TCLA General Discussion Thread #2 (2021)

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Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
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Hi everyone, I wrote a forum post a few days ago but I just heard back about the second offer so I wanted to ask for advice here!

I was really lucky to have received two offers from US law firms which are very similar and I think I would be happy training at either. However, there is one which has been my dream firm and its areas of expertise/training contract structure match perfectly with my interests/past experience. In other words, one is my clear favourite!

My issue is that this firm will require me to go down the SQE route, but will not require me to do the GDL (instead do a month-long GDL crash course). The 'second favourite' firm will let me do the GDL and LPC.

If I go with my favourite firm, I will have one year to do whatever I want (I will have to find a job as I signed a year-long lease recently in anticipation of the GDL), then do the SQE with a maintenance grant. The second favourite firm will pay for my GDL/LPC and a maintenance grant.

If I go for my favourite firm, I have to forgo a year's worth of paid education and maintenance grant, which does worry me financially as I quit my job to do vacation schemes so I'm currently unemployed with rent to pay! I'm sure I will be able to find another job, but is it silly to still choose this firm even though I have a second firm, which I do like, offering me a lot more financial security? I'm not too fussed about actually doing the GDL, it's more the last-minute change of plans/financing for the next year. Would it also be appropriate to mention my concerns to my favourite firm? The only problem with this is I don't actually know what I would ask for as I can't expect a maintenance grant when I'm not studying, but I guess I could request that I want to do the GDL anyway? I have no idea if this would annoy them but it's a very small trainee intake and they seem quite committed to the people they make offers to.

My head is all over the place so any advice would be really really appreciated!
I doubt the firm will offer you the GDL route. It means they will have different trainees doing different training contract structures, and that is not appealing to firms.

You could ask them whether you could be considered for any paralegal or admin roles in areas like business development though.

Given the maintenance grant wont be a high amount of money, I’d say there is greater financial security in the SQE option than going through the GDL.
 
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Hele25

Legendary Member
Premium Member
Jan 5, 2021
180
607
Hiiii so I have an interview 🥳🥳 I *think it’s going to be in person but I’m not sure. I’m feeling fairly calm surprisingly but stressing the small stuff like what to wear 🤦🏻‍♀️ I have a black suit but it’s looking a little frayed and I really want to make a good impression. I also have an absolutely beautiful cream trouser suit. It’s not a fashion suit, it definitely presents as work wear. But I don’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons you know? Even asking the question - I should be in black shouldn’t I?
 

lawnoodle

Legendary Member
Future Trainee
Forum Winner
Feb 23, 2021
386
767
Hiiii so I have an interview 🥳🥳 I *think it’s going to be in person but I’m not sure. I’m feeling fairly calm surprisingly but stressing the small stuff like what to wear 🤦🏻‍♀️ I have a black suit but it’s looking a little frayed and I really want to make a good impression. I also have an absolutely beautiful cream trouser suit. It’s not a fashion suit, it definitely presents as work wear. But I don’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons you know? Even asking the question - I should be in black shouldn’t I?
Nope, not in my opinion anyway! As long as it looks professional, wear what you want. For my final interview (with the firm I'm training with) I wore a pencil dress, that is half navy and cream. It looks like a work dress and makes me feel confident, so that's what I wore! 😊 Feeling good will mean you look good!

Huge congratulations on the interview! 🎊🎊🎊🎊
 
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Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
10,649
15,819
Is it pointless to mention mitigating circumstances (for example, for a particular module mark) if one has an overall first class degree?
Did the mitigating circumstances only apply to that one module or could they have impacted other modules too?

Was your uni aware?

Are you able to prove the circumstances?
 

djqb

Legendary Member
Sep 6, 2020
288
592
Did the mitigating circumstances only apply to that one module or could they have impacted other modules too?

Was your uni aware?

Are you able to prove the circumstances?
The mitigating circumstances only affected 3 modules in total in my entire degree.

Yes, my university was made aware, and I am able to prove the circumstances with documentation (both from the university and external sources).

I understand that most firms only look at mitigating circumstances if it is a matter of the candidate being unable to meet the minimum requirements for applications, but in my case, the modules affected entailed key commercial law modules like contract law, which I know firms look at in particular for applications.

Nevertheless, the overall degree result was a first so would this matter, and should I still mention my mitigating circumstances? Thank you.
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
10,649
15,819
The mitigating circumstances only affected 3 modules in total in my entire degree.

Yes, my university was made aware, and I am able to prove the circumstances with documentation (both from the university and external sources).

I understand that most firms only look at mitigating circumstances if it is a matter of the candidate being unable to meet the minimum requirements for applications, but in my case, the modules affected entailed key commercial law modules like contract law, which I know firms look at in particular for applications.

Nevertheless, the overall degree result was a first so would this matter, and should I still mention my mitigating circumstances? Thank you.
Then I wouldn't declare it if only one module is slightly lower and the other two are fine/strong/of similar or higher standard of your modules that had no mitigating circumstances.

That's not true about mitigating circumstances though - it goes beyond meeting minimum expectations.
 

M1999

Legendary Member
Nov 28, 2019
518
1,182
Can anyone advise on if I should make a vac scheme app or a direct TC app?
I work full time as a paralegal, I am confident I have a lot to say but about my department only. Another thing that is tipping me to apply for direct only is that taking 2 weeks off work is very difficult (not only for AL purposes but leaving my team high and dry for two weeks). However, I really want this year to be my year and I am nervous that I will not get a chance unless I apply for vac schemes.

Any advice would be appreciated
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
10,649
15,819
Can anyone advise on if I should make a vac scheme app or a direct TC app?
I work full time as a paralegal, I am confident I have a lot to say but about my department only. Another thing that is tipping me to apply for direct only is that taking 2 weeks off work is very difficult (not only for AL purposes but leaving my team high and dry for two weeks). However, I really want this year to be my year and I am nervous that I will not get a chance unless I apply for vac schemes.

Any advice would be appreciated
A few factors to consider.

1) will your current employer allow you to work for another employer? Most employers will now allow you to work for another employer or you at least have to declare it and get it approved

2) have you got enough annual leave to use or can you take unpaid leave if the above is ok for your current employer?
 

TC fiend

Legendary Member
  • Apr 27, 2021
    191
    428
    Can anyone advise on if I should make a vac scheme app or a direct TC app?
    I work full time as a paralegal, I am confident I have a lot to say but about my department only. Another thing that is tipping me to apply for direct only is that taking 2 weeks off work is very difficult (not only for AL purposes but leaving my team high and dry for two weeks). However, I really want this year to be my year and I am nervous that I will not get a chance unless I apply for vac schemes.

    Any advice would be appreciated
    In addition to Jessica's comments, consider whether the firms you have your eye on only recruit via vac scheme, or whether they also take candidates through the direct TC route. I'm in the same position as you, and have opted to apply for direct TCs this cycle. In the upcoming cycle I'll apply for direct TCs with the firms that I know have several spots for direct TC candidates, and only a few vac scheme applications. I'm not keen to use my AL to go work at a cheaper rate for a competitor, and I imagine that's a concern for you too. However, if all the firms you are keen on are known for only vac scheme recruitments, you may not have much of a choice.
     

    Jessica Booker

    Legendary Member
    Graduate Recruitment
    Premium Member
    Forum Team
    Aug 1, 2019
    10,649
    15,819
    Can anyone advise on if I should make a vac scheme app or a direct TC app?
    I work full time as a paralegal, I am confident I have a lot to say but about my department only. Another thing that is tipping me to apply for direct only is that taking 2 weeks off work is very difficult (not only for AL purposes but leaving my team high and dry for two weeks). However, I really want this year to be my year and I am nervous that I will not get a chance unless I apply for vac schemes.

    Any advice would be appreciated
    @Jacob Miller ‘s post here might also be of interest to you:

     

    miso

    Active Member
    Jun 4, 2021
    13
    7
    Hey guys, after signing employment contracts with a firm for a junior legal role, I was offered a TC from another firm. I am going to renege my acceptance with the first firm. I was wondering in what way could this be done best? I assume a telephone call then in writing but how would I word it? I'm just worried the firm would think I've been playing them around and I want to avoid any sort of awkward confrontation.
     

    Etudierlaw2022

    Esteemed Member
    Junior Lawyer
    Jan 10, 2021
    86
    184
    Hi everyone, I’ll be starting my firm’s LPC (MSc too I think) in September at ULaw Moorgate. I’m a little nervous as I’ve been out of academic life for just over a year now. Does anyone have any advice/tips for starting the LPC? Thank you!
    I was going to ask the same! I've just accepted a TC and have a year before I start the LPC, wondering what I can do to keep the momentum/development going !
     
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