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    (Original post by marijuanahero)
    I'm sorry, but I disagree hugely with the poster above. A 2:1 in law from Birmingham is a very poor indicator of your chances if getting into an MC/SC firm.

    My firm don't even interview 2:1 candidates. Why would they? 60 per cent of every law cohort graduates with a 2:1. A 2:1 is NOT good enough if you expect to reach the upper echelons of the legal profession. There are a few people with 2:1's among my colleagues, but thy are almost exclusively Oxbridge.

    Get a first or you're in trouble.
    You're at a magic circle firm that don't interview 2:i candidates? So the 100 or so trainees that they took on in 2009 all had firsts?

    Not convinced.
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    (Original post by chalks)
    You're at a magic circle firm that don't interview 2:i candidates? So the 100 or so trainees that they took on in 2009 all had firsts?

    Not convinced.
    This. I know plenty of people who are going to Magic Circle firms who have 2:1s. I'm also not sure that there is a Magic Circle firm that pays £42k at the start of your Training Contract. And again, I'm not aware of any Magic Circle firm (or any firm, for that matter) that requires you to do six interviews before offering a Training Contract. I've been through the recruitment process for three of the MC firms and the interviews/tests weren't massively difficult (although the competition was high).
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    yup. 'tis a fact. not only did we not interview 2:1's barring a few exceptions, (around 15% I would guess) mostly Oxbridge, or people who paid for their own LPC and did extremely well, but we also didn't take anywhere near 100 trainees on. We even paid some a few grand to go away for a year and come back this year as we waited to see the fallout from the banking crisis.

    Law isn't immune to recession either, and in times when you're already reducing the number of trainees, it makes sense to go for the best on the Market.

    To the poster above who commented on not being required to attend six interviews or being offered 42k, you obviously didn't go through the recruitment process for my firm, and I had several firms who wished me to work for them. I was offered lots of money to secure my services. The joys of the free market. Further, I was recruited at the peak of the boom, when there was just more cash sloshing about generally, and it was easier to get bigger money.
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    (Original post by TommehR)
    This. I know plenty of people who are going to Magic Circle firms who have 2:1s. I'm also not sure that there is a Magic Circle firm that pays £42k at the start of your Training Contract. And again, I'm not aware of any Magic Circle firm (or any firm, for that matter) that requires you to do six interviews before offering a Training Contract. I've been through the recruitment process for three of the MC firms and the interviews/tests weren't massively difficult (although the competition was high).
    Hi,

    I thought the starting salary was around £40k.
    The thing is, you might have a 2.1 from UCL, which realistically does not translate to a 2.1 from B'ham, Bristol, or Warwick for that matter.
    Given the current economic climate, I'm also a bit reluctant to believe that many 2.1 graduates outside the top 5 actually get recruited to MC/SC firms.
    Tommeh, were you recruited in a MC/SC law firm recently?
    Marijuanahero, did you personally meet any B'ham/Bristol graduates at your particular firm?
    Maximus, how many people graduate with a first from B'ham every year?

    Thank you all for your help...

    Ciao!
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    (Original post by marijuanahero)
    To the poster above who commented on not being required to attend six interviews or being offered 42k, you obviously didn't go through the recruitment process for my firm, and I had several firms who wished me to work for them. I was offered lots of money to secure my services. The joys of the free market. Further, I was recruited at the peak of the boom, when there was just more cash sloshing about generally, and it was easier to get bigger money.
    Well, I went through the Training Contract recruitment process for three Magic Circle firms and I know many other people who went through the process for the other two. Clifford Chance is probably the most thorough as it has all manner of tests and group exercises but, as far as I can remember, there is only one actual interview. A&O, Freshfields and Linklaters have two interviews. Slaughters has only one interview and no tests.

    Maybe things were tougher when you were applying, although this seems unlikely given the current difficulties in the market compared to the booming market a few years ago.

    I completely agree with you about it being ridiculously competitive and difficult to get a job at a top firm, but that's more down to the sheer number of people applying rather than the interviews/tests being particularly difficult.
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    (Original post by Mattia)
    Hi,

    I thought the starting salary was around £40k.
    The thing is, you might have a 2.1 from UCL, which realistically does not translate to a 2.1 from B'ham, Bristol, or Warwick for that matter.
    Given the current economic climate, I'm also a bit reluctant to believe that many 2.1 graduates outside the top 5 actually get recruited to MC/SC firms.
    Tommeh, were you recruited in a MC/SC law firm recently?
    Marijuanahero, did you personally meet any B'ham/Bristol graduates at your particular firm?
    Maximus, how many people graduate with a first from B'ham every year?

    Thank you all for your help...

    Ciao!
    The starting salary for Magic Circle firms is around £37/38k. As far as I'm aware no MC firm has had an advertised salary of £42k for a first seat trainee, although I'm sure that there have been cases where exceptional calibre applicants may have been offered more as an inducement, especially where they have lots of offers from other firms.

    To answer your question, I accepted a TC offer at an SC firm in September 2008 and will be starting in a few months' time. There are quite a lot of Bristol/Warwick graduates going to my firm and I doubt that they all have firsts (or even a majority of them). In my experience, Bristol, Warwick, etc. seem to be on the same level as UCL, KCL, LSE, etc. in terms of prestige and legal recruitment. Oxbridge is obviously still the best place to go if you want to give yourself the best shot at a job, but there's a band of universities below that which are all very prestigious and well-represented in City firms.
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    (Original post by marijuanahero)
    yup. 'tis a fact. not only did we not interview 2:1's barring a few exceptions, (around 15% I would guess) mostly Oxbridge, or people who paid for their own LPC and did extremely well, but we also didn't take anywhere near 100 trainees on. We even paid some a few grand to go away for a year and come back this year as we waited to see the fallout from the banking crisis.

    Law isn't immune to recession either, and in times when you're already reducing the number of trainees, it makes sense to go for the best on the Market.

    To the poster above who commented on not being required to attend six interviews or being offered 42k, you obviously didn't go through the recruitment process for my firm, and I had several firms who wished me to work for them. I was offered lots of money to secure my services. The joys of the free market. Further, I was recruited at the peak of the boom, when there was just more cash sloshing about generally, and it was easier to get bigger money.
    Given you're leaving this firm, you probably won't mind saying which one it is?

    You're what, 2 yrs PQE?
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    (Original post by Mattia)
    Hi,

    I thought the starting salary was around £40k.
    The thing is, you might have a 2.1 from UCL, which realistically does not translate to a 2.1 from B'ham, Bristol, or Warwick for that matter.
    Given the current economic climate, I'm also a bit reluctant to believe that many 2.1 graduates outside the top 5 actually get recruited to MC/SC firms.
    Tommeh, were you recruited in a MC/SC law firm recently?
    Marijuanahero, did you personally meet any B'ham/Bristol graduates at your particular firm?
    Maximus, how many people graduate with a first from B'ham every year?

    Thank you all for your help...

    Ciao!
    Probably around 4-6 per year, I think last year it was 4, but keeping that in mind I know 6 that got into A&O last year alone, excluding the ones that got into Linklaters, Lovells, Slaughter and May. I think yes a 1st will probably open up more doors, but to completely exclude a 2.1?...I'm sorry I have to disagree, otherwise MC firms will not ask for a 2.1 upon application.

    There's a TSR member on here who has a 2.1 from Warwick and has been offered a TC, it's not all grades. A lot of other factors come into play such as dedication, determination, will that person leave for a better firm (US), will they uphold the prestige of the firm etc etc.

    I don't think MC/SC firms are as elitist as some barristers chambers, not yet anyway.
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    (Original post by TommehR)
    The starting salary for Magic Circle firms is around £37/38k. As far as I'm aware no MC firm has had an advertised salary of £42k for a first seat trainee, although I'm sure that there have been cases where exceptional calibre applicants may have been offered more as an inducement, especially where they have lots of offers from other firms.

    To answer your question, I accepted a TC offer at an SC firm in September 2008 and will be starting in a few months' time. There are quite a lot of Bristol/Warwick graduates going to my firm and I doubt that they all have firsts (or even a majority of them). In my experience, Bristol, Warwick, etc. seem to be on the same level as UCL, KCL, LSE, etc. in terms of prestige and legal recruitment. Oxbridge is obviously still the best place to go if you want to give yourself the best shot at a job, but there's a band of universities below that which are all very prestigious and well-represented in City firms.
    Thank you,

    Band of universities below that are all very prestigious and well-represented"...can you list a few off the top of your head.

    Now that I know only 4-6 people come out with firsts every year, I find it hard to believe that major city firms only accept firsts from university graduates outside Oxbridge and UCL, LSE, King's. If they don't even give 2.1 graduates a chance, they would be losing out on many well-qualified candidates who can be more suitable commercial lawyers than academic achievers who get first class law degrees, but don' have any knowledge of anything else outside their scope of study.

    Maximus,
    Our mini lecture was presented by Dr. Byrne. He was very clear and motivational. Do you attend his classes?
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    (Original post by Mattia)
    Thank you,

    Band of universities below that are all very prestigious and well-represented"...can you list a few off the top of your head.

    Now that I know only 4-6 people come out with firsts every year, I find it hard to believe that major city firms only accept firsts from university graduates outside Oxbridge and UCL, LSE, King's. If they don't even give 2.1 graduates a chance, they would be losing out on many well-qualified candidates who can be more suitable commercial lawyers than academic achievers who get first class law degrees, but don' have any knowledge of anything else outside their scope of study.

    Maximus,
    Our mini lecture was presented by Dr. Byrne. He was very clear and motivational. Do you attend his classes?
    The above poster means universities such as Manchester, QMUL, Exeter et al, which are still prestigious and represented in City firms.

    I actually have Dr. Byrne for Jurisprudence, Land and Equity, he's very good and straight to the point. The girls tend to die over him. He's a bit harsh in seminars, as in he picks on people to answer rather than letting it flow but overall a brilliant lecturer.

    Oh yeah, you also picked up on the point very well, only 6% or so of law students get 1st's in the COUNTRY, I doubt very much law firms will completely discard a 2.1, with very good EC's and clear motivation to be at the top.
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    (Original post by Mattia)
    Band of universities below that are all very prestigious and well-represented"...can you list a few off the top of your head.
    Below I've given a very rough idea of the relative prestige and numbers of graduates in City law firms. Please don't read too much into this as it is no way definitive and different firms will have different feelings towards different universities based on their dealings with each institutions and its graduates.

    Band 1 universities are going to give you the absolute best chance and MC/SC/US firms are full of their graduates. I'd estimate that in my SC firm intake there are about 50% Band 1 graduates.

    Band 2 universities are all very prestigious and well-represented at City firms. There are slight differences within the Band but not enough to really say that it is better to go to one over the other. Going to any of them will not prejudice your application in the slightest and will provide a very good base on which to build up your application.

    Band 3 universities are generally a bit less prestigious and not quite as well-represented. While they are academically well-respected and will offer high quality teaching that is almost on a par with the Band 2 universities, for whatever reason they aren't as well-represented in the City. Very generally speaking you're going to have to have a bit more sparkle on your CV (i.e. a first or some great extracurriculars) but you still have a reasonable chance of getting an MC/SC Training Contract.

    Band 1
    - Cambridge
    - Oxford

    Band 2
    - Bristol
    - Durham
    - LSE
    - KCL
    - Manchester (possibly)
    - Nottingham
    - UCL
    - Warwick

    Band 3
    - Birmingham
    - Exeter
    - Leeds
    - Sheffield
    - QMUL
    - etc.

    I would imagine that Imperial would fall into Band 2 if you had a science graduate who decided they wanted to do Law, but I personally haven't met anybody from Imperial going to any City firms.

    Please, please, please do not read too much into all this though. The university you go to is only a small part of your application. Far more important are your grades, extracurriculars and answers to competency questions. I think university prestige gets blown out of proportion as people see loads of Oxbridge, LSE, etc. graduates getting jobs and automatically think that it's because of the university.

    More often than not it's because those are the universities that attract the high calibre applicants that are most likely to succeed in their job hunt almost regardless of which university they go to. For example, people who go to Oxford are going to be highly intelligent and highly motivated. Those are the qualities that get them the job, not the mere fact they went to Oxford.

    Likewise, someone from Exeter with a first, lots of interesting extracurriculars and positions of responsibility and great answers to competency questions is going to be more successful than somebody from a Band 1 or 2 university that just about scrapes a 2:1, has spent three years locked in their room and doesn't really know why they want to be a lawyer.
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    (Original post by marijuanahero)
    I'm sorry, but I disagree hugely with the poster above. A 2:1 in law from Birmingham is a very poor indicator of your chances if getting into an MC/SC firm.

    My firm don't even interview 2:1 candidates. Why would they? 60 per cent of every law cohort graduates with a 2:1. A 2:1 is NOT good enough if you expect to reach the upper echelons of the legal profession. There are a few people with 2:1's among my colleagues, but thy are almost exclusively Oxbridge.

    Get a first or you're in trouble.
    I'm unsure precisely which firms or experience level you are talking about, but at a graduate recruitment level for MC firms this simply isn't true. The competition for places at MC firms is just not that high - the standards are not nearly as high as you state, the MC firms all take on about 120 people per year. As someone who has done one of the city consortium LPCs, I assure you that there are legions of people going to MC firms this year with 2:1s from second tier universities.

    Of course, the general thrust of your advice is sound - people should try to get a first if they possibly can.
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    (Original post by TommehR)
    Below I've given a very rough idea of the relative prestige and numbers of graduates in City law firms. Please don't read too much into this as it is no way definitive and different firms will have different feelings towards different universities based on their dealings with each institutions and its graduates.

    Band 1 universities are going to give you the absolute best chance and MC/SC/US firms are full of their graduates. I'd estimate that in my SC firm intake there are about 50% Band 1 graduates.

    Band 2 universities are all very prestigious and well-represented at City firms. There are slight differences within the Band but not enough to really say that it is better to go to one over the other. Going to any of them will not prejudice your application in the slightest and will provide a very good base on which to build up your application.

    Band 3 universities are generally a bit less prestigious and not quite as well-represented. While they are academically well-respected and will offer high quality teaching that is almost on a par with the Band 2 universities, for whatever reason they aren't as well-represented in the City. Very generally speaking you're going to have to have a bit more sparkle on your CV (i.e. a first or some great extracurriculars) but you still have a reasonable chance of getting an MC/SC Training Contract.

    Band 1
    - Cambridge
    - Oxford

    Band 2
    - Bristol
    - Durham
    - LSE
    - KCL
    - Manchester (possibly)
    - Nottingham
    - UCL
    - Warwick

    Band 3
    - Birmingham
    - Exeter
    - Leeds
    - Sheffield
    - QMUL
    - etc.

    I would imagine that Imperial would fall into Band 2 if you had a science graduate who decided they wanted to do Law, but I personally haven't met anybody from Imperial going to any City firms.

    Please, please, please do not read too much into all this though. The university you go to is only a small part of your application. Far more important are your grades, extracurriculars and answers to competency questions. I think university prestige gets blown out of proportion as people see loads of Oxbridge, LSE, etc. graduates getting jobs and automatically think that it's because of the university.

    More often than not it's because those are the universities that attract the high calibre applicants that are most likely to succeed in their job hunt almost regardless of which university they go to. For example, people who go to Oxford are going to be highly intelligent and highly motivated. Those are the qualities that get them the job, not the mere fact they went to Oxford.

    Likewise, someone from Exeter with a first, lots of interesting extracurriculars and positions of responsibility and great answers to competency questions is going to be more successful than somebody from a Band 1 or 2 university that just about scrapes a 2:1, has spent three years locked in their room and doesn't really know why they want to be a lawyer.
    Thanks,

    Well I firmed B'ham this morning and I hope all will go well.
    I'm not only interested in MC/SC firms, but higher ranked British/American firms that are present in London. I'd like to aim high but I am also very realistic.
    There is a general consensus that Birmingham is ranked slightly higher than QM and on par with Manchester and Warwick though. I personally wouldn't include it necessarily in band 2 along with London's big 3 and Durham but certainly next to Manchester, Warwick, Exeter, and maybe even Bristol.
    I say this because not many would consider choosing Manchester or Birmingham over Durham or King's, but a lot of people would and may choose Birmingham over Warwick (in the case of Maximus), B'ham over Bristol (me), or Manchester over Bristol or Nottingham. The difference between these institutions seems to be very small.
    I guess it is always a matter of preference so those bands can always end up being very subjective (especially on TSR).
    IMO the traditional and actual redbricks (Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield) are all, to varying degree of prestige, respected law schools also.
    Don't you agree?

    Good luck with your training contract.
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    (Original post by Mattia)
    Thanks,

    Well I firmed B'ham this morning and I hope all will go well.
    I'm not only interested in MC/SC firms, but higher ranked British/American firms that are present in London. I'd like to aim high but I am also very realistic.
    There is a general consensus that Birmingham is ranked slightly higher than QM and on par with Manchester and Warwick though. I personally wouldn't include it necessarily in band 2 along with London's big 3 and Durham but certainly next to Manchester, Warwick, Exeter, and maybe even Bristol.
    I say this because not many would consider choosing Manchester or Birmingham over Durham or King's, but a lot of people would and may choose Birmingham over Warwick (in the case of Maximus), B'ham over Bristol (me), or Manchester over Bristol or Nottingham. The difference between these institutions seems to be very small.
    I guess it is always a matter of preference so those bands can always end up being very subjective (especially on TSR).
    IMO the traditional and actual redbricks (Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield) are all, to varying degree of prestige, respected law schools also.
    Don't you agree?

    Good luck with your training contract.
    Well, I've met lots of people from Bristol, Warwick and Manchester who have TCs at MC/SC firms but I don't recall anybody from Birmingham. All the universities I mentioned have respected law schools, but some of them seem to be better represented in the City, for whatever reason. I can't possibly comment on the quality of any university other than my own and nobody can give a definitive account of the relative prestige of each university. My 'Bands' were more based on my personal experiences of meeting people on Vacation Schemes, Assessment Days, the LPC, etc. and talking to graduate recruitment.

    I think people put too much stock in the prestige of their university. Firms are going to be employing you, not your university. Up to a point, they don't mind where you go and are instead concerned with what you do whilst you are there. Of course, there are going to be firms and members of graduate recruitment that have specific preferences but we can't possibly know what those are. Furthermore, you are going to be spending three years of your life at the university. It would be daft to choose a university you don't really like, over a university you love, purely because of some vague concept of prestige.

    EDIT: If you are going to choose purely based on prestige in relation to City law firms, I think you'd have to put Warwick and Bristol over Birmingham. But as you say, the differences aren't massive and you really shouldn't view prestige in isolation.
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    (Original post by TommehR)
    Well, I've met lots of people from Bristol, Warwick and Manchester who have TCs at MC/SC firms but I don't recall anybody from Birmingham. All the universities I mentioned have respected law schools, but some of them seem to be better represented in the City, for whatever reason. I can't possibly comment on the quality of any university other than my own and nobody can give a definitive account of the relative prestige of each university. My 'Bands' were more based on my personal experiences of meeting people on Vacation Schemes, Assessment Days, the LPC, etc. and talking to graduate recruitment.

    I think people put too much stock in the prestige of their university. Firms are going to be employing you, not your university. Up to a point, they don't mind where you go and are instead concerned with what you do whilst you are there. Of course, there are going to be firms and members of graduate recruitment that have specific preferences but we can't possibly know what those are. Furthermore, you are going to be spending three years of your life at the university. It would be daft to choose a university you don't really like, over a university you love, purely because of some vague concept of prestige.

    EDIT: If you are going to choose purely based on prestige in relation to City law firms, I think you'd have to put Warwick and Bristol over Birmingham. But as you say, the differences aren't massive and you really shouldn't view prestige in isolation.
    Pretty much summed it up, if I can just add further to your comments, I think relative differences between the top law schools are minimal anyhow. I think Lawz created a table of bands and so did I on one of my threads, for which I got stick but it was one I researched and pursued from employers, so it was an objective one.

    Prestige is nothing once you have graduated with a 1st/good 2.1 (from a red-brick). If you had a 2.1/1st from Birmingham, Warwick, Manchester then it would beat out a 2.2 from Oxbridge/London, its not all prestige. Students love to put stock into it because it makes them feel good about themselves, other than that it has no relevance. No firm has a preference for any university, they have to pick and choose the candidate, they don't pick someone from Oxford just because they went there, rather its because they gained a good degree and they like the person, they feel that person will fit into their firm.

    Its quite enlightening to see that you have picked Birmingham over Bristol, I picked it over Warwick because I felt differences outside of Oxbridge are negligible and I wanted to be somewhere that I would make the most from, Birmingham happens to be that place. Without bias I can tell you, you have not made a bad decision, you will realise how fantastic the law school is once you are here. It just happens to be one of those underrated institutions that get missed somehow, but I hope you make the most of your time at Birmingham!!!! :yes:

    P.S. Birmingham and Manchester are on a par, so should go in Band 2
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    I think everyone should take marijuanahero's postings in this thread with a very large pinch of salt.

    He states that if he was not dropping out (and of course if his firm had continued to want to employ him) he would have been earning £1m to £1.2M as a partner in his magic circle firm in 8 years' time. Dream on, I am afraid.

    The standard comparison of law firm profitability is profit per equity partner. That is not the same as partner drawings because in a bad year the partners might take out money they haven't earned to put bread on the table. More commonly junior partners will need to leave money in to buy a share of the capital and all partners will need to leave money in to grow the firm's working capital. Also the figure is an average across the partners at the top and at the bottom of the partnership list. Despite these weaknesses it is the best measure of what the people who own law firms make across time. These are the 2009 figures for the 100 largest law firms from The Lawyer. Earlier years' figures are available. The survey doesn't catch a number of smaller firms with very high PEP figures. Please note that The Lawyer also publishes a table for firms ranked 100-200 in size but this shows revenue per equity partner and is not comparable.

    http://www.thelawyer.com/directory/u...table-top-100/
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    (Original post by kklol)
    the reason is that the number of law graduates has increased hugely in the last decade but the number of high paying law jobs has not. It's pretty well known that there is a huge glut of law graduates who don't get law related jobs after uni. and tbh if you're not a lawyer the usefulness of law is pretty limited.
    You are very mistaken I think. A decent law degree shows you are analytical, critical and a hard worker. It's considered a smart degree (which it is), you'd get an interview for most business schemes/jobs you applied for because you'd also be an asset to the business by having law knowledge.

    Also, a law degree is a fast track to consultancy if you're interested in it, puts you a notch above others, a law degree is on par with a business degree for going into business if you ask me. It's very useful!
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    (Original post by chigz32)
    Its private jet nowadays, London rush hour traffic is ridiculas!
    Btw, my friends doing Medicine; it takes 6 years for the degree, I believe. He then wants to go into a hospital which takes futher education. I'll ask him again, but I think he said it takes 8/9 years to be earning them mega bucks!
    not fully true....as I found out a while ago...

    eg. medics in the army will be earning 55K on their F2 year....almost double the NHS salary....and when they reach consultant level....(100K at NHS)...they will be on 110K+ depending on rank....
 
 
 
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