What Law Firms to Apply for: Horrible 1st Year Grades with a 3rd Module

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Ju5tAB0r3d1
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I'd be really grateful if anyone gave me some idea of which law firms aren't likely to screen out mediocre grades with a really poor module from the get-go, so I can figure out my route to securing a TC.

Some context:

I'm a Warwick Law student going onto my final year.

- Secondary school grades: IB 42, 766 HL (equivalent to A*AA? Or ABB? not too sure)
- 1st year: 55% overall. Got 43% in property law. No mitigation circumstances, no excuses.
- 2nd year: 70% overall. Lowest module 57%, highest module 82%. The pandemic was my mitigation circumstance, but I guess everyone has that.
- Relevant work experience: Did a paid internship for a month in a domestic litigation law firm, did unpaid work experience/job shadowing in two international firms. Volunteered 10 hours a week at Support Through Court. Did a legal insight scheme at Goldman Sachs.

1st year doesn't count, 2nd and 3rd year count 50% each. However, I am aware that many firms are looking for consistent grades, which is something I don't have.

I'm aware I'm highly unlikely to get a TC immediately after graduation, so I'm aiming for Vac Schemes and Paralegal roles.

Any answers and words of advice would be very much appreciated.
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Bona Cynara
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If 1st year doesn't count, are those results still on your official transcript?

You have good A-levels and a clear progression upwards between first and second year, which is a plus. Firms with strong academic leanings, e.g. Slaughters, may be out because you probably wouldn't enjoy the interview even if you got one, but I don't think you'd be automatically rejected from any firms.

For what it's worth though I've heard rumours that some big international firms (DLA Piper, Dechert) are looser when it comes to grades.
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Ju5tAB0r3d1
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(Original post by Bona Cynara)
If 1st year doesn't count, are those results still on your official transcript?

You have good A-levels and a clear progression upwards between first and second year, which is a plus. Firms with strong academic leanings, e.g. Slaughters, may be out because you probably wouldn't enjoy the interview even if you got one, but I don't think you'd be automatically rejected from any firms.

For what it's worth though I've heard rumours that some big international firms (DLA Piper, Dechert) are looser when it comes to grades.
1st year doesn't count but they are still part of my official transcript. Law firms ask for all grades anyway (kinda hurts to put them in). I'm just worried whether most HR departments in legal firms automatically screen for grades below 55% (ie. my property module). Essentially I'm counting on the Watson Glaser.

Thank you very much for your reply.
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Mash239
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Sorry that I can't help with the actual law firms. I think the big question is what is your contract law grade? Many firms are willing to overlook bad first year modules (including a 3rd class) as long as you have a 2:1 contract law grade, that the other modules relevant to the firm are 2:1, and that you've achieved an overall decent 2:1. So, with a 43% property grade, firms strong in real estate may not view you very highly.

If those are the only grades that firms can assess you on, they may be ambivalent about you since you have very high and very low grades. I suggest you still apply to a select few firms to practise how to write applications, and get used to the rigour of the process. You may helpfully uncover certain firms that accept you which means you meet their grade requirements. I would then advise you to focus your efforts on scoring well on your 3rd year grades so that you will have 2 years of good results and 1 year of bad results, which, on balance, would tilt you in favour of having acceptable grades.

If you do not have a 2:1 in contract law (or at least a high 2:2) without mitigating circumstances, most of the major city firms are out of the picture. All the best.
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