Apr 05, 2022

Written By Helena Kudiabor

Do law firms ask for first year grades?

Apr 05, 2022

Written By Helena Kudiabor

Law firms use a wide range of criteria to assess their applicants, like academic results and psychometric tests. Many firms require a minimum of a 2:1 degree, but most also ask for all of your university grades. Read on to find out more about what firms ask for, and what to do if your academic results aren’t the best.  

Will law firms see my first year grades?

Many law firms will ask for all of your university grades, including your first year ones. Different firms have different policies, but typically you’ll be asked for your final grades for each of your modules, for all of the years of university you’ve completed. Some firms might even ask for a breakdown of your final grades by assignment.

Aside from your university grades and degree classification, firms will tend to ask for your GCSEs and A-levels, although more weight is placed on your university grades.


Will I be automatically rejected if my first year grades are poor?

It’s unlikely you’ll be automatically rejected. Although a few prestigious law firms automatically reject applicants who do not meet their minimum criteria, there are no specific requirements for first year grades. 

Firms will also place more weight on your degree classification (awarded or predicted), as well as your second and final year grades, so try not to worry too much.


Can I include any mitigating factors?

Yes: if extenuating circumstances contributed to your university results, it’s important that you include them in your application firm. The firm may contact you to ask for more details or supporting evidence, so make sure you don’t exaggerate what took place.

Mitigating circumstances refer to situations that were out of your control (being hospitalised or the death of a family member.) Thus, avoid including situations which you could have prevented, as this will just damage the credibility of your application.


Can I improve my application if I have poor grades?

Academics aren’t the only thing that firms consider when assessing your application. So, try and make sure everything else in your application is stellar, such as your application form and psychometric tests.

If you’ve still got a while before you start applying for training contracts, you might wish to seek out a leadership role in an extracurricular activity, or find some legal work experience. These are the sort of things that will give your application a little extra boost.

Even if your first year results aren’t too great, try not to panic. There are still ways you can boost your application.




LLB First Years