Any hope for a mature applicant from overseas?

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randomunused
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Not me but my boyfriend has been going through the constant hell that is applications and rejections. I'm wondering if there's something wrong with his applications or whether he just doesn't fit the 'type' law firms are after. The little feedback he's had is that on the whole his applications are good.

A little background. He is:

- Canadian (did a Canadian non-law degree at a not-very well known uni but good GPA)
- 42 years old. Left Canada after uni and worked in China and Japan for around a decade (primarily unskilled work like bar work and teaching english, but in the latter years worked in a sort of sales role involving phone tech)
- Did a graduate LLB at City University in London and ended up with a 2:2 due to mitigating circumstances (death in the family). When he's received feedback, law firms have said they accept the mitigating circumstances and don't penalise him for this.
- Did the LPC at BPP and got a distinction. Finished LPC in Sep 2014

Since Sep 2014 he's been non-stop applying and not getting anywhere. He's currently very high up in a tech company (was the 3rd employee and now over 100 employees) based in canada but works in the UK. It's not a legal role though he does get involved in contracts, GDPR and the like. He doesn't want to paralegal as firstly it'd be a sizeable salary drop, secondly, there's no guarantee it'd lead to a TC, and thirdly he's been told by a partner at a law firm that it would look weird on his CV to take this 'step back'.

I don't know what he can do. He wants the big commercial firms (not necessarily magic circle but large and international).

Sorry for the wall of text but it's been 6 years now and it's soul destroying to watch him be rejected.
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Slickdave
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He doesn't want to paralegal as it would be a "sizeable salary drop"?

What does he expect when changing careers? He works in IT it's not exactly a related field. Maybe someone will take him on as a trainee on full pay.... but I doubt it.
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randomunused
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(Original post by Slickdave)
He doesn't want to paralegal as it would be a "sizeable salary drop"?

What does he expect when changing careers? He works in IT it's not exactly a related field. Maybe someone will take him on as a trainee on full pay.... but I doubt it.
He's happy to take the salary hit as a trainee; he's just hesitant to do so when there's no guarantee. To be honest, it was more the partners saying that they would find it odd to read on a CV that he'd changed jobs to paralegal as they'd see it as a step backwards from his current position
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Slickdave
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(Original post by randomunused)
He's happy to take the salary hit as a trainee; he's just hesitant to do so when there's no guarantee. To be honest, it was more the partners saying that they would find it odd to read on a CV that he'd changed jobs to paralegal as they'd see it as a step backwards from his current position
So in other words the partners are thinking:

"Why does this guy want to give up his job in which he earns decent money, and start a new career?"

why climb down a ladder you are half way up, to start at the bottom of another?

he needs to explain fully why his current career isn't right for him, and why he really, really wants to start working in law. They are probably thinking this guy is a risk and might decide 6 months down the line he doesn't want to do law either.
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randomunused
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(Original post by Slickdave)
So in other words the partners are thinking:

"Why does this guy want to give up his job in which he earns decent money, and start a new career?"

why climb down a ladder you are half way up, to start at the bottom of another?

he needs to explain fully why his current career isn't right for him, and why he really, really wants to start working in law. They are probably thinking this guy is a risk and might decide 6 months down the line he doesn't want to do law either.
That's a very good way of putting it! It's easy for him to say it's his dream and he's always wanted to do it, but from their perspective, other than a couple of bits of work experience (some of which was >20 years ago), what has he done to figure out this is what he wants?

Thanks for your reply! It definitely makes sense.
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mnot
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(Original post by randomunused)
Not me but my boyfriend has been going through the constant hell that is applications and rejections. I'm wondering if there's something wrong with his applications or whether he just doesn't fit the 'type' law firms are after. The little feedback he's had is that on the whole his applications are good.

A little background. He is:

- Canadian (did a Canadian non-law degree at a not-very well known uni but good GPA)
- 42 years old. Left Canada after uni and worked in China and Japan for around a decade (primarily unskilled work like bar work and teaching english, but in the latter years worked in a sort of sales role involving phone tech)
- Did a graduate LLB at City University in London and ended up with a 2:2 due to mitigating circumstances (death in the family). When he's received feedback, law firms have said they accept the mitigating circumstances and don't penalise him for this.
- Did the LPC at BPP and got a distinction. Finished LPC in Sep 2014

Since Sep 2014 he's been non-stop applying and not getting anywhere. He's currently very high up in a tech company (was the 3rd employee and now over 100 employees) based in canada but works in the UK. It's not a legal role though he does get involved in contracts, GDPR and the like. He doesn't want to paralegal as firstly it'd be a sizeable salary drop, secondly, there's no guarantee it'd lead to a TC, and thirdly he's been told by a partner at a law firm that it would look weird on his CV to take this 'step back'.

I don't know what he can do. He wants the big commercial firms (not necessarily magic circle but large and international).

Sorry for the wall of text but it's been 6 years now and it's soul destroying to watch him be rejected.
So ive know idea why tbh, but I suspect as a package he just doesnt suit a trainee contract role...
regardless what they say I suspect the 2.2 will only negatively impact the roles (imo whats likely happening is that the extenuating circumstances just mean instead of a computer filling his application in the rejection bin, an HR rep does).

Whilst its unfortunate he suffered a bereavement during his degree, one thing corporate law requires is the ability to control high stress, high pressure coupled to exhausting workloads (and often put the job ahead of personal problems) and a 2.2 to a recruiter probably signals the opposite.

Also whilst his employment history might be useful, I suspect unless he can turn that into skills that map onto what a law firm are requiring it might not actually help at all, this might be something he can improve on, there is an art to scouring employers websites looking for the attributes they specifically seek and use their exact terminology on your CV and link it your experience.

Age, unlikely to lead to a rejection imo, but probably wont help most trainees are early-mid twenties and so it probably looks odd, and realistically you'll have less time to advance in the career although lots of people bail out after 10 years anyway.

Also your really supposed to lock in a role either the year you graduate or during the LPC (maybe the immediate hiring window afterwords), going on longer looks like a hole on your CV and every year after it gets harder to explain away.

Sorry, this isnt what you want to hear (and is all speculation on my part). I would recommend re-modelling the CV and do some deep prep for whatever step he's falling over on.

How many in-person interviews has he had? Has he gotten any feedback as to why hes been rejected?
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randomunused
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(Original post by Slickdave)
So in other words the partners are thinking:

"Why does this guy want to give up his job in which he earns decent money, and start a new career?"

why climb down a ladder you are half way up, to start at the bottom of another?

he needs to explain fully why his current career isn't right for him, and why he really, really wants to start working in law. They are probably thinking this guy is a risk and might decide 6 months down the line he doesn't want to do law either.
That's a very good way of putting it! It's easy for him to say it's his dream and he's always wanted to do it, but from their perspective, other than a couple of bits of work experience (some of which was >20 years ago), what has he done to figure out this is what he wants?

Thanks for your reply! It definitely makes sense.
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J Papi
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https://www.thecorporatelawacademy.com/forum/threads/ask-a-graduate-recruiter-anything.1557/
Ask Jess if you haven't already. She's extremely experienced and will likely have dealt with people like your bf in the past.

(Original post by mnot)
So ive know idea why tbh, but I suspect as a package he just doesnt suit a trainee contract role...
regardless what they say I suspect the 2.2 will only negatively impact the roles (imo whats likely happening is that the extenuating circumstances just mean instead of a computer filling his application in the rejection bin, an HR rep does).

Whilst its unfortunate he suffered a bereavement during his degree, one thing corporate law requires is the ability to control high stress, high pressure coupled to exhausting workloads (and often put the job ahead of personal problems) and a 2.2 to a recruiter probably signals the opposite.

Also whilst his employment history might be useful, I suspect unless he can turn that into skills that map onto what a law firm are requiring it might not actually help at all, this might be something he can improve on, there is an art to scouring employers websites looking for the attributes they specifically seek and use their exact terminology on your CV and link it your experience.

Age, unlikely to lead to a rejection imo, but probably wont help most trainees are early-mid twenties and so it probably looks odd, and realistically you'll have less time to advance in the career although lots of people bail out after 10 years anyway.

Also your really supposed to lock in a role either the year you graduate or during the LPC (maybe the immediate hiring window afterwords), going on longer looks like a hole on your CV and every year after it gets harder to explain away.

Sorry, this isnt what you want to hear (and is all speculation on my part). I would recommend re-modelling the CV and do some deep prep for whatever step he's falling over on.

How many in-person interviews has he had? Has he gotten any feedback as to why hes been rejected?
I also suspect (though don't know) that age is an issue. A 40-something-year-old may not have the stamina/drive to stay on for long enough to make the firm enough profit to recoup the cost of their training (i.e. a few years PQE), and they may be deemed to be less willing to learn or subject themselves to supervisors who are younger than them.

The fact that they have not had any experience in law and seem to have risen up in another career field also raise red flags re: commitment
Last edited by J Papi; 2 months ago
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randomunused
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(Original post by mnot)
So ive know idea why tbh, but I suspect as a package he just doesnt suit a trainee contract role...
regardless what they say I suspect the 2.2 will only negatively impact the roles (imo whats likely happening is that the extenuating circumstances just mean instead of a computer filling his application in the rejection bin, an HR rep does).

Whilst its unfortunate he suffered a bereavement during his degree, one thing corporate law requires is the ability to control high stress, high pressure coupled to exhausting workloads (and often put the job ahead of personal problems) and a 2.2 to a recruiter probably signals the opposite.

Also whilst his employment history might be useful, I suspect unless he can turn that into skills that map onto what a law firm are requiring it might not actually help at all, this might be something he can improve on, there is an art to scouring employers websites looking for the attributes they specifically seek and use their exact terminology on your CV and link it your experience.

Age, unlikely to lead to a rejection imo, but probably wont help most trainees are early-mid twenties and so it probably looks odd, and realistically you'll have less time to advance in the career although lots of people bail out after 10 years anyway.

Also your really supposed to lock in a role either the year you graduate or during the LPC (maybe the immediate hiring window afterwords), going on longer looks like a hole on your CV and every year after it gets harder to explain away.

Sorry, this isnt what you want to hear (and is all speculation on my part). I would recommend re-modelling the CV and do some deep prep for whatever step he's falling over on.

How many in-person interviews has he had? Has he gotten any feedback as to why hes been rejected?
Speculation is still helpful! My opinion is his age, his education (being overseas) and his mitigating circumstances.

He's not had any in-person interviews. The only feedback he received was about mitigating circumstances (being acceptable) and one from one of the Big Four accountancy firms saying they would've put him through to the next round if he hadn't done the LPC... which is a bit out of his hands!
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randomunused
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(Original post by J Papi)
https://www.thecorporatelawacademy.com/forum/threads/ask-a-graduate-recruiter-anything.1557/
Ask Jess if you haven't already. She's extremely experienced and will likely have dealt with people like your bf in the past.


I also suspect (though don't know) that age is an issue. A 40-something-year-old may not have the stamina/drive to stay on for long enough to make the firm enough profit to recoup the cost of their training (i.e. a few years PQE), and they may be deemed to be less willing to learn or subject themselves to supervisors who are younger than them.

The fact that they have not had any experience in law and seem to have risen up in another career field also raise red flags re: commitment
I agree with the age thing. It just frustrates me because I'd like to know for sure. Because if it's definitely the age thing we can take a step back and just accept that it's not going to happen and it's out of his hands and there's no point in continuing to try.

Edit: thanks for the link - i'll give that a go!
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J Papi
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(Original post by randomunused)
Speculation is still helpful! My opinion is his age, his education (being overseas) and his mitigating circumstances.

He's not had any in-person interviews. The only feedback he received was about mitigating circumstances (being acceptable) and one from one of the Big Four accountancy firms saying they would've put him through to the next round if he hadn't done the LPC... which is a bit out of his hands!
You might want to ask Jess about whether having done the LPC can actually hurt a candidate... I've seen a lot of 'ideally no LPC' requirements in recent paralegal job ads on LinkedIn... Don't know why anyone would want to stipulate this...
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randomunused
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(Original post by J Papi)
You might want to ask Jess about whether having done the LPC can actually hurt a candidate... I've seen a lot of 'ideally no LPC' requirements in recent paralegal job ads on LinkedIn... Don't know why anyone would want to stipulate this...
That's interesting! When I was applying for my paralegal roles a few years ago the vast majority did want the LPC. My my my, the law industry is a fickle beast.
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mnot
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(Original post by randomunused)
Speculation is still helpful! My opinion is his age, his education (being overseas) and his mitigating circumstances.

He's not had any in-person interviews. The only feedback he received was about mitigating circumstances (being acceptable) and one from one of the Big Four accountancy firms saying they would've put him through to the next round if he hadn't done the LPC... which is a bit out of his hands!
The fact he hasnt got any in-person interviews likely means:
-His CV is lacking or has a red flag
-He is unable to pass the online tests (if he is applying to firms using these)
Unfortunately unless you make it to interview you basically get no feedback as their is simply too many applicants/interview

Well Big4 is a different industry, but they basically just screen applicants with online aptitude tests before assessment days.

Given he has failed in 6 years to gain 1 in-person interview signals hes unlikely to progress imo, I suspect things like the 2.2 (at a non-target) may mean these firms will always overlook him, these are jobs with 50+ applicants/place brutal ratios.
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randomunused
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(Original post by mnot)
The fact he hasnt got any in-person interviews likely means:
-His CV is lacking or has a red flag
-He is unable to pass the online tests (if he is applying to firms using these)
Unfortunately unless you make it to interview you basically get no feedback as their is simply too many applicants/interview

Well Big4 is a different industry, but they basically just screen applicants with online aptitude tests before assessment days.

Given he has failed in 6 years to gain 1 in-person interview signals hes unlikely to progress imo, I suspect things like the 2.2 (at a non-target) may mean these firms will always overlook him, these are jobs with 50+ applicants/place brutal ratios.
Yea I'm very concerned it's his 2.2, despite the mitigating circumstances.

Re the online tests, he has gone through the tests to the next stage each time - I assumed that had meant he'd passed the tests, but are you saying that everyone tends to go through the tests and to the next stage, and then it's all assessed before inviting to an interview/assessment centre?
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mnot
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(Original post by randomunused)
Yea I'm very concerned it's his 2.2, despite the mitigating circumstances.

Re the online tests, he has gone through the tests to the next stage each time - I assumed that had meant he'd passed the tests, but are you saying that everyone tends to go through the tests and to the next stage, and then it's all assessed before inviting to an interview/assessment centre?
Every company has a different method.
A normal process is:
submit application > Online tests > Computer screens test results & CV/application > HR rep screening > Phone/Online interview > Screening > assessment day & interview > screening > potential even more interviews > scores tallied offers extended

Most applicants automatically get to the online test phase, its what happens next thats important
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