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From TCLA to a TC (and everything in between)

Niyati Nagda

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Premium Member
Jun 29, 2023
20
88
Hello everyone! I'm Niyati Nagda, a first-year LLB Law and Business student at Queen Mary University of London. It's a pleasure to be here and share my first post on the TCLA forum.

I'm also honoured to serve as the new product lead at TCLA, where I have the opportunity to better support individuals like us on their legal journey. I believe in leading with empathy and discipline, and I'm genuinely eager to understand how we all perceive the challenges we encounter throughout the legal application process.

Whether it's researching firms for open days or navigating the intricacies of the SQE (Solicitors Qualifying Examination) and beyond, I'm here to help TCLA provide even better support in the upcoming application cycle. I’ll also be sharing my journey to securing a Training Contract in this thread. Lets get that Training Contract!


Context about me:

I moved out of Mumbai at the age of 19 to pursue a legal education and a subsequent career in London. I approached this journey with an open mind, devoid of any preconceived notions. However, I was taken aback and humbled by the intense demands of student life in this bustling city. Balancing my academics, social life, part-time jobs, and applications for legal work experience, all without a support system, proved to be a formidable challenge. We often underestimate the immense stress aspiring lawyers face in such circumstances.

I encountered setbacks along the way. Coming from a vastly different educational background, it took me several months to grasp the expectations placed upon me as a student. Unfortunately, my lack of confidence in myself led me to miss out on incredible opportunities to apply to prestigious firms through open days and first-year schemes. I hesitated and ultimately abandoned numerous behavioural and psychometric tests after submitting written applications. I believed I had no skills or assets that these firms could possibly find useful, which left me feeling guilty for falling short of my parents' expectations, let alone my own. But you know what? Reaching rock bottom can indicate that things cannot possibly worsen further. It is at this point that a decision must be made: either remain stagnant without improvement or confront fear, push through, and strive for personal growth. It all depends on the choice we make.

The decision to be better:

I made changes because I was afraid of the process and rejection, causing me to miss out on first-year opportunities. However, I realised I could seek guidance from seniors and professionals on LinkedIn. I strived to be better, refine my schedule, and understand to deliver my expectations better. Comparing myself to others was unproductive. I'm on my own path, and my proactivity and effort matter the most.

During the summer, I looked for a part-time job. I applied to thirty-two places and got rejected by the first seventeen. It made me realise that rejections are part of the discovery process. I eliminated unsuitable opportunities and applied to niche positions. I assessed my capacities, morals, and objectives for the next five years candidly. It wasn't easy, but it left me more calm and confident when making decisions and selecting roles I applied to. I became the Vice President of the Student Advancement Society, which reinforced my confidence. However, I faced rejections for other opportunities. I saw them as learning experiences, not reflections of my self-worth. "No's" are crucial for refinement. Once I stopped taking them personally, I recognised my own strengths and areas for improvement.

A few days ago, I also secured a job at TCLA after going through three application stages. It was truly an amazing company, one that I was familiar with and had little hope of getting into when I applied a month ago. Throughout the entire process, the value of honesty to oneself and others remained crucial. Navigating the experience with honesty is essential. Only by meeting our own expectations and standards in life and finding peace in the effort we've put in can we truly be pleased and content. The journey to obtaining a training contract is demanding and challenging, requiring consistent effort and dedication. I've learned numerous lessons throughout this process, as I navigate it alongside all of you. Undertaking it with determination and optimism can be incredibly rewarding. When it comes to burdens, let's share them and make the most of this supportive and empowering community. : )

Based on my experience and the advice that has helped me over the past few months, I have compiled three key points to share:

1. Maintaining physical fitness & creating a balanced routine:

Investing in stress reduction techniques such as meditation and mindfulness can greatly benefit your overall well-being. Despite dealing with ADHD, I have found that these practices improve my focus, cognitive function, and sleep quality. They also positively impact my mood, mental health, and productivity. It's important to incorporate buffer days and socialising into your routine, allowing you to recharge and explore the country and its rich legal history.

Remember to invest in your future self by dedicating time to hobbies, passions, and interests outside of academics and applications. For example, I enjoy combat sports, so I make sure to allocate time for gym sessions or sports. Additionally, taking jogs in parks during the cold has proven to be a fantastic stress reliever for me.

2. Researching and preparing yourself:

Knowledge and confidence go hand in hand. The more prepared you are, the more faith you will have when networking with professionals at legal events or engaging in conversations with peers. Always aim to learn something new and make each interaction memorable, rather than coming across as a desperate student seeking exclusive information about a firm. Remember that conversations are an exchange of value beyond words. Strive to find the value in other people and seek mutual benefit.

While focusing on law firm applications is crucial, don't neglect your academic responsibilities. Establish a strong foundation in law and moderate your energy between assignments and applications. Take advantage of networking opportunities by attending student society events that invite law firm panels and utilising your career services to find opportunities for better networking and professional development. Networking is not just about gaining a good reputation; it's about building meaningful connections and leveraging those relationships for mutual support and growth. Exercise effective communication skills by approaching conversations with empathy and curiosity. Ask questions and get to know the individuals you interact with on a personal level. Create and follow a plan of action while networking with seniors, exploring legal opportunities at smaller solicitors in your vicinity, and investing in markets to keep up with trends in companies. Use term time strategically to schedule your applications and actively engage in LinkedIn networking. Reach out to people, ask for help, and build your own network of contacts who can assist you in refining your applications and understanding of the firms you apply to.

3. Embrace solitude:

If you have recently moved out and are living on your own for the first time, it's crucial to find comfort in your own company. Be content with who you are and avoid comparing yourself to others. Your self-worth should not be determined solely by external achievements or judgments. Take time for self-reflection and independent thinking. While friends and acquaintances are important, remember that you are the one who defines your own identity and values. If you ever need reminders or a break, reach out to those who genuinely care about you and want the best for you. This could include family, mentors, friends, seniors, or anyone who understands and supports your journey. Surrounding yourself with individuals who empower and uplift you can be incredibly valuable.

Lastly, I wanted to emphasise that I am sharing my journey and posting here to hold myself accountable and also to encourage others who are on a similar path to share their experiences. We are all in this together, and by supporting and learning from each other, we can navigate the application process more effectively. Let's create a supportive space where we can discuss and address our challenges, exchange advice, and provide encouragement to one another.

Where are you currently in your journey, and what are your biggest concerns when it comes to applications?
 
Last edited:

Benjamin Lee

New Member
Jul 14, 2023
1
0
Amazing Niyati!
This is so inspiring and encouraging!
Your journey will definitely become the Northstar guiding many other aspiring solicitors. We will get that Training Contract!

sincerely,
Benjamin
 

Aimanhussain004

New Member
Mar 24, 2023
1
0
Hello everyone! I'm Niyati Nagda, a first-year LLB Law and Business student at Queen Mary University of London. It's a pleasure to be here and share my first post on the TCLA forum.

I'm also honoured to serve as the new product lead at TCLA, where I have the opportunity to better support individuals like us on their legal journey. I believe in leading with empathy and discipline, and I'm genuinely eager to understand how we all perceive the challenges we encounter throughout the legal application process.

Whether it's researching firms for open days or navigating the intricacies of the SQE (Solicitors Qualifying Examination) and beyond, I'm here to help TCLA provide even better support in the upcoming application cycle. I’ll also be sharing my journey to securing a Training Contract in this thread. Lets get that Training Contract!


Context about me:

I moved out of Mumbai at the age of 19 to pursue a legal education and a subsequent career in London. I approached this journey with an open mind, devoid of any preconceived notions. However, I was taken aback and humbled by the intense demands of student life in this bustling city. Balancing my academics, social life, part-time jobs, and applications for legal work experience, all without a support system, proved to be a formidable challenge. We often underestimate the immense stress aspiring lawyers face in such circumstances.

I encountered setbacks along the way. Coming from a vastly different educational background, it took me several months to grasp the expectations placed upon me as a student. Unfortunately, my lack of confidence in myself led me to miss out on incredible opportunities to apply to prestigious firms through open days and first-year schemes. I hesitated and ultimately abandoned numerous behavioural and psychometric tests after submitting written applications. I believed I had no skills or assets that these firms could possibly find useful, which left me feeling guilty for falling short of my parents' expectations, let alone my own. But you know what? Reaching rock bottom can indicate that things cannot possibly worsen further. It is at this point that a decision must be made: either remain stagnant without improvement or confront fear, push through, and strive for personal growth. It all depends on the choice we make.

The decision to be better:

I made changes because I was afraid of the process and rejection, causing me to miss out on first-year opportunities. However, I realised I could seek guidance from seniors and professionals on LinkedIn. I strived to be better, refine my schedule, and understand to deliver my expectations better. Comparing myself to others was unproductive. I'm on my own path, and my proactivity and effort matter the most.

During the summer, I looked for a part-time job. I applied to thirty-two places and got rejected by the first seventeen. It made me realise that rejections are part of the discovery process. I eliminated unsuitable opportunities and applied to niche positions. I assessed my capacities, morals, and objectives for the next five years candidly. It wasn't easy, but it left me more calm and confident when making decisions and selecting roles I applied to. I became the Vice President of the Student Advancement Society, which reinforced my confidence. However, I faced rejections for other opportunities. I saw them as learning experiences, not reflections of my self-worth. "No's" are crucial for refinement. Once I stopped taking them personally, I recognised my own strengths and areas for improvement.

A few days ago, I also secured a job at TCLA after going through three application stages. It was truly an amazing company, one that I was familiar with and had little hope of getting into when I applied a month ago. Throughout the entire process, the value of honesty to oneself and others remained crucial. Navigating the experience with honesty is essential. Only by meeting our own expectations and standards in life and finding peace in the effort we've put in can we truly be pleased and content. The journey to obtaining a training contract is demanding and challenging, requiring consistent effort and dedication. I've learned numerous lessons throughout this process, as I navigate it alongside all of you. Undertaking it with determination and optimism can be incredibly rewarding. When it comes to burdens, let's share them and make the most of this supportive and empowering community. : )

Based on my experience and the advice that has helped me over the past few months, I have compiled three key points to share:

1. Maintaining physical fitness & creating a balanced routine:

Investing in stress reduction techniques such as meditation and mindfulness can greatly benefit your overall well-being. Despite dealing with ADHD, I have found that these practices improve my focus, cognitive function, and sleep quality. They also positively impact my mood, mental health, and productivity. It's important to incorporate buffer days and socialising into your routine, allowing you to recharge and explore the country and its rich legal history.

Remember to invest in your future self by dedicating time to hobbies, passions, and interests outside of academics and applications. For example, I enjoy combat sports, so I make sure to allocate time for gym sessions or sports. Additionally, taking jogs in parks during the cold has proven to be a fantastic stress reliever for me.

2. Researching and preparing yourself:

Knowledge and confidence go hand in hand. The more prepared you are, the more faith you will have when networking with professionals at legal events or engaging in conversations with peers. Always aim to learn something new and make each interaction memorable, rather than coming across as a desperate student seeking exclusive information about a firm. Remember that conversations are an exchange of value beyond words. Strive to find the value in other people and seek mutual benefit.

While focusing on law firm applications is crucial, don't neglect your academic responsibilities. Establish a strong foundation in law and moderate your energy between assignments and applications. Take advantage of networking opportunities by attending student society events that invite law firm panels and utilising your career services to find opportunities for better networking and professional development. Networking is not just about gaining a good reputation; it's about building meaningful connections and leveraging those relationships for mutual support and growth. Exercise effective communication skills by approaching conversations with empathy and curiosity. Ask questions and get to know the individuals you interact with on a personal level. Create and follow a plan of action while networking with seniors, exploring legal opportunities at smaller solicitors in your vicinity, and investing in markets to keep up with trends in companies. Use term time strategically to schedule your applications and actively engage in LinkedIn networking. Reach out to people, ask for help, and build your own network of contacts who can assist you in refining your applications and understanding of the firms you apply to.

3. Embrace solitude:

If you have recently moved out and are living on your own for the first time, it's crucial to find comfort in your own company. Be content with who you are and avoid comparing yourself to others. Your self-worth should not be determined solely by external achievements or judgments. Take time for self-reflection and independent thinking. While friends and acquaintances are important, remember that you are the one who defines your own identity and values. If you ever need reminders or a break, reach out to those who genuinely care about you and want the best for you. This could include family, mentors, friends, seniors, or anyone who understands and supports your journey. Surrounding yourself with individuals who empower and uplift you can be incredibly valuable.

Lastly, I wanted to emphasise that I am sharing my journey and posting here to hold myself accountable and also to encourage others who are on a similar path to share their experiences. We are all in this together, and by supporting and learning from each other, we can navigate the application process more effectively. Let's create a supportive space where we can discuss and address our challenges, exchange advice, and provide encouragement to one another.

Where are you currently in your journey, and what are your biggest concerns when it comes to applications?

This is great to see Niyati!
I think I can definitely relate to the low self confidence throughout the first-year.
However, its great to see that you have made reflections and I hope to stick by here to see you accomplish your goals ! its only upwards from here and lets work hard to get that TC : )
 

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