Is it worth doing a gdl, or is it worth re considering my whole law hopes

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w678
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I finished my final year of uni, I’ve had some mitigating circumstances and I input my grades onto a spreadsheet and I was estimated at a 2:2 borderline.
My issue here is, is it worth continuing my hopes for having a career in law, I know it’s massively competitive and I went to a good university top 30. But I’m just wondering if realistically I’ll secure a training contract etc.

I know someone who worked at a magic circle law firm previously and I kept in contact with him regarding vac schemes etc so I was considering keeping him as a contact for most law opportunities.
But again, is it worth reconsidering my career path
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MidgetFever
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It's gonna be pretty tough if you do end up with a 2:2. Most firms have a 2:1 as a minimum and that's just as a minimum.. There will be loads of students out there with firsts and plenty of EC's/experience.

I don't want to discourage you, as long as you're aware that it's going to be difficult.
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Realisticism
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I’m not going to sugarcoat things because no one can live on a diet of hopes and dreams.

Unless your mitigating circumstances are exceptional AND transient, you will find it exceedingly difficult to break into legal practice. Mitigating circumstances can actually work against you. As for your contact, it depends on whether he has any sway over or knowledge of the recruitment process. The more structured and layered the recruitment process is, the less likely your contact will be able to be of assistance (for reasons of propriety, lack of knowledge or otherwise). Since your contact is/was in an MC firm, the best that he can do is look through your application and provide tips through the process.

Don’t get me wrong. Theoretically, it is possible to obtain a TC with your grades, and there have been applicants with 2:2 who’ve secured TCs. But practically, unless your CV has something truly unique and exceptional (for example, you founded a start-up that caters to a need yet unmet in the market), it’s almost a certainty that your application will be binned.

If you’re still set on legal practice, be extremely picky about which firms you apply to, pad your CV as much as possible and sell the heck out of yourself during law career fairs and networking events.

Edit: in response to the thread title (whether it’s worth it to do the GDL), unless you’ve gotten positive responses from law firms in some way when you’ve approached them, the answer is most emphatically a no.
Last edited by Realisticism; 1 year ago
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w678
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(Original post by workinglawyer)
I’m not going to sugarcoat things because no one can live on a diet of hopes and dreams.

Unless your mitigating circumstances are exceptional AND transient, you will find it exceedingly difficult to break into legal practice. Mitigating circumstances can actually work against you. As for your contact, it depends on whether he has any sway over or knowledge of the recruitment process. The more structured and layered the recruitment process is, the less likely your contact will be able to be of assistance (for reasons of propriety, lack of knowledge or otherwise). Since your contact is/was in an MC firm, the best that he can do is look through your application and provide tips through the process.

Don’t get me wrong. Theoretically, it is possible to obtain a TC with your grades, and there have been applicants with 2:2 who’ve secured TCs. But practically, unless your CV has something truly unique and exceptional (for example, you founded a start-up that caters to a need yet unmet in the market), it’s almost a certainty that your application will be binned.

If you’re still set on legal practice, be extremely picky about which firms you apply to, pad your CV as much as possible and sell the heck out of yourself during law career fairs and networking events.

Edit: in response to the thread title (whether it’s worth it to do the GDL), unless you’ve gotten positive responses from law firms in some way when you’ve approached them, the answer is most emphatically a no.
I was a primary carer for a poorly family member and obviously this had an impact on my grades. I actually secured a place on a certain vacation scheme even after I places that in my application I did secure a place but she was taken in to hospital again and I missed a deadline within the company. But they mentioned to apply again I’m not sure if I should or shouldn’t

The person I knew in the firm was there for 4 years and studied at Oxford so I thought I could utilise that for support as it’s always good to know someone who works in the field.

I’m not ready to give up my law hopes yet I’ve taken a year out to now see if I can gain legal experience which would also help. But it’ll help me come to a decision in regards to the gdl. If I struggle to secure any vac schemes I may sway my choice and save the time and money.
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w678
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How else could I go about applying if I don’t have the gdl? I assumed that was the only route. I would also be happy to consider paralegal work. I like the idea of working my way up.

And what happened was my relative was rushed to hospital and I had a deadline within 24 hours and missed it. I wondered if it would go against me. But they just told me to try again in 6 months.
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Realisticism
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Look, I sympathise, but at the end of the day (and I can’t reiterate this enough) law is a business. Broadly speaking, the only imperative (commercial) law firms have is to make money. No one takes on trainees as pro bono or because they feel sorry for the trainees. That’s why mitigating circumstances must be transient in nature. If your circumstances after you commence employment are such that your work is likely to be disrupted on short notice, what can you offer that will convince an employer with no shortage of exceptional candidates that you’re nonetheless a worthy hire? How else can you demonstrate that but for your temporary setbacks, you are otherwise a good and reliable employee?


Taking a gap year to gain experience is a good idea. Gauge the responses that you get and make a decision whether it’s worth proceeding from there. But I would again caution against reading the GDL. You don’t actually need the GDL to get on vacation schemes or to be offered a TC. The GDL and LPC are, however, likely required by law firms if you’re applying for a paralegal position.
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