TCLA General Discussion Thread 2022-23

Jessica Booker

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Just some information for Gold subscribers.

For the 1-2-1 monthly advice calls, I will now be adding my availability on a weekly basis rather than monthly. We are receiving an increased number of rescheduled and cancelled appointments, which limits the number of opportunities available (as ultimately those who cancel/schedule are taking slots other people could book), and so we will be only adding availability on a weekly basis to reduce this. Availability for next week (up to the 9th of January) is now live if you do want to book in.
 

Tintin06

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Oct 23, 2019
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I did work experience at Slaughter and May in April 2018, a Vac Scheme at Debevoise & Plimpton in July 2019 and a Vac Scheme at Travers in December 2020. Is it worth applying for TCs and VSs now? I was 25 in June
 

Jessica Booker

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I did work experience at Slaughter and May in April 2018, a Vac Scheme at Debevoise & Plimpton in July 2019 and a Vac Scheme at Travers in December 2020. Is it worth applying for TCs and VSs now? I was 25 in June
Are you currently working and if so would you be able to get the time off to attend vacation schemes?

Age is not a barrier to vacation schemes - I have had people in their 30s, 40s and even their 50s on vacation schemes before.

Vacation schemes are just more practical for those who are still studying, but doesn’t mean people who have graduated cannot apply to them/succeed in obtaining them.
 

Jessica Booker

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I've been self employed doing tutoring for the last three years. I did a Masters in Journalism but didn't do especially well and wonder if I can leave it off the application
I’d still include it. You don’t have to do well in postgraduate courses, especially if they are non-law.
 

IT7

Esteemed Member
  • Jun 23, 2021
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    Hi, I wanted some opinions on working in the UK. Based on the news across the past few months, the UK is heading towards a recession this year - coupled with the cost of living crisis, high inflation rates, energy crisis etc. There aren't any assured predictions about when this would end. Brexit has also caused several major companies to either move out of the UK or suspend operations temporarily.

    I'm just wondering - what impact would this have on law firms, especially for training contracts starting in 2025? Could this lead to firms reducing 2025 training contracts or laying off employees? Since major companies are leaving the UK, is it possible that the UK would no longer remain a financial centre in a few years?

    As an international student, there is a lot at stake while deciding to move to the UK. So these considerations may majorly impact my applications for TCs/VSs.

    Would love to hear the TCLA community's opinion on this! @Jessica Booker @AvniD @Jaysen please let me know if you have any thoughts too!
     
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    Jessica Booker

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    Hi, I wanted some opinions on working in the UK. Based on the news across the past few months, the UK is heading towards a recession this year - coupled with the cost of living crisis, high inflation rates, energy crisis etc. There aren't any assured predictions about when this would end. Brexit has also caused several major companies to either move out of the UK or suspend operations temporarily.

    I'm just wondering - what impact would this have on law firms, especially for training contracts starting in 2025? Could this lead to firms reducing 2025 training contracts or laying off employees? Since major companies are leaving the UK, it possible that the UK would no longer remain a financial centre in a few years?

    As an international student, there is a lot at stake while deciding to move to the UK. So these considerations may majorly impact my applications for TCs/VSs.

    Would love to hear the TCLA community's opinion on this! @Jessica Booker @AvniD @Jaysen please let me know if you have any thoughts too!
    Things are going to be tough - there is no doubt about that, but I think the same will be said about many other countries. A lot of the issues you mention are not unique to the U.K.

    And there are still companies investing or growing their operations in the UK. You only have to look at Shell relocating it’s HQ to London from the Netherlands.

    But the legal industry is one of the great stabilisers to the U.K. economy, and I don’t see that changing. A lot of the world like using our legal system for their global entities. It’s probably the second most used jurisdiction in the world after the US.

    And many firms are kept busy by the bad times as much as they are the good. And they need lawyers to do that counter-cyclical work.

    Finally, too many firms have been burnt in the past by cutting their trainee intakes and then not having enough NQs when markets pick up. Trainees are much cheaper than qualified lawyers, and so hedging your bets and keeping trainees is generally a much cheaper option. If anyone gets laid off it will be the mid level associates rather than the trainees.

    By the time you started your training contract, the U.K. is likely to be a different set up. Most likely we will see a Labour government in charge and I suspect things will be a little more rosey than they are now. By the time you qualify, it is likely the UK economy will be picking up and in a period of growth.

    Will there be better opportunities elsewhere? Undoubtedly. But the great thing about being an English qualified lawyer is that it can take you a lot of places. The same can’t be said for a lot of other jurisdictions.
     
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    IT7

    Esteemed Member
  • Jun 23, 2021
    84
    72
    Things are going to be tough - there is no doubt about that, but I think the same will be said about many other countries. A lot of the issues you mention are not unique to the U.K.

    And there are still companies investing or growing their operations in the UK. You only have to look at Shell relocating it’s HQ to London from the Netherlands.

    But the legal industry is one of the great stabilisers to the U.K. economy, and I don’t see that changing. A lot of the world like using our legal system for their global entities. It’s probably the second most used jurisdiction in the world after the US.

    And many firms are kept busy by the bad times as much as they are the bad. And they need lawyers to do that counter cyclical work.

    Finally, too many firms have been burnt in the past by cutting their trainee intakes and then not having enough NQs when markets pick up. Trainees are much cheaper than qualified lawyers, and so hedging your bets and keeping trainees is generally a much cheaper option. If anyone gets laid off it will be the mid level associates rather than the trainees.

    By the time you started your training contract, the U.K. is likely to be a different set up. Most likely we will see a Labour government in charge and I suspect things will be a little more rosey than they are now. By the time you qualify, it is likely the UK economy will be picking up and in a period of growth.

    Will there be better opportunities elsewhere? Undoubtedly. But the great thing about being an English qualified lawyer is that it can take you a lot of places. The same can’t be said for a lot of other jurisdictions.
    This is very reassuring, thank you so much Jessica!! I really appreciate it!
     

    Jessica Booker

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    Hi @Jessica Booker I have to do conflicts checks for my upcoming VS. However, I’m struggling with how much detail to give on the form, since some of the clients I work with in my job are private individuals and I don’t know whether I should name them or perhaps the firm that represented them instead?
    I would try to speak to someone at the firm about this - the people who work in the conflicts check department will be able to give more guidance as to what is appropriate to provide. It is fine to ask the firm for clarification on this.
     
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    Aga123+

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  • Aug 2, 2021
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    Hi everyone, does anyone know any good sources/articles/TLCA resources that help explain restructuring and a law firm's role in restructuring?
    (Thanks in advance)
     

    Jessica Booker

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    Jessica Booker

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    Mahesh

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    Sep 22, 2018
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    Hi Caroline, this is perfectly normal - not only have I been through this, but I know many others who have. And frankly, once you convert one TC, you’ll be surprised at how the other TC offers come one after the next!

    I set out some context and then some insights afterwards below.

    Context:
    Why it is fine:
    In relationships, we see it as perfectly normal to meet different people before settling down with the right match. Even for most other careers, folks do 2-3 internships at various organisations before getting an offer.
    Why it may not be fine (from a Law firm POV): Law firms can be risk-averse, and their only concern may be that you have a persistent trait that needs to be improved before you are ready to be a trainee - it is on you to demonstrate how you have changed following feedback.

    Insights:
    1. Control the narrative - focus on the positive
    Rather than let your interviewers slip into their assumptions of why you did not make it, control the narrative by talking about (I) what an amazing opportunity you had at those 2 firms to experience a variety of practice areas and network with a ton of lawyers (II) how that influenced what practice areas you wanted to undertake (which ideally will be aligned with the law firm you are interviewing with) and what kind of firm you wanted to train in and (iii) how you took away any constructive feedback from that vac scheme to improve yourself in clear tangible and measurable ways.

    2. Have a steely sense of confidence about your story. Rather than explain the situation from a defensive position, explain from a position of strength: Rather than saying I was rejected or I had many problems that I needed to fix, it’s much better to say I learnt that I operated better in x environment instead, or I have since worked on improving my x skill following feedback from the vac scheme by doing y.

    To end-off, my gray-area/controversial personal opinions below:

    1. Anything can be explained with enough confidence. I have seen friends lateral as an NQ into another firm without even undertaking a seat in that practice area. Think about the FTX collapse, how even government institutions bought FTX’s story. Read around how delivery of your answer is the deal-breaker, and focus on explaining all the positives you bring to the role - mainly that you have pretty much undertaken a mini-TC for a month and therefore have a good stepping stone to a full TC as opposed to someone who has just done one VS and only knows one kind of law firm environment. Someone who has the perfect CV but doesn’t know how to deliver it will probably not have a shot too.

    2. This is just my observation, but firms do not go and check with each other whether an offer was given or not - it just doesn’t happen. So sometimes less is more. If they do not explicitly ask you whether you got an offer or not, there may be no need to explain it at all and instead focus on what you learnt from those vac schemes!

    Hope this was helpful Caroline, and all the best!
     

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