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Are A Level grades important for magic circle firms? Watch

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    So all in all it seems that I could still get a good TC and should not lose hope I suppose. Oh and by the way with reference to firms such as Addleshaw and Goddard which ask for a minimum of BBB, would it mean that my chances of getting a TC with them is very slim because I am competing with others with higher grades at A Level or does it not matter anymore?Thanks everyone for the input.
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    Surely you should be able to figure that out with all the information posted by chalks so I'll just re-post it and highlight the parts that answer your question.

    (Original post by chalks)
    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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    (Original post by superman413)
    So all in all it seems that I could still get a good TC and should not lose hope I suppose. Oh and by the way with reference to firms such as Addleshaw and Goddard which ask for a minimum of BBB, would it mean that my chances of getting a TC with them is very slim because I am competing with others with higher grades at A Level or does it not matter anymore?Thanks everyone for the input.
    It means that you meet their minimum requirements and so they will actually look at your application. You will be competing with people who have straight A's at A-Level but there are other things which you can do to improve your application in the meantime (like ECs as Chalks has said).
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    (Original post by superman413)
    So all in all it seems that I could still get a good TC and should not lose hope I suppose. Oh and by the way with reference to firms such as Addleshaw and Goddard which ask for a minimum of BBB, would it mean that my chances of getting a TC with them is very slim because I am competing with others with higher grades at A Level or does it not matter anymore?Thanks everyone for the input.
    I have BBB and I got an interview at Addleshaw Goddard. But I believe that was down to having some work experience and good ECs (Vice President of College SU, Team Leader of Leavers' Ball Committee, Vice-President of a University Society, Volunteering, Member of Public Speaking Society, part-time job).

    So yes, you can do it with BBB. Oh and it's not just Addleshaws - most regional firms are quite accepting of BBB. Just make sure you stand out in all other departments.
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    Chalks summed it up very well, great post

    There is just one thing I want to add. A awful lot of firms now use graduate recruitment assistants or H&R people to vet VS and TC applications before they even get read by a lawyer or a partner. They do this because they get so many applications. So to that extent at least, getting to the stage where a lawyer actually reads your application can be somewhat of a box-ticking exercise. Bad A-levels are a reason for H&R people to throw your application in the bin without even reading the rest of it; so it is advisable to try and have a strong academic record elsewhere.
 
 
 
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