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Foreign law graduate seeking TC… advice welcome!
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Grumpy German
Posted - 17 April 2016 01:48
Hello guys,

I'm a recent German law graduate with a 2.1 equivalent degree. I haven't started the vocational stage of training in Germany, which would be quite easy to get into, as the idea of qualifying in England somehow fascinates me. The quality of training in England seems much better than in my native Germany, and there are more opportunities in areas such as banking, shipping and insurance law. I'd take that every day over doing something dull about cars or rotting away in an office as a civil servant

But my only UK experience to date is having spent a year of undergrad studies at a Russell Group uni.

So I've applied to a handful of firms for open days to check out the "vibe" and got mixed results – immediate rejection with some, but was invited to visit two firms quite recently. Vacation schemes are not so much an option as I'm in full time work now. (I did some internships at law firms though a few years ago.)

I probably need to clearly get the message across that I'm serious with my plans… So has anyone in here been in a similar situation? Or should I just give up entirely given the fact that the TC market is so difficult even for locals with law degrees? What about the QLTS – do employers value dual qualified lawyers or is it rather an expensive gimmick?

Posted - 19 May 2016 16:15
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Hi Grumpy

I think that generally it would be better for you to apply for and complete a tc if you can, however this will be difficult. I have 2 friends who studied their undergrad abroad and then decided to apply for tcs: one has taken years to land a tc but now is at a good City firm and the other one qualified in his country first and then did the tc rather than the QLTS as he thought this would give him more job opportunities in the long run, however this decision has hugely delayed his career progression as he is 35 and has just qualified as a UK lawyer.

I think it also depends on your ambitions (with a 2.1 obtained abroad it may be difficult for you to get a tc at a MC/SC firm but you could find it with smaller firms), on your other experience and on the response you are getting from the law firms you have applied to up to now. I would also apply to vacation schemes and possibly take some time off work to attend, because these are the main tc offering channel for law firms.

I wouldn't give up on the plan but it certainly could take you a long time, probably years, before you get an offer. In this case you should focus on the long term plans too. If you think you will get back to Germany on qualification or soon afterwards, then certainly it is not worth it. If your are determined to be here forever/for at least 10-15 years then I would suggest you give it a go.

I don't mean to scare you, but I have experienced this situation on my 2 friends and they were incredibly determined and self-motivated, so you will also have to be the same if you want to be successful in this process. You could also decide to apply for a couple of years while working and thus give yourself a deadline by which things need to get better. I know that LLMs are considered close to worthless by most people but as a foreigner if you get Oxbridge or LSE on your cv surely it will stand out.

Any other questions just ask.

Good luck!
Mat Rempit
Posted - 21 May 2016 14:33
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Ich habe ein paar deutsche Freunde, die Juristischewissenschaft in Deutschland studiert haben, und die auch ein Jahr in England als Austauschstudenten gemacht haben. Einer hat auch ein LLM an der LSE gemacht, aber er auch ist in Deutschland zurückgegangen. Es ist leider nicht einfach, einen job in London mit fremden juristischen Qualifikationen zu finden. Ich liebe London, aber ich glaube, dass das deutsche juristische System und die Ausbildungssystem besser ist. Wenn es einfacher einen Job dort zu finden ist, würde ich empfinden, dass du in Deutschland bleibst. Man kann immer in London oder Großbritannien zurückkommen, aber es wird schwierig sein, in Deutschland nach einem englischen Ausbildung als Rechtsanwalt zu arbeiten (eigentlich unmöglich, nicht wahr?). Wenn du dort dein Diplom gemacht hast, dann solltest du dort zu mindestens das 1. Staatsexamen machen. Danach kannst du einen job in England suchen, wenn du Lust darauf hast. Sogar für englische Studenten, die englische Diplome haben, ist es schwierig (und in manche Fälle unmöglich) einen juristischen Job zu finden.