CharleneH87
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Ive noticed the majority of training contracts tend to be commercial based.. does it matter entirely if i was to be successful for one of them but decide to specialise in a different area?

Ive just finished second year and had the idea that i wanted to do commercial however im second guessing it all now... i enjoy criminal, immigration and am really looking forward to medical law in year 3.. if i decided to specialise in one of these areas what are my options for training contracts?

Feeling majorly stressed out now, i've always said the money is not the most important aspect for me but obviously i dont want to have spent all the time and money on a law degree to become a solicitor on a basic wage.. im just not 100% sure commercial is where my heart is..any advice welcome!!
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by CharleneH87)
Ive noticed the majority of training contracts tend to be commercial based.. does it matter entirely if i was to be successful for one of them but decide to specialise in a different area?

Ive just finished second year and had the idea that i wanted to do commercial however im second guessing it all now... i enjoy criminal, immigration and am really looking forward to medical law in year 3.. if i decided to specialise in one of these areas what are my options for training contracts?

Feeling majorly stressed out now, i've always said the money is not the most important aspect for me but obviously i dont want to have spent all the time and money on a law degree to become a solicitor on a basic wage.. im just not 100% sure commercial is where my heart is..any advice welcome!!
Well, there are obviously firms that exclusively practice in criminal law and personal injury claims... You could always find them and check what their trainee/NQ salaries are. They shouldn't be the equivalent of minimum wage.

Your best bet would be going to a firm that does both commercial law and immigration or criminal (usually investigations/white collar crime) or personal injury work. Salaries should be higher there. As a starting point, take a look into Shoosmiths, Slater & Gordon, Irwin Mitchell, and the Big 4's legal teams.

Legal 500 and Chambers UK are your friends by the way. For example, in the Legal 500 rankings for immigration (https://www.legal500.com/c/london/hu...s/immigration/), you find that many of the top-ranked firms also have sizeable commercial practices (MDR, SPB, CRS, PwC, etc.)
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jacketpotato
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It sounds like you are not 100% sure where you want to qualify. That's completely understandable. I'd suggest training at a firm which offers a few different options, so you can try out a few different areas and see what you like.

It gets even more difficult as practice can be different to study. It's entirely possible that you enjoy studying an area of law but not practicing in it. It's also very possible you might enjoy working in an area of law that you didn't study.

"Commercial" is a very broad heading. It would cover a lot of work in the healthcare sector for example. To give you an idea, here is an example of a commercial healthcare lawyer at a larger commercial firm that has a big healthcare team: https://www.hilldickinson.com/people/robert-mcgough.

Criminal is a bit more difficult, because with criminal you find a lot of smaller firms who just focus on that, rather than as part of a larger firm. That said, some of the larger firms do practice criminal law, particularly areas like business/white collar crime.

The decision to make whether you practice in a "transactional" area or a "contentious" area often has more impact on what your day-to-day life looks like than the exact sector you focus on.
Last edited by jacketpotato; 3 weeks ago
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Johnny ~
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A point I forgot to make: practising tort/personal injury has absolutely nothing to do with the academic study of either tort or medical law. There are lots of virtual careers fairs and other sources of information (e.g. https://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/pr...cal-negligence) on what solicitors do in these practice areas on a day to day basis. Make sure that you're well-informed before you start picking out firms!
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