Vacation Scheme Didn't Work Out? Things You Should Consider About Making Direct TC Applications

AvniD

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*This was originally posted in TCLA Vacation Scheme Applications Discussion Thread 2021-22 (#1). Reposted as a thread here to open a new discussion and invite contributions to this topic.*

By no means is this intended to be exhaustive or applicable on a general basis, but with the application cycle shifting gears to direct TCs, I thought I'd make a post summarising some key points about them which our community may find beneficial.

If you do make a direct TC app this year, please do check out TCLA's dedicated thread for them here.
  • International student friendly as you don't need to deal with this stress of vacation scheme dates clashing with your term dates and potentially letting go of a great opportunity. With many ACs being online due to the pandemic, you also don't need to worry about travelling from wherever you've applied. Although if you do need to travel, firms do usually contribute to costs at least partially. It's not ideal always, but it's still better than them not contributing at all.

  • Work experience is not necessary, although...having a good knowledge of 1) how law firms work, 2) the kind of legal solutions they regularly employ (especially in contracts and negotiations) and 3) how they fit into the retinue of service professionals that work on a deal is imperative. This is because firms will not have the opportunity to determine these aspects of your knowledge and experience as a candidate in a vacation scheme so it needs to be plainly apparent to them that you know your stuff. The easiest way to demonstrate this is through work experience, but that does not mean that work experience is the only way to do so. You just have to be creative about the extracurricular activities, internships and initiatives you choose to demonstrate this knowledge.

  • Potential to start training early as unlike with vacation schemes that give students still in their degree a lead time of 2+ years, direct TCs offer a greater possibility to applicants of beginning their training in an earlier intake. You may also get outcomes for direct TC applications before vacation schemes conclude, which further contributes to you having a greater chance of 'getting ahead in the queue' in an earlier intake.

  • Career-changer friendly as you won't have to take days off to participate in a vacation scheme or inform your employer about your interview so that they can undertake conflict checks. Your intention to shift careers can likely remain private till you receive your training contract.

  • Limited number of firms and places as not all firms offer direct TC applications and those who do may not always have many places available, especially if they majorly recruit from vacation schemes. Be mindful of which firms you choose to make applications to (do they have a sizeable direct TC intake each year, do they have a strong focus on D&I etc.) and be selective about which firms meet your criteria before putting in the effort towards a direct TC app.
 

George Maxwell

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*This was originally posted in TCLA Vacation Scheme Applications Discussion Thread 2021-22 (#1). Reposted as a thread here to open a new discussion and invite contributions to this topic.*

By no means is this intended to be exhaustive or applicable on a general basis, but with the application cycle shifting gears to direct TCs, I thought I'd make a post summarising some key points about them which our community may find beneficial.

If you do make a direct TC app this year, please do check out TCLA's dedicated thread for them here.
  • International student friendly as you don't need to deal with this stress of vacation scheme dates clashing with your term dates and potentially letting go of a great opportunity. With many ACs being online due to the pandemic, you also don't need to worry about travelling from wherever you've applied. Although if you do need to travel, firms do usually contribute to costs at least partially. It's not ideal always, but it's still better than them not contributing at all.

  • Work experience is not necessary, although...having a good knowledge of 1) how law firms work, 2) the kind of legal solutions they regularly employ (especially in contracts and negotiations) and 3) how they fit into the retinue of service professionals that work on a deal is imperative. This is because firms will not have the opportunity to determine these aspects of your knowledge and experience as a candidate in a vacation scheme so it needs to be plainly apparent to them that you know your stuff. The easiest way to demonstrate this is through work experience, but that does not mean that work experience is the only way to do so. You just have to be creative about the extracurricular activities, internships and initiatives you choose to demonstrate this knowledge.

  • Potential to start training early as unlike with vacation schemes that give students still in their degree a lead time of 2+ years, direct TCs offer a greater possibility to applicants of beginning their training in an earlier intake. You may also get outcomes for direct TC applications before vacation schemes conclude, which further contributes to you having a greater chance of 'getting ahead in the queue' in an earlier intake.

  • Career-changer friendly as you won't have to take days off to participate in a vacation scheme or inform your employer about your interview so that they can undertake conflict checks. Your intention to shift careers can likely remain private till you receive your training contract.

  • Limited number of firms and places as not all firms offer direct TC applications and those who do may not always have many places available, especially if they majorly recruit from vacation schemes. Be mindful of which firms you choose to make applications to (do they have a sizeable direct TC intake each year, do they have a strong focus on D&I etc.) and be selective about which firms meet your criteria before putting in the effort towards a direct TC app.
Awesome stuff @AvniD. Really valuable content for the community 🔥🔥🔥
 
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AvniD

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This thread is really helpful! Im just wondering, is there a list anywhere with firms that recruit meaningfully for direct TC roles?
This would be a difficult list to curate, to be honest. Firm policies around direct TCs are not stagnant and may change from one year to the other. For example, one year a firm may choose to fill its direct TC seats internally and be open to external applicants another year. Tagging @Jessica Booker here for her insight on this too.

My best advice to get an accurate, up-to-date list of firms that meaningfully recruit from direct TCs would be to do a search of all firms with direct TCs, shortlist the ones you like and ask each one their policy on direct TCs applications for this year (how many seats, will they consider internal applicants before external ones etc.). Further shortlist firms that you get a satisfactory response from and apply only to them.
 

Law1099

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This thread is really helpful! Im just wondering, is there a list anywhere with firms that recruit meaningfully for direct TC roles?
Magic circle, macfarlanes, Norton rose, baker mckenzie are ones from the top of my head that do hire a chunk from direct tc. You’re better off just googling the ones you like and they usually are pretty honest about it
 

BiancaR

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    This thread is really helpful! Im just wondering, is there a list anywhere with firms that recruit meaningfully for direct TC roles?
    Hi! I'm not sure if this might be helpful, but I did primarily Direct TCs last year and made a list of firms that said they recruit heavily (30%+) from direct applications. Of course this might vary based on the year, and based upon the actual size of the intake (for example, Farrer & Co says it recruits half its intake from Direct Application, but that's still only 5 people). I'd be more than happy to pop you a copy of the list if it might be helpful! :)
     

    sal

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    Hi! I'm not sure if this might be helpful, but I did primarily Direct TCs last year and made a list of firms that said they recruit heavily (30%+) from direct applications. Of course this might vary based on the year, and based upon the actual size of the intake (for example, Farrer & Co says it recruits half its intake from Direct Application, but that's still only 5 people). I'd be more than happy to pop you a copy of the list if it might be helpful! :)
    I realise this was a while ago but yes please this would be so helpful!
     
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    BiancaR

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    I realise this was a while ago but yes please this would be so helpful!
    I've just attached a copy here (which definitely may have changed since last year, as grad recruitment did say the numbers tend to vary, but hopefully gives a good general idea)! Good luck on all your applications and feel free to reach out if you're applying to Dentons/Stevenson Harwood and have any questions at all! :)
     

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    George Maxwell

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    I've just attached a copy here (which definitely may have changed since last year, as grad recruitment did say the numbers tend to vary, but hopefully gives a good general idea)! Good luck on all your applications and feel free to reach out if you're applying to Dentons/Stevenson Harwood and have any questions at all! :)
    Thank you for sharing this @BiancaR!
     

    Alison C

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    I've just attached a copy here (which definitely may have changed since last year, as grad recruitment did say the numbers tend to vary, but hopefully gives a good general idea)! Good luck on all your applications and feel free to reach out if you're applying to Dentons/Stevenson Harwood and have any questions at all! :)
    Magic circle, macfarlanes, Norton rose, baker mckenzie are ones from the top of my head that do hire a chunk from direct tc. You’re better off just googling the ones you like and they usually are pretty honest about it
    This thread is really helpful! Im just wondering, is there a list anywhere with firms that recruit meaningfully for direct TC roles?

    This is more general (VS and direct) and has some additional firms who are still recruiting; I've found it helpful:

     
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    sal

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    I've just attached a copy here (which definitely may have changed since last year, as grad recruitment did say the numbers tend to vary, but hopefully gives a good general idea)! Good luck on all your applications and feel free to reach out if you're applying to Dentons/Stevenson Harwood and have any questions at all! :)
    Thank you so much! This is incredibly helpful
     
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    Sarai

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    I've just attached a copy here (which definitely may have changed since last year, as grad recruitment did say the numbers tend to vary, but hopefully gives a good general idea)! Good luck on all your applications and feel free to reach out if you're applying to Dentons/Stevenson Harwood and have any questions at all! :)
    Hi. Do you have advice for the Dentons application?
     
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    lawnoob

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    *This was originally posted in TCLA Vacation Scheme Applications Discussion Thread 2021-22 (#1). Reposted as a thread here to open a new discussion and invite contributions to this topic.*

    By no means is this intended to be exhaustive or applicable on a general basis, but with the application cycle shifting gears to direct TCs, I thought I'd make a post summarising some key points about them which our community may find beneficial.

    If you do make a direct TC app this year, please do check out TCLA's dedicated thread for them here.
    • International student friendly as you don't need to deal with this stress of vacation scheme dates clashing with your term dates and potentially letting go of a great opportunity. With many ACs being online due to the pandemic, you also don't need to worry about travelling from wherever you've applied. Although if you do need to travel, firms do usually contribute to costs at least partially. It's not ideal always, but it's still better than them not contributing at all.

    • Work experience is not necessary, although...having a good knowledge of 1) how law firms work, 2) the kind of legal solutions they regularly employ (especially in contracts and negotiations) and 3) how they fit into the retinue of service professionals that work on a deal is imperative. This is because firms will not have the opportunity to determine these aspects of your knowledge and experience as a candidate in a vacation scheme so it needs to be plainly apparent to them that you know your stuff. The easiest way to demonstrate this is through work experience, but that does not mean that work experience is the only way to do so. You just have to be creative about the extracurricular activities, internships and initiatives you choose to demonstrate this knowledge.

    • Potential to start training early as unlike with vacation schemes that give students still in their degree a lead time of 2+ years, direct TCs offer a greater possibility to applicants of beginning their training in an earlier intake. You may also get outcomes for direct TC applications before vacation schemes conclude, which further contributes to you having a greater chance of 'getting ahead in the queue' in an earlier intake.

    • Career-changer friendly as you won't have to take days off to participate in a vacation scheme or inform your employer about your interview so that they can undertake conflict checks. Your intention to shift careers can likely remain private till you receive your training contract.

    • Limited number of firms and places as not all firms offer direct TC applications and those who do may not always have many places available, especially if they majorly recruit from vacation schemes. Be mindful of which firms you choose to make applications to (do they have a sizeable direct TC intake each year, do they have a strong focus on D&I etc.) and be selective about which firms meet your criteria before putting in the effort towards a direct TC app.
    This is so useful- thank you @AvniD!

    You mentioned that a lot of ACs are online due to the pandemic. As the UK has basically reverted back to normal life with everything being in person, do you think that ACs will continue to be online, or maybe they'll make online exceptions for those applying internationally?
     
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    AvniD

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    This is so useful- thank you @AvniD!

    You mentioned that a lot of ACs are online due to the pandemic. As the UK has basically reverted back to normal life with everything being in person, do you think that ACs will continue to be online, or maybe they'll make online exceptions for those applying internationally?
    Hi @lawnoob I'm glad you found this thread useful! I have read that some firms are planning to continue the online AC model because of the convenience it offers. However, I am unsure of the extent to which this will be implemented, given that we are only just beginning to emerge from the pandemic. Tagging @Jessica Booker for her insights on this as well!
     
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    lawnoob

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    Hi @lawnoob I'm glad you found this thread useful! I have read that some firms are planning to continue the online AC model because of the convenience it offers. However, I am unsure of the extent to which this will be implemented, given that we are only just beginning to emerge from the pandemic. Tagging @Jessica Booker for her insights on this as well!
    I also wanted to ask some more questions about the part where you mentioned that it is imperative to understand 'how they fit into the retinue of service professionals that work on a deal'. What would be some of the ways that I could do this? Do you have any tips on material I could look for if I've not worked in a legal position at a law firm before?
     

    AvniD

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    @lawnoob TCLA's newsletter, Watson's Daily, the Lawyer and Financial Times were really useful for this when I was applying. If you're a student, you may be able to get the latter two from your university library.
     

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