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TC with a poor 2.1?
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Posted - 03 August 2016 19:32

I am seeking some advice on my chances of securing a TC with a poor academic record - I have a low 2.1 from a redbrick University, aacb at A level and poor gces.

I have not applied/completed any formal VC or TC apps because I feel I am not a good enough candidate for any firms. The thought of facing a barrage of rejections deters me every time!

I suffered from severe anxiety/depression throughout my University years and only scraped a low 2.1 in the end. I deferred the Final yr of studies on grounds of my ill health and graduated this year.

My scores are as follows:

yr 1: high 2.2
yr 2: 59.17 ( 4 2.1s and two 2.2s)
yr 3: 61% overall - with mitigating circumstances a 67% in Employment and 70 in Intl Human rights law (4 2.1s and two 2.2s)

overall score 60.83%

Do I stand a chance of gaining a TC in a mid sized regional/national firm, at all?

I have thought about possibly studying for a LLM in Law but I'm unsure of whether this would help me in eventually securing full time employment in the legal sector.

Would I be better off pursuing a career in a completely different sector?

I would appreciate any words of advice.

Many thanks!

Posted - 04 August 2016 13:50
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I recently trained with an international firm and I know that between my intake and the intake below me there were definitely 3 trainees who had 2:2. One was a paralegal with the firm before they secured their TC. The other 2 I am not sure what their situation was.

My friend secured a TC with another international firm and they just scraped a 2:1 but, again, they had very strong A Level grades and worked as a paralegal for 1.5 years before securing their TC.

If you have good GCSE / A Level results, and some previous experience then although It will be more difficult for you but it certainly shouldn't put you off.
Posted - 04 August 2016 13:58
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Sorry, I skimmed your grades at the start. GCSEs will help, but A Levels are certainly more important. Take a broad picture of where you are at:

If GCSEs weren't great, but weren't terrible (like all Ds) and your A Levels were in some good subjects, then I would apply. Don't go scatter shot and apply to 100 firms - there is nothing worse than hearing "I have applied to 70 firms and not one interview" - if you do that, your applications will definitely be rushed and terrible.Focus on 5-10 firms, get them in nice and early also. If going for Vac Schemes, focus on 5 firms, get them in a minimum of 1 months before the deadline - I spoke with a recruiter at a large national firm, they received 2500 applications, with nearly 2000 coming in during the final 2 weeks. They sad the 500 before the final 2 weeks were looked at for reasons to put them through, the 2000 were looked at for reasons to exclude people due to lack of time - any excuse to sift!

I think what you would need are good enough GCSEs, 320/340 ucas points at A Level, your 2:1, some extra curricular stuff like clubs, societies, or sports. Job history doing anything, and some work experience in either the legal sector or something else professional / commercial. If applying purely on the back of mediocre GCSE, good enough A levels, and what is the minimum uni grade required, and no job history, I would work on the job history before applying.

That is, obviously, just my opinion.

Liv Ellingboe
Posted - 17 September 2016 06:46
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The first thing I'd say is don't give up! Getting a training contract is still possible but be prepared for the fact that you might struggle initially.

I was in a similar position to you when I finished my LPC many years ago. What really helped boost my applications was the post law school experience I built up on my cv. It took me just over two years, but hard work, good experience, and persistence, really did pay off in the end. Are you set on training in private practice or would you consider the public sector? I eventually got my TC with a local authority outside London, and my first qualified job was in-house (private sector) back in London. LA pay isn't necessarily as good but the experience was invaluable, and more importantly, I qualified! Also, think about applying to the Government Legal Service (GLS) and medium sized law firms for a training contract, if you're keen to stay in London.

An LLM would never be wasted. If it's something you want to do. Especially if your final grade shows steady progression from your LLB. I think some LPC providers offer the option of converting your LPC to an LLM by writing a dissertation!? A friend of mine opted to do that at College of Law (York) several years ago. So you might want to look into that as an option.

Try and get as much work experience as possible. If you decide to do postgrad, apply for vacation schemes. Maybe talk to a few recruitment consultants about any holiday placements!? They may be able to advise you. Once you've completed your LPC. If you haven't secured a TC, then apply for paralegal jobs. Some can even lead on to a TC, just don't rely on that happening. Keep applying.

I hope all goes well

Mr Hargreaves
Posted - 20 September 2016 16:25
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LLM is viewed as a waste of time by law firms. Especially the 'pay a few quid and write another essay' LLM from BPP and the University of Law.