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

thelegalsieve

Distinguished Member
Feb 4, 2020
53
141
It wouldn’t make sense for you to apply for a training contract as you’d be a qualified lawyer by the time you could start a TC in the UK. You’d need to consider applying for qualified lawyer roles (and taking the SQE). You don’t need qualifying work experience alongside the SQE examinations if you are qualified in another jurisdiction, so there is no reason in bringing you into a trainee role.
Actually the qualification route in the country I'm in is very unfavourable to UK graduates, with only a pass rate of 40% each year - and there's a study period after I end my contract in 2022 that would bring me beyond March 2024. What I'm doing is more of a failsafe because I wasn't able to secure a UK TC ahead of graduating.

So in this case it's really a matter of me dropping everything I'm doing at the moment if I get through with a UK TC, hence my question - would it be acceptable to firms if I disclose in my applications that I'm currently a legal trainee in a foreign jurisdiction? I'm not sure if, for example, Slaughter's policy might not apply since it isn't strictly a comparable UK TC. But would appreciate any general advice you might have @Jessica Booker.
 

ysabelb

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Premium Member
Jul 8, 2021
2
1
I just wanted to ask @Jessica Booker, can I apply for a UK-based training contract whilst serving a training contract overseas?

I understand that firms like Slaughter and May have a strict policy of not considering candidates that have accepted training contract offers at other firms.

But in my case, I'm intending to apply for Slaughter's 2024 intake, which is a long way off from the end of my current legal training contract based overseas, which ends in January 2022.

Was hoping you'd be able to provide some guidance, because I'm keen to get on this cycle of applications so that I can get qualified overseas and then work on getting qualified in the UK right away.
Hi, I’m a qualified lawyer overseas and I applied for UK training contracts. It depends on the firm. Some will prefer for you to apply for the qualified lawyer positions while others will consider you for TCs. Check the websites carefully and you can email individual grad recruitment teams for more information too. I received AC invites from Freshfields, BCLP and Dentons so I know those at least consider qualified overseas lawyers for TCs. It also depends on your career goals - if you know which area you’d definitely like to qualify into then perhaps you should focus on applying for qualified lawyer roles in that area.
 
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Jessica Booker

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Graduate Recruitment
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Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
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Actually the qualification route in the country I'm in is very unfavourable to UK graduates, with only a pass rate of 40% each year - and there's a study period after I end my contract in 2022 that would bring me beyond March 2024. What I'm doing is more of a failsafe because I wasn't able to secure a UK TC ahead of graduating.

So in this case it's really a matter of me dropping everything I'm doing at the moment if I get through with a UK TC, hence my question - would it be acceptable to firms if I disclose in my applications that I'm currently a legal trainee in a foreign jurisdiction? I'm not sure if, for example, Slaughter's policy might not apply since it isn't strictly a comparable UK TC. But would appreciate any general advice you might have @Jessica Booker.
Will you qualify in your home jurisdiction ahead of potentially starting a TC in the UK?
 

Jessica Booker

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Aug 1, 2019
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Hi, I’m a qualified lawyer overseas and I applied for UK training contracts. It depends on the firm. Some will prefer for you to apply for the qualified lawyer positions while others will consider you for TCs. Check the websites carefully and you can email individual grad recruitment teams for more information too. I received AC invites from Freshfields, BCLP and Dentons so I know those at least consider qualified overseas lawyers for TCs. It also depends on your career goals - if you know which area you’d definitely like to qualify into then perhaps you should focus on applying for qualified lawyer roles in that area.
The SQE is making this slightly more complicated unfortunately. What has happened before might not be the case of it happening again (depends on when the firm is asking you to do the SQE assessments too).
 

thelegalsieve

Distinguished Member
Feb 4, 2020
53
141
Hi, I’m a qualified lawyer overseas and I applied for UK training contracts. It depends on the firm. Some will prefer for you to apply for the qualified lawyer positions while others will consider you for TCs. Check the websites carefully and you can email individual grad recruitment teams for more information too. I received AC invites from Freshfields, BCLP and Dentons so I know those at least consider qualified overseas lawyers for TCs. It also depends on your career goals - if you know which area you’d definitely like to qualify into then perhaps you should focus on applying for qualified lawyer roles in that area.
You bring up good points, thank you! I do think I have a good idea of what practice I'd like
 

Jessica Booker

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Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
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I don't think I will, but qualification in my home jurisdiction has always been secondary to me securing a TC in UK - hence my question
You will need to have a clear rationale as to why you won’t and be clear on applications of that rationale and saying that you won’t qualify.

Many will not understand your reasoning when 1) you could qualify before you even start a TC and 2) avoid the QWE element of the SQE. It’s not really the most logical route you are choosing to take and ao it will be strange to many recruiters.

Dedicating time to qualifying and then not doing so will be seen as a bit of a red flag.
 

s.k.o

Star Member
Jan 14, 2019
29
12
Hi, I’m a qualified lawyer overseas and I applied for UK training contracts. It depends on the firm. Some will prefer for you to apply for the qualified lawyer positions while others will consider you for TCs. Check the websites carefully and you can email individual grad recruitment teams for more information too. I received AC invites from Freshfields, BCLP and Dentons so I know those at least consider qualified overseas lawyers for TCs. It also depends on your career goals - if you know which area you’d definitely like to qualify into then perhaps you should focus on applying for qualified lawyer roles in that area.
Definitely agree with this, firms like Hogan Lovells & Linklaters also consider foreign qualified lawyers for TC. A TC offers you the chance to learn across different practice areas, so that should be put into consideration. For example Slaughter and May only accepts applications for associate roles for foreign qualified lawyers but they can redirect you to do their TC if you’re not ready to jump straight into a sector.
 

PirateShip

Star Member
Feb 3, 2021
40
95
First of all, congratulations to everyone who got an offer!

With some firms opening their TC applications for 2024 this month, I've starting writing my applications. This will be my second cycle, after only getting one interview invitation last time.

Obviously, I could be completely off base here, but I suspect what held me back was my lack of legal experience. Therefore, I am considering applying for vacation schemes rather than training contracts this cycle. S&M also have a Winter Workshop which I may forgo a TC for.

Any else in the same boat?
 

wildprincessx

Legendary Member
Future Trainee
Aug 6, 2019
328
369
First of all, congratulations to everyone who got an offer!

With some firms opening their TC applications for 2024 this month, I've starting writing my applications. This will be my second cycle, after only getting one interview invitation last time.

Obviously, I could be completely off base here, but I suspect what held me back was my lack of legal experience. Therefore, I am considering applying for vacation schemes rather than training contracts this cycle. S&M also have a Winter Workshop which I may forgo a TC for.

Any else in the same boat?
Hello, I was in a similar situation last year (2nd cycle, thinking about whether I should go for TC/VS). I applied to a mix of both if that is any help- I focused mainly on VS during the core application cycle (ie: Sept-Jan) and during the summer months, I applied to more direct TCs!

Also for the S&M WW, I believe you're automatically considered for a TC if you are successful? Don't quote me on this though as I haven't appleid to them. And most schemes have a conversion opportunity at the end so in that way, you will still be able to secure a TC this cycle even if you go for a VS.
 

PirateShip

Star Member
Feb 3, 2021
40
95
Hello, I was in a similar situation last year (2nd cycle, thinking about whether I should go for TC/VS). I applied to a mix of both if that is any help- I focused mainly on VS during the core application cycle (ie: Sept-Jan) and during the summer months, I applied to more direct TCs!

Also for the S&M WW, I believe you're automatically considered for a TC if you are successful? Don't quote me on this though as I haven't appleid to them. And most schemes have a conversion opportunity at the end so in that way, you will still be able to secure a TC this cycle even if you go for a VS.
Thanks for sharing your experience! After a little reading, it seems S&M WW might be even more competitive than the TC, so not sure which path to take in that regard.

I am coming around to the idea of applying to vacation schemes rather than training contracts this cycle. I'm not sure where I can make any substantial changes to my applications if I apply to TCs again, so I think I'd be walking the line of submitting basically the same apps and hoping for different results.
 

E.A

Legendary Member
M&A Bootcamp
Dec 11, 2019
348
1,053
I have waited for the day I can finally write this on the TCLA forum...

After 4 years of trying to secure a TC, after what feels like a thousand rejections (I will count them one day), I JUST GOT THE CALL!!! I have been offered a TC from a US law firm and I am in total shock 😭😭😭 I am so proud of never giving up and believing I am worthy and capable of receiving this offer!!!

I would have never been able to get this far without this forum, and in particular without the support of @Jaysen and @Jessica Booker, and everyone who has been so supportive and helpful throughout this process... still feels surreal but I am popping the champagne and I am off to celebrate!

I would be more than happy to share any apps or tips with anyone that is interested, this process has been absolutely brutal, but so worth it just now ❤️!!!!!!!!
 

Jaysen

Founder, TCLA
Staff member
TCLA Moderator
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M&A Bootcamp
  • Feb 17, 2018
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    I have waited for the day I can finally write this on the TCLA forum...

    After 4 years of trying to secure a TC, after what feels like a thousand rejections (I will count them one day), I JUST GOT THE CALL!!! I have been offered a TC from a US law firm and I am in total shock 😭😭😭 I am so proud of never giving up and believing I am worthy and capable of receiving this offer!!!

    I would have never been able to get this far without this forum, and in particular without the support of @Jaysen and @Jessica Booker, and everyone who has been so supportive and helpful throughout this process... still feels surreal but I am popping the champagne and I am off to celebrate!

    I would be more than happy to share any apps or tips with anyone that is interested, this process has been absolutely brutal, but so worth it just now ❤️!!!!!!!!
    Oh wow, this is incredible. I am so so happy for you @E.A, you really deserve this!
     

    HorsesForCoursesNeighNeighNeigh

    Legendary Member
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    M&A Bootcamp
    Dec 1, 2020
    264
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    I have waited for the day I can finally write this on the TCLA forum...

    After 4 years of trying to secure a TC, after what feels like a thousand rejections (I will count them one day), I JUST GOT THE CALL!!! I have been offered a TC from a US law firm and I am in total shock 😭😭😭 I am so proud of never giving up and believing I am worthy and capable of receiving this offer!!!

    I would have never been able to get this far without this forum, and in particular without the support of @Jaysen and @Jessica Booker, and everyone who has been so supportive and helpful throughout this process... still feels surreal but I am popping the champagne and I am off to celebrate!

    I would be more than happy to share any apps or tips with anyone that is interested, this process has been absolutely brutal, but so worth it just now ❤️!!!!!!!!
    YOU'RE AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Congratulations and so massively well deserved!!!!
     
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    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    7,518
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    I have waited for the day I can finally write this on the TCLA forum...

    After 4 years of trying to secure a TC, after what feels like a thousand rejections (I will count them one day), I JUST GOT THE CALL!!! I have been offered a TC from a US law firm and I am in total shock 😭😭😭 I am so proud of never giving up and believing I am worthy and capable of receiving this offer!!!

    I would have never been able to get this far without this forum, and in particular without the support of @Jaysen and @Jessica Booker, and everyone who has been so supportive and helpful throughout this process... still feels surreal but I am popping the champagne and I am off to celebrate!

    I would be more than happy to share any apps or tips with anyone that is interested, this process has been absolutely brutal, but so worth it just now ❤️!!!!!!!!
    Amazing news! Delighted for you and have an extra glass of champagne for me 😂

    Winning The Office GIF
     
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    Apply by 16 January 2022!