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What are the decisive factors for a career in law?
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Jaunty Crow
Posted - 21 July 2015 21:55
I'm interested in hearing what Roffers regard to be the decisive factors in going from UCAS form to a few years PQE.

In my view there are degrees which preclude a career at a half decent shop. These include rubbish universities such as Wolverhampton as well as poor grades. I don't think a 2:2 is fatal these days provided you have an excuse.

The other decisive element is a family member or family friend in law. I think that makes a big difference, which is why the profession struggles to integrate people from certain minorities.

What do you think is decisive?
Posted - 24 July 2015 15:09
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I think this is a load of rubbish, sorry.

A 2:2 is fatal, particularly given that a 2:1 is probably easier to get now than it used to be, and that there are a higher number of applicants. Try approaching the Magic Circle with a 2:2 and "an excuse".

Also a family friend in law has nothing to do with it. I don't know anyone in law and I've done alright. The same is true of the other juniors at my group at my firm (U.S.), who all trained at top UK firms.
Posted - 24 July 2015 15:42
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Having connections to the law is more likely than not a helpful factor.

It won't of itself get you an interview, but exposure to the reality of what lawyers think, how they talk, what they talk about, not to mention 'inside knowledge' of, e.g. what firms are looking for and the difference between areas, and possible off the books work experience, is all likely to turn an average prospect into a better than average prospect.

Necessary? No. Helpful, yes.

Posted - 24 July 2015 16:24
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I don't think that a 2:2 is fatal. if that were the case, I wouldn't have been offered a TC at a Silver Circle firm last year. I certainly do agree that having a 2:2 does make getting a TC very, very difficult.

For the avoidance of doubt, I have no family connections to anyone in law (or to any of the clients of my firm).

Posted - 05 August 2015 10:09
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I know a few people in top firms with 2:2s and one of them didn't go to Oxbridge. It is not fatal. Neither are a lack of family connections...but it helps if you have managed to grown your own contact base I would suggest.

I believe that most firms do actually want talent. As I have been repeatedly told (and seen whilst on secondment) good lawyers who are also able to charm clients are hard to come by and since you aren't going to wear a crucifix inscribed with "2:2" once you're in the door and you demonstrate your worth, I'm not sure how relevant your degree grade or your list of toff friends is.
Alan Shore_
Posted - 06 August 2015 13:53
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Depends what you mean by a 2:2. It is possible to get a desmond in your second year and then apply, there is still a chance of getting a TC.

However, if you get a 2:2 in your final year and graduate with one, you will fail the entry requirements for a lot of firms or not meet a TC offer in a lot of cases. There are some firms that don't give requirements for degree results though.

Posted - 07 August 2015 15:30
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Not fatal, but a significant exception to the standard position.