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Mr Brightside
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#1
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Alright peeps, my problem is that tomorrow I start my four day work experience at a local solicitors. The problem is that I am male and there are five solicitors in this place, all of whom are female. You may ask, what's the problem? Well, I've gone to both an all-male primary and presently the same at my grammar school - I'm not quite sure how to react to the situation. I'm sure I'll be alright, I was chatting to one of the ladies on the phone yesterday and she talked like she'd known me for years. But does anyone have any advice?

Also, I'm stuck for questions to ask - and I know I should ask some questions. I'm generally interested in taking up law I must say and will probably have the grades for it. How though, do you ask someone the questions you want to ask, such as;

1. How much does it pay?
2. Is it enjoyable?
3. Is it worth my while?
4. Social life?

These sort of questions seem too personal for me, does anyone have any ideas as to what sort of questions I should ask? Has anybody else gone into law work experience? I just need some general advice on the eve of my crashing and burning lol
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annabellewalter
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Don't worry about women....... lol just dont stare at their breasts!

You should be able to ask those questions outright, thats the point in work experience and I'm sure they'll be prepared to answer honestly. Obviously with the pay you'll have to phrase it politely...but thats a given really. Maybe you find it easier if you started with 'Ive heard this...in your experience...'

They wont be bothered if you say 'what don't you like about your job' - they have nothing to gain from misleading you

Hope that helps
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Muse
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the only question i'd find personal out of those is "how much does it pay?". this can be found out without asking a specific person their wage, I'm sure most people in the law forum would be able to tell you average rates of pay for certain solicitors. Of course, there are nice ways of phrasing this question if you really wanted to ask them, and they may even be forthcoming regardless.
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annabellewalter
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I guess it's a matter of not saying 'How much money do you get?' and more sort of 'Do you feel the pay is reasonable for the profession?' or 'I've heard it's difficult to earn enough to live at the start?' Or 'Do you have a starting salary here?'
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nooneknows
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1. How much does it pay? - dodgy! you can look this kinda thing up...i did a two week law work experience and never asked this!

3. Is it worth my while? - i'd rephrase this one...

Don't go in with the mentality of not being able to have a convo just because they're women.
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Lauren18
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Pay in the legal profession varies enormously. A trainee solicitor in a high street firm (the type your work experience is with) may be paid just £12,000 on their 2 year training contract. However, magic circle firms such as Clifford Chance will pay you around £50,000 a year to train with them... and of course there is a lot inbetween.

A good solicitor, after a few years practice, could expect anything from £35,000 - £500,000 pa. This can vary between areas of legal specialism - for example the main London firms deal largely in commerical law - which is where the big money is. Specialisms such as media, human rights, family and criminal law are often poorly paid in comparison and not as exciting as you may imagine.

Of course for barristers the situation is totally different as they are effectively self-employed.

Lawyers who work for government/state departments/bodies are generally paid less than their counterparts in law firms... for example a CPS barrister generally earns less than a self-employed barrister in chambers.

Overall, though, what I would say is to do the best you can. There is no point basing your life on a career which can be extremely well paid - because if you don't put the work and effort in now you won't get there. Law is one of the most competitive professions there is, so make sure you want to do it for it's own sake, not the money.

Good luck with your work experience - I've done similar twice before and it always works out better than expected! Here's what I think of the questions you wrote:

1. How much does it pay? - not advised! Phrase it more intelligently and less personally... for example 'Does pay vary a lot within the legal profession and how would you say it compares with other routes such as banking and finance?'

2. Is it enjoyable? - this is an open-ended question - you need to say 'have you found your career enjoyable so far? Would you change anything if you could do it all over again? What advice do you wish you'd been given? etc'

3. Is it worth my while? - DON'T ASK THIS! Too many people get into Law for the money, when very few graduates actually reach these massive salaries. With a career so demanding, challenging, competitive and frustrating - you need to make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. Some people have a real passion and energy for the subject, others simply don't and never will.

4. Social life? - this assumes that social life is beyond your control when actually it is the opposite, so I wouldn't ask this question. Lawyers are usually very analytical types, so make sure you don't ask questions which seem inappropriate.

Best of luck and hope I've been of some help!
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Vitriol01
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(Original post by Lauren18)
Pay in the legal profession varies enormously. A trainee solicitor in a high street firm (the type your work experience is with) may be paid just £12,000 on their 2 year training contract. However, magic circle firms such as Clifford Chance will pay you around £50,000 a year to train with them... and of course there is a lot inbetween.
CC doesn't pay £50k training. That's qualification.

And you get worked into the ground for it.
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Lauren18
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Well, the Head of Recruitment at CC (who is a neighbour) told me that the figure is 'around 50k'. I have no reason to doubt what he says.
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rah2
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(Original post by Lauren18)
Well, the Head of Recruitment at CC (who is a neighbour) told me that the figure is 'around 50k'. I have no reason to doubt what he says.
thats still after qualification, the vast majority of firms pay 22 - 30ish k for the two training years
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viviki
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Sorry Lauren Vitriol is correct

# First year trainee £29,000
# Second year trainee £33,000
# Newly qualified lawyer £50,000

And if you don't believe me check out Clifford chance website I don't think it would lie somehow.

http://www.cliffordchance.com/career...entItemID=6801
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