People getting TC offers / NQ jobs with poor academics / nepotism

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NQ Lawyer
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Hi all

As we all know, the legal industry is very competitive, with some law firms openly stating that they only accept applications from newly qualified solicitors who graduated with a first class honours degree, preferably from Oxbridge, or who have completed their training contract at a Magic Circle firm.

With that in mind, I'm at a loss how the below list of individuals (not exhaustive in any event) managed to get TCs and/or NQ jobs at top law firms:

- Candidate A: obtained a 2:1 law degree from Twickenham University (great, university, right?), with no prior legal experience (must be a significant bonus not having any prior legal experience), and is currently a trainee solicitor at Dechert LLP, a top firm.

- Candidate B: on course for obtaining a 2:1 law degree from London South Bank University (another great university), with no prior legal experience, and is a future trainee solicitor at Allen & Overy.

- Candidate C: obtained a 2:1 law degree from the University of Kent, and is now a trainee at Squire Patton Boggs. This candidate has no legal experience prior to joining SPB, and her father happens to be the Managing Partner of the firm's Brussels office. This candidate was the first ever paralegal in the London office to be offered a TC, what a coincidence.

- Candidate D: obtained a 2:2 law degree from Newcastle University, trained at a crappy regional high street firm, and is now co-head of Skadden's private equity group.

- Candidate E: obtained a 2:1 from the University of Manchester, obtained a TC offer from Mishcon de Reya with no prior legal experience (now an associate at the firm), and happens to be the daughter of the firm's COO.

- Candidate F: complained openly on Legal Cheek and Roll on Friday about a variety of law firms he worked at, yet somehow managed to secure a TC offer from Dentons (how did they fail to do their due diligence on him?).

- Candidate G: secured a TC offer from Gowling WLG with a low 2:2.

- Candidate H: an associate at Crowell & Moring with a pass on the LPC and a 2:2 from Northumbria University.

The reason I have listed the above examples is to illustrate that there is hypocrisy in the legal market. I find it upsetting that, having applied to some of the above firms for NQ positions, that their HR have stated, in some instances, that they have a preference for candidates who achieved a 1st class honours degree from Oxbridge. For example, Dechert requested these high academic requirements, yet go on to recruit someone from Twickenham University with no prior legal experience? Also, London South Bank University isn't a great university, and plenty of people who went to Russell group universities will have applied to A&O but got rejected.

To me, it seems like the above people have got connections within those firms. I mean, how did candidate D end up as a senior partner at Skadden with not only crap academics but also having trained at a crap firm? If you apply nowadays to Skadden with that background, you would get immediately rejected.
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grito
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(Original post by NQ Lawyer)
Hi all

As we all know, the legal industry is very competitive, with some law firms openly stating that they only accept applications from newly qualified solicitors who graduated with a first class honours degree, preferably from Oxbridge, or who have completed their training contract at a Magic Circle firm.

With that in mind, I'm at a loss how the below list of individuals (not exhaustive in any event) managed to get TCs and/or NQ jobs at top law firms:

- Candidate A: obtained a 2:1 law degree from Twickenham University (great, university, right?), with no prior legal experience (must be a significant bonus not having any prior legal experience), and is currently a trainee solicitor at Dechert LLP, a top firm.

- Candidate B: on course for obtaining a 2:1 law degree from London South Bank University (another great university), with no prior legal experience, and is a future trainee solicitor at Allen & Overy.

- Candidate C: obtained a 2:1 law degree from the University of Kent, and is now a trainee at Squire Patton Boggs. This candidate has no legal experience prior to joining SPB, and her father happens to be the Managing Partner of the firm's Brussels office. This candidate was the first ever paralegal in the London office to be offered a TC, what a coincidence.

- Candidate D: obtained a 2:2 law degree from Newcastle University, trained at a crappy regional high street firm, and is now co-head of Skadden's private equity group.

- Candidate E: obtained a 2:1 from the University of Manchester, obtained a TC offer from Mishcon de Reya with no prior legal experience (now an associate at the firm), and happens to be the daughter of the firm's COO.

- Candidate F: complained openly on Legal Cheek and Roll on Friday about a variety of law firms he worked at, yet somehow managed to secure a TC offer from Dentons (how did they fail to do their due diligence on him?).

- Candidate G: secured a TC offer from Gowling WLG with a low 2:2.

- Candidate H: an associate at Crowell & Moring with a pass on the LPC and a 2:2 from Northumbria University.

The reason I have listed the above examples is to illustrate that there is hypocrisy in the legal market. I find it upsetting that, having applied to some of the above firms for NQ positions, that their HR have stated, in some instances, that they have a preference for candidates who achieved a 1st class honours degree from Oxbridge. For example, Dechert requested these high academic requirements, yet go on to recruit someone from Twickenham University with no prior legal experience? Also, London South Bank University isn't a great university, and plenty of people who went to Russell group universities will have applied to A&O but got rejected.

To me, it seems like the above people have got connections within those firms. I mean, how did candidate D end up as a senior partner at Skadden with not only crap academics but also having trained at a crap firm? If you apply nowadays to Skadden with that background, you would get immediately rejected.
they had the balls to blag it
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legalhelp
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Other than being a perfect demonstration of the sulking, petulant attitude which probably stopped you from getting an NQ spot in the first place, what exactly is the point of this post?
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(Original post by NQ Lawyer)
Hi all

As we all know, the legal industry is very competitive, with some law firms openly stating that they only accept applications from newly qualified solicitors who graduated with a first class honours degree, preferably from Oxbridge, or who have completed their training contract at a Magic Circle firm.

With that in mind, I'm at a loss how the below list of individuals (not exhaustive in any event) managed to get TCs and/or NQ jobs at top law firms:

- Candidate A: obtained a 2:1 law degree from Twickenham University (great, university, right?), with no prior legal experience (must be a significant bonus not having any prior legal experience), and is currently a trainee solicitor at Dechert LLP, a top firm.

- Candidate B: on course for obtaining a 2:1 law degree from London South Bank University (another great university), with no prior legal experience, and is a future trainee solicitor at Allen & Overy.

- Candidate C: obtained a 2:1 law degree from the University of Kent, and is now a trainee at Squire Patton Boggs. This candidate has no legal experience prior to joining SPB, and her father happens to be the Managing Partner of the firm's Brussels office. This candidate was the first ever paralegal in the London office to be offered a TC, what a coincidence.

- Candidate D: obtained a 2:2 law degree from Newcastle University, trained at a crappy regional high street firm, and is now co-head of Skadden's private equity group.

- Candidate E: obtained a 2:1 from the University of Manchester, obtained a TC offer from Mishcon de Reya with no prior legal experience (now an associate at the firm), and happens to be the daughter of the firm's COO.

- Candidate F: complained openly on Legal Cheek and Roll on Friday about a variety of law firms he worked at, yet somehow managed to secure a TC offer from Dentons (how did they fail to do their due diligence on him?).

- Candidate G: secured a TC offer from Gowling WLG with a low 2:2.

- Candidate H: an associate at Crowell & Moring with a pass on the LPC and a 2:2 from Northumbria University.

The reason I have listed the above examples is to illustrate that there is hypocrisy in the legal market. I find it upsetting that, having applied to some of the above firms for NQ positions, that their HR have stated, in some instances, that they have a preference for candidates who achieved a 1st class honours degree from Oxbridge. For example, Dechert requested these high academic requirements, yet go on to recruit someone from Twickenham University with no prior legal experience? Also, London South Bank University isn't a great university, and plenty of people who went to Russell group universities will have applied to A&O but got rejected.

To me, it seems like the above people have got connections within those firms. I mean, how did candidate D end up as a senior partner at Skadden with not only crap academics but also having trained at a crap firm? If you apply nowadays to Skadden with that background, you would get immediately rejected.
trust me don't get bitter (it'll only waste you time, how long did that list take to compile?), focus on yourself, it's all you can really do
nepotism sucks but it exists
would you engage in such if you had the opportunity to?

change yourself and or try to change the system
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Bona Cynara
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I sympathise with your obvious frustration, but unfortunately that's just life. Would recommend you focus on improving the things about yourself that you can change, so at least you can walk away knowing you did your best, and it's on firms if they do choose to pass you over in favour of a partner's kid.
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Gmaster1980
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This list is confusing because I know who some of the people you're referring to are, and even they aren't contemporaries in terms of recruitment. It's really really sad and weird to compile a list of only 8 people across 20 years to try to claim a problem exists. You are also really misrepresenting some of these people's experiences and qualifications. Maybe work on yourself instead dude.
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artful_lounger
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For candidate C, how can you claim they had no prior legal experience if you also claim they were a paralegal and the first paralegal to get a TC there? Do you not think being a paralegal at the firm would give them relevant experience for applying to that role :confused:

Also candidate D started somewhere and managed to work their way up presumably through their experiences professionally - how are you inferring that nepotism went on in this case? Do you think that their LLB grades would be that important after presumably quite a few years of experience as a working solicitor? Also being at a "crappy regional firm" may have been to their benefit in working their way up later - it's easier to be a big fish in a small bowl (and hence impress other big fishes in bigger bowls).
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NQ Lawyer
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
For candidate C, how can you claim they had no prior legal experience if you also claim they were a paralegal and the first paralegal to get a TC there? Do you not think being a paralegal at the firm would give them relevant experience for applying to that role :confused:

Also candidate D started somewhere and managed to work their way up presumably through their experiences professionally - how are you inferring that nepotism went on in this case? Do you think that their LLB grades would be that important after presumably quite a few years of experience as a working solicitor? Also being at a "crappy regional firm" may have been to their benefit in working their way up later - it's easier to be a big fish in a small bowl (and hence impress other big fishes in bigger bowls).
Re candidate c, I think the fact that her father is the managing partner of the firm had an impact on her getting a TC at that firm.

Re candidate d, I didn’t say he achieved his career out of nepotism. Candidate d (who is now 50+ years old), admitted that with his background and mediocre grades, if he were starting out in the legal profession nowadays would not have got anywhere (which is arguably true).
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NQ Lawyer
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(Original post by Gmaster1980)
This list is confusing because I know who some of the people you're referring to are, and even they aren't contemporaries in terms of recruitment. It's really really sad and weird to compile a list of only 8 people across 20 years to try to claim a problem exists. You are also really misrepresenting some of these people's experiences and qualifications. Maybe work on yourself instead dude.
Which candidates’ experiences am I misrepresenting?
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Reality Check
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(Original post by legalhelp)
Other than being a perfect demonstration of the sulking, petulant attitude which probably stopped you from getting an NQ spot in the first place, what exactly is the point of this post?
:laugh: no, really - tell us how you really feel.
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NQ Lawyer
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(Original post by Reality Check)
:laugh: no, really - tell us how you really feel.
It’s annoying that some firms ask for ridiculously high academic/university prestige requirements (I.e. only considering NQ applications from 1st class Oxbridge candidates), when those firms offer TCs to people who went to bottom ranked universities. I can think of thousand of people who have a much better profile than candidate A for example, unless Twickenham university is the new Oxbridge.
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(Original post by NQ Lawyer)
It’s annoying that some firms ask for ridiculously high academic/university prestige requirements (I.e. only considering NQ applications from 1st class Oxbridge candidates), when those firms offer TCs to people who went to bottom ranked universities. I can think of thousand of people who have a much better profile than candidate A for example, unless Twickenham university is the new Oxbridge.
I for one am looking forward to the threads in study help about "are these GCSE grades good enough for Twickenham??"
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
I for one am looking forward to the threads in study help about "are these GCSE grades good enough for Twickenham??"
Starting a thread on it now, mate.
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camapplicant530
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"I find it upsetting that, having applied to some of the above firms for NQ positions, that their HR have stated, in some instances, that they have a preference for candidates who achieved a 1st class honours degree from Oxbridge"

Which firm - please be specific - stated this? A cursory look at LinkedIn at the (around) 22 US firms offering training contracts indicates an associate cohort focused around Oxbridge/UCL/LSE/Kings; indeed, the London unis all have very strong representation at associate level. There is also a decent amount from Durham/Bristol et al.
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Gmaster1980
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(Original post by NQ Lawyer)
Which candidates’ experiences am I misrepresenting?
The A&O person for one. The only person with that background at the firm currently was in foster and residential care. Doesn't seem like a natural target for a big childish rant about connections and nepotism.
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camapplicant530
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OP, I would also like to know: is your position that these firms only take those with Oxbridge firsts at the point of qualification, thus completely binning the significant financial investment made in all the other trainees, or, is it that they’re primarily interested in those with Oxbridge firsts who want to move at NQ level because they haven’t been offered a spot at the firm they trained with?
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(Original post by NQ Lawyer)
Re candidate c, I think the fact that her father is the managing partner of the firm had an impact on her getting a TC at that firm.

Re candidate d, I didn’t say he achieved his career out of nepotism. Candidate d (who is now 50+ years old), admitted that with his background and mediocre grades, if he were starting out in the legal profession nowadays would not have got anywhere (which is arguably true).
The literal title of this thread refers to nepotism explicitly and the insinuation is tied up in everything you say in this thread. So firing off an implicit accusation of nepotism then backing down when called on that is not only spineless, it suggests you have pretty poor written communication skills - which I expect are very important for a legal career so does nothing to make me feel sympathy for you, even assuming I was inclined to which the rest of this thread does not encourage me to feel.

Since candidate C had evidently been working as a paralegal in the firm I'm pretty sure that would've given her not only good legal experience but also specific experience of the firm to make her a strong applicant, regardless of her father's position in the firm or not.

I don't know if you just lack any self awareness, or have no shame at all, but you realise this entire thread smacks of sour grapes and makes you come across pretty badly?
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NQ Lawyer
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(Original post by Gmaster1980)
The A&O person for one. The only person with that background at the firm currently was in foster and residential care. Doesn't seem like a natural target for a big childish rant about connections and nepotism.
Was she offered a TC because of her impoverished background then? With all due respect, if someone from a regular or privileged background applied to A&O having gone to London South Bank University, they wouldn’t get an interview. I do feel sorry for what she has been through but I don’t see how that justifies getting a TC? I’ve lost a family member due to cancer - maybe I should mention this when I next apply to A&O? All seems irrelevant to me.
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Gmaster1980
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(Original post by NQ Lawyer)
Was she offered a TC because of her impoverished background then? With all due respect, if someone from a regular or privileged background applied to A&O having gone to London South Bank University, they wouldn’t get an interview. I do feel sorry for what she has been through but I don’t see how that justifies getting a TC? I’ve lost a family member due to cancer - maybe I should mention this when I next apply to A&O? All seems irrelevant to me.
You accused these people of getting ahead due to nepotism or connections. I gave evidence that you were wrong. No goal post moving now champ.

If your actual post is "wah wah, I don't like that my perceived inferiors are getting better jobs than me" go cry about it somewhere else. No one sympathizes with you here.
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NQ Lawyer
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(Original post by Gmaster1980)
You accused these people of getting ahead due to nepotism or connections. I gave evidence that you were wrong. No goal post moving now champ.

If your actual post is "wah wah, I don't like that my perceived inferiors are getting better jobs than me" go cry about it somewhere else. No one sympathizes with you here.
So by changing the subject, I’m guessing I’m right in my assumption that she got her TC offer at A&O because of her impoverished background, unless LSBU is the new Oxbridge?
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