The Student Room Group

Training contracts

What grade of degree do you need to get to get a training contract in corporate Law
Reply 1
Corporate law isn't a type of training contract, it's an area of law that larger commercial law firms tend to have strengths in (alongside various other areas of law). You might have a 6 month seat in the corporate law team if you have a training contract at a firm like this.

Generally speaking the vast majority of successful candidates at the larger commercial law firms will either have a 2.1 or a first.
The higher paid training contracts in big firms of solicitors tend to require very high grades and even then there is a lot of competition. It will never be easy even for people with firsts from Oxbridge. There tends to be an AAB A level minimum requirement and a 2/1 minimum for a degree. However have a look on google searching Linkedin trainee solicitor and then add the name of a firm where you might like to work and you will be able to see the linkedins of current trainees to get an idea of their grades and where they studied etc.
Reply 3
Original post by 17Student17
The higher paid training contracts in big firms of solicitors tend to require very high grades and even then there is a lot of competition. It will never be easy even for people with firsts from Oxbridge. There tends to be an AAB A level minimum requirement and a 2/1 minimum for a degree. However have a look on google searching Linkedin trainee solicitor and then add the name of a firm where you might like to work and you will be able to see the linkedins of current trainees to get an idea of their grades and where they studied etc.

wow that gives no hope to anyone out of russell group lmao
Original post by bolox12357
wow that gives no hope to anyone out of russell group lmao

As long as you're a strong applicant, they don't care what university you have attended. The reason why people from the top Russel Groups tend to get more training contracts is because they usually happen to be stronger applicants for other reasons, but they're not being accepted on the basis of their university. Many of the top firms deliberately screen out the university you go to throughout the application process to avoid bias, but even those that don't won't discriminate against you as an applicant because you went to x university instead of y. Having been to many of the top firms myself, I've met people from a variety of universities, including Kent, Reading, Nottingham Trent, Royal Holloway and more.

In terms of how to secure a training contract more broadly, the best place to start is on YouTube. Have a look at some videos which take you through what the firms are generally looking for as it's usually the same thing. I'll give some general advice too:
Virtually every firm will ask you a variation of the question "why us?" If your answer can be applied to any other firm you're not being anywhere near as specific enough. To answer this question well, you'll need to have a good look at their website as well as websites like Legal Cheek and Chambers Student to find out what makes the firm stand out. Be as specific as possible. So maybe you find out that they have a leading real estate litigation department, you should then research any recent cases / clients this department has dealt with. For each "why us?" question, aim to come up with 2-3 main points.

Another tip is to start researching the key terms and departments of firms from early on. Some that come to mind are the difference between revenue and profit, arbitration, litigation, the difference between an associate and partner, IP, private equity, ESG, pro bono, venture capital and any other you see while researching the firms' websites.

Additionally, make sure you practice the Watson Glaser test using all the free resources / practice tests you can find online before you actually sit it. Once you apply to the firm, they'll usually send you a link for this test (although not all explicitly call it the Watson Glaser) so do some practice before you apply.

Another thing is that you should try and find ways of keeping up with the news in the legal/commercial sphere to build your commercial awareness. You can do this by reading the business section of BBC News or if you want to challenge yourself, the Financial Times or the Economist. Try and engage critically with what you're reading, thinking of the pros and cons of any business deal you come across etc as this is practice for essential skills at interview.

Finally, try and apply to stuff as early as possible. If you'll be going into first year next year, apply to first-year schemes. If you'll be going into second year, apply to open days. These will tell you more about the firm and give you tips for applying to their vacation schemes/training contracts. If you're a person of colour, you should looking into Rare Recruitment as they may be able to offer you some assistance with applying. There are other social mobility schemes such as SEO London and more. I'd suggest getting LinkedIn if you haven't already to see what others are doing and joining so you can too
Reply 5
Original post by poppy2022
As long as you're a strong applicant, they don't care what university you have attended. The reason why people from the top Russel Groups tend to get more training contracts is because they usually happen to be stronger applicants for other reasons, but they're not being accepted on the basis of their university. Many of the top firms deliberately screen out the university you go to throughout the application process to avoid bias, but even those that don't won't discriminate against you as an applicant because you went to x university instead of y. Having been to many of the top firms myself, I've met people from a variety of universities, including Kent, Reading, Nottingham Trent, Royal Holloway and more.
In terms of how to secure a training contract more broadly, the best place to start is on YouTube. Have a look at some videos which take you through what the firms are generally looking for as it's usually the same thing. I'll give some general advice too:
Virtually every firm will ask you a variation of the question "why us?" If your answer can be applied to any other firm you're not being anywhere near as specific enough. To answer this question well, you'll need to have a good look at their website as well as websites like Legal Cheek and Chambers Student to find out what makes the firm stand out. Be as specific as possible. So maybe you find out that they have a leading real estate litigation department, you should then research any recent cases / clients this department has dealt with. For each "why us?" question, aim to come up with 2-3 main points.
Another tip is to start researching the key terms and departments of firms from early on. Some that come to mind are the difference between revenue and profit, arbitration, litigation, the difference between an associate and partner, IP, private equity, ESG, pro bono, venture capital and any other you see while researching the firms' websites.
Additionally, make sure you practice the Watson Glaser test using all the free resources / practice tests you can find online before you actually sit it. Once you apply to the firm, they'll usually send you a link for this test (although not all explicitly call it the Watson Glaser) so do some practice before you apply.
Another thing is that you should try and find ways of keeping up with the news in the legal/commercial sphere to build your commercial awareness. You can do this by reading the business section of BBC News or if you want to challenge yourself, the Financial Times or the Economist. Try and engage critically with what you're reading, thinking of the pros and cons of any business deal you come across etc as this is practice for essential skills at interview.
Finally, try and apply to stuff as early as possible. If you'll be going into first year next year, apply to first-year schemes. If you'll be going into second year, apply to open days. These will tell you more about the firm and give you tips for applying to their vacation schemes/training contracts. If you're a person of colour, you should looking into Rare Recruitment as they may be able to offer you some assistance with applying. There are other social mobility schemes such as SEO London and more. I'd suggest getting LinkedIn if you haven't already to see what others are doing and joining so you can too

I would tend to disagree with what you have said in terms of not caring what university you go to. I know for a fact it does matter. I appreciate the long message.
Reply 6
Original post by bolox12357
I would tend to disagree with what you have said in terms of not caring what university you go to. I know for a fact it does matter. I appreciate the long message.

I can confirm after talking with members of the HR department, business team, associates and partners at a silver circle commercial law firm that the university you go to does not matter. As stated by others, the reason why trainees tend to be from Russell Group universities and Oxbridge is because generally, these are the strongest candidates. If you are attending a low ranked university, it's likely that your A level grades would not meet the requirements, because if you have high grades, it's more likely that you would be attending higher ranked institutions. Does this mean not going to a Russell Group means your career is over? No. Again, there are trainees from all types of backgrounds both education-wise and socio-economically. What matters is how you use your time in university and experiences to present yourself as a top candidate. There are non-Russell Group universities such as Lancaster and Leicester that have built a good reputation for their law departments in recent years. As long as you do well in your degree, the university you attended does not carry as much weight as it once did.
Reply 7
Original post by bibachu
I can confirm after talking with members of the HR department, business team, associates and partners at a silver circle commercial law firm that the university you go to does not matter. As stated by others, the reason why trainees tend to be from Russell Group universities and Oxbridge is because generally, these are the strongest candidates. If you are attending a low ranked university, it's likely that your A level grades would not meet the requirements, because if you have high grades, it's more likely that you would be attending higher ranked institutions. Does this mean not going to a Russell Group means your career is over? No. Again, there are trainees from all types of backgrounds both education-wise and socio-economically. What matters is how you use your time in university and experiences to present yourself as a top candidate. There are non-Russell Group universities such as Lancaster and Leicester that have built a good reputation for their law departments in recent years. As long as you do well in your degree, the university you attended does not carry as much weight as it once did.

Thats all well and good but put two candiates who have a similiar background and similiar grades. The only deciding factor is which university they went to it makes a difference. The course is generally harder at russell group universities and its marked harsher and therfore its considered more valueable. I think we will agree to disagree, As you said the majority of people that have trainign contracts are from russell group uni's well you have just answered the question there pal.
Original post by bibachu
I can confirm after talking with members of the HR department, business team, associates and partners at a silver circle commercial law firm that the university you go to does not matter. As stated by others, the reason why trainees tend to be from Russell Group universities and Oxbridge is because generally, these are the strongest candidates. If you are attending a low ranked university, it's likely that your A level grades would not meet the requirements, because if you have high grades, it's more likely that you would be attending higher ranked institutions. Does this mean not going to a Russell Group means your career is over? No. Again, there are trainees from all types of backgrounds both education-wise and socio-economically. What matters is how you use your time in university and experiences to present yourself as a top candidate. There are non-Russell Group universities such as Lancaster and Leicester that have built a good reputation for their law departments in recent years. As long as you do well in your degree, the university you attended does not carry as much weight as it once did.

I don’t think you can “confirm” on the basis of conversations with people at one firm that university attended doesn’t matter at all.

Firms are looking at the whole application, for sure, and it isn’t the be-all and end-all by any means, and it doesn’t really prove aptitude for the job to go to a “better” university, but for many firms it isn’t totally irrelevant where someone’s undergraduate degree is from.
Reply 9
Original post by JoMarchBhaer
I don’t think you can “confirm” on the basis of conversations with people at one firm that university attended doesn’t matter at all.
Firms are looking at the whole application, for sure, and it isn’t the be-all and end-all by any means, and it doesn’t really prove aptitude for the job to go to a “better” university, but for many firms it isn’t totally irrelevant where someone’s undergraduate degree is from.

Apologies if my wording made my point unclear, I was trying to explain that not going to a Russell Group or highly ranked university doesn’t matter nearly as much as OP thinks it does. Obviously if you go to a very low ranked university, competitive firms may have questions regarding your ability to perform well as a trainee. There are lots of factors aside from attending a good university, such as experience, that recruiters will look at.
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 10
Original post by bolox12357
Thats all well and good but put two candiates who have a similiar background and similiar grades. The only deciding factor is which university they went to it makes a difference. The course is generally harder at russell group universities and its marked harsher and therfore its considered more valueable. I think we will agree to disagree, As you said the majority of people that have trainign contracts are from russell group uni's well you have just answered the question there pal.
Similar background and similar grades do not make the university a deciding factor. There will be lots of other factors distinguishing the candidates - How did they perform at interview? How strong were their soft skills? What work experience/interest/commitment in a legal career have they shown? How did they perform on other tests/exercises as part of the TC assessment?

The majority of the time these factors will all play a much, much, bigger role than the minutia of specific university rankings.
Reply 11
Original post by AMac86
Similar background and similar grades do not make the university a deciding factor. There will be lots of other factors distinguishing the candidates - How did they perform at interview? How strong were their soft skills? What work experience/interest/commitment in a legal career have they shown? How did they perform on other tests/exercises as part of the TC assessment?
The majority of the time these factors will all play a much, much, bigger role than the minutia of specific university rankings.

Ofcourse all that matters im not disputing that I think you may be just trying to find an argument here. I think we have already proven your opinion to be false based on the fact most people that have training contracts are from Russell Group universities, There is a reason why most people from Russell group uni's get trainign contracts because their A levels would be higher and therfore they would be considered ahead of other canditates, In London especially at the pinnacle of the Law how can something like which University you went to just be disregarded, getting into some of these universities is a huge achievement in itself. When I say similiar background what I meant was someone with a similar amount of experience.
Original post by bolox12357
I would tend to disagree with what you have said in terms of not caring what university you go to. I know for a fact it does matter. I appreciate the long message.
At interview round, many of the top firms (including the magic circle firms Clifford Chance and Freshfields) don't give the partners interviewing you any background info on you, including your university, to avoid bias. They wouldn't say this if it wasn't true, knowing the public scandal if they were found to be lying about whether they reveal applicants' universities in the interview process. Therefore, if you're a capable candidate who just happened to go to a lower-ranked uni, there's no reason why you cannot break into commercial law.

If someone from a low-ranked university were to apply with a stellar application, they stand just as much of a chance of gaining admission as someone applying from a Russel Group. If someone from Uni of Oxford and someone from Uni of Hull happened to do just as well as each other in the application/interview process, then the Oxford candidate potentially would be favoured, but the chance of any two applicants having perfectly identical strengths is pretty small anyway. The fact still remains that there are people from lower-ranked universities who do make it into commercial law, and in that same application pool, there would have been people from Oxford/Cambridge/etc who were turned away. That should be motivation enough. As long as you have a good brain, a 2:1 and AAB at A-Level (unless there were extenuating circumstances) there's no reason why you can't do the same.
It is impossible to know because if most people with really high grades go to very good universities and if law firms recruit people with very high grades then those chosen are chosen because of high grades but also are much much more likely to go to very good universities. I did a search on linkedin of trainee solicitor and name of a big firm and almost everyone who came up who had been hired was exceptional - some were from very challenging backgrounds but were top in their school and got a high first and prizes from a not very good university but were clearly very bright and not because a bad university inflated grades. Just pick a good firm and search on linkedin for trainee solicitors there and see who comes up...

Okay just tried it - first person who came up had a first fro Leeds and won a university prize as top candidate in dissertation. Next one Cambridge 2/1, next one contextual candidate Warwick, probably from abroad [ so far they are all women!], next one British Indian - Sheffield , does not give degree grade (male), next one female Oxford, first class degree, next one Oxford - male does not give degree grade, next one male went to Birmingham, possibly a contextual candidate and grades not given.

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