The Student Room Group

Advice for my son.

Hi

My son is turning 27, has a masters in Politics from LSE, works in a top firm in comms for the last 3 years.

Wants to swap to corporate Law. In the last year has got to the final round of Freshfields and Weil. Got vacation schemes with Vinson & Elkins and Eversheds. Unfortunately not offered a TC with any.

What should he do next? Keep applying- he's finding it all a real slog? Do the SQE independently?

Any advice gratefully received.

TIA
Reply 1
Anyone?
Reply 2
Original post by mrcerec
Hi

My son is turning 27, has a masters in Politics from LSE, works in a top firm in comms for the last 3 years.

Wants to swap to corporate Law. In the last year has got to the final round of Freshfields and Weil. Got vacation schemes with Vinson & Elkins and Eversheds. Unfortunately not offered a TC with any.

What should he do next? Keep applying- he's finding it all a real slog? Do the SQE independently?

Any advice gratefully received.

TIA

Hey!

If your son has been getting through to the final stages of the application process, chances are that his applications are really good, it's just the assessment centre/tc interview that he needs to work on. I would not advise him to start taking the SQE independently because since he is so close to securing a TC, he could get a law firm to sponsor him. For assessment centre preparation, I could recommend Commercial Law Academy's "Preparing for assessment centres" course because it deals with the interviews, group exercises, negotiation exercises, competency questions that are also part of an assessment centre with a law firm.
Reply 3
Thanks. The feedback he gets is that he didn't absolutely convince them that he is dedicated to law - lack of knowledge being highlighted. He has made the final round 4 times though - the final 2% or so. I was just wondering if a Masters in law would help
Reply 4
Original post by mrcerec
Hi

My son is turning 27, has a masters in Politics from LSE, works in a top firm in comms for the last 3 years.

Wants to swap to corporate Law. In the last year has got to the final round of Freshfields and Weil. Got vacation schemes with Vinson & Elkins and Eversheds. Unfortunately not offered a TC with any.

What should he do next? Keep applying- he's finding it all a real slog? Do the SQE independently?

Any advice gratefully received.

TIA

Making last rounds and securing vac schemes (basically as competitive as TCs) shows that your son is almost there!

Receiving "lack of knowledge about law" as feedback is a bit unusual as many applicants without law degrees for these roles will have a very limited legal background - were there any specific legal questions asked at the interviews that he felt he performed poorly at? Otherwise I'm tempted to take the feedback with a slight pinch of salt as realistically it's very hard for any assessment Centre to give proper accurate, tailored feedback for all of the unsuccessful candidates. To the extent there is any concern about lack of legal knowledge this will be more focused on knowledge of the commercial/corporate law industry and sector where he can upskill with general internet/google research.

How many applications has your son made? for perspective it took me c30+ applications and c10 final rounds interviews to get my TC (I'd say for reference I interviewed reasonably well, but not spectacularly).

He is almost there so I don't think there's any need to do the SQE first, and a masters in law is no advantage at all.

Also best to refresh and properly analyse how the interviews are going? Are there any common questions his answers arn't great on - practice and improve those. Show enthusiasm in the interviews, if your interview technique is strong and you're making final rounds then I think it is just a numbers game at this point and it's persevering until one lands.
Reply 5
Original post by AMac86
Making last rounds and securing vac schemes (basically as competitive as TCs) shows that your son is almost there!

Receiving "lack of knowledge about law" as feedback is a bit unusual as many applicants without law degrees for these roles will have a very limited legal background - were there any specific legal questions asked at the interviews that he felt he performed poorly at? Otherwise I'm tempted to take the feedback with a slight pinch of salt as realistically it's very hard for any assessment Centre to give proper accurate, tailored feedback for all of the unsuccessful candidates. To the extent there is any concern about lack of legal knowledge this will be more focused on knowledge of the commercial/corporate law industry and sector where he can upskill with general internet/google research.

How many applications has your son made? for perspective it took me c30+ applications and c10 final rounds interviews to get my TC (I'd say for reference I interviewed reasonably well, but not spectacularly).

He is almost there so I don't think there's any need to do the SQE first, and a masters in law is no advantage at all.

Also best to refresh and properly analyse how the interviews are going? Are there any common questions his answers arn't great on - practice and improve those. Show enthusiasm in the interviews, if your interview technique is strong and you're making final rounds then I think it is just a numbers game at this point and it's persevering until one lands.

Thanks

He is roughly getting to the final round in 1 in 5 applications. So he has applied to around 20.

He comes across very heavily legal - knowledge based questions sometimes- eg Orrick final 10 round they said he needed more legal knowledge to answer it fully.

Basically, keep going is your opinion. He is turning 27 next month - is age ever a barrier ?
Reply 6
Original post by mrcerec
Thanks

He is roughly getting to the final round in 1 in 5 applications. So he has applied to around 20.

He comes across very heavily legal - knowledge based questions sometimes- eg Orrick final 10 round they said he needed more legal knowledge to answer it fully.

Basically, keep going is your opinion. He is turning 27 next month - is age ever a barrier ?

Age is definitely not a barrier and very common for trainees to start in their late 20s and early 30s, nothing to worry about on that front.

I have to say I can't recall any properly technical legal questions from my interviews (admittedly many years ago) - do you have any rough examples of the legal heavy question(s) from the Orrick interview?

Just to check off a few other basics - assume otherwise strong a levels (mixture of As and Bs in solid academic subjects), 2.1 degree from circa top 50 uni?
Reply 7
Original post by AMac86
Age is definitely not a barrier and very common for trainees to start in their late 20s and early 30s, nothing to worry about on that front.

I have to say I can't recall any properly technical legal questions from my interviews (admittedly many years ago) - do you have any rough examples of the legal heavy question(s) from the Orrick interview?

Just to check off a few other basics - assume otherwise strong a levels (mixture of As and Bs in solid academic subjects), 2.1 degree from circa top 50 uni?

Thanks. He has a 67% 2.1 from Durham and a pass in his MA in politics from LSE as well as a 41 in the IB.

Is it just luck in the end? Keep applying and somebody will give you that lucky break?

I'll try and find the Orrick question.
Reply 8
Ultimately every candidate is an experiment of one so hard to say if there's anything in particular that's holding him back, or whether it's just the case of "almost but we chose someone else" Based on what you've indicated - the background academics, couple of years in another grad career and a couple of vac schemes all sound like a strong application so I think it's definitely worth persisting with those applications.

Strength at interviews does come with more practice - you really want to have strong answers structured for all the common / "obvious" questions so you can be as strong as possible on those.

The only other possibility is whether it's worth paralegalling for a year or so to gain some really solid practical legal experience? Downside here of course is that they aren't a graduate with no job but already have a (better paid?) job already. I'd consider this as a potential option later down the line but for now keep on cranking out good quality applications
Reply 9
Thanks. He thought of paralegalling, but do you not need some sort of legal experience to get those jobs?
I am a mother of 4 lawyer children and a lawyer. He is doing extremely well to get as far as he has got in those applications, compared to many people. He should just keep applying or perhaps try some easier to get into firms but try to find out what is going wrong in his interviews/assessments. As he is in work it seems best he carries on with his day job whilst continuing apply. He might be able to volunteer in something law related perhaps even if just some paperwork in a law centre but clearly his CV is fine as it is as he is getting so far in the process. The alternative even under the new SQE system would be something like a masters with BPP law conversion with SQE1 course for which he could get a £12k student loan and over 16 months would take him up to the point of taking his SQE1 exam but that would be full time giving up his job and kind of putting all his eggs into the law basket with still no guarantee of a training place so I am not sure it would be the best route for him.
Reply 11
Original post by 17Student17
I am a mother of 4 lawyer children and a lawyer. He is doing extremely well to get as far as he has got in those applications, compared to many people. He should just keep applying or perhaps try some easier to get into firms but try to find out what is going wrong in his interviews/assessments. As he is in work it seems best he carries on with his day job whilst continuing apply. He might be able to volunteer in something law related perhaps even if just some paperwork in a law centre but clearly his CV is fine as it is as he is getting so far in the process. The alternative even under the new SQE system would be something like a masters with BPP law conversion with SQE1 course for which he could get a £12k student loan and over 16 months would take him up to the point of taking his SQE1 exam but that would be full time giving up his job and kind of putting all his eggs into the law basket with still no guarantee of a training place so I am not sure it would be the best route for him.

Thanks @17Student17

He has had some advice that he should stay in his strat comms job for a top consultancy a) as it gives kudos to his application as it is so well-known and b) so he doesn't have to explain a career gap.

However it does mean that some firms think he is not that committed to Law - indeed his last interview (final 2) for a huge American Las firm they questioned his commitment to law (ie why he went into strat comms first) and also why he didn't apply via the VS - even though they offered a direct TC app (there are only so many VS you can do when working)

Would the Masters help? A lot of people think not. Personally I do think it would, but as you say there are no guarantees.

I'm a doctor- it's so much simpler in medicine 😅
Reply 12
If he already used student finance to fund his previous masters he will not get student funding to fund a second one.

I agree as well as these high end firms he needs to apply to some of the midlevel firms perhaps looking at those that offer alternative business services where his comms background may be of interest.

Quick Reply

Latest