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Doing a degree other than Law, but want to pursue a legal career... Watch

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    Hi,

    I'm going to university this year to study Economics, but ultimately want to become a lawyer in a corporate sector which will appeal to both my interests (Economics and Law).

    What I was wondering, however, is how things work for people not doing a Law degree in terms of applying for internships/training contracts etc.

    Am I right in assuming that it is not until I graduate and begin the GDL that I will even be considered for internships, or could I possibly succeed in securing one whilst in the middle of my Economics degree (I have a lot of legal work experience / relevant extra-curricular activities and these should hopefully be developed at university).

    Thanks!
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    My understanding is that those studying for a non-law degree apply for a training contract in the final year of their studies, i.e. the summer before embarking upon the GDL. It is possible for you to get vac schemes and placements on the Christmas workshops but again you would apply a year later than Law students.
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    That's broadly correct.

    My advice would be:

    Work hard and get good grades on your degree.
    Participate in extracurriculars like debating, mooting (if available to non-law students at your uni), and volunteer work
    Talk to your careers office about the GDL/CPE/PgDip, and the timing for doing that.
    Try to secure some sort of informal legal work placements after your first and second year (it will be difficult, and you'll need to do it through contacts). If you can't do that, then just get some good work experience.
    After your penultimate year, apply to vacation schemes for the winter during your final year
    Apply to training contracts during your final year
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    Okay thanks for all your help. Just to expand a bit on my previous post (bear in mind that I'd like to work in a financial/corporate sector of law within a solicitors' firm)

    Academics

    1. GCSEs: 11 A*s
    2. A-Levels: 4 As at AS, predicted 4 As at A2 (History, Maths, Economics and French)
    3. Conditional offer of AAA to read Economics & Management at Oxford

    Work experience

    1. Allen & Overy, in the International Capital Markets department
    2. McGrigors; slightly less well known but a turnover of £70m and top 50 in the UK
    3. A mini-pupillage at a relatively strong set in Temple Gardens, London
    4. Another mini-pupillage at a very renowned one (which I'll keep anonymous if possible, but will PM if needed) in Essex Court, London
    (5. I also did work experience at a bulge bracket investment bank but in an M&A division and so was working alongside corporate lawyers for a lot of my time there.)

    Relevant extra-curriculars

    1. Debating and journalism, which I hope to continue with and develop my skills at when I go to university
    2. Was part of a national Economics competition which involved presenting my 'case' to a panel of experts
    3. Came up with a very successful business idea in Young Enterprise, made a lot of profit there.

    ----

    As you can see, whilst I feel like I have a relatively solid academic performance (so far!), it feels like I could develop on my work experience and, even more so, my 'relevant extra-curriculars' (which are clearly more geared towards economics than law).

    I will definitely heed your advice, MelesMeles, but I was wondering from the forum at large three things:

    1. What else do you all recommend?
    2. Does having to do a GDL and then the LPC put me at a disadvantage?
    3. Do I stand a chance at a position in a top law firm, maybe even MC, if I continue to show an interest in law at university and proactively try to gain experience etc.

    Many thanks!
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    (Original post by Deipnosophist123)
    Okay thanks for all your help. Just to expand a bit on my previous post (bear in mind that I'd like to work in a financial/corporate sector of law within a solicitors' firm)

    Academics

    1. GCSEs: 11 A*s
    2. A-Levels: 4 As at AS, predicted 4 As at A2 (History, Maths, Economics and French)
    3. Conditional offer of AAA to read Economics & Management at Oxford

    Work experience

    1. Allen & Overy, in the International Capital Markets department
    2. McGrigors; slightly less well known but a turnover of £70m and top 50 in the UK
    3. A mini-pupillage at a relatively strong set in Temple Gardens, London
    4. Another mini-pupillage at a very renowned one (which I'll keep anonymous if possible, but will PM if needed) in Essex Court, London
    (5. I also did work experience at a bulge bracket investment bank but in an M&A division and so was working alongside corporate lawyers for a lot of my time there.)

    Relevant extra-curriculars

    1. Debating and journalism, which I hope to continue with and develop my skills at when I go to university
    2. Was part of a national Economics competition which involved presenting my 'case' to a panel of experts
    3. Came up with a very successful business idea in Young Enterprise, made a lot of profit there.

    ----

    As you can see, whilst I feel like I have a relatively solid academic performance (so far!), it feels like I could develop on my work experience and, even more so, my 'relevant extra-curriculars' (which are clearly more geared towards economics than law).

    I will definitely heed your advice, MelesMeles, but I was wondering from the forum at large three things:

    1. What else do you all recommend?
    2. Does having to do a GDL and then the LPC put me at a disadvantage?
    3. Do I stand a chance at a position in a top law firm, maybe even MC, if I continue to show an interest in law at university and proactively try to gain experience etc.

    Many thanks!
    You're hired :p: !

    Doing the GDL and then the LPC will not put you at any disadvantage at all; a lot of lawyers, perhaps even most, take this route. I would say that if you keep up whatever it is that you're doing then you stand a very, very good chance at working for the top firms.

    With regards to your work experience - I've just finished my first year of a Law degree at Warwick and I have a vacation scheme lined up for Lovells (just outside the MC firms) next summer. I applied for this a year early, only one position was available and to put it into perspective, you have a lot more work experience than me.
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    You should start applying for vacation schemes in your second year and then take it from there. Some firms won't take vac scheme applications from second year non-lawyers, but a lot of the really big ones do.
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    You obviously won't have a problem getting a job. Just remember that you also need a personality, and some non law, non academic extra currics will always be viewed favourably as well.
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    (Original post by Mr_Deeds)
    You're hired :p: !

    Doing the GDL and then the LPC will not put you at any disadvantage at all; a lot of lawyers, perhaps even most, take this route. I would say that if you keep up whatever it is that you're doing then you stand a very, very good chance at working for the top firms.

    With regards to your work experience - I've just finished my first year of a Law degree at Warwick and I have a vacation scheme lined up for Lovells (just outside the MC firms) next summer. I applied for this a year early, only one position was available and to put it into perspective, you have a lot more work experience than me.
    Thanks very much for the help.

    (Original post by naelse)
    You should start applying for vacation schemes in your second year and then take it from there. Some firms won't take vac scheme applications from second year non-lawyers, but a lot of the really big ones do.
    Okay, will do, but does my non-lawyer status mean it's very unlikely to get a VS between my second and third years?

    (Original post by Cloud Shine)
    You obviously won't have a problem getting a job. Just remember that you also need a personality, and some non law, non academic extra currics will always be viewed favourably as well.
    Thanks for the comforting words. Don't worry, I realise my post was very academic/experience focused, but that was primarily because I believe these are very important factors in securing jobs etc. Obviously I have plenty of non-academic extra-curriculars, and will hopefully expand these at university. I also like to think I have a personality haha
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    I know plenty of non-lawyers who got multiple vac schemes in their second year. Honestly, it's not a problem at the big firms.
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    Does anyone have a list of firms that offer vac schemes to 2nd year non-law students?
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    Macfarlanes do
 
 
 
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