Should I accept the TC…

SophdoesLaw

Standard Member
Aug 5, 2022
5
1
Hi everyone!

I really need some advice…

I’m a career changer who has done the GDL.

I (now I think naively) applied to two firms in this cycle, being certain of the firms I thought I wanted.

My application for one of the firms was successful, for which I am really grateful, considering how hard and stressful it is to get a TC.

However, I didn’t have a great Vac Scheme in the office and felt like I didn’t quite fit in.

Furthermore, they don’t offer the two sectors I would really like to explore (a fact I was willing to be flexible on when I was convinced of the firm).

It’s a well known firm, and I know I’d get great training but I don’t know if it’s for me. I’m worried i’d be making a big mistake by turning this down.

Maybe I didn’t engage in the application cycle enough to appreciate how lucky I am to have faced just one rejection. Maybe I won’t get another training contract offer next year or the year after.

I don’t think I can accept and apply for other firms (they clearly prohibit this in the contract) and I have a few more weeks to decide.

Any advice is welcome and would really be appreciated!
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,493
14,184
Hi everyone!

I really need some advice…

I’m a career changer who has done the GDL.

I (now I think naively) applied to two firms in this cycle, being certain of the firms I thought I wanted.

My application for one of the firms was successful, for which I am really grateful, considering how hard and stressful it is to get a TC.

However, I didn’t have a great Vac Scheme in the office and felt like I didn’t quite fit in.

Furthermore, they don’t offer the two sectors I would really like to explore (a fact I was willing to be flexible on when I was convinced of the firm).

It’s a well known firm, and I know I’d get great training but I don’t know if it’s for me. I’m worried i’d be making a big mistake by turning this down.

Maybe I didn’t engage in the application cycle enough to appreciate how lucky I am to have faced just one rejection. Maybe I won’t get another training contract offer next year or the year after.

I don’t think I can accept and apply for other firms (they clearly prohibit this in the contract) and I have a few more weeks to decide.

Any advice is welcome and would really be appreciated!

I don't think that term in the contract is enforceable.... unless you told them, there is no way they would know if you were applying to other firms.

A couple of questions - is the firm sponsoring your GDL/LPC/SQE? And if so, when will one of these courses start?
 

AvniD

Legendary Member
Staff member
Future Trainee
TCLA Moderator
Gold Member
Premium Member
Oct 25, 2021
667
1,446
Hi @SophdoesLaw! First off, a big congratulations for landing a TC!

What aspects of the vac scheme did you not enjoy? And do they have all the practice areas you're interested in training in?

Lastly, how is this particular clause in the contract worded? You can DM me with it if you want. I echo @Jessica Booker 's thoughts about them not knowing you're applying to other firms and am a little unsure about how this clause applies/would apply.
 

SophdoesLaw

Standard Member
Aug 5, 2022
5
1
I don't think that term in the contract is enforceable.... unless you told them, there is no way they would know if you were applying to other firms.

A couple of questions - is the firm sponsoring your GDL/LPC/SQE? And if so, when will one of these courses start?
Hi Jessica,

Thanks for getting back so quickly!
It says in the paperwork “under SRA guidance and employment law” that once accepted you must not accept another offer.

When I went to the SRA to check the guidance I couldn’t really find anything…

They will be sponsoring the LLM(SQE1+SQE2), and I think from talking to current trainees at the firm they are flexible with when you start.

Soph
 

SophdoesLaw

Standard Member
Aug 5, 2022
5
1
Hi @SophdoesLaw! First off, a big congratulations for landing a TC!

What aspects of the vac scheme did you not enjoy? And do they have all the practice areas you're interested in training in?

Lastly, how is this particular clause in the contract worded? You can DM me with it if you want. I echo @Jessica Booker 's thoughts about them not knowing you're applying to other firms and am a little unsure about how this clause applies/would apply.
Hi AvniD!

Thank you - and I’m so grateful to have been really lucky with the applications this time.

I have to admit it is based on a gut feeling…but the culture was not what it was cracked up to be and I found that I didn’t fit in with the teams very well (I’m usually quite sociable and can get along well with new people). As well as that I found it quite hard to get people to speak to me, which I can understand as everyone is busy, but I often felt ‘brushed off’. It was quite disappointing as I had built it up as THE firm.

They don’t offer the two sectors that i’m most interested in and wouldn’t be able to provide me with an opportunity in my TC to try them elsewhere.

I’m happy to DM you the wording of the clause 🙂

Soph
 
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AvniD

Legendary Member
Staff member
Future Trainee
TCLA Moderator
Gold Member
Premium Member
Oct 25, 2021
667
1,446
Hi AvniD!

Thank you - and I’m so grateful to have been really lucky with the applications this time.

I have to admit it is based on a gut feeling…but the culture was not what it was cracked up to be and I found that I didn’t fit in with the teams very well (I’m usually quite sociable and can get along well with new people). As well as that I found it quite hard to get people to speak to me, which I can understand as everyone is busy, but I often felt ‘brushed off’. It was quite disappointing as I had built it up as THE firm.

They don’t offer the two sectors that i’m most interested in and wouldn’t be able to provide me with an opportunity in my TC to try them elsewhere.

I’m happy to DM you the wording of the clause 🙂

Soph
@SophdoesLaw thanks for providing this detail. Could it be possible that you maybe idealised the firm a bit too much and got disappointed when it broke the image you had of the firm? This would happen to me at times and I realised that it was partly because I wasn't viewing the firm as a whole, with its positives and negatives, which realistically, every firm has. Feeling brushed off is really unpleasant, I completely understand. Did this happen in every department you sat in or only on one/a couple occasions?

When you say sectors, do you mean practice areas (litigation, competition, employment etc.) or industry sectors (TMT, energy, construction, Pharma etc.)? If this is a practice area issue, as in they don't offer two practice areas that you're looking to train in, then I'd completely understand why you're not too enthused by the fact that they don't offer them.

Looking forward to your DM!
 

SophdoesLaw

Standard Member
Aug 5, 2022
5
1
@SophdoesLaw thanks for providing this detail. Could it be possible that you maybe idealised the firm a bit too much and got disappointed when it broke the image you had of the firm? This would happen to me at times and I realised that it was partly because I wasn't viewing the firm as a whole, with its positives and negatives, which realistically, every firm has. Feeling brushed off is really unpleasant, I completely understand. Did this happen in every department you sat in or only on one/a couple occasions?

When you say sectors, do you mean practice areas (litigation, competition, employment etc.) or industry sectors (TMT, energy, construction, Pharma etc.)? If this is a practice area issue, as in they don't offer two practice areas that you're looking to train in, then I'd completely understand why you're not too enthused by the fact that they don't offer them.

Looking forward to your DM!
It happened a few times, though the two seats were vastly different! The second was more welcoming.

It’s the practice areas that are missing…

Soph
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,493
14,184
Hi Jessica,

Thanks for getting back so quickly!
It says in the paperwork “under SRA guidance and employment law” that once accepted you must not accept another offer.

When I went to the SRA to check the guidance I couldn’t really find anything…

They will be sponsoring the LLM(SQE1+SQE2), and I think from talking to current trainees at the firm they are flexible with when you start.

Soph
Haha - that is rubbish! The SRA have no involvement with training contract offers/recruitment processes after dropping out of the code of conduct in 2012 (and even then the code was always voluntary anyway).

I’d love to see what employment law they technically mean here too. I very much expect this to be a load of rubbish too. They could pursue you for breach of contract (but that’s contract law not employment law), but the reality is they are not going to do this unless there is a significant amount of money involved (eg they paid you a maintenance grant/your SQE fees).
 

SophdoesLaw

Standard Member
Aug 5, 2022
5
1
Oh my god! Really?

I had no idea that this could be unenforceable, I thought it seemed quite restrictive!

Does this open the option that I could apply for firms in the next cycle although I’ve accepted? Does it look bad?

I still feel worried that this isn’t the firm for me, is a 2 week Vac Scheme an accurate reflection of a firm in your experience?

Thanks so much for all the help.
Soph
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,493
14,184
Oh my god! Really?

I had no idea that this could be unenforceable, I thought it seemed quite restrictive!

Does this open the option that I could apply for firms in the next cycle although I’ve accepted? Does it look bad?

I still feel worried that this isn’t the firm for me, is a 2 week Vac Scheme an accurate reflection of a firm in your experience?

Thanks so much for all the help.
Soph
Well I am pretty confident the SRA won’t enforce anything. I am not a lawyer, so I can’t comment on any contractual elements. But as an HR professional who knows a bit about employment law, I am calling BS on this from the law firm in question. I think they have purposely put this in to try and enforce something.

People renege on job offers all the time, and even more start recruitment processes with other employers. Basically it sounds like your contract would stop you from applying from any future job, which would make no sense at all.

I am sure other people have views on this, but in my opinion this law firm are trying to scare you into not looking elsewhere.
 

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