Typical deadlines - Basics (TC, Vacs, Paralegal)

Sim96

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Sorry for this basic Q. As an international applicant, please may I have guidance on a basic question of the UK legal recruitment market? Unfortunately I can see the deadlines on Chambers Student but not the opening dates.

When do these application windows typically open? (for regions and London law firms)
  1. Vacation scheme applications (ie what is a popular deadline for Vacs Scheme that can lead to 2025/26/27 Training contracts?)
  2. 2026 TC applications
  3. 2024/25 paralegal applications

  4. If someone wanted a TC asap (2024/25) - what is the best route to follow? (Ie any specific locations to target, any alternate positions like paralegal/vacs scheme to follow?) e.g. in Hertfordshire, trainees are recruited just a year in advance or in the same year as their joining date.

    As an international applicant, the joining date is more important. I am not picky on the region, training, and culture as I have family everywhere in the UK. I see my career in decades, and these points will be a second-level DD - I am sure firms generally will be good.
 

Sim96

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M&A Bootcamp
Jul 11, 2020
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Sorry for this basic Q. As an international applicant, please may I have guidance on a basic question of the UK legal recruitment market? Unfortunately I can see the deadlines on Chambers Student but not the opening dates.

When do these application windows typically open? (for regions and London law firms)
  1. Vacation scheme applications (ie what is a popular deadline for Vacs Scheme that can lead to 2025/26/27 Training contracts?)
  2. 2026 TC applications
  3. 2024/25 paralegal applications

  4. If someone wanted a TC asap (2024/25) - what is the best route to follow? (Ie any specific locations to target, any alternate positions like paralegal/vacs scheme to follow?) e.g. in Hertfordshire, trainees are recruited just a year in advance or in the same year as their joining date.

    As an international applicant, the joining date is more important. I am not picky on the region, training, and culture as I have family everywhere in the UK. I see my career in decades, and these points will be a second-level DD - I am sure firms generally will be good.
will post on this on the relevant thread https://www.thecorporatelawacademy....eadlines-2023-24-training-starting-2026.7903/
 

Jessica Booker

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Aug 1, 2019
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Sorry for this basic Q. As an international applicant, please may I have guidance on a basic question of the UK legal recruitment market? Unfortunately I can see the deadlines on Chambers Student but not the opening dates.

When do these application windows typically open? (for regions and London law firms)
  1. Vacation scheme applications (ie what is a popular deadline for Vacs Scheme that can lead to 2025/26/27 Training contracts?)
  2. 2026 TC applications
  3. 2024/25 paralegal applications

  4. If someone wanted a TC asap (2024/25) - what is the best route to follow? (Ie any specific locations to target, any alternate positions like paralegal/vacs scheme to follow?) e.g. in Hertfordshire, trainees are recruited just a year in advance or in the same year as their joining date.

    As an international applicant, the joining date is more important. I am not picky on the region, training, and culture as I have family everywhere in the UK. I see my career in decades, and these points will be a second-level DD - I am sure firms generally will be good.
1) Most vacation schemes will be closed now and won't reopen for 2024-25 programmes (which then may lead to 2027 or 2028 TC opportunities). Vacation schemes applications will typically open between late July through to December, depending on the firm and whether it is a winter, spring or summer scheme. You will find some remaining opportunities here: https://www.lawcareers.net/Solicitors/WorkPlacementDeadlines

2) Many 2026/2027 TCs will either be open now or will open in the coming weeks and close during the summer. You can find deadlines here: https://www.lawcareers.net/Solicitors/TrainingContractDeadlines

3) Paralegal roles are recruited on an on demand basis when the role exists. You should start looking for these opportunities around 6-8 weeks before you are ready to start such a role.

4) Be mindful that many regional TCs may not provide sponsorship either because the firm does not sponsor trainees for visas or because the role does not meet visa requirements (often based on salary requirements which have recently risen to over £38k for skilled persons visas in the UK). Firm's typically only recruiting a year in advance tend to be less likely to sponsor the SQE and so are also less likely to sponsor visas due to the costs.
 

Sim96

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Jul 11, 2020
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Hi @Jessica Booker Thank you! I don’t need a visa. Your advice will REALLY help me strategise; May I ask:
1. What are the earliest VCs and TCs cycles I can participate in (this year & next year) & what will be the intake? Did I miss something:
- VCs apps open now for TC 26
- VC apps open in July 24 -Sep 24 for TCs 27
- TC app open now till end of May 24 for 26 joining
- how about for 2025?
2. How to look up paralegal jobs? (Only know of LinkedIn).
3. If want to pursue a TC asap-strategically which locations in UK to target for my VC and TC apps (eg Hertfordshire-TCs for 2025 open now)
4. Is there are faster way to get to NQ? (I am English qualified but need training. Currently at paralegal/trainee level) (some london firms have said I can’t apply for TC as qualified but some firms have said I can eg BCLP)
Sorry for the long post!
 
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