sheilay
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Hi,
I posted in a different topic that I consider a career change (I work in financial field). I am not entirely sure how it works with securing a training contract. Can someone please explain me the process of applying for a training contract?

I have noticed most of the companies require SQE completion at BPP. What is going to happen, if I would do it at London Law Uni? Does it mean a straight NO and that my chances to secure a place are very low (=non-existant)?

Also, when do you normally apply for a training contract? I understand I can do it after (hopefully) passing the SQE1. Is there any timeframe to apply or is it a speculative process (i.e. anytime when I feel ready to do it). I see that many companies have closed their intakes for year 2022 already! In finance world you apply anytime you want, there will always be a job. How is it with law?Is tat the reason why many students apply as in-house lawyer? Is it then easy to go from in-house lawyer to a law firm?
So, if I plan to take the exam beginning of 2022, should I start applying now? For me it is a bit surreal that a law comapany would take anyone without a law backrgound. What happens if I don't pass my SQE/my life circumstancies change. I understand there are no legal consequences for breaking the contract and not starting the training.
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EU Yakov
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apply for vac schemes in the autumn and winter, apply for direct TCs in the spring and summer
i think that you've misunderstood their policy. firms that sponsor the LPC/SQE only require completion of that degree at BPPfor the people they've given offers to pre-LPC/SQE. if you're applying after you done those it doesn't matter where you did them. could've done it at northumbria for all they care lol
you apply for a training contract 2 years in advance. so you will have to apply for a start date in 2024. law firms are unusual in doing this - you are right in pointing this out.
it's not common to go from in-house lawyer to law firm. prolly more common at the less profitable parts of the legal market and outside of london. i don't think that any companies offer training contracts to in-house lawyers to begin with? or maybe like one or two idk.
if you get sponsorship for the LPC/SQE and you don't pass every module at first attempt you gotta pay the tuition back. if, like me, you funded it out of your own pocket and they gave you a TC offer afterwards... well, it doesn't matter, they probably wouldn't have given you an offer had you not passed everything first time round
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EU Yakov
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i think that you should expect to sit the SQE 1 exams before you start your training contract. so if you plan on starting in the year 2024 you should start the SQE in 2023. SQE1 is basically the LPC
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sheilay
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(Original post by EU Yakov)
apply for vac schemes in the autumn and winter, apply for direct TCs in the spring and summer
i think that you've misunderstood their policy. firms that sponsor the LPC/SQE only require completion of that degree at BPPfor the people they've given offers to pre-LPC/SQE. if you're applying after you done those it doesn't matter where you did them. could've done it at northumbria for all they care lol
you apply for a training contract 2 years in advance. so you will have to apply for a start date in 2024. law firms are unusual in doing this - you are right in pointing this out.
it's not common to go from in-house lawyer to law firm. prolly more common at the less profitable parts of the legal market and outside of london. i don't think that any companies offer training contracts to in-house lawyers to begin with? or maybe like one or two idk.
if you get sponsorship for the LPC/SQE and you don't pass every module at first attempt you gotta pay the tuition back. if, like me, you funded it out of your own pocket and they gave you a TC offer afterwards... well, it doesn't matter, they probably wouldn't have given you an offer had you not passed everything first time round
Many thanks, EU Yakov!
Do you think it is a good idea to apply for TC already in Jul21 prior doing SQE1? What are my real chances to get something not having a law experience? I plan to take the SQE exam beginning of 2022. Again, I find it very strange to wait that long to get a place.

The question about in-house lawyer roles was regarding a possible career path. I see that law firms in London offer 10-50 places for a training contract. I thought maybe, if I dont get a place I could start as an in-house laywer and then directly apply for a lawyer position? Or it doesnt work that way?
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by sheilay)
Many thanks, EU Yakov!
Do you think it is a good idea to apply for TC already in Jul21 prior doing SQE1 (I mentioned in the forum I have 3 degrees in Finance area)? What are my real chances to get something not having a law experience? I plan to take the SQE exam beginning of 2022. Again, I find it very strange to wait that long to get a place.

The question about in-house lawyer roles was regarding a possible career path. I see that law firms in London (where I am based) offer 10-50 places for a training contract. I thought maybe, if I dont get a place I could start as an in-house laywer and then directly apply for a lawyer position? Or it doesnt work that way? I somehow have to find out the best way out of my past wrong career choices. Not sure if it is possible, but I would like to try.
i don't get what you mean by your first question. but it's unlikely you'd get a TC without legal work experience. it doesn't matter how many degrees you have
no, you can't do what you suggested in paragraph 2. you still have to train and qualify somewhere before you go in house
i don't know why law appeals to you but the time and money spent on it are considerable and the outcome may be underwhelming, esp if you're doing all of this only to then go in house
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sheilay
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Thanks again, that clarifies a lot.
Maybe my question was a bit unclear. I understand that someone who did/is studying LLB can directly apply for a TC and do the LPC in the meanwhile (also being sponsored).
What is with people who studied for a non-law degree, do they have to pass GDL prior applying for a TC? If this is the case, that would mean I have to pass SQE1 prior applying for a TC?

Regarding in-house lawyer roles. I have asked, as I have a lot of colleagues, who studied law abroad and work as legal in finance. So I thought there is a different possible route. But I see now, it all starts with LLB, right..
I of course would like tot get a TC (instead of being an in-ouse lawyer) but I am realistic. For know, I would just like to study law as it has always been my dream and I can finally go for it.
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by sheilay)
Thanks again, that claryfies a lot.
Maybe my question was a bit unclear. I understand that someone who did/is studying LLB can directly apply for a TC and do the LPC in the meanwhile (also being sponsored).
What is with people who studied for a non-law degree, do they have to pass GDL prior applying for a TC? If this is the case, that would mean I have to pass SQE1 prior applying for a TC?

Regarding in-house lawyer roles. I have asked, as I have a lot of colleagues, who studied law abroad and work as legal in finance. So I thought there is a different possible route. But I see now, it all starts with LLB, right..
I of course would like tot get a TC (instead of being an in-ouse lawyer) but I am realistic. For know, I would just like to study law as it has always been my dream and I can finally go for it.
i think it will be possible. you will do your qualifying work experience over 4 years instead of 2 and study the LPC for the rest of the time. but i don't know if such arrangements are common, currently. i also doubt that they will be offered by bigger firms. chances are that a smaller firm (eg a local one with 2-3 offices) will be more flexible here. it might take you on as a part-time trainee or paralegal or something for those 4 years.

keep in mind that working full time on top of the full time lpc is simply not possible. like you can't do it. it's why they offer 2 and i believe 4 year lpcs

rule is that you have to apply for a tc 2 years in advance. yes, some people will apply as final year undergraduates in history, etc. they will get a TC close to the time they graduate. they will then spend 1 year doing GDL, 1 year doing LPC. AFTER THAT they will start their TC, which lasts two years. AFTER THAT they qualify. this is all under the current system and assumes GDLs will still exist in some form.

you will need to pass SQE1 before you start the the TC. I believe that the SRA has said that explicitly? check their website

there's no way to cheat your way into a qualified role in house. the established route is get TC at law firm (private practice), qualify at law firm, get a job in house after a year or two. some people do in-house TCs and some qualify into NQ roles at big companies but they're an unbelievably small minority. like really small - we're talking a handful of employers at best. i don't think it's even worth mentioning tbh

TC and in house lawyer are not mutually exclusive as explained above. you get a TC in private practice. you can only become an in-house lawyer once qualified. that's like 2 years later.
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sheilay
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Thanks. I called today a few unis and I sort of know now, where to start. My (naive) thoughts and hopes were, that as a non-law graduate, I can only do some preparation courses for SQE and voila - I will pass it and later apply for TC From what they have told me, it seems only the name changes, but the overall path won't. I will still have to do GDL and either LPC or SQE. For SQE I can directly go for the exam without doing a prep course in case of a sudden enlightenment. However, they still recommend taking a course.

Just one last question - if (given I am lucky) I will be offered a TC, can I do LPC part-tme while starting to work at the law firm already, or do I have to complete it before my first day? I saw what you wrote above. You meant it is uncommon but then what do people with LLBs do? Do they start TC after passing LPC? I always thought it's a part of the TC..

I am also not sure what will replace TC, once SQE will be introduced. I mean in case I have done GDL, LPC (or SQE) and then..?
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(Original post by sheilay)
Hi,
I posted in a different topic that I consider a career change (I work in financial field). I am not entirely sure how it works with securing a training contract. Can someone please explain me the process of applying for a training contract?

I have noticed most of the companies require SQE completion at BPP. What is going to happen, if I would do it at London Law Uni? Does it mean a straight NO and that my chances to secure a place are very low (=non-existant)?

Also, when do you normally apply for a training contract? I understand I can do it after (hopefully) passing the SQE1. Is there any timeframe to apply or is it a speculative process (i.e. anytime when I feel ready to do it). I see that many companies have closed their intakes for year 2022 already! In finance world you apply anytime you want, there will always be a job. How is it with law?Is tat the reason why many students apply as in-house lawyer? Is it then easy to go from in-house lawyer to a law firm?
So, if I plan to take the exam beginning of 2022, should I start applying now? For me it is a bit surreal that a law comapany would take anyone without a law backrgound. What happens if I don't pass my SQE/my life circumstancies change. I understand there are no legal consequences for breaking the contract and not starting the training.
There are some pretty good resources online if you can't be bothered to read SRA announcements and decipher the mess on their website.

https://www.lawcareers.net/Solicitor...ng-examination


(Original post by sheilay)
From what they have told me, it seems only the name changes, but the overall path won't. I will still have to do GDL and either LPC or SQE.
For what it's worth, Slaughters has a page about it. They seem to be going down the traditional route of requiring their future trainees to do a PGDL - i.e. a GDL.

https://www.slaughterandmay.com/care...qualification/

The City Consortium as a whole is sticking with the PGDL + SQE.

https://www.slaughterandmay.com/medi...ay-2020_v4.pdf

There's also this article, though, again, it seems to only focus on commercial law firms.

https://www.legalcheek.com/2020/10/w...-kill-the-gdl/

I would assume that you will need to spend a year on doing a GDL prep course and another year doing the SQE1 prep course. However, there are probably firms that will not require the GDL. It may be a good idea to gather a shortlist of firms and contact them directly. They may not even have a concrete position on it themselves.

As Yakov explained, law firms recruit 2 years in advance. I highly doubt that anyone would sponsor the GDL for you, so you'd have to factor in at least a year's tuition fees and living costs as an investment. You'd also have to figure out a Plan B if you end up self-funding the GDL and SQE but don't get a TC. What then?
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sheilay
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Huge thanks for all the links, Johnny!

I looked already though a few law firm's websites. They currently stick to GDL/LPC route, from 2023/4 start with SQE. Majority of them partner with BPP, so it actually gave me the answer where to start, to increase my chances of getting something later (although saving a few 1000s studying elsewhere would be much nicer..). This is actually my biggest disappointment, as hoped there will be one huge and intense course preparing for SQE. Calling a few unis, they meant it wont be possible to pass SQE doing only a prep course. What they meant, even a prep course will be very intense. So this means, again, only the name changes-from LPC to SQE..And maybe the only difference will be, there wont be so many exams (not sure how many you have in LPC?) vs two exams SQE1 and SQE2.

As mentioned, Im realistic about my plans given my age *sob*. I wanted to study law, as it's always been my dream. If I could change my career (that I stopped to enjoy) that would be fantastic. My career in finance is progressing ok and this is my backup. Although I at least want to try, instead of accepting life with my wrong choices/lack of possibility to change things earlier.
Please can someone also reply to my question I asked earlier?
Do I have to pass LPC in advance to start TC (I understand I can apply for TC earlier) or would companies accept, if I do it during the TC ie part time?

Thanks!
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chalbliagtelle
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(Original post by sheilay)
Do I have to pass LPC in advance to start TC (I understand I can apply for TC earlier) or would companies accept, if I do it during the TC ie part time?

Thanks!
I may be wrong but I've never heard of people doing the LPC during their TC. It's always before. A lot of people do the LPC part time while paralegalling if they've managed to secure a TC while working as a paralegal, but it's always as a future trainee, not a current trainee. The LPC is meant to prepare you for it so I feel like it wouldn't make much sense to do it part-time while doing the TC. Personally I would recommend trying to secure an TC before commencing the LPC if only the financial support (e.g. firm paying fees + grant) is incredibly helpful.

If a firm is partnered with BPP, just to be clear, there is absolutely no obligation for you to study there if you don't have a TC with them because I think that's what you were getting at by 'saving 1000s studying somewhere else'! BPP provide a bespoke course tailored to the specific firm and there's no way you'd know the modules that firm wants you to do unless you talk to a trainee. If you're self-funding literally any LPC provider is fine it won't impact on your chances to secure a TC with specific firms at all. They only want to know you've passed it.
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(Original post by sheilay)

As mentioned, Im realistic about my plans given my age *sob*.


Why do you think your age would be an issue? It won't be for firms. The only time it will matter is partnership, and even then probably only at equity level.
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by sheilay)
Thanks. I called today a few unis and I sort of know now, where to start. My (naive) thoughts and hopes were, that as a non-law graduate, I can only do some preparation courses for SQE and voila - I will pass it and later apply for TC From what they have told me, it seems only the name changes, but the overall path won't. I will still have to do GDL and either LPC or SQE. For SQE I can directly go for the exam without doing a prep course in case of a sudden enlightenment. However, they still recommend taking a course.

Just one last question - if (given I am lucky) I will be offered a TC, can I do LPC part-tme while starting to work at the law firm already, or do I have to complete it before my first day? I saw what you wrote above. You meant it is uncommon but then what do people with LLBs do? Do they start TC after passing LPC? I always thought it's a part of the TC..

I am also not sure what will replace TC, once SQE will be introduced. I mean in case I have done GDL, LPC (or SQE) and then..?
the TC will just be two years of qualifying work experience. so yeah, nothing will change. you will work as a trainee for 2 years across however many seats the firm expects you to do. it will be: PGDL, SQE, TC for two years, qualify

most firms will ask you to do the LPC before you start training. however i am hearing about firms that let you do both at the same time. however keep in mind that that will make the TC longer by a year or two. so it's not necessarily the optimal choice. especially if you'd struggle to balance working with studying and revising. i've had mates who did the LPC part time over 2 years and they found getting into the zone of studying tricky when they were also responsible for other things in their day to day life

just assume that the path to getting a TC and qualifying is gonna be exactly the same UNLESS a firm EXPLICITLY tells you otherwise. there will no doubt be exceptions to all of this that none of us is aware of
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17Student17
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Very helpful advice above. I agree with the other posters - SQE = not much change. People sponsored by big firm if they did not do an LLB will be sponsored to take an SQE1 preparation course and then will site SQE1. Then the firm will sponsor them on an SQE2 course and they will pass that. Then and only then and only if they pass will they start the 2 years of training. I am a lawyer and have 2 lawyer children (and 2 doing the law conversion now). One of my lawyer children says her firm ( a bit London one) wants all exams passed including SQE2 before the 2 years of training starts. So I assume if you fail SQE2 they will throw you out just as they do if you fail the GDL or LPC.

However my other child when in house did take on a trainee and very very kindly got the firm to pay part of the trainee's LPC course and the person did the LPC over 2 years whilst working as a trainee and that person passed the LPC and then was admitted - they did the LPC part time whilst working full time. t was not easy and it was not usual. There is no system or websites for companies setting out the option so it is much more hit and miss. Some people start as a para legal in house rather than in a law firm after the GDL or a law degree and then persuade solicitor there to let them be a trainee.

As you have your finance degrees etc may be you need to consider different routes from the under graduates applying 2 years plus in advance whilst still an undergraduate. You could try self study for SQE1 and pay and take those exams whilst continuing your finance job. Then look around for para legal jobs perhaps in finance where you could either find a lawyer to supervise you whilst training and also studying part time for SQE2.
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(Original post by 17Student17)
One of my lawyer children says her firm ( a bit London one) wants all exams passed including SQE2 before the 2 years of training starts. So I assume if you fail SQE2 they will throw you out just as they do if you fail the GDL or LPC.
Interesting. A lot of firms haven't thought about SQE 2 yet (or, if they have, haven't communicated it to the outside world). I imagine that this option would make more sense, since someone who fails the SQE2 would otherwise have to be kicked out halfway through their training contract.

(Original post by sheilay)
Huge thanks for all the links, Johnny!
As you can imagine I'm reading through all possible websites, however some topics still stay unclear. Maybe because I come from a different cpuntry, where studying law looks completely different (yes, I planned it after finishing the high school) and it's completely different to a career path in finance..

I looked already though a few law firm's websites. They currently stick to GDL/LPC route, from 2023/4 are fine with SQE. Majority of them partner with BPP, so it actually gave me the answer where to start, to increase my chances of getting something later (although saving a few 1000s studying elsewhere would be much nicer..). This is actually my biggest disappointment, as hoped there will be one huge and intense course preparing for SQE. Calling a few unis, they meant it wont be possible to pass SQE doing only a prep course. What they meant, even a prep course will be very intense. So this means, again, only the name changes-from LPC to SQE..And maybe the only difference will be, there wont be so many exams (not sure how many you have in LPC?) vs two exams SQE1 and SQE2.

As mentioned, Im realistic about my plans given my age *sob*. I wanted to study law, as it's always been my dream. If I could change my career (that I stopped to enjoy) that would be fantastic. My career in finance is progressing ok and this is my backup. Although I at least want to try, instead of accepting life with my wrong choices/lack of possibility to change things earlier.
Please can someone also reply to my question I asked earlier?
Do I have to pass LPC in advance to start TC (I understand I can apply for TC earlier) or would companies accept, if I do it during the TC ie part time?
In general, I would assume that the LPC would have to be done before the QWE. However, this is for larger firms. Smaller firms have always been more flexible and you should be speaking to lawyers and recruiters at these firms instead of us (this forum has an enormous City/commercial law bias that affects everything we say).

With that being said, some commercial firms are rolling out programmes that would combine work and study. You should start keeping a list of them for future purposes.
https://www.thelawyer.com/kennedys-l...qualification/
https://www.thelawyer.com/reed-smith...ement-for-lpc/
https://www.thelawyer.com/deloitte-t...ing-contracts/
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sheilay
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Many thanks for all your replies, these are very helpful!
I am still a bit lost and have 1000s thoughts in my head/minute but getting closer to making a decission. The reason I think about it so intense were my wrong career decissions in the past. I dont wont to do the same mistakes again (losing money and time is very painful)!

My current plan (and after chatting to uni advisors/reading your responses) is to do a part-time GDL (self-funded), try to secure TC, do LPC (if sponsored) or otherwise SQE (by self study or finding the cheapest course provider).
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(Original post by sheilay)
Many thanks for all your replies, these are very helpful!
I am still a bit lost and have 1000s thoughts in my head/minute but getting closer to making a decission. The reason I think about it so intense were my wrong career decissions in the past. I dont wont to do the same mistakes again (losing money and time is very painful)!

My current plan (and after chatting to uni advisors/reading your responses) is to do a part-time GDL (self-funded), try to secure TC, do LPC (if sponsored) or otherwise SQE (by self study or finding the cheapest course provider). As mentioned above, I know that most of the law firms in London (where I am based) partner with BPP, so I am considering doing PGDL there. However, I have noticed many bad reviews about BPP and ask myself, if it is worth doing it for 11k or better to go to i.e. LMU and pay 6k instead. I thought that maybe by doing GDL at the uni that is more "recognized" by so many law firms my chances of securing TC would rise. However, I started to think, what if I will not get a TC and I would have to do (self-funded) LPC/SQE. I noticed the price for LPC is significantly higher than for GDL. Or worse - what if I would fail in the course, I would hate to lose so much money..My hope would be to later find a cheap SQE course and self-study a lot in order to pss it. I doubt I would go for (self-funded) LPC for another 11k not having a TC. Any advice on what would you do in my situation? Stick to BPP or do it elsewhere cheaper?

Has anyone reading this topic had a "late-start" into law career (+ being a foreigner)?
I wonder how difficult it is to study law for a non-native English speaker. Is it difficult to later practice law for a non-native English speaker? What are the (real) chances to make a career in that field? I think here about my language skills i.e. drafting legal contracts, doing negotiations when speaking with an accent etc. And also how difficult would it be to later secure a training contract? Maybe you know someone who has a similar situation to mine?
Thanks!
The fact that many law firms "partner" with BPP is irrelevant because they only partner with BPP for the students they choose to sponsor the GDL and LPC (now SQE) for. They do not expect students who do not have sponsorship to go to BPP. They probably couldn't care less about where you studied the GDL. If you read even a single firm's graduate recruitment website, this would have been abundantly clear to you by now, because firms spend a lot of time repeating it to their applicants. I'll say it again: Do not go to BPP just because your favourite firm sends its sponsored students there. You are not one of them. You are under no contractual obligation to go to BPP.

You will likely have to do both the GDL and SQE preparation course. Comparing the two makes no sense. They're both steps you need to get through. However, you should establish whether the type of firm you are applying to will expect its applicants to go through the GDL. As I said literally two posts above, there is no firm rule on this - each firm will have its own policies, and many may not have even come up with a policy yet.

Late starters are pretty common. The % of foreigners depends on the type of firm, where it's located, what its clientele is like, whether it has any international offices that people are seconded to and from, you get the idea. Take a look at this thread, the same issues arise with you as they did for the OP there: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...6#post94774744
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Thanks Johnny for all your advice
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