TCLA Direct Training Contract Applications Discussion Thread 2021-22 (#1)

antisocial applicant

Distinguished Member
Jan 12, 2022
69
141
Ashurst PFO. Despite already having a TC it still hurts haha 🥲 I think this whole cycle has shown me that despite what firms say they definitely are more likely to reject you if you have half assed grades like me. It’s no surprise every firm that gave me a shot did a blind CV application !
What are half assed grades, if you don't mind me asking?
 

NaimK

Esteemed Member
May 6, 2019
80
102
So within the Bird & Bird linktree, they say the following regarding the video interview:

"Think about the questions that are likely to come up around key competencies and your motivations. Plan how you may draw upon relevant experience, skills and commercial awareness in your answers."

I don't really understand the difference between competencies and skills, so this statement confuses me a little. Could someone explain what they would be looking for and maybe give an example or two? That would be really helpful. Also curious to get @Jessica Booker's take on this.
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,255
13,807
So within the Bird & Bird linktree, they say the following regarding the video interview:

"Think about the questions that are likely to come up around key competencies and your motivations. Plan how you may draw upon relevant experience, skills and commercial awareness in your answers."

I don't really understand the difference between competencies and skills, so this statement confuses me a little. Could someone explain what they would be looking for and maybe give an example or two? That would be really helpful. Also curious to get @Jessica Booker's take on this.
Competencies and skills are interchangeable terms.

They just use competencies to describe how the interview will be structured (e.g. what skills they will be assessing in the interview).
 
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NaimK

Esteemed Member
May 6, 2019
80
102
Competencies and skills are interchangeable terms.

They just use competencies to describe how the interview will be structured (e.g. what skills they will be assessing in the interview).

Thanks Jessica. So, if I was thinking about that bold statement, would I draw upon a list of competencies that are good for commercial law (e.g. teamwork, organisational skills, commercial awareness, communication etc.) and think about questions that centre around those skills while drawing upon my experiences and interests to show examples of me developing and utilising said skills?
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,255
13,807
Thanks Jessica. So, if I was thinking about that bold statement, would I draw upon a list of competencies that are good for commercial law (e.g. teamwork, organisational skills, commercial awareness, communication etc.) and think about questions that centre around those skills while drawing upon my experiences and interests to show examples of me developing and utilising said skills?
On the firm's website or marketing materials it will highlight the competencies they value as a firm - so you don't need to draw up a list as such, just review what the firm is looking for. You should then consider what type of questions might cover those competencies and draw upon your experiences and motivations as you have suggested.
 
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DTS

Distinguished Member
Jan 30, 2022
62
230
What are half assed grades, if you don't mind me asking?
I don’t mind at all! I got a 2:1 but averaged about a 61% with a bunch of 2:2s thrown in for good measure. I just feel these firms get so many applications that I can’t blame them for having to pick those with 65s and above over me. I’ve always been far better at interviews than memorising for exams lol
 

lildumpling

Active Member
Dec 5, 2020
12
47
Just received rejection from WBD, post-VI. I can't help but feel very lost, it's been 3 years since I began applying and this was the first time that I'd ever even made it past the application stage, so I can't shake this sinking feeling that I've just lost my one and only chance at a TC. I don't know how confident I feel about my remaining apps, and whether I can even make it past application stages for those.

I rarely write on these forums, mostly just browsing around reading other people's experiences as I find solace and reassurance that I am not the only one struggling. Amongst all the amazing successes, it is hard not to feel left behind and wonder what I'm doing wrong and nitpicking at what I could've done better. I felt compelled just to write this one time as I just feel so dejected that the one time I've come the farthest in the TC application stage, I've failed once again. I know the most important thing is to pick yourself up after moments like these, but in all honesty, pouring in so much effort and still not making it through is a tough pill to swallow.

I don't want to dampen or take away from anyone's successes, and I truly hope other people's VI results are positive. But I also just wanted to write down and process my feelings; whilst I don't know if anyone else feels the same or will even read this post, I just wanted to try and get these feelings off my chest.
 

Paaris

Well-Known Member
  • Dec 18, 2020
    22
    35
    Just received rejection from WBD, post-VI. I can't help but feel very lost, it's been 3 years since I began applying and this was the first time that I'd ever even made it past the application stage, so I can't shake this sinking feeling that I've just lost my one and only chance at a TC. I don't know how confident I feel about my remaining apps, and whether I can even make it past application stages for those.

    I rarely write on these forums, mostly just browsing around reading other people's experiences as I find solace and reassurance that I am not the only one struggling. Amongst all the amazing successes, it is hard not to feel left behind and wonder what I'm doing wrong and nitpicking at what I could've done better. I felt compelled just to write this one time as I just feel so dejected that the one time I've come the farthest in the TC application stage, I've failed once again. I know the most important thing is to pick yourself up after moments like these, but in all honesty, pouring in so much effort and still not making it through is a tough pill to swallow.

    I don't want to dampen or take away from anyone's successes, and I truly hope other people's VI results are positive. But I also just wanted to write down and process my feelings; whilst I don't know if anyone else feels the same or will even read this post, I just wanted to try and get these feelings off my chest.
    I understand how you feel and believe me, I have been here many, many times myself.
    I have been applying on and off for over 10 years! When I felt at my most dejected, I took a couple of years out and focused on things that made me feel better about myself (i.e. I changed career paths and challenged myself in other ways). Ultimately though, I keep coming back and yes, keep getting rejected but I am still pursuing this career just for me.

    Honestly, to get to VI is a massive achievement in itself, please never discount that! And also, completing a VI is an alien experience and will only serve as a great basis to continue to move and on and improve.

    I know it feels rough right now, but you will heal and you can use your wonderful experience whenever you feel ready to do the next application round.

    I promise you, you are not alone
     

    banana1189

    Active Member
    Apr 4, 2022
    11
    30
    Just received rejection from WBD, post-VI. I can't help but feel very lost, it's been 3 years since I began applying and this was the first time that I'd ever even made it past the application stage, so I can't shake this sinking feeling that I've just lost my one and only chance at a TC. I don't know how confident I feel about my remaining apps, and whether I can even make it past application stages for those.

    I rarely write on these forums, mostly just browsing around reading other people's experiences as I find solace and reassurance that I am not the only one struggling. Amongst all the amazing successes, it is hard not to feel left behind and wonder what I'm doing wrong and nitpicking at what I could've done better. I felt compelled just to write this one time as I just feel so dejected that the one time I've come the farthest in the TC application stage, I've failed once again. I know the most important thing is to pick yourself up after moments like these, but in all honesty, pouring in so much effort and still not making it through is a tough pill to swallow.

    I don't want to dampen or take away from anyone's successes, and I truly hope other people's VI results are positive. But I also just wanted to write down and process my feelings; whilst I don't know if anyone else feels the same or will even read this post, I just wanted to try and get these feelings off my chest.
    Well done for making it to the VI though!

    I too just got my WBD rejection.

    I completely know how you feel, and I feel like I am in the exact same situation. I am doing my LPC now, soon to finish, and I've been applying for years.

    This cycle was the one and only cycle I passed the first stage and had the first prospect of thinking 'actually I think I can do this' (EY and WBD). Within the space of 3 days, I received a rejection from WBD and my portal for EY says it has been withdrawn as the places have been 'filled', although I had no email from them at all. I can't help but feel that this isn't for me anymore, perhaps I'm being dramatic and I will feel differently next week, but it is so very difficult to manage. Part of me wants to throw it all away and try for other career paths, then the other part of me thinks well I've sacrificed so much to get where I am today I'd be stupid to give up.

    I am sure you will find success very soon, all the best.

    edit: also, I can't help but find this in the email a little savage: 'We hope this will allow you the opportunity for self-reflection and potential development.'
     
    Last edited:

    DTS

    Distinguished Member
    Jan 30, 2022
    62
    230
    Just received rejection from WBD, post-VI. I can't help but feel very lost, it's been 3 years since I began applying and this was the first time that I'd ever even made it past the application stage, so I can't shake this sinking feeling that I've just lost my one and only chance at a TC. I don't know how confident I feel about my remaining apps, and whether I can even make it past application stages for those.

    I rarely write on these forums, mostly just browsing around reading other people's experiences as I find solace and reassurance that I am not the only one struggling. Amongst all the amazing successes, it is hard not to feel left behind and wonder what I'm doing wrong and nitpicking at what I could've done better. I felt compelled just to write this one time as I just feel so dejected that the one time I've come the farthest in the TC application stage, I've failed once again. I know the most important thing is to pick yourself up after moments like these, but in all honesty, pouring in so much effort and still not making it through is a tough pill to swallow.

    I don't want to dampen or take away from anyone's successes, and I truly hope other people's VI results are positive. But I also just wanted to write down and process my feelings; whilst I don't know if anyone else feels the same or will even read this post, I just wanted to try and get these feelings off my chest.
    Applying to law TCs and or VSs is the most baffling and confusing shit show I’ve ever partaken in, in my life. I’ve sort out all the guidance in the world, paid and not. I’ve drawn up applications and CVs that got solid reactions from future trainees, associates and partners alike at top UK law firms. I’ve gotten to the point where I write like a robot to avoid any possible syntax or grammatical errors. I’ve still had almost every application I’ve ever written rejected. We are all in this baffling pursuit together that’s for sure!

    The only advice I can give from what I’ve learnt along this way is get good at writing apps, and send about 70 per season lol. About 5 of my friends (me in included) did this and all of us got through the app round of 1 single pool for vacation schemes. One! For mine, it was a firm that doesn’t even ask for an application, just a VI that every one is invited to.

    you’ve just got to find that one grad recruiter who looks at you and likes you. And you have more of a chance of finding that if you send off a ton!
     

    lildumpling

    Active Member
    Dec 5, 2020
    12
    47
    Well done for making it to the VI though!

    I too just got my WBD rejection.

    I completely know how you feel, and I feel like I am in the exact same situation. I am doing my LPC now, soon to finish, and I've been applying for years.

    This cycle was the one and only cycle I passed the first stage and had the first prospect of thinking 'actually I think I can do this' (EY and WBD). Within the space of 3 days, I received a rejection from WBD and my portal for EY says it has been withdrawn as the places have been 'filled', although I had no email from them at all. I can't help but feel that this isn't for me anymore, perhaps I'm being dramatic and I will feel differently next week, but it is so very difficult to manage. Part of me wants to throw it all away and try for other career paths, then the other part of me thinks well I've sacrificed so much to get where I am today I'd be stupid to give up.

    I am sure you will find success very soon, all the best.

    edit: also, I can't help but find this in the email a little savage: 'We hope this will allow you the opportunity for self-reflection and potential development.'

    I understand how you feel and believe me, I have been here many, many times myself.
    I have been applying on and off for over 10 years! When I felt at my most dejected, I took a couple of years out and focused on things that made me feel better about myself (i.e. I changed career paths and challenged myself in other ways). Ultimately though, I keep coming back and yes, keep getting rejected but I am still pursuing this career just for me.

    Honestly, to get to VI is a massive achievement in itself, please never discount that! And also, completing a VI is an alien experience and will only serve as a great basis to continue to move and on and improve.

    I know it feels rough right now, but you will heal and you can use your wonderful experience whenever you feel ready to do the next application round.

    I promise you, you are not alone

    Thank you both for these replies and for sharing too, everything you guys said resonated with me so much, wishing you all the best!! <3
     

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