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Training contracts

(19 Posts)
goingmadinthecountry Mon 03-Aug-15 17:56:13

Dd has just graduated (2:1 from Bristol). I don't seem to quite have my head around what she needs to do next. She's applying for paralegal jobs etc but they all need previous experience which she hasn't got. Do you recommend going back to the previous work exp places and asking for some more extended time there? Would that count as experience when applying for a job? She's also applying for training contracts and says she'll apply for her LPC when/if she gets one. Is it better to do LPC anyway?? We're not from a legal background at all, and university seemed to be more about learning than about applying for jobs. (She's one of those who needs to learn how to play the corporate game a little more I think!)

If there are any websites I may have overlooked explaining what to do I'd be really grateful for pointers.

Thank you

Lunastarfish Mon 03-Aug-15 18:11:29

It's traditional to apply for TC in the second year of uni. That said, she can still apply for a TC once graduated (small firms for example generally hire when they need trainees).

The LPC is hugely expensive. Unlike when I did it 10 years ago the chances of getting a TC once she's finished is not as high when I did it. Funding is also more difficult (due example, I just walked into HSBC and came out with a £13k loan). She needs to think very carefully before surrendering whatever the LPC fees are now. Plus she'll need money to live on.

It's worth contacting firms she has previously worked at along for more work experience. She should also contact the citizens advice bureau asking to volunteer . I struggled to get work experience and contacted my local magistrates court and was able to shake court clerks forfor a week.

Keep applying for paralegal roles, they are often a trial for a TC (although many many fiend take advantage of paralegals and never give them TC). trial

Check the law society website. There are other ways to qualify as a solicitor now instead of the traditional TC route.


It's very hard To qualify thatTo days

(Apologies fur random words and typos, my phone is playing up. I am actually a solicitoractually!)

Lunastarfish Mon 03-Aug-15 18:13:22

Man, that's the worst post I have ever submitted!!! It really is my phone. I can't delete mistakes and it is automatic correcting.
*shadow not shake!!!

BlisterFace Mon 03-Aug-15 18:18:44

Don't pay for the LPC. Be prepared to be a paralegal for a long, long time. If she wants to qualify a BigLaw-type firm (and I am a partner in one) she may well have missed the boat. They prefer to recruit 2nd year undergrads.

It's so bloody difficult now. My last paralegal had a double first and loads of experience (and no TC after 3 years). I wouldn't enter the profession now.

Sorry to be so negative.

kaymondo Mon 03-Aug-15 18:19:34

I agree with Luna. Most of the larger firms will recruit trainees 2 years in advance which is why traditionally most apply for TC's in their second year (so a year to finish degree, a year to do the LPC, then start TC 2 years on). I only applied in my third year as I wasn't sure if I wanted to be a solicitor when everyone else was applying in second year. I did some work experience, decided I wanted to do it and applied a year later. That meant I had a year to kill before starting the LPC but I worked and travelled. Personally I would not have done the LPC without having a TC lined up at the end of it - it's too expensive a risk. I have to say that I'd also be wary of paralegalling as a route in as those I know who did this became cheap labour who were never then pushed forward when TC's were awarded. This is going back 10 years and it's only gotten more competitive since.

If I was your DC I would concentrate my efforts on applying for TC's. If she can't get one then I would seriously consider a different career path.

BlisterFace Mon 03-Aug-15 18:22:17

On the website front, she might want to check out (lightweight but useful inside info about firms and jobs) as well as the jobs section of The Lawyer, Legal Week, etc.

Heels99 Mon 03-Aug-15 18:23:13

Where we live many firms wont give traini contracts to para legals god knows why t is bonkers, that said, para legal is becoming a Career in its own right but obviously has not got the same prospects.

BlisterFace Mon 03-Aug-15 18:28:01

Also agree with Heels, but it seems (in my firm at least) to be common for people who did not get their TC's in year 2 of uni to work as a paralegal and the "better" ones (those that work longest) are give TC's. In my day <ancient> we would be wary of getting pigeonholed as a paralegal and would have avoided this. There is less choice now unfortunately.

Amummyatlast Mon 03-Aug-15 18:30:22

The LPC is expensive and is not something I would recommend without a TC lined up. The problem is that TCs are like gold dust and she is going to be competing with those who apply in their second year of uni (as it standard) along with all those that didn't manage to get a TC.

She could consider doing the Graduate Fast Track route with CILEx. It's cheaper than doing the LPC. To become a Chartered Legal Executive you have to have completed the academic stage of training (GFTD in your daughter's case) and have the required qualifying employment, which is currently 3 years of qualifying employment, at least one year of which must be post academic stage. If you want to,by ou can go on to qualify as a solicitor after gaining fellowship - you still have to take the LPC but at present you don't a TC. See

goingmadinthecountry Mon 03-Aug-15 18:31:47

Thank you for all that - I'll point her towards CAB and suggest she asks to go back to where she did work experience.

goingmadinthecountry Mon 03-Aug-15 18:40:13

Thanks too, Amummy, just saw your post. Lots to occupy her and follow up. She really wasn't convinced that she wanted to be a solicitor in her 2nd year, which is why she didn't apply then. She definitely needs a bit more practice at form filling and selling herself!

UrbanSunday Sun 09-Aug-15 21:33:22

It is a really difficult call and I agree that the really large firms will have recruited 2 years in advance and then paid for their prospective trainees to do the LPC however if she is interested in less commercial / more high street work there are trainning contracts around but only to those who have done their LPC. Without an LPC she won't stand a chance of getting one of these jobs as the trainees are needed 'now' and not when you have finished your LPC. I always wanted to work on the high street so did my LPC and secured my trainning contract about two months after I finished. It is a gamble but I think it is very unlikely to get work as a paralegal and then get a trainning contract if she has not already done the LPC. If she is serious about being a solicitor and doesn't have her heart set upon trainning at a big city firm my advice would be to take the chance and do her LPC whilst living at home (if you'll have her!) work part time in a student type job, undertake as much work experience as possible in all the holidays and look at volunteering with the CAB which in itself can knock up to three months off a trainning contract. (I should say I am old and got my trainning contract 15 years ago but I know my firm / local firms wouldn't look at hiring a trainee or even a paralegal if they hadn't already done the LPC ).

RedDaisyRed Sun 09-Aug-15 22:28:19

My daughter (now solicitor, similarly had a 2/1 Bristol) but she was sponsored on the GDL and LPC by her law firm and had a gap year after that and then started her TC with them. You have to apply in time. If your daughter is bright and was reading law why didn't she apply when everyone else does? 30 years ago I applied in time during my degree.

Certainly as people say above even those who apply in time find it hard. As for whether she should do the LPC if she is sure she wants to do law and if she can get a loan then apply and do it but work realy really really hard every few days in applying to law firms, getting experience, working in law centres and all the other things people do to get started in law.

Is she employable in law? 2/1 Bristol is good. She might have a reasonable chance. My other daughter who also did the LPC said there was a core group on the LPC with her who no one would ever take on for a TC because they could hardly speak English properly or write and yet they were there paying for an LPC and no one was telling them they hadn't a hope in hell. I doubt a Bristol 2/1 is in that category but she does need to put an awful lot of work into applications.

RedDaisyRed Sun 09-Aug-15 22:29:32

(It is possible now to get qualified after the LPC and after some years as a paralegal without a TC IF they meet the new standards. I think 1 or 5 paralegals with the LPC have managed it so far and 21 have applied.)

Cordial Sun 09-Aug-15 22:37:39

Best research tool is ...paralegal work is not a bad way in but I hear from recruiters in law firms that often they are looking for LPC graduates for paralegal work ....

The first job is research on what kind of law she would like to practice .... And then figure how to demonstrate a commitment to that work..

goingmadinthecountry Mon 10-Aug-15 01:11:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RedDaisyRed Mon 10-Aug-15 07:41:25

Loads of good people with 2/a from Bristol don't get jobs in the firms they want. I would not worry about it. There is a huge lot of luck. I had law prizes and was best in my year and still had to make over 100 law firm applications for a TC even though I was in time! as we were mid way through an absolutely awful recession at the time.

If she wants to work for a charity she will never get paid much but that is up to her and money is not important to some people. My daughter had her gap year because she applied to the law firm late by the way and she got the funding for GDL and LPC just after she started the GDL and then had a very nice only gap year abroad after the LPC with her TC to come back to, perhaps a nicer time to have a gap year than 18 actually and with everything settled so it worked out fine. My cleaner's son did the LPC last year without a TC. I am not sure if he has found a TC yet. It is certainly a risk and I did set out the pros and cons to him. I hope he's found somewhere.

goingmadinthecountry Mon 10-Aug-15 09:54:11

She just needs to persist I think! I don't think she's ever been rejected for anything before so needs a bit (lot) more experience at applying for jobs. This is all making me far more knowledgeable so thanks for all the links/ideas etc.

RedDaisyRed Mon 10-Aug-15 10:41:10

Yes, I am sure I did well as much because I have worked solidly for 30 years in law without a break as because of any brilliance. You need both to get on in life - the desire to work hard and also the basic knowledge/ability.

The applying for jobs can be very time consuming - about half a day each job with on line applications and lots of research on the firms. In my day I could just apply for the application form by post and then complete it and send my CV and a covering letter 100 times.

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