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After graduation - SQE, LPC, paralegal, or something else?

pfoapplicant

Esteemed Member
Dec 7, 2020
85
8
Hi all,

I'm a UK student coming towards the end of the third year of my Law degree at Cambridge; I'm predicted to be on the borderline between a high 2:1 and a First. Ultimately, I'm looking to work towards getting a TC at a commercial law firm in London.
Unfortunately, I haven't got any training contracts lined up - none of my applications this year were successful, and the sum total of my legal work experience is a two-week vacation scheme at Sidley Austin last year.

I've been considering my options following graduation, and there are a couple of questions which come to mind (on which I'd really appreciate whatever advice anyone has!)

1. Do you think it's worth self-funding the SQE/LPC, or would it be better getting work experience (as, say, a paralegal), and then using that to get a TC through which I won't have to fund the SQE/LPC? I'm not entirely sure whether being a paralegal (without first doing the SQE/LPC) would be viable given my relative lack of work experience; on the flipside, I'm not sure whether doing the SQE/LPC really progresses me that far along the road to a TC - I suppose what I'm trying to ask is what do you think would be the most productive way to spend the year post-graduation (i.e. what course of action do you think is least likely to result in a wasted year?) - would self-funding the SQE/LPC basically just be spending a lot of money for something with not much added value?

2. What do you think is the better option between the SQE and the LPC? I know there's been a lot of criticism levelled at the SQE; I'm not sure what the trade-off is between, on one hand, the relatively tried-and-tested nature of the LPC (combined with the potentially conservative attitudes of some people making hiring decisions at law firms), and on the other, the fact that the LPC is gradually being phased out, and so the SQE may well become the increasingly better option over the next few years (I believe that @Jessica Booker has placed at a lot of emphasis on the latter!), perhaps leaving the LPC to become more and more obsolete in the eyes of law firms.

Any advice would be really gratefully appreciated - thank you so much! :)
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
TCLA Moderator
Gold Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
13,169
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Unless you plan to start a TC in 2024 and are aiming for firms that only recruit a year in advance, the SQE is going to be far more helpful.

Otherwise you could find yourself doing the LPC and still having to pass SQE2 anyway. Most city firms will have converted to the SQE by 2025 because their talent pool becomes much smaller after 2024 (because those graduating from non-law degrees have no choice but the do the SQE).
 
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pfoapplicant

Esteemed Member
Dec 7, 2020
85
8
Unless you plan to start a TC in 2024 and are aiming for firms that only recruit a year in advance, the SQE is going to be far more helpful.

Otherwise you could find yourself doing the LPC and still having to pass SQE2 anyway. Most city firms will have converted to the SQE by 2025 because their talent pool becomes much smaller after 2024 (because those graduating from non-law degrees have no choice but the do the SQE).
Thanks for your reply – that’s really helpful!

Just going back to my first point, do you think self-funding the SQE is a good option per se (at in terms of making it easier at least to get paralegal roles (or similar roles thereto) that provide the step up to getting a TC?)
 

pfoapplicant

Esteemed Member
Dec 7, 2020
85
8
Hi all,

I've decided to settle on doing the SQE1&2 LLM course - do you think it would make any difference (to prospective employers - commercial law firms) if I were to take the course online, rather than in person (for example, could it come across as showing a lack of commitment on my part)?

@Jessica Booker
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
TCLA Moderator
Gold Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
13,169
18,919
Hi all,

I've decided to settle on doing the SQE1&2 LLM course - do you think it would make any difference (to prospective employers - commercial law firms) if I were to take the course online, rather than in person (for example, could it come across as showing a lack of commitment on my part)?

@Jessica Booker
No difference at all in terms of how a potential employer or recruiter will perceive it.

It might just make doing "extra curricular" stuff (which is still important during these courses) trickier - although these don't have to be through the university, if you are doing these type of things in your local community, then obviously doing it online may make it easier!
 

pfoapplicant

Esteemed Member
Dec 7, 2020
85
8
No difference at all in terms of how a potential employer or recruiter will perceive it.

It might just make doing "extra curricular" stuff (which is still important during these courses) trickier - although these don't have to be through the university, if you are doing these type of things in your local community, then obviously doing it online may make it easier!
Thank you so much - that's really helpful!
 

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