Will taking a gap year put me at a disadvantage when applying for a job?

Im a final year non-law student and want to pursue a career as a solicitor.

Im a final year non-law student and want to pursue a career as a solicitor. I looked into applying this year for vacation schemes and then a training contract but after some deliberation I decided that I wanted to take a year out to go travelling. I have two questions; firstly by choosing to take a year out I will not be putting myself in a worse position and secondly many of the vacation schemes are specifically for final year non-law students. Would these vacation schemes be the correct ones for me to apply to as I will be in the same position as a final year non-law student, with both the GDL and the LPC still to complete?

Even though you’re taking a year out, I think it’s a shame that you decided not to do a vacation placement this summer. That said, gap years are more and more popular and employers generally tend to view them favourably. Any legal work experience that you can get as a non-law student is going to be invaluable so yes, I do think you should apply for the vacation placements once you’re back from your travels (you might need to include in your application the reason why you didn’t apply in your third year). I’d also suggest that you try and get work experience outside of the structured vacation scheme, perhaps at Xmas or Easter. You may want to consider attending your university’s law fair (as a GDL student) to gather up information about all the firms, and to see if any are willing to accommodate a request for work experience.

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