Hi @Neville Birdi
I hope you are doing well.
(1) I am aware you are a future trainee solicitor at A&O and you managed to secure the TC via the direct TC route (please correct me If I am wrong). Why did you apply through the direct TC route? Also, do they recruit a lot of candidates through the direct TC? Is there any advantage of applying to the VS over the direct TC?
I definitely want to apply to A&O next year but atm I am torn between applying to a vacation scheme or a TC.
(2) Also, was the application process the following: (1) online app --> (2) SJT -->(3) AC (case study interview and situational interview). Basically the TC process is the same as for getting on to the VS?
- thanks for your question!
You're correct regarding me garnering the TC via the direct-TC route; however, in my case, there is a bit of nuance to the journey.
I originally applied for A&O's summer vacation scheme and was subsequently offered an interview. However, prior to my interview, my personal circumstances changed, so I politely asked if they would consider changing my interview from a summer vacation scheme interview to a TC interview.
In my case, they were extraordinarily generous and interviewed me for a TC instead.
Consequently, I'm afraid I can't quite help you with your first question. Additionally, unfortunately, I can't advise on the second question - I don't have the figures. However, I would not worry too much about that. Focus on the route that is best for you.
Luckily, to help, I can describe some pros and cons of applying via each route (in abstraction):
Applying for a vacation scheme:
+ You get to experience the firm for yourself (work, people, culture, and so on). No amount of research online is a sufficient replacement. This will help you to determine whether the firm is the right fit for you (and you for the firm).
+ You get some excellent work experience.
- It is, naturally, a lengthier process when it comes to securing the TC.
Applying for a TC:
+ It is a faster process if you just have the "end goal" in mind (namely, the TC).
- You will not garner all the benefits as part of a vacation scheme.
However, some things to note. I had already had some work experience with A&O before applying to them. Hence, although, sadly, my circumstances did not allow me to go for the vacation scheme (which I would have really enjoyed in itself!), I was still comfortable and, naturally, elated, to interview for a TC directly.
And finally, yes, from my perspective it seems like the application process is similar (online application form, situational judgement test, and final assessment centre).