TCLA General Discussion Thread 2021-22 (#1)

lawnoob

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Jan 15, 2021
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Just completed an interview for a paralegal role, and I'm not sure what to think about something the GR interviewer said to me. When I said I didn't have much legal experience but am really keen to learn and have tried to put myself out there to gain as many transferrable skills as possible, they said (really seriously too), "maybe you had too much fun in University, doing volunteering and being a server and marketing etc." I had only listed two short term volunteering experiences and the other non-law related positions were so I could gain interpersonal skills from places other than just law internships. Everyone else I have spoken to in the past during open days, law fairs and so on have emphasised the importance of extra curriculars and experiences outside of law. Now I feel really defeated and I feel like everything i've put my time into was a complete waste of time :/ Has anyone else experienced a perspective like this?
 

Jessica Booker

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Just completed an interview for a paralegal role, and I'm not sure what to think about something the GR interviewer said to me. When I said I didn't have much legal experience but am really keen to learn and have tried to put myself out there to gain as many transferrable skills as possible, they said (really seriously too), "maybe you had too much fun in University, doing volunteering and being a server and marketing etc." I had only listed two short term volunteering experiences and the other non-law related positions were so I could gain interpersonal skills from places other than just law internships. Everyone else I have spoken to in the past during open days, law fairs and so on have emphasised the importance of extra curriculars and experiences outside of law. Now I feel really defeated and I feel like everything i've put my time into was a complete waste of time :/ Has anyone else experienced a perspective like this?
This may sound odd, but the interviewer may have actually been trying to push you to think of your extra curricular activities as ways in which you have built up your transferable skills and trying to encourage you to think about pulling out examples from them to show the skills you do have rather than suggesting what you haven’t got.
 

James Carrabino

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Just completed an interview for a paralegal role, and I'm not sure what to think about something the GR interviewer said to me. When I said I didn't have much legal experience but am really keen to learn and have tried to put myself out there to gain as many transferrable skills as possible, they said (really seriously too), "maybe you had too much fun in University, doing volunteering and being a server and marketing etc." I had only listed two short term volunteering experiences and the other non-law related positions were so I could gain interpersonal skills from places other than just law internships. Everyone else I have spoken to in the past during open days, law fairs and so on have emphasised the importance of extra curriculars and experiences outside of law. Now I feel really defeated and I feel like everything i've put my time into was a complete waste of time :/ Has anyone else experienced a perspective like this?
@lawnoob this is a classic stress interview question!

I got asked, 'Your educational background looks like you have no idea what you want to do - I bet you're going to leave law within five years; am I right?'

One reason for these types of questions is to see how you respond under pressure! Another component of yours in particular is to make you consider what the benefit of extracurriculars really are - basically, they would hope that you did not just do extracurriculars because someone told you that extracurriculars look good when applying for jobs. As @Jessica Booker said, this pushes you to identify the transferrable skills you learnt during those extracurriculars (which I tried to help you identify yesterday on the Hogan Lovells paralegal thread 😊)

Also some interviewers just relish the power they have a little too much...hey maybe I will enjoy asking a nervous candidate an obnoxious question like that one day too :D

Honestly, don't worry - I am sure you answered fine and I would absolutely not take any of that comment to heart or let it impact your future interviews or applications!! Do have a think about the transferrable skills involved in your extracurriculars though :)
 

A.Diane01

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  • Dec 1, 2021
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    Hello everyone!

    just a question re: SQE qualification route. for context I’m a non-law student.

    so, for the PGDL & LPC I know it’s a 2 year wait on the start date as each takes ~1 year to complete before the training contract starts - makes sense.

    but, for the SQE, is it the same timeline or does it run alongside working? eg. If I graduate September 2022, (assume I do a prep course for a year), then September 2023 I would start work & SQE 1? Or do I do a prep course & SQE 1 prior to starting work (keeping the same 2 year wait)?

    I’ve had a look online but can’t find explicitly what the timeline would be for a non-law student.

    @Jessica Booker @George Maxwell would you guys know how this works?

    Just trying to get my head around it so I can get my ducks in a row for what to expect next.


    Thanks!
     
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    Jessica Booker

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    Hello everyone!

    just a question re: SQE qualification route. for context I’m a non-law student.

    so, for the PGDL & LPC I know it’s a 2 year wait on the start date as each takes ~1 year to complete before the training contract starts - makes sense.

    but, for the SQE, is it the same timeline or does it run alongside working? eg. If I graduate September 2022, (assume I do a prep course for a year), then September 2023 I would start work & SQE 1? Or do I do a prep course & SQE 1 prior to starting work (keeping the same 2 year wait)?

    I’ve had a look online but can’t find explicitly what the timeline would be for a non-law student.

    @Jessica Booker @George Maxwell would you guys know how this works?

    Just trying to get my head around it so I can get my ducks in a row for what to expect next.


    Thanks!
    The issue here is that there is no longer a standard time or order.

    Course lengths vary (where the course is not compulsory to qualification), meaning lead in timescales also vary.

    To complicate matters, although many firms are asking their trainee to complete SQE 1 and 2 before they start their qualifying work experience, not all firms are. Some are allowing you to complete the SQE during your qualifying work experience, others are asking you to complete only SQE1 before starting and then do SQE2 during your TC.
     

    Rob93

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    Dec 29, 2020
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    Hello everyone!

    just a question re: SQE qualification route. for context I’m a non-law student.

    so, for the PGDL & LPC I know it’s a 2 year wait on the start date as each takes ~1 year to complete before the training contract starts - makes sense.

    but, for the SQE, is it the same timeline or does it run alongside working? eg. If I graduate September 2022, (assume I do a prep course for a year), then September 2023 I would start work & SQE 1? Or do I do a prep course & SQE 1 prior to starting work (keeping the same 2 year wait)?

    I’ve had a look online but can’t find explicitly what the timeline would be for a non-law student.

    @Jessica Booker @George Maxwell would you guys know how this works?

    Just trying to get my head around it so I can get my ducks in a row for what to expect next.


    Thanks!
    The only really strict time component of the SQE is that you must have 2 years of qualifying work experience, whether that's a TC or one or more paralegal roles. Exactly when you sit the exams/do the prep courses isn't prescribed.
     
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    Rob93

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    The only really strict time component of the SQE is that you must have 2 years of qualifying work experience, whether that's a TC or one or more paralegal roles. Exactly when you sit the exams/do the prep courses isn't prescribed.
    My wife hasn't sat the SQE1 yet but will have banked her QWE at the end of this year, with a view I believe to sitting 1 in autumn or winter and 2 in summer 2023.
     
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    James Carrabino

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    Hello everyone!

    just a question re: SQE qualification route. for context I’m a non-law student.

    so, for the PGDL & LPC I know it’s a 2 year wait on the start date as each takes ~1 year to complete before the training contract starts - makes sense.

    but, for the SQE, is it the same timeline or does it run alongside working? eg. If I graduate September 2022, (assume I do a prep course for a year), then September 2023 I would start work & SQE 1? Or do I do a prep course & SQE 1 prior to starting work (keeping the same 2 year wait)?

    I’ve had a look online but can’t find explicitly what the timeline would be for a non-law student.

    @Jessica Booker @George Maxwell would you guys know how this works?

    Just trying to get my head around it so I can get my ducks in a row for what to expect next.


    Thanks!
    @Jessica Booker and @Rob93 have explained perfectly that there is no longer a standard or any strict time requirement at all, in the interest of making things more accessible. For the time being, however, it seems that many firms are continuing to offer qualification routes that substantially mimic a traditional Training Contract - for example, check out how Shearman & Sterling are navigating the SQE here!
     

    SamsonTK

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    Apr 7, 2021
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    Hi everyone, upon enquiring, I've been invited to apply for a role as trustee at my local citizens advice.

    Im eager to get work experience in a legal-ish setting (im a second year LLB student for context), would this be an opportunity worth pursuing, in terms of bolstering a legal CV?
     

    I.Like.UFOs.Not.PFOs

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    Jan 6, 2021
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    Hi! After you have accepted a VS/TC offer, does anyone know whether firms will still request a full breakdown of your modules once you graduate, or will they just need to see that you graduated with a 2.1? I got some of my marks back for first semester of third year and just
    dizzy sailor moon GIF
     
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    Rob93

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    Dec 29, 2020
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    Hi! After you have accepted a VS/TC offer, does anyone know whether firms will still request a full breakdown of your modules once you graduate, or will they just need to see that you graduated with a 2.1? I got some of my marks back for first semester of third year and just
    dizzy sailor moon GIF
    They might want to see it but I highly doubt it would be a dealbreaker as long as you still meet their base criteria.
     

    corplaw0702

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    Oct 15, 2020
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    Hi! After you have accepted a VS/TC offer, does anyone know whether firms will still request a full breakdown of your modules once you graduate, or will they just need to see that you graduated with a 2.1? I got some of my marks back for first semester of third year and just
    dizzy sailor moon GIF
    I'd imagine it being a part of the background check like your transcript but agreed with Rob
     
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    Rob93

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    Dec 29, 2020
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    Like, firms give offers based off of pretty rigorous assessment of your suitability beyond academic performance. Anything short of abject failure or a general fall below their minimum standards shouldn't be catastrophic.
     

    I.Like.UFOs.Not.PFOs

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    They might want to see it but I highly doubt it would be a dealbreaker as long as you still meet their base criteria.
    Like, firms give offers based off of pretty rigorous assessment of your suitability beyond academic performance. Anything short of abject failure or a general fall below their minimum standards shouldn't be catastrophic.
    I'd imagine it being a part of the background check like your transcript but agreed with Rob
    That’s a relief - I still scraped a 2.1 overall for the semester but my soul briefly left my body when I saw my company law mark 😂 thank you for the responses, they’ve definitely calmed me down a bit
     

    James Carrabino

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    That’s a relief - I still scraped a 2.1 overall for the semester but my soul briefly left my body when I saw my company law mark 😂 thank you for the responses, they’ve definitely calmed me down a bit
    Yeah if they don't stipulate required marks in individual modules then you should be absolutely fine!
     

    George Maxwell

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    Oct 25, 2021
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    Hi! After you have accepted a VS/TC offer, does anyone know whether firms will still request a full breakdown of your modules once you graduate, or will they just need to see that you graduated with a 2.1? I got some of my marks back for first semester of third year and just
    dizzy sailor moon GIF
    Hi @I.Like.UFOs.Not.PFOs,

    In my experience I was asked to verify my grades (i.e., through sending a transcript) during my vacation scheme (if I had not provided this before). I applied in my final year before I had received my end-of-year exam results. I think I sent them my transcript when I received it (I cannot remember if they asked or not!).

    In short though, I would really try not to stress too much. I highly doubt that this would result in any adverse consequences so long as you still end up with a 2.1 overall!
     
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    I.Like.UFOs.Not.PFOs

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    Jan 6, 2021
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    Hi @I.Like.UFOs.Not.PFOs,

    In my experience I was asked to verify my grades (i.e., through sending a transcript) during my vacation scheme (if I had not provided this before). I applied in my final year before I had received my end-of-year exam results. I think I sent them my transcript when I received it (I cannot remember if they asked or not!).

    In short though, I would really try not to stress too much. I highly doubt that this would result in any adverse consequences so long as you still end up with a 2.1 overall!
    I see- thank you for your response, it’s super informative! I just have to work hard now in semester two to maintain that 2.1🥲
     
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