Final year, eh? That came around quickly, didn’t it!? Well not to worry, it means you’re a year closer to landing a training contract with your dream law firm. Speaking of training contracts, what you should be doing in final year starts as soon as you finish your second year exams. This is, of course...
Training contract applications
Given that law firms hire two years in advance, you should apply after your second year exams and before the 31 July deadline to stand a chance of getting a training contract immediately. Of course, you’ll have to complete your final year and legal practice course (LPC) before you even start as a trainee.
However, it may be worth waiting until you have your second year results before applying for a training contract. It’s bloomin’ well difficult to get a training contract and if you don’t quite get the required grades (2:1 or above) it’s even more difficult.
If you’ve performed well, apply away. If you’re on the border, it may be worth holding off. Also, you may want to take a graduate gap year – your course has been intense and the LPC and two years of a training contract will be even more hard work.
As you may well be aware, you cannot start a training contract until you’ve completed the legal practice course. If you have a training contract secured, your firm may recommend an LPC provider (and could even cover the costs).
If you haven’t been successful in your training contract hunt, but know you definitely want to be a solicitor, then applying solely for the LPC is the next stage for you.
Be warned though, the cost of an LPC ranges for £8000-£14,000; a heavy expenditure if you’re not assured of a training contract.
You may be able to pay in instalments, but whichever method of payment you prefer, it’s still necessary if you wish to be a solicitor and you can keep applying for training contracts throughout your third year and also throughout the course of your LPC.
Keep up with law society involvement
The hunt for training contracts is a viscous one – there are about 20,000 students studying law and around 5,000 training contracts.
Therefore your CV must be as strong as possible and involvement with law society activities definitely won’t hurt you. And given that you’re a final year now, you may have a position of responsibility, such as president or treasurer.
Don’t forget the reason you’re at university! It’s important that you do as well as possible in your degree and this shouldn’t be sacrificed in place of training contract or LPC applications. Remember, if your grades aren’t deemed ‘good’ enough, you will find it difficult to find any training contract.
With final year being the year of dissertations, if you’re finding it hard to strike a balance between studying and submitting applications, concentrate on your studies. You can always apply next year!
Don’t forget to have fun! The undergraduate years are meant to be enjoyed and you’ll never experience anything like it again. Strike a good work-play balance and enjoy yourself.