Considering going into law as a science graduate

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Bumbletumble
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Graduated last year from a top Russell group university with a 1st. Having failed to get a graduate job for this year I am considering a move into law. I understand training contracts are very hard to secure. Without any legal experience or a vac scheme on my CV, how likely am I in securing one for september 2020?

I understand as a non law graduate you need to do your GDL then LPC, do I need to find a place to do the GDL before applying for training contracts, or do you receive your training contract first (if you get one) then work on finding a place for the GDL?
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by Bumbletumble)
Graduated last year from a top Russell group university with a 1st. Having failed to get a graduate job for this year I am considering a move into law. I understand training contracts are very hard to secure. Without any legal experience or a vac scheme on my CV, how likely am I in securing one for september 2020?
Very unlikely. There are a couple of schemes that are targeted towards science grads (CC has one), but their intake is small and you still need to be able to prove that you will are interested in practising law as a solicitor (as opposed to developing legaltech or whatever fancy new thing they're working on). Every law firm will be assessing you in part on whether you have made an informed choice to study law. If you haven't got any legal experience, haven't interacted with grad rec, haven't gone to any open days/presentations/workshops/careers fairs/etc, you will struggle to convince them that you have made an informed choice and that this isn't a backup. (It certainly sounds like a backup to me and you might want to reconsider why you're considering law as a backup as opposed to literally anything else).

It's also worth noting that, for most people, getting a TC takes time. It's a learning process: you need to learn how to write good apps, learn how to pass the WG/VIs, learn how to pass an assessment centre, learn how to do well (or what not to do, rather) on a vac scheme, etc. Most people I know only got a TC after two or three application cycles. Chances are that someone who's chucked out a few direct TC apps in one summer won't have gotten enough rejection feedback to improve and pass all the hurdles in the assessment process. It just takes time.

I understand as a non law graduate you need to do your GDL then LPC, do I need to find a place to do the GDL before applying for training contracts, or do you receive your training contract first (if you get one) then work on finding a place for the GDL?
Some firms fund the GDL. Getting a TC before the GDL isn't the norm though. If you're serious about law, you should apply and self-fund it. You can chuck out more apps next year. If you're not up to self-funding, you could try finding work that's vaguely law-related in order to give yourself an income and buy yourself a year to send out applications. I know of people who've graduated with non-law degrees and found work as paralegals or as contractors for legaltech startups (think Kira, Avokka, that sort of thing).
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The University of Law Students
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(Original post by Bumbletumble)
Graduated last year from a top Russell group university with a 1st. Having failed to get a graduate job for this year I am considering a move into law. I understand training contracts are very hard to secure. Without any legal experience or a vac scheme on my CV, how likely am I in securing one for september 2020?

I understand as a non law graduate you need to do your GDL then LPC, do I need to find a place to do the GDL before applying for training contracts, or do you receive your training contract first (if you get one) then work on finding a place for the GDL?
Hey,

In terms of obtaining a training contract for 2020 it is highly unlikely. Most training contracts are two years in advance so applying for them this year will mostly start in 2022 and do require understanding of the law and relevant work experience. It is also hard to receive funding for the GDL through a training contract as most training contracts only provide funding for the LPC.

If I were you I would apply first for the GDL and try to obtain work experience in as many firms as possible (I know this is hard during these uncertain times). Good ways to bolster your CV when applying for training contracts is through voluntary work such as legal advice clinics (pro bono work) and independent charities who provide advice - this will help show that you are eager for a career in law.

If you do get a training contract then you must first complete your GDL and then your LPC and then you will start your training contract within a firm, which is 2 years of training to become a qualified solicitor.

I hope this helps!

Emily
(Student Ambassador, LPC, Liverpool)
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harrysbar
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Completely agree with the other 2 posters - having a 1st from a top RG uni will in no way be enough for you to get a training contract without any legal work experience. If I were you and assuming you are serious about wanting to be a solicitor, I would think about whether it is possible to self fund the GDL as that will give you access to work experience options and prove that you are serious about law. A law conversion course is available at lots of private providers such as BPP (called the PGDL) and ULaw plus some unis such as City in London, for example, and it doesn't matter where you take it (prestige wise) so it's not like choosing a uni at undergraduate level. I would also see if you can gain any work experience before the course starts (such as at Citizens Advice Bureau) and research into this career a lot to make sure it is really what you want to do.
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