Applying to law firms with bad academics

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rijul shah
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I am starting this thread for people with bad academics, who are trying to think big and achieve in life. I do not want ANY negativity. I want us to support each other.
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Gmaster1980
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All the positivity in the world isn't going to mean much if you don't meet a firms academic minimums.
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rijul shah
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(Original post by Gmaster1980)
All the positivity in the world isn't going to mean much if you don't meet a firms academic minimums.
I swear to God. Not ALL firms have minimum A level requirements.
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by rijul shah)
I swear to God. Not ALL firms have minimum A level requirements.
The issue with answers like this is that the law firms that have scrapped A-level requirements will still ask you to enter the grades and expect you to account for any particularly poor performance. Applying to Slaughters or Linklaters with BBB will still put you at a disadvantage if extenuating circumstances/contextual flags don't apply.

I was applying around the time when scrapping A-level requirements became mainstream, and the narrative was that this was done to allow firms to capture diverse talent, career changers, and late bloomers who excelled at or after university and showed strong academic performance there. It may be worth considering whether you'd fit that kind of profile.

There is also a degree of marketing/PR behind the scrapping of requirements - firms want to encourage as many people as possible to apply, even if 99% of the candidates who would otherwise be prevented from applying by virtue of a minimum requirement get rejected anyway. There's very real competition for talent between firms and you often hear grad rec - especially at firms with larger intakes - complaining about not getting enough strong applicants or having their preferred candidates turn down TC offers. It makes sense that, in this kind of environment, some law firms are trying to cast as wide a net as possible.
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rijul shah
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(Original post by Johnny ~)
The issue with answers like this is that the law firms that have scrapped A-level requirements will still ask you to enter the grades and expect you to account for any particularly poor performance. Applying to Slaughters or Linklaters with BBB will still put you at a disadvantage if extenuating circumstances/contextual flags don't apply.

I was applying around the time when scrapping A-level requirements became mainstream, and the narrative was that this was done to allow firms to capture diverse talent, career changers, and late bloomers who excelled at or after university and showed strong academic performance there. It may be worth considering whether you'd fit that kind of profile.

There is also a degree of marketing/PR behind the scrapping of requirements - firms want to encourage as many people as possible to apply, even if 99% of the candidates who would otherwise be prevented from applying by virtue of a minimum requirement get rejected anyway. There's very real competition for talent between firms and you often hear grad rec - especially at firms with larger intakes - complaining about not getting enough strong applicants or having their preferred candidates turn down TC offers. It makes sense that, in this kind of environment, some law firms are trying to cast as wide a net as possible.
Where did you get this information from. I want to know the specific person who told you this?
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Gmaster1980
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(Original post by rijul shah)
Where did you get this information from. I want to know the specific person who told you this?
Not Johnny, but I've heard similar from grad rec at various firms. There are also only like.....4 commercial firms that don't take A-levels into account, and I can only think of one that doesn't have a 2.1 minimum.

Edit: Also this is all operating under the assumption that you want to end up at a large commercial firm. If you aren't aiming for that, then your grades are going to matter much less.
Last edited by Gmaster1980; 1 month ago
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cleveranimal56
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(Original post by rijul shah)
Where did you get this information from. I want to know the specific person who told you this?
Why? Do you disagree with what he said?
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Charlieleach11
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I feel like law universities are gonna be lenient this year
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by rijul shah)
I am starting this thread for people with bad academics, who are trying to think big and achieve in life. I do not want ANY negativity. I want us to support each other.
how bad are we talking. you could probably get into a lot of regional and national firms with Bs and a 2.1. probably not with Ds tho.
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rijul shah
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(Original post by EU Yakov)
how bad are we talking. you could probably get into a lot of regional and national firms with Bs and a 2.1. probably not with Ds tho.
I have BBC in my A level and I am on track for a high 2.1, and have been accepted into a few insight schemes and open days with city law firms. I will be applying for vacations schemes next year, and I will get there.
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by rijul shah)
I have BBC in my A level and I am on track for a high 2.1, and have been accepted into a few insight schemes and open days with city law firms. I will be applying for vacations schemes next year, and I will get there.
alright then why the chip on your shoulder you're doing fine so far
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by rijul shah)
Where did you get this information from. I want to know the specific person who told you this?
Point 1 is an inference. If law firms are still filling their intakes with people from a small number selective universities, then most of these candidates will have achieved AAB/ABB at A-level, even if the odd applicant with poor A-levels also gets in.

Also worth pointing out that firms state that they look for strong and consistent academic performance on their websites. Example from Linklaters: "We’re looking for people with a strong intellect and so if you're applying to one our schemes you'll need an academic track record to demonstrate this." https://careers.linklaters.com/en/ea...ur-application

Point 2 was a general impression I got from talks, law fairs, the odd open day, etc where this question got brought up.

Point 3 is something that I've seen and heard being expressed on vac schemes, by the graduate recruitment manager at my firm, and by the HSF graduate recruitment manager in an article on Lawcareers.net (that no longer seems to exist). It's really not a controversial point among those who have any experience of legal recruitment. Law firms will reject 90+% of the candidate pool and then focus and obsess over the top 5% of candidates who manage to get multiple TC offers.
Last edited by Johnny ~; 1 month ago
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lawdreamer23
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Lmao I wouldn't worry too much OP.

My A Levels are CDE.

Edit: As someone said, you can get in to regional/national firms with your grades.
Last edited by lawdreamer23; 1 month ago
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by rijul shah)
I will be applying for vacations schemes next year, and I will get there.
Do you have some kind of instagram account where we can all follow your "legal journey"?
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EU Yakov
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(Original post by Johnny ~)
Do you have some kind of instagram account where we can all follow your "legal journey"?
will the journey involve the excessive use of emojis and hashtags. what about random motivational posts and reshares on linkedin.

(Original post by lawdreamer23)
Lmao I wouldn't worry too much OP.

My A Levels are CDE.

Edit: As someone said, you can get in to regional/national firms with your grades.
but you're still a dreamer? 😕
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lawdreamer23
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(Original post by EU Yakov)
but you're still a dreamer? 😕
Yeah, because I have mitigating circumstances for that time. A lot has changed since then, and now at uni I have achieved firsts in all my modules so far (I'm 3rd year). If firms count me out for my A Levels then that's just how it is - I can't stop them from doing so. It certainly isn't going to stop me from being a dreamer
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wifd149
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Well I have 2:2s (wishing & praying for no 3rds :cry:) so I’m definitely worried. Had good A-level grades but wished I had actually pursued medicine instead of law. Really regretted that now & feel incredibly stupid for this.

Now I can only hope that I’ll ace my exams incredibly :blush::cute:
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Gmaster1980
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(Original post by lawdreamer23)
Yeah, because I have mitigating circumstances for that time. A lot has changed since then, and now at uni I have achieved firsts in all my modules so far (I'm 3rd year). If firms count me out for my A Levels then that's just how it is - I can't stop them from doing so. It certainly isn't going to stop me from being a dreamer
Having mitigating circumstances for poor a levels, followed by an incredibly good academic record at uni puts you in a very different position than someone with bad a-levels and a middling academic performance at uni.

The main reason law firms care about a strong academic record is the consistency it shows. Law firms don't want to recruit someone who is only good 10% of the time and more importantly, don't want someone who won't pass their gdl/lpc modules the first go around as this ****s up seat planning and having the right number of trainees at the right time. Being a candidate who had a bad time for personal reasons that are transient (death of a family member, illness, etc.) is very different than someone who just couldn't be bothered to study or isn't smart or hard working enough to do things right at every stage of their academic career.
Last edited by Gmaster1980; 1 month ago
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lawdreamer23
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(Original post by Gmaster1980)
Having mitigating circumstances for poor a levels,, followed by an incredibly good academic record at uni puts you in a very different position than someone with bad a-levels and a middling academic performance at uni.

The main reason law firms care about a strong academic record is the consistency it shows. Law firms don't want to recruit someone who is only good 10% of the time and more importantly, don't want someone who won't pass their gdl/lpc modules the first go around as this ****s up seat planning and having the right number of trainees at the right time. Being a candidate who had a bad time for personal reasons that are transient (death of a family member, illness, etc.) is very different than someone who just couldn't be bothered to study or isn't smart or hard working enough to do things right at every stage of their academic career.
Absolutely! Particularly if you are wanting them to fund your LPC - that's no small investment in a person.

I do hate to see other people's good grades not being considered as good/good enough, though. It's just part of the law life, unfortunately.
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rijul shah
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I will not be putting my Instagram out. But I have been bullied really severely during my A levels and first term of university. My grades suffered, I was literally kept under strict surveillance by some people. I pushed through and raised my university average up to a high 2.1, and want to do well in life. Therefore, can you pls let me encourage other people, and work towards my goals. Only have the audacity to tell me, “What law firms are looking for,” if you are a recruiter, or have so secured a training contract yourself.
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