be honest.
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flatlined
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You wrote that you do IP and leave at 6pm having moved to a smaller firm. Pretty sure it was you.

If people want to believe your crap, it’s up to them. I’ve got no one to convince. It is like this everywhere - magic circle, HSF, Lovells etc. The lower down the chain you to the better it is. HSF will have you working from home one day a week, but in a busy transaction team my friends are still billing 2000+ hours there.

It doesnt change the fact most city lawyers hate their jobs and the hours are terrible.

I have had 3 colleagues moan about their jobs and talk the talk about leaving in just the last few hours. It is like this everywhere and this is the second shop I’ve been at.

Edit: I’m not confused that you said you leave at 6pm everyday!! It’s in your latest posts.
(Original post by jacketpotato)
You might be confusing me with someone else. I do mainstream corporate in the city in a major international firm.

There is a noticeable difference between working at a "top" US firm vs. other US firms vs. Magic Circle vs. the rest of the other big city firms.

If you hate your job but don't do anything about it, particularly in a buoyant market with countless good options available both in private practice and in house, you have only yourself to blame to be honest.
Last edited by flatlined; 1 week ago
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jacketpotato
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(Original post by flatlined)
You wrote that you do IP and leave at 6pm having moved to a smaller firm. Pretty sure it was you.
I remember the post, but it wasn't me. It was someone else. I do corporate M&A, not IP.

If people want to believe your crap, it’s up to them. I’ve got no one to convince. It is like this everywhere - magic circle, HSF, Lovells etc. The lower down the chain you to the better it is. HSF will have you working from home one day a week, but in a busy transaction team my friends are still billing 2000+ hours there.

It doesnt change the fact most city lawyers hate their jobs and the hours are terrible.
Again, you are only looking at a small slice of firms which have the most demanding requirements. A firm like HSF or Lovells are much closer to the Magic Circle than the vast majority of corporate/commercial firms, so you'd expect a Magic Circle style beasting.

I don't believe for a moment that the average person at HSF is doing 2000 hours. The target hours for getting a bonus at HSF are 1700. Only something like half of their lawyers achieve that.

The hours requirements at HSF are much worse than at the mid-market city firms, which represent a larger slice of the market. Do you really think the people at firms on this list https://www.legal500.com/c/london/co...deals-50m-250m are working 2000 hours????

Similarly do you really believe that people working at some of the firms ranked on the Premium M&A list (DLA Piper, Baker McKenzie, CMS, Norton Rose) are working 2000 hours? They are not.

(Original post by flatlined)
Edit: I’m not confused that you said you leave at 6pm everyday!! It’s in your latest posts.
I leave at 6pm or before on many days, yes. Not every day - as a corporate lawyer you do sometimes have to work into the small hours when closing deals. In fact I'm in the office right now. But nobody here does 2000 hours I can assure you - probably most people do more like 1400-1500.
Last edited by jacketpotato; 1 week ago
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flatlined
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Those are somewhat typical hours for the two separate teams my friends are in.
I bill around 2500+ being top US end.
MC and equivalent friends get up to the 2k end..

Kids on here don’t understand billable hours anyway. Needless to say for all those firms you mention - the second tier city firms - 8pm is a closer leaving time with lots of later nights and plenty of weekend work. The higher up you go the worse the hours.
Stress is high. Management is usually shoddy. L
Discontent almost universal.

No point in debating this. Just arguing this makes kids think that there are two sides. You have no side. I even know people at the shops you mention like Taylor Wessing and whilst they work a lot lot less than they did previously, it’s still no picnic and they’re still in the process of quitting I.e reaching the desired seniority to land an appropriate in house gig.
(Original post by jacketpotato)
I remember the post, but it wasn't me. It was someone else. I do corporate M&A, not IP.


Again, you are only looking at a small slice of firms which have the most demanding requirements. A firm like HSF or Lovells are much closer to the Magic Circle than the vast majority of corporate/commercial firms, so you'd expect a Magic Circle style beasting.

I don't believe for a moment that the average person at HSF is doing 2000 hours. The target hours for getting a bonus at HSF are 1700. Only something like half of their lawyers achieve that.

The hours requirements at HSF are much worse than at the mid-market city firms, which represent a larger slice of the market. Do you really think the people at firms on this list https://www.legal500.com/c/london/co...deals-50m-250m are working 2000 hours????

Similarly do you really believe that people working at some of the firms ranked on the Premium M&A list (DLA Piper, Baker McKenzie, CMS, Norton Rose) are working 2000 hours? They are not.


I leave at 6pm or before on many days, yes. Not every day - as a corporate lawyer you do sometimes have to work into the small hours when closing deals. In fact I'm in the office right now. But nobody here does 2000 hours I can assure you - probably most people do more like 1400-1500.
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jacketpotato
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(Original post by flatlined)
Those are somewhat typical hours for the two separate teams my friends are in.
I bill around 2500+ being top US end.
MC and equivalent friends get up to the 2k end..

Kids on here don’t understand billable hours anyway. Needless to say for all those firms you mention - the second tier city firms - 8pm is a closer leaving time with lots of later nights and plenty of weekend work. The higher up you go the worse the hours.
Stress is high. Management is usually shoddy. L
Discontent almost universal.

No point in debating this. Just arguing this makes kids think that there are two sides. You have no side. I even know people at the shops you mention like Taylor Wessing and whilst they work a lot lot less than they did previously, it’s still no picnic and they’re still in the process of quitting I.e reaching the desired seniority to land an appropriate in house gig.
You exaggerate hours requirements. Less than 50% of the lawyers at HSF qualify for the bonus which kicks in at 1700 hours - that is a fact that is published by the firm. I am sure some associates hit billable 2000 hours in the MC firms, but I imagine well under 5% of the associate base in any particular year.

The hours get better as you get more senior. Not worse. The partners in MC firms simply are not sitting there until the late hours of the morning on a regular basis.

People in Taylor Wessing are not sitting there until 8pm every night (though they will sometimes, of course) and won't be working weekends regularly (if ever). No worse than most other professional jobs you could care to name.

I would say that most people I come across in the corporate teams of mid-tier firms are pretty happy with their job. Admittedly satisfaction levels in the US firms and MC firms are significantly lower! But some of the people in those firms enjoy their jobs too.

The suggestion that there is a "desired seniority" to land an appropriate in-house gig is just nonsense. There are loads of interesting and well paid in-house roles available to people from NQ up. The idea that you somehow have to stay in private practice until you are senior is at least 15 years out of date.
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flatlined
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By second tier, I meant DLA, Bakers etc.

I stand by everything i said. Bad job. Possible to get through it unscathed, yes. But most don’t.

(Original post by jacketpotato)
You exaggerate hours requirements. Less than 50% of the lawyers at HSF qualify for the bonus which kicks in at 1700 hours - that is a fact that is published by the firm. I am sure some associates hit billable 2000 hours in the MC firms, but I imagine well under 5% of the associate base in any particular year.

The hours get better as you get more senior. Not worse. The partners in MC firms simply are not sitting there until the late hours of the morning on a regular basis.

People in Taylor Wessing are not sitting there until 8pm every night (though they will sometimes, of course) and won't be working weekends regularly (if ever). No worse than most other professional jobs you could care to name.

I would say that most people I come across in the corporate teams of mid-tier firms are pretty happy with their job. Admittedly satisfaction levels in the US firms and MC firms are significantly lower! But some of the people in those firms enjoy their jobs too.

The suggestion that there is a "desired seniority" to land an appropriate in-house gig is just nonsense. There are loads of interesting and well paid in-house roles available to people from NQ up. The idea that you somehow have to stay in private practice until you are senior is at least 15 years out of date.
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jacketpotato
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I can understand why you have a negative view of the world if you are doing 2500 billable hours ! You might feel different if you moved somewhere where you'd be doing 1400-1600 (which is most of the international city firms).

I think there is just a natural human desire to be competitive. Everyone wants to work for the "best" firm and get paid "more money" than everybody else. But that's not always the best way to go, life is not a willy swinging contest.

I bet that if you did a survey of associates at the top-billing US firms or the Magic Circle vs. the lawyers at other major international city firms ... you would find that associates working for the other firms are on average happier with their jobs.
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flatlined
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The thing that’s weird is you make it out to be just my opinion or that I am a negative person. It’s not that it’s my opinion. It’s a statistical fact.
And it’s borne out of the fact that humans don’t like working 14 hour days doing tedious office work.
I’m not a lone wolf just having a moan.
The OP specifically was talking about US, MC and SC firms. My post is in answer to that.

Would people be better off working at Eversheds in Sheffield? Yeah most people would probably be happier, but there are easier and funner ways to make more money. I would honestly just leave law rather than work at Eversheds without very particular excepting circumstances.
(Original post by jacketpotato)
I can understand why you have a negative view of the world if you are doing 2500 billable hours ! You might feel different if you moved somewhere where you'd be doing 1400-1600 (which is most of the international city firms).

I think there is just a natural human desire to be competitive. Everyone wants to work for the "best" firm and get paid "more money" than everybody else. But that's not always the best way to go, life is not a willy swinging contest.

I bet that if you did a survey of associates at the top-billing US firms or the Magic Circle vs. the lawyers at other major international city firms ... you would find that associates working for the other firms are on average happier with their jobs.
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Kitta
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Both of you have completely derailed the conversation, and are making absolutely irrelevant comments to the OP's problem at hand.

If you have personal qualms take it to direct messaging.
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JohanGRK
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(Original post by Kitta)
Both of you have completely derailed the conversation, and are making absolutely irrelevant comments to the OP's problem at hand.

If you have personal qualms take it to direct messaging.
Oh **** off you bore

Comments like these are the only reason why TSR is worth logging into

No one wants to read the same sanitised crap about 'OP having a chance' or whatever. Some of us are actually going into this profession and would like as many honest insights as we can get.
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Kitta
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
Oh **** off you bore

Comments like these are the only reason why TSR is worth logging into

No one wants to read the same sanitised crap about 'OP having a chance' or whatever. Some of us are actually going into this profession and would like as many honest insights as we can get.
I have a training contract at an MC firm. This is irrelevant bickering, go to rollonfriday if you want gossip, not studentroom.
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JohanGRK
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(Original post by Kitta)
I have a training contract at an MC firm. This is irrelevant bickering, go to rollonfriday if you want gossip, not studentroom.
Did you mention the MC thing specifically to prove a point? Because I'm not sure that anyone on this thread is impressed by that.

When you start spending actual time on this site you'll realise that TSR caters to a wide range of audiences and that some of the best discussions arise organically. It's one of the reasons why the moderators are more restrained than they could otherwise be.

RoF is packed full of weirdos who think that their time at Ashursts in the 90s is representative of the profession today. Very useful, obviously, but I value having this place as an extra source of info more than I value your obsession with order
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Kitta
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
Did you mention the MC thing specifically to prove a point? Because I'm not sure that anyone on this thread is impressed by that.

When you start spending actual time on this site you'll realise that TSR caters to a wide range of audiences and that some of the best discussions arise organically. It's one of the reasons why the moderators are more restrained than they could otherwise be.

RoF is packed full of weirdos who think that their time at Ashursts in the 90s is representative of the profession today. Very useful, obviously, but I value having this place as an extra source of info more than I value your obsession with order
It was to show that I wanted to go into the profession too, you clearly make sweeping statements based in no real credibility and it's a waste of time trying to talk to you. Please don't reply to me anymore.
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