I'm on the GDL and I'm really enjoying it, but I don't have a training contract. I want to become a solicitor but I don't really fancy paying/borrowing £14,000 for a course that I might not utilise, and that does not have a high degree of transferability in the job market.

So this is what I'm thinking: finish the GDL, upgrade it to an LLB (law degree) by doing 2 extra modules (that's what my law school offers), get a "standard" job so I can earn some money while I apply for vacation schemes and/or training contracts. Then if I get a contract the firm will most likely pay my course fees and give me a maintenance grant. It would also take the pressure off me while I finish the GDL (my exams look like they'll coincide with most firms' interview periods).

I've applied for a few vacation schemes and a couple of training contracts, but didn't even get to interview. Like everyone else looking for training contracts, I have top A-Level grades, a 2.1 in an academically rigorous course from a good university and a good dose of work experience (including legal). So I don't exactly "stand out" on paper.

Has anyone here been in a similar situation? What about people who are currently on the LPC? What are your thoughts?

Quote by mh.666
This man is right.

My life in all aspects is going fucking brilliantly, so I just thought I'd offer a cyncial scrap of wisdom, gloat a little, and then leave.
Hello mate,

I've been there and can sympathise. I think the route you're thinking about is very sensible. I didn't know you could upgrade the GDL to an LLB (I did a law degree to start with) but that sounds worthwhile. As for the LPC, I would agree that it is not worth starting until you have a training contract. Not only is it a hell of a lot of money, it is, as you say, pretty useless unless you are going into a legal job. I have a lot of friends who I went to uni with and who went through the LPC without a TC 3-4 years ago and are still doing jobs completely unrelated to the law. The general consensus amongst them is that the law degree was very much worthwhile as it is highly regarded but the LPC was a waste of money. I've also heard that if you do the LPC and then don't start a TC for a certain period of time you need to redo the LPC- not sure how true this is but worth bearing in mind as you'd have to pay for the whole thing again! I was lucky and actually only got a TC just after starting the LPC so covered fees etc. In hindsight and seeing what has happened to others, I would not start the LPC until the TC was in place.

As for applications, it is a pretty depressing time. I read somewhere that about 1 in 50 TC applications is successful so my advice is to apply left right and centre but make sure you spend the time on the applications- given the number they receive, things such as spelling mistakes, not knowing what the firm specialises in etc. can be instant grounds for putting the application to one side. It is increasingly difficult to stand out these days but emphasise why the particular firm is one you want to go to (even if it isn't necessarily!) and try to get on vac schemes (I got my TC through a vac scheme). Also, if you have any contacts, use them. Even if you do not know lawyers, maybe you know someone who regularly uses a firm etc. It gets your name out there and is often one of the easiest ways in and one which I can tell you is used very frequently. Sad but true.

Good luck!
A law degree has a huge level of transferability in the job market. However, it is stupid hard to get a job because there's too many law grads.
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Thanks Richo, that is kinda what I already thought but just wanted to hear it from someone else lol!

Quote by mh.666
This man is right.

My life in all aspects is going fucking brilliantly, so I just thought I'd offer a cyncial scrap of wisdom, gloat a little, and then leave.