The clinic

The legal market: An A-Z Guide

If you’re planning on becoming a lawyer it’s best that you get to grips with the relevant jargon. It will soon become second nature and none of it is particularly difficult, but it’s still worth swotting up ahead of an interview to avoid being stumped by any unforeseen acronyms.

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Assessment Centres

Most commercial law firms use assessment centres as part of the training contract selection process.

So what will you actually have to do during an assessment day? While this does vary from firm to firm, you can usually expect a combination of a written case study, a group exercise or negotiation, verbal or numerical reasoning tests and an interview.

Below we aim to shed some light on the different elements of an assessment centre and share tips on how to stand out from the crowd while you’re in the thick of it.

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How to get a training contract: The application process

The first step of the training contract application process is the application form. Most law firms now use application forms to screen applicants before deciding who to invite for interview.

There’s no getting away from the fact that filling out application forms can be a time-consuming process, but with plenty of preparation and good proofreading skills, you can make sure you’re giving yourself the best possible chance of success.

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The debunking of a myth: The Graduate Diploma in Law

The GDL is scheduled to be replaced by the SQE from September 2021. At the time of writing, the GDL is still an academic requirement for non-law graduates wishing to qualify as a solicitor.

While attending numerous law fairs last autumn, the Lex team was struck by the number of students voicing uncertainty and concern about the law conversion course and how candidates who have sat it may be perceived by employers. This article will hopefully offer a bit more information on what the conversion course is, and calm fears that it may be anything other than a respected, well-worn pathway into the legal profession.

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The Legal Practice Course: The Lex Lowdown

The Legal Practice Course is currently the final mandatory qualification required before commencing a training contract. It’s also a considerable financial commitment, especially following hikes in tuition fees. For that reason, you are well-advised to do as much research as you can – so read on!

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Vacation schemes: What they are and why they are worth pursuing

As pre-training contract legal experience goes, vacation schemes are the big one. Now well-established and ubiquitous in the industry, vacation schemes are a great way to experience first-hand life at a law firm, and to see if the employer, and career, matches your interests. It’s also an opportunity to impress and enhance your prospects, with several vac schemes also offering training contract interviews at the end of the placement. All that said, it still requires giving up two weeks’ precious holidays, during which you will have other commitments including, perhaps ironically, working hard towards securing the impressive academic grades so valued by law firms! So in signing up for a vacation scheme, what exactly are you getting in return?

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Your training contract timetable

Law students (second year undergraduate) and non-law students (final year)

This timetable refers mainly to law firms which recruit two years in advance. Check with individual firms for specific application dates and deadlines.

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