The Student Room Group

Can you get a training contract after doing a masters degree?

Hi all,

I’m currently a History BA student at Kingston University. I messed around in A-Levels (i went to a rough state school and was one of those muppets who think education is a waste).

Now in my 2nd year, I really do understand the importance of education and seriously have a passion for History to the point I considered a career in academia - but I’m slightly steering to a legal career.

I want to make up for my poor A-Levels results by nailing my undergrad studies and applying for History MA at a Russell Group Universities. Can you still receive training contract offers for law firms even after a non-law masters?

Thanks for reading, appreciate any advice or answers you may have for me!
Original post by GTRSkyline
Hi all,
I’m currently a History BA student at Kingston University. I messed around in A-Levels (i went to a rough state school and was one of those muppets who think education is a waste).
Now in my 2nd year, I really do understand the importance of education and seriously have a passion for History to the point I considered a career in academia - but I’m slightly steering to a legal career.
I want to make up for my poor A-Levels results by nailing my undergrad studies and applying for History MA at a Russell Group Universities. Can you still receive training contract offers for law firms even after a non-law masters?
Thanks for reading, appreciate any advice or answers you may have for me!

You need to have done a law degree for a training contract.
Why not consider doing graduate law after history BA?
Its a 2 year course. https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/law/llb-graduates
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 2
Original post by BankaiGintoki
You need to have done a law degree for a training contract.
Why not consider doing graduate law after history BA?
Its a 2 year course. https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/law/llb-graduates

Hi, thank you very much for your reply. I was under the impression that firms pay for your GDL before/during the Training Contract. I will do some more research
Original post by GTRSkyline
Hi, thank you very much for your reply. I was under the impression that firms pay for your GDL before/during the Training Contract. I will do some more research

Some firms do pay for a conversion course, and others do not, as far as I am aware (so researching which do is a good idea). I am uncertain whether a history masters would benefit you in gaining a training contract, however I doubt it would hinder you either.
Original post by GTRSkyline
Hi all,
I’m currently a History BA student at Kingston University. I messed around in A-Levels (i went to a rough state school and was one of those muppets who think education is a waste).
Now in my 2nd year, I really do understand the importance of education and seriously have a passion for History to the point I considered a career in academia - but I’m slightly steering to a legal career.
I want to make up for my poor A-Levels results by nailing my undergrad studies and applying for History MA at a Russell Group Universities. Can you still receive training contract offers for law firms even after a non-law masters?
Thanks for reading, appreciate any advice or answers you may have for me!

You might find this link helpful, as has information on the conversion course process: https://www.legalcheek.com/paths-to-becoming-a-lawyer/the-gdl-sqe1-non-law-graduates/
Reply 5
I agree, I just want to experience a top RG university as I never really got the experience lol. Making up for me messing around when I was immature.

The reason I was asking though is because I was wondering if a firm would still pay for the GDL even if you already had an MA. I don’t see why not but this isn’t really something I’ve seen anybody ask before lol
Original post by BankaiGintoki
You need to have done a law degree for a training contract.
Why not consider doing graduate law after history BA?
Its a 2 year course. https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/law/llb-graduates

This is incorrect. OP, misinformation is commonplace on this forum.

Those who wish to qualify as barristers need either a law degree or a non-law degree plus a GDL. Those who wish to qualify as solicitors can now qualify without any degree via various routes, but at present about half of the practising solicitors and barristers in the UK have law degrees, and about half have non-law degrees and GDLs.

You won't harm your prospects by obtaining a good MA in history, but please be realistic about your aspirations. You will be competing for training contracts or pupillages against graduates of well known universities including those in the Russell Group. Degree-washing may take some time to deliver results.

The websites of the Bar Council and the Law Society explain the qualification routes. Those organisations are the representative bodies of the two main divisions of the legal profession. The Bar Standards Board and the SRA are the regulators.

You could enquire directly of law firms about funding.

Good luck.

SB (ancient practising barrister with a degree in history and a Diploma in Law)
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 7
Original post by Stiffy Byng
This is incorrect. OP, misinformation is commonplace on this forum.
Those who wish to qualify as barristers need either a law degree or a non-law degree plus a GDL. Those who wish to qualify as solicitors can now qualify without any degree via various routes, but at present about half of the practising solicitors and barristers in the UK have law degrees, and about half have non-law degrees and GDLs.
You won't harm your prospects by obtaining a good MA in history, but please be realistic about your aspirations. You will be competing for training contracts or pupillages against graduates of well known universities including those in the Russell Group. Degree-washing may take some time to deliver results.
The websites of the Bar Council and the Law Society explain the qualification routes. Those organisations are the representative bodies of the two main divisions of the legal profession. The Bar Standards Board and the SRA are the regulators.
You could enquire directly of law firms about funding.
Good luck.
SB (ancient practising barrister with a degree in history and a Diploma in Law)

Hi thank you for your reply,

I appreciate your advice. I’ve been on a vacation scheme this year where I spoke to the firm’s recruiter who confirmed that while Russell Groups may be preferred for some firms, she has recruited many people into the firm who did not go to “prestigious universities” because they 1) demonstrated great commercial awareness, 2) had experience through volunteering and schemes and 3) nailed their interviews. This was a silver circle firm.

However you are 100% right, it will be hard to do against RG students though not impossible. I was just curious on whether or not a firm would still pay for a GDL if you had an MA lol - may consider emailing a lot of firms and inquiring about this because there isn’t really any info to suggest they wouldn’t pay for the GDL
I can see no reason why a firm would not consider you as a candidate for funding if you take the MA route.

Try to get a very Firsty First at your current non lustrous university, then see how things go.

Read law books and/or legal history in your spare time.

A talented candiate can escape being held back by a degree from the University of Meh. Possession of a degree from the University of Shiny Things is not a guarantee of success, although it can help. Some firms recruit university-blind.
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 9
Original post by Stiffy Byng
I can see no reason why a firm would not consider you as a candidate for funding if you take the MA route.
Try to get a very Firsty First at your current non lustrous university, then see how things go.
Read law books and/or legal history in your spare time.
A talented candiate can escape being held back by a degree from the University of Meh. Possession of a degree from the University of Shiny Things is not a guarantee of success, although it can help. Some firms recruit university-blind.
I 100% agree.

Going to spend this next year really becoming commercially aware, practicing for interviews etc. I really do believe that if I get a 1st, grind out some more experience and network I can make it. But it won’t be an easy road!

Thank you for your advice I really do appreciate it

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