Law firms predict big drop in graduate vacancies

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  • As a law student I have to say I find this a very interesting article and it goes without saying that a 2:1 is the benchmark for entry to the profession, but my question, and it would be great if a graduate recruitment Officer could answer this is what is the difference between a 2:1 and a 2:2 graduate. If I get a 60 over all I will get a 2:1 and if I get anything below that it will be a 2:2, therefore can I say that I'm much more intellectually capable than a student who graduated with a 2:2 and therefore more likely to be better at the job. I think it's a shame in some respects that a student with a 2:2 is pretty much overlooked.

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  • Degree classifications should be completely abolished and your GPA should be used as the classification for your degree.

    I got 59% GPA and that 1% has made getting a job so much harder than someone with a 2:1.

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  • Don't worry, the 2:1 students still get overlooked. I've got a 2:1, LPC Distinction, work experience, extra curriculars... everything we're told employers want. Still no job, despite over a hundred applications and several interviews. All I ever got was was "you're good, but so were the other 20".

    I know more people who have given up on the law than have training contracts. I now count myself amongst them... It's been years, and you get to a point where you have to call it a day.

    The 2:2 folk might make brilliant lawyers. But when 2.1 students are being thrown on the garbage pile I'm afraid they don't stand much of a chance.

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  • I only hope this makes all the people hell bent on rushing into self funded GDL/LPC study think harder about what they are letting themselves into. Even if you do have a 2:1, you're still fighting it out with a heck of a lot of other people for each training contract. The course providers certainly don't lose out!

    Maybe the new approach for many could be to postpone the law dreams, try to start some sort of a career elsewhere, then perhaps reconsider law when/if the job climate changes. Firms/chambers could value the skills picked up elsewhere and applicants could appear less green than those fresh out of university. It worked for me!

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  • Nicholas, I find what you have just said, to be very interesting. What alternative career did you pursue and how did it help you with law..

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  • "the median salary for law firms remains unchanged at £37,000, behind investment bankers or fund managers at £38,250."

    i know finance city jobs get most of their earnings through a bonus, but im pretty sure that the average investment banker and hedge fund manager's base salary is definitely not that low

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  • These are graduate salaries. Even Masters of the Universe have to start somewhere.

  • Dear Barrie,

    I came late to law, having worked for 6 years in Higher Education administration, also having worked as a teacher and for the NHS, having graduated in 2001. Round the houses I agree, and absolutely nothing to do with law. However, one benefit was that I had a ready list of real life work examples to use in application forms, which allowed me to demonstrate the skills required perhaps more easily than someone who hadn't yet entered the workplace. So, going by my example, a commercially oriented career wouldn't seem to be a prerequisite. Many workplace skills are very transferable, and a candidate who has worked in the real world might seem more immediately capable of working with a client than a student. They might be better able to fit into an existing team, work with colleagues, or just seem a more rounded individual. They perhaps have to work harder to convince recruiters why law and why now and not earlier, but equally they can stand out more from the crowd.

    Whether many law firms see it this way, I don't know, but in my experience, some are very willing to consider people with a life before law. I just don't think there is this window of opportunity for law that exists only straight after university.

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  • I think work experience with a good reference (not necessarily in law) should be a prerequisite to entry to an LPC or BPTC. People becoming lawyers before having any other job really isn't that different to career politicians who are completely out of touch with the society they serve.

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  • I completely agree with the poster in regards to 2:1. I achieved 2:1 and got 4 years experience in legal field still no prospects financially and professionally. I am fed with it end of the day. I really want to look for alternative career and did in fact done so. All I was said was I am too commited to law. I cannot progress in legal field and cannot change my career either.

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