TCLA General Discussion Thread 2021-22 (#1)

Adrian_S

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Random question - do we have any UCL Law Students/recent grads in the community?

I want to ask a massive favour and see if someone has some time to meet with our work experience student, Maddie, sometime this week. Maddie is keen to apply to UCL to read Law in 2023, and I'd love for her to chat to someone on Zoom about their experiences. Alternatively, if anyone is still on campus and might be able to spare 30 minutes to show us around on Thursday, that would be even more helpful!

Feel free to PM me if you think you could help. Happy to return the favour in some form (1-2-1 call, an application review or a mini mock interview).

I’m finishing up the LLB and would be extremely happy to help out. Will PM!
 

awd1998

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Don't know of anyone has been in a similar boat but is it usual not to be told your salary when offered a training contract especially for one starting a few years down the line. If so is it considered rude to ask what the salary is if your paperwork just says salaries are reviewed annually and will be set out in your employment letter?
 

gdelle

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    Not sure this is the best place to ask this (do point me to a better thread if you know of one), but:

    Does anyone know where I can find recruiters who can help match wannabe career changers with roles that could be used as leverage in TC applications?

    Many thanks!
     

    Jessica Booker

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    Not sure this is the best place to ask this (do point me to a better thread if you know of one), but:

    Does anyone know where I can find recruiters who can help match wannabe career changers with roles that could be used as leverage in TC applications?

    Many thanks!
    Unfortunately, I don't know of any recruiters who have this particular specialist, but even more so for law.

    I suspect the reason might be that there isn't really a particular type of role that could be leveraged for TC applications - pretty much any role can be leveraged from my experience.
     

    gdelle

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    Unfortunately, I don't know of any recruiters who have this particular specialist, but even more so for law.

    I suspect the reason might be that there isn't really a particular type of role that could be leveraged for TC applications - pretty much any role can be leveraged from my experience.
    Thanks for the prompt reply, Jessica!

    I see plenty of legal recruiters on Linkedin, but I'm finding it tricky to locate any who can help career changers (with no legal training/studies). Any ideas? I understand the "pretty much any role can be leveraged", as I only applied to 2 firms last cycle and actually did quite well in both, but I need to change jobs in the short term and I would like something where I could pick up specific skills relevant to the legal world.
     

    S87

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    Thanks for the prompt reply, Jessica!

    I see plenty of legal recruiters on Linkedin, but I'm finding it tricky to locate any who can help career changers (with no legal training/studies). Any ideas? I understand the "pretty much any role can be leveraged", as I only applied to 2 firms last cycle and actually did quite well in both, but I need to change jobs in the short term and I would like something where I could pick up specific skills relevant to the legal world.
    Hi,

    I am not Jessica who is way more experienced than all of us on this forum, but I learnt a couple of things through close friends experiences.
    I can start by saying that all my friends who got tc at pretty big firms did not have direct legal experiences. For example, one of them (who has since left the legal industry after qualifying) was a tax advisor and another one was a PT. The only one who has plenty of legal experience is me and I still do not have a tc. Plus, I can also add that my first job was not in the legal industry..I was an Insurance technician and believe I gained so so many skills: learnt to work independently, to be accurate and analytical, to communicate with different stakeholders and hit the ground and running. These are skills that are necessary to be a commercial solicitor.

    The only more specific skill might be commercial awareness but personally you need it in your personal life too because money is a problem, so you better pay attention to what happens in the world. If you mean legal knowledge..well that will come during your studies and career.

    I hope I was not too direct and happy to offer more insight:)
     

    Jessica Booker

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    Thanks for the prompt reply, Jessica!

    I see plenty of legal recruiters on Linkedin, but I'm finding it tricky to locate any who can help career changers (with no legal training/studies). Any ideas? I understand the "pretty much any role can be leveraged", as I only applied to 2 firms last cycle and actually did quite well in both, but I need to change jobs in the short term and I would like something where I could pick up specific skills relevant to the legal world.
    I don't think anyone has this particular specialism of particularly working with career changers - if there are some out there, unfortunately I am not aware of them.
     
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    Kubed

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    Thanks for the prompt reply, Jessica!

    I see plenty of legal recruiters on Linkedin, but I'm finding it tricky to locate any who can help career changers (with no legal training/studies). Any ideas? I understand the "pretty much any role can be leveraged", as I only applied to 2 firms last cycle and actually did quite well in both, but I need to change jobs in the short term and I would like something where I could pick up specific skills relevant to the legal world.
    Hi - I'm not a specialist by any stretch but I am in the process of changing careers and have gained to TC to start in 2023 (all being well with the LPC). I come from a completely unrelated field with limited legal experience - happy to have an informal chat if it would be at all helpful.
     

    lawnoob

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    hi guys - when looking at retention of trainees, why are the retention rates not 100%? Is this usually because the trainee has decided to leave, or do firms not keep some trainees? If it's the latter, does this happen often? Or only if you performed pretty poorly during the training contract?

    And also in what circumstances would a firm offer a NQ a fixed term contract instead..?
     
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    AvniD

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    hi guys - when looking at retention of trainees, why are the retention rates not 100%? Is this usually because the trainee has decided to leave, or do firms not keep some trainees? If it's the latter, does this happen often? Or only if you performed pretty poorly during the training contract?

    And also in what circumstances would a firm offer a NQ a fixed term contract instead..?
    Hey @lawnoob, sometime trainees leave and on occasion, trainees will not be retained for whatever reason, including poor performance and more often because the area they're looking to qualify in is oversubscribed. Unsure about the circumstances a firm will offer an NQ an FTC instead- could be to respond to their business needs, could also be to trial how a trainee transitions to a NQ role and whether they could be kept on in a meaning capacity.
     
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    Jessica Booker

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    hi guys - when looking at retention of trainees, why are the retention rates not 100%? Is this usually because the trainee has decided to leave, or do firms not keep some trainees? If it's the latter, does this happen often? Or only if you performed pretty poorly during the training contract?

    And also in what circumstances would a firm offer a NQ a fixed term contract instead..?
    Depending on the firm, it’s likely to be both.

    Some people don’t make the cut (not a good enough performance during their TC).

    Some people don’t get their NQ department choices so look elsewhere

    Some people leave law altogether

    Some people get headhunted by other firms.

    Fixed term contracts are often used in part to manipulate retention figures. They will offer someone a fixed term contract if they know it is not in their preferred practice area, if there is a concern that they won’t perform in the job, or because they only have an interim need for staff.
     
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    summer207

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    Hi @Jessica Booker I hope you are well! I have a 1-month internship with a firm and I requested hybrid working. HR said she spoke to the teams who said they'd prefer if it was fully office-based and I will gain more since it is for a short period.

    I requested it because the journey would take me about 1 hour 40 minutes (particularly because of the waiting time between changes) each day, which I don't think is sustainable for 5 days a week. The train journey to that city is just 20 minutes, but from the train station to the firm's office can be an hour or more using the bus + walking. It is a 20-minute drive from the train station to the firm's office and I wouldn't mind doing this if it was hybrid working, but it would cost too much if I had to do it all week.

    As much as I'd like to gain experience with a smaller firm doing different kinds of work than what I've been exposed to, I am considering dropping out of the internship if it is not hybrid. I would also have to spend most of the money I'd be paid if I opted for short-stay accommodation instead.

    What are your thoughts on this, and what do you think is the best way to explain to HR that I'd rather not do the internship if it wasn't hybrid?
     

    Alison C

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    Not sure this is the best place to ask this (do point me to a better thread if you know of one), but:

    Does anyone know where I can find recruiters who can help match wannabe career changers with roles that could be used as leverage in TC applications?

    Many thanks!
    Surely the point is for you to identify your own transferable skills, and leverage those to get a paralegal/contract/another similar role? If you can go to the recruiter with your skillset mapped out, then they may be able to help. Be clear that you are a commodity for them, neither more nor less, so if you can help them out they can commoditise you.

    You haven't mentioned what industry you are moving out of, but that's the best place to start. If, for example, you work in logistics, you would be able to use your planning/operations skills in a more legal environment; alternatively, you may be able to find something junior in the legal department of your employer. You have probably thought about these but taking some actions will help you test the waters.

    You may also want to polish up your CV and have it on some of the legal jobs boards - a number of the recruiters have them. (Off the top of my head, CV-Libary; the Legists; Search; Reed; TotallyLegal....)

    Good luck with all the changes!
     

    Jessica Booker

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    Hi @Jessica Booker I hope you are well! I have a 1-month internship with a firm and I requested hybrid working. HR said she spoke to the teams who said they'd prefer if it was fully office-based and I will gain more since it is for a short period.

    I requested it because the journey would take me about 1 hour 40 minutes (particularly because of the waiting time between changes) each day, which I don't think is sustainable for 5 days a week. The train journey to that city is just 20 minutes, but from the train station to the firm's office can be an hour or more using the bus + walking. It is a 20-minute drive from the train station to the firm's office and I wouldn't mind doing this if it was hybrid working, but it would cost too much if I had to do it all week.

    As much as I'd like to gain experience with a smaller firm doing different kinds of work than what I've been exposed to, I am considering dropping out of the internship if it is not hybrid. I would also have to spend most of the money I'd be paid if I opted for short-stay accommodation instead.

    What are your thoughts on this, and what do you think is the best way to explain to HR that I'd rather not do the internship if it wasn't hybrid?
    Explain your reasoning from a time and cost perspective as you have here. I’d call them rather than rely on email as your tone over the phone will convey a lot more and you can also potentially discuss alternatives. You may find they have a shuttle bus service from the station, or that they can cover a taxi so you don’t have to wait for a bus.

    If the office is not very accessible, I suspect they have had this conversation before with candidates in general.

    For the discussion, be prepared to set out what you would be willing to do - eg how many days per week in the office will be feasible and if there are any alternatives you can also recommend.
     
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    summer207

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    Explain your reasoning from a time and cost perspective as you have here. I’d call them rather than rely on email as your tone over the phone will convey a lot more and you can also potentially discuss alternatives. You may find they have a shuttle bus service from the station, or that they can cover a taxi so you don’t have to wait for a bus.

    If the office is not very accessible, I suspect they have had this conversation before with candidates in general.

    For the discussion, be prepared to set out what you would be willing to do - eg how many days per week in the office will be feasible and if there are any alternatives you can also recommend.
    Thank you so much Jessica!
     

    lawnoob

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    Hi @Jessica Booker!

    Was wondering if the answer to the question, "what is a goal you set out to achieve, why was it important to you and what was the outcome" can be entirely unrelated to academics/law?

    Would it be weird if I talked about how it has been really important to me to be able to do the splits and improve flexibility after sustaining an injury due to low flexibility? I thought this might have been something to talk about as flexibility is something that takes regular practice and endurance to improve. Or would you recommend I stick to something more typical?
     

    Jessica Booker

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    Hi @Jessica Booker!

    Was wondering if the answer to the question, "what is a goal you set out to achieve, why was it important to you and what was the outcome" can be entirely unrelated to academics/law?

    Would it be weird if I talked about how it has been really important to me to be able to do the splits and improve flexibility after sustaining an injury due to low flexibility? I thought this might have been something to talk about as flexibility is something that takes regular practice and endurance to improve. Or would you recommend I stick to something more typical?
    Definitely - no answer has to be related to law/academia unless specifically asked for it to be so.

    I think this is where many people go wrong with their answers actually. They choose the “law” or “academia” answer because they either assume it is what the interviewer wants to hear about or because they make the assumption it will be the most impressive answer, when they don’t think about what is the best answer overall for them as a candidate is. You should always go with your strongest answer - make sure it is relatively recent (eg in the last 3-4 years max ideally) and that really shows your determination to achieve something that was challenging or difficult.

    Your answer could work. You’ll really need to focus on describing the difficulties of obtaining the goal and the perseverance in obtaining it to ensure it is really getting across what the interviewer is looking for.
     
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    lawnoob

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    As always, thank you so much for your response Jessica!

    Sorry for another question: for applications where they ask about "What do you feel will be the biggest challenges for the legal sector over the next 12 months?" or "What will be the biggest challenge for our firm in the next year?" - would my answer have to be novel and original, or could I repurpose what someone from the firm has mentioned in a webinar/panel talk? Would I need to mention that I learnt this info from the talk?
     

    Jessica Booker

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    As always, thank you so much for your response Jessica!

    Sorry for another question: for applications where they ask about "What do you feel will be the biggest challenges for the legal sector over the next 12 months?" or "What will be the biggest challenge for our firm in the next year?" - would my answer have to be novel and original, or could I repurpose what someone from the firm has mentioned in a webinar/panel talk? Would I need to mention that I learnt this info from the talk?
    I would try to apply more of your independent thought to the answer - I am sure many applicants are likely to repeat something someone else said.

    It doesn’t have to be completely novel or new - some trends are clearly more obvious than others and therefore are likely to be mentioned. But explaining why they are important is likely to have different opinions/views on or can be described differently. That’s where independent thought can really shine through.

    Therefore I think it needs to go slightly further than just repurposing what someone else has said - for instance, is there different analysis you can provide even if it comes to the same conclusion?
     
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