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Are A Level grades important for magic circle firms? Watch

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    (Original post by paella)
    Genrally great A-Levels = Oxbridge entry standard so AAA, maybe to A*A*A
    Right you are.
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    (Original post by paella)
    Maybe, if you get a first, do some work experience etc. A good employability test is (top is most likely to get employed)

    Oxbridge/LSE, 2:1/1:1, Great A-Levels, Knowing the right people

    Redbrick/Russel Group/ 2:1/1:1 Great A-Levels/ Knowing the right people

    Then you get the heirachy, the more you take off the less employable you are.
    Applying for a vacation scheme/ training contract is not a box-ticking exercise. The top firms have minimum requirements which must be met by all applicants (usually AAB at A-Level and an expected overall 2:1 in your degree) but thereafter they look at the strength of your whole application and then invite the best candidates to interview. Oxbridge and LSE students, naturally, often stand out as very strong candidates but not only, or even laregly, because of the name of their university. In my experience, at interview people are competing from a pretty equal playing-field and it is not uncommon for Oxbridge/LSE students who do not interview so well to lose out on places to those at UCL/ Durham/ Nottingham/ Bristol/ Warwick for example.
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    (Original post by paella)
    Aunt who was at Kings Chambers said the people she'd been at uni with who then went on to work for Clifford Chance generally favoured Oxbridge applicants and the majority of their grad recruitment schemes are full of Oxbridge/LSE candidates.
    Firstly Clifford Chance is just one of the five magic circle firms.

    Secondly you're talking about a handful of your Aunt's friends.

    Thirdly it is not a secret that magic circle firms are Oxbridge dominated however as many of them are trying to change this it is ridiculous to suggest that non-Oxbridge/LSE people don't have a chance at all.

    Aren't you planning on applying for law in 2011?
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    (Original post by sleekchic)
    Firstly Clifford Chance is just one of the five magic circle firms.

    Secondly you're talking about a handful of your Aunt's friends.

    Thirdly it is not a secret that magic circle firms are Oxbridge dominated however as many of them are trying to change this it is ridiculous to suggest that non-Oxbridge/LSE people don't have a chance at all.

    Aren't you planning on applying for law in 2011?
    OK, my earlier claim could have been put more accurately and been better thought out.

    And yes, I am planning to apply for law.
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    (Original post by paella)
    OK, my earlier claim could have been put more accurately and been better thought out.

    And yes, I am planning to apply for law.
    In two years? Does that mean you're doing A levels and taking a gap year or GCSEs?
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    (Original post by sleekchic)
    In two years? Does that mean you're doing A levels and taking a gap year or GCSEs?
    Starting A-Levels this September, so would enrol at uni in september '11.
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    (Original post by paella)
    Starting A-Levels this September, so would enrol at uni in september '11.
    So you've just finished your GCSEs and I don't mean this rudely but you're pretty much implying in all your posts that you're some sort of recruitment expert when you're not.
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    (Original post by sleekchic)
    So you've just finished your GCSEs and I don't mean this rudely but you're pretty much implying in all your posts that you're some sort of recruitment expert when you're not.
    I only say what I've been told by people in law. Sometimes I may not say it in the most coherant way, but I'm working on it
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    (Original post by Hi_TSR)
    BBB is accepted at quite a few City law firms, I'm afraid magic circle firms would be out. BBB is generally the minimum City law firms specify.
    Can you give me a few examples of what the firms are?? Thanks!
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    (Original post by superman413)
    Can you give me a few examples of what the firms are?? Thanks!
    I can only think of Nebarro.

    EDIT: And DLA Piper.
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    I wish someone who actually has experience of applying to law firms for VS's and TC's, as well as those who have already secured Tc's, would come along and give some less speculative opinions...
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    (Original post by superman413)
    Can you give me a few examples of what the firms are?? Thanks!
    EAPD is one example - http://trainee.eapdlaw.com/selection/

    Judging by the fact that it's a US firm and pays right at the top end it wouldn't surprise me if most of those taken on have higher than BBB but I admit it's comforting to see BBB on the website, silly I know.

    I have a list of all of them saved on my desktop but I'm not at home so I can't remember the others.

    http://www.legal500.com/ - use this site to research firms, it's pretty useful.
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    (Original post by eve_22)
    I wish someone who actually has experience of applying to law firms for VS's and TC's, as well as those who have already secured Tc's, would come along and give some less speculative opinions...
    Definitely this rather than having to rely on potential applicants or people like me who won't be starting their law degree for a couple of months.

    I think Chalks would be able to help and possibly JacketPotato although I'm not entirely sure what year/stage he is in.

    (Original post by Chalks)
    (Original post by jacketpotato)
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    (Original post by sleekchic)
    Definitely this rather than having to rely on potential applicants or people like me who won't be starting their law degree for a couple of months.

    I think Chalks would be able to help and possibly JacketPotato although I'm not entirely sure what year/stage he is in.
    Chalks is a qualified lawyer and JacketPotato has secured a TC with one of the City firms, if I recall correctly.
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    (Original post by eve_22)
    Chalks is a qualified lawyer and JacketPotato has secured a TC with one of the City firms, if I recall correctly.
    I'll post something a little later - there really is the most ridiculous amount of hearsay and conjecture being peddled as fact on this thread.
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    OK, a summary of my experience of what the major law firms are looking for:

    - A level grades: many of the major firms indicate a preference for ABB and above. The reality is that you will have probably achieved AAA or AAB to get into one of the preferred universities anyway. BBB and below probably isn't going to be enough but excellent undergrad results and a raft of good ECs can overcome that difficulty.

    - University: Law firms tend to have a group of universities which they prefer to recruit from. Some firms will have a larger group of unis they'll consider than others. That's as a result of past experience, the recruitment preferences of their partners and various other factors. Oxbridge is, unsurprisingly, popular amongst all the major firms. However, it is NOT correct to say that you need to have attended Oxbridge or one of the London universities such as LSE to get a TC. Most firms interview and recruit widely from a variety of institutions including the Russell Group/redbricks. Equally, this does mean that students from some of the lesser known institutions may have little chance of getting an interview.

    - Degree result: 2:i or above. Simple as that. A first is NOT necessary. Consistently good grades are important as that suggests you are a steady performer rather than someone who had to work like mad in their final year to pull up poor 2nd year grades.

    - Extra-currics: any of you who have read my posts on this forum will, no doubt, have been bored to tears by my constant stressing of the importance of decent ECs. Firms are looking for people who will make good lawyers not good academics. Any ECs which can demonstrate responsibility, leadership, team-working, working under pressure, initiative, management, commercial awareness, communication skills will be very valuable. If you cannot demonstrate any of those abilities then your academic prowess alone won't get you the job.

    - Personal contacts: Massively overstated as a factor in attaining a TC. Some form of contact may get you an informal work placement if you're lucky. However, contacts will not get you a TC over and above a similar applicant. Law firms are major businesses and trainees represent the future lifeblood of those businesses. They would be insane to take on someone (with all the investment that entails) for the sake of keeping one of the partners happy or buttering up a client.

    - Mitigating circumstances: will be taken into account if they are serious. Medical conditions which clearly interrupted studies will be looked at. Likewise the death of a very close family member. However, if your academic record suggests you were never going to hit the heights without the mitigating circumstances then it probably won't help.

    - Work experience: legal work experience from school is helpful: it demonstrates an interest in the profession from a young age and that you were the sort of candidate who was pro-active in finding out what the law was like. A couple of vac schemes from good firms will stand you in very good stead when it comes to applying for TCs. Non legal work experience is also very helpful if you're able to explain what skills/abilities you've gained. I would rather take on a candidate who had worked at McDonalds for 2 months and could demonstrate he/she now had team-working skills than someone who had spent their summer break doing nothing but working on their tan.


    What is important is that you, as applicants, recognise that obtaining a TC is not a matter of ticking boxes. Law firms know the sort of candidate they're after - it is up to you to show that you can satisfy their criteria. That is why an applicant from, say, Manchester with ABB and an average 2:i but with fascinating extra-currics, travel experience and work experience can do better than an Oxbridge applicant who has excellent academics but nothing else.

    Chalks.
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    I guess this^^ pretty much answers the question of OP and leaves very little to be discussed. As usual, Chalks, thank you for an informative and thorough answer.

    As for those who are worrying about their A level grades suitablity for the law firms - I do not have any A levels that I could show on my application, but am still not loosing hope. You shouldn't either
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    (Original post by sleekchic)
    Definitely this rather than having to rely on potential applicants
    If that was a reference to me then I have already gone through the process. If not, I apologise; it's just, ironically, I seem to be amongst a small minority of Law students who have posted in this thread. OP, in addition to Nebarro and DLA Piper, Addleshaw Goddard also only ask for BBB at A-Level. I wouldn't be surprised if there are quite a good few more out there.
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    (Original post by Mr_Deeds)
    If that was a reference to me then I have already gone through the process. If not, I apologise; it's just, ironically, I seem to be amongst a small minority of Law students who have posted in this thread. OP, in addition to Nebarro and DLA Piper, Addleshaw Goddard also only ask for BBB at A-Level. I wouldn't be surprised if there are quite a good few more out there.
    No that was definitely not a reference to you. By potential applicants I meant people who were considering applying for law at university for example paella is considering applying for law in two years but was basically implying he was some sort of expert.
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    (Original post by sleekchic)
    No that was definitely not a reference to you. By potential applicants I meant people who were considering applying for law at university for example paella is considering applying for law in two years but was basically implying he was some sort of expert.
    Oh I see, sorry about that. This thread has just done my head in lol :console: and :banghead:! Good luck for your A2 results.
 
 
 
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