Can I apply for a training contract without doing a vacation scheme?
Vacation schemes are regarded as the best way to secure a training contract after you graduate, as many law firms award a large proportion of their placements to those who have undertaken a scheme with them beforehand.
Nevertheless, that shouldn’t deter you from applying, as every year many firms also recruit from graduates who have not previously been at the company.
What will I need to do before applying for a training contract?
Regardless of the degree you’ve done and whether you’ve done a vacation scheme or not, you’ll need to complete a year-long Legal Practice Course (LPC) before qualifying as a solicitor - or a law conversion course in the form of the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). You should bear in mind, though, that this will be replaced from September 2021 by the catch-all Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), with the former exam being progressively phased out.
If you’re studying a law degree, you can start applying for training contracts two years in advance. You can back up your application with any insight days and other legal work experience you’ve done over the course of your education to give you a better chance of getting an interview.
What can I do to increase my chances of getting a training contract?
If you can show the required amount of commercial awareness in the areas the firm practises in, backed up by good academic results, there’s every chance that you can secure a contract as well. Training contracts involve an investment on the part of the firm in order to make you suited for the legal profession, so if you’re able to show that you’re willing to work and develop your soft skills then you’ll be likely to convince the recruiter.
Ultimately, law firms will often seek to recruit people from different academic backgrounds, as having a variety of profiles within the company will invariably be beneficial to them in gaining a wider perspective on a range of different issues within the legal sector.
How can I find out more about training contracts?
For more information about training contracts at law firms and the latest opportunities, head on over to the dedicated section of our website!