Spinazo
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I have a first-class undergraduate degree in Politics from a Russell group uni and I am currently studying an MA in Philosophy at a Russell group uni (finishing this academic year). I am considering converting to law and I have received an unconditional offer from the University of Law (London) for the GDL. I am thinking of becoming a solicitor. The route to qualifying as a solicitor is as follows:

(1) GDL (1 year)
(2) LPC (1 year)
(3) Training contract (2 years)

Although my academic record is strong, I have no work experience whatsoever. All my experience has been academic (although I have done some extra-curricular like debating, Model United Nations). The reason why I have no work experience (apart from one paid day spent as a ''student ambassador'' on an uni open day) is because my initial plan was to go into academia but I've had to drop that option in view of how bad the job prospects are in that area.

From what I understand (and please bear with me as this is a new field for me), I should be applying for training contracts this year? What I'm confused about is how I can apply for these given my lack of work experience? Would it be better for me to apply for vacation schemes for now and only apply for training contracts after I've gone on vacation schemes? Is it possible/''normal'' to apply for training contracts the year before I should start them? In particular, given that I aim to apply to Magic Circle firms, would I be particularly disadvantaged given my lack of work experience?

And then, of course, there's the added complication of covid-19. We have no idea what the situation will be over the next few years and whether vacation schemes/training contracts will be possible...

Any advice regarding this process would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by Spinazo; 3 months ago
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harrysbar
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(Original post by Spinazo)
I have a first-class undergraduate degree in Politics from a Russell group uni and I am currently studying an MA in Philosophy at a Russell group uni (finishing this academic year). I am considering converting to law and I have received an unconditional offer from the University of Law (London) for the GDL. I am thinking of becoming a solicitor. The route to qualifying as a solicitor is as follows:

(1) GDL (1 year)
(2) LPC (1 year)
(3) Training contract (2 years)

Although my academic record is strong, I have no work experience whatsoever. All my experience has been academic (although I have done some extra-curricular like debating, Model United Nations). The reason why I have no work experience (apart from one paid day spent as a ''student ambassador'' on an uni open day) is because my initial plan was to go into academia but I've had to drop that option in view of how bad the job prospects are in that area.

From what I understand (and please bear with me as this is a new field for me), I should be applying for training contracts this year? What I'm confused about is how I can apply for these given my lack of work experience? Would it be better for me to apply for vacation schemes for now and only apply for training contracts after I've gone on vacation schemes? Is it possible/''normal'' to apply for training contracts the year before I should start them? In particular, given that I aim to apply to Magic Circle firms, would I be particularly disadvantaged given my lack of work experience?

And then, of course, there's the added complication of covid-19. We have no idea what the situation will be over the next few years and whether vacation schemes/training contracts will be possible...

Any advice regarding this process would be greatly appreciated.
If you are starting the GDL in September it seems hightly unlikely you would be able to secure a vacation scheme starting this summer let alone a training contract before then, especially in light of covid 19. Even vacation schemes are extremely competitive and as you say, you currently have no legal work experience at all. Your best bet could be to so some voluntary work in an advisory capacity at at organisation like Citizens Advice Bureau, assuming they are open again soon.

Most non law students secure vacation schemes and training contracts whilst on the GDL, which will give you access to a range of law related extra curriculars. You will be applying to both vacation schemes (Easter and Summer) and training contracts whilst on the GDL and vacation schemes often help to secure training contracts. However, be aware that the larger firms that you are interested in normally recruit 2 years ahead. One of those years will be filled doing the LPC but you will still need to find something productive to do in the year after the LPC such as working as a paralegal.

I assume you are aware of the imminent changes to qualifying as a solicitor, the SQE? This link gives you a bit of information on it at the bottom of the page

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/jobs-and...ning-contracts
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