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Should I pursue Law?

HI guys,

I am a third-year English literature undergrad, and I'm currently looking at conventional Ma programmes, as well as the PGDL or a Law Ma conversion to continue my studies at the postgrad level. I'm predicted to gain a first class degree (Durham), and I achieved A* A* A in my A levels, so my academic record is certainly good enough.

The issue is, I have no law experience at all, and while it interests me as a career, the chances of securing a training contract or a vacation scheme seem slim to none from what I've gathered. I'm wondering whether pursuing a career in solicitation would be unattainable. If anyone has any advice/similar experiences they would like to share I am all ears!
Hi Lk225,

Great question and in all honesty, I totally appreciate you doing your research before making a decision since it can be daunting. I am somewhat of a similar position in that I had an undergraduate degree (environmental science) before pursuing law. This is just one option to pursue a law career, but there is honestly many different ways to prusue a law career.

Before I decided to pursue law, I spoke to my lecturers and other mentors for their input to see if it was worthwhile for me. Given my personal goals, I was highlighly encourage. However, I went down a diffeerent route which looked at providing me a foundation in law even though my undergraduate degree is not law related. My law program is a 2-year qualifying law degree.
Additionally, if ou have a non-law degree, you can (not required) to complete a law conversion course, commonly the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL). This provides you with a foundations of legal knowledge. It will also help you be a competitive applicant since the application process has become incredibly competitive.
once you do this, you will have to qualify SQE (solicitors) or a Bar course (barristers).

My biggest advice is to make sure this is the path you'd like to pursue given that it is a relatively long process and incredibly competitive. It also can be really rewarding!

Again, this is just my experience. I am excited to see other peoples' adivce and their thoghts since everyone is different and has had different experience.

Thanks! Happy to answer questions.

Aleks (She/her) - 3rd year law student
Original post by Lk225
HI guys,

I am a third-year English literature undergrad, and I'm currently looking at conventional Ma programmes, as well as the PGDL or a Law Ma conversion to continue my studies at the postgrad level. I'm predicted to gain a first class degree (Durham), and I achieved A* A* A in my A levels, so my academic record is certainly good enough.

The issue is, I have no law experience at all, and while it interests me as a career, the chances of securing a training contract or a vacation scheme seem slim to none from what I've gathered. I'm wondering whether pursuing a career in solicitation would be unattainable. If anyone has any advice/similar experiences they would like to share I am all ears!

Hi @Lk225

Just because you haven't yet got legal experience, it does not mean that you wouldn't be able to secure a TC or Vac Scheme. Often, they are looking for potential and there are many different stages to the testing methods that they use which look at more than just past experience. Of course, having experience is always good so it may be an idea to reach out to some Solicitor firms and see if they can offer you anything. Alternatively, simply walking down to the Crown Court and sitting there for a morning will give you something to write in an experience section.

Also, there are other ways of reaching qualification without a TC or Vac Scheme so I wouldn't give up on the idea just because it isn't a guarantee that you will receive one (particularly if you haven't tried yet)!

I hope this helps and good luck!

Sophie πŸ™‚
Original post by Lk225
HI guys,

I am a third-year English literature undergrad, and I'm currently looking at conventional Ma programmes, as well as the PGDL or a Law Ma conversion to continue my studies at the postgrad level. I'm predicted to gain a first class degree (Durham), and I achieved A* A* A in my A levels, so my academic record is certainly good enough.

The issue is, I have no law experience at all, and while it interests me as a career, the chances of securing a training contract or a vacation scheme seem slim to none from what I've gathered. I'm wondering whether pursuing a career in solicitation would be unattainable. If anyone has any advice/similar experiences they would like to share I am all ears!

Hiya

I'm a law student so can hopefully offer some advice. Over the past three years, I have interacted heavily with law firms and their graduate recruitment and all of them have said the same thing regarding legal work experience, you don't need it and they don't expect you to have it. An overwhelming majority of law students don't have legal work experience either when they apply for vac schemes. The biggest hurdle for non-law students when it comes to applications is identifying what motivates them for a legal career and why commercial law in particular. If you don't yet know answers to these, try and think about what aspects of your life you could link to these careers. For example, if you were involved in a business setting like working at a bar or restaurant, then you can identify aspects of the business that intrigued you and how you'd like to explore that from a legal lens.

In terms of support, take a look at Non-law into Law Society, Durham Law Society, ELSA and other law societies that will come up if you search 'law' on the SU website. They organize events and talks with firms and lawyers that can help you demonstrate the motivation for commercial law. You could try to get involved in pro bono projects with the Pro Bono Society or Citizens Advice. There is also a mentoring scheme currently open for aspiring solicitors and I have found mentoring schemes really helpful in my experience so I would strongly encourage applying: https://thestudentlawyer.com/the-student-lawyer-mentorship-scheme/

Aspiring Solicitors, Legal Cheek and Vantage are also good platforms for this, all of which organize events in collaboration with firms which I would recommend attending. There are Instagram pages run by current solicitors which I've found super helpful, like @itsallhearsay, @legallypossible, @commerciallawacademy, @lawwithsophiw and Youtube channels like @simranjeetkmann and @idinsabahipour which can help with law firm research, drafting applications and prepping for interviews.

Hope this helps, feel free to reach out if you want to know more :smile:

-Himieka
(edited 4 months ago)
Original post by Lk225
HI guys,

I am a third-year English literature undergrad, and I'm currently looking at conventional Ma programmes, as well as the PGDL or a Law Ma conversion to continue my studies at the postgrad level. I'm predicted to gain a first class degree (Durham), and I achieved A* A* A in my A levels, so my academic record is certainly good enough.

The issue is, I have no law experience at all, and while it interests me as a career, the chances of securing a training contract or a vacation scheme seem slim to none from what I've gathered. I'm wondering whether pursuing a career in solicitation would be unattainable. If anyone has any advice/similar experiences they would like to share I am all ears!

Hi there!

As a law student myself, I would say that although it is a difficult and complex sector, it is possible to switch to another degree. There are different paths to take to being a solicitor or barrister, you may not need to start immediately with a training contract or vacation scheme. You could start as an intern for a firm or an in-house legal team.

Also, law is a sector that values transferable skills and by your grades in English literature, it is obvious you are capable of managing coursework and researching, which is something that applies to the legal field.

Goodluck with everything and I do hope you give it a chance.

Best wishes,

Lancaster University Student Ambassador,
Glory.

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