And here it is, the first post of what I hope will be an informative journey along with me whilst I search for a training contract.
A little about me:
Well, you already know I want to qualify as a solicitor but what you don’t know is that I graduated in 2007 from Kent University and completed the Legal Practice Course in 2008. It’s been four going on five years since I finished the LPC and still there is no training contract in sight for me. Many of my friends have qualified and many have found alternative employment in various areas such as recruitment and management consulting, but I don’t want to change my mind about law.
I’ve been working as a Paralegal in the meantime, currently working for LexisNexis and am awed to be surrounded by so many intelligent people. My colleagues are mainly all qualified solicitors who are driven by efficiency and a need to modernise the legal profession and I enjoy being at the forefront of this. (For a alternative view see Mark’s post here.)
I’ve also spent time working and studying abroad. I took part in a year long internship moving to New York and working on Fifth Avenue for a litigation law firm. This has to be the highlight of my career thus far, the experience I gained may have been in a different legal system but litigation skills are highly transferable. I also gained academics and topped up my knowledge by studying for a Post-Graduate Certificate in International Business in which I got a distinction.
Before this opportunity came along I was working for a legal publishing company in London Bridge where I stayed for almost three years. I felt I was lucky to have a job in the economic climate the country was facing and I always believed it was better to have a job than no job. But I didn’t just stay idle, I managed to gain a vacation scheme for three weeks and also took one day a week off work and volunteered at the Citizens Advice Bureau as a Gateway Assessor. And even before this, I started my first legal job at 15 and since then I’ve shadowed judges in the District court (which was arranged through my University), I wrote to the Crown Prosecution Service and set up work experience with them, I’ve worked for a Magic Circle firm and also a large investment bank as a paralegal.
But still no training contract…
Sometimes I do feel disheartened, as everyone does when facing a pile of rejection letters, but the rejection makes you a stronger person. Whatever reasons are given for you not being offered a position, it probably wouldn’t have been the right place for you anyway. Keep applying, and keep things interesting on your CV! The amount of interest I’ve had in my CV since I returned in March from working abroad, has been astounding and these might not necessarily lead to being handed the job but on many occasions it gets me an interview.
I believe all of my work experience has rounded me into an individual capable of taking on any work that is passed my way. I thrive when learning about new areas of law, I do my research thoroughly and most of all…I enjoy it! Seriously, do not underestimate the power of work experience, however mundane or monotonous it may be, just think about how amazing it will look on your CV. It’s still my dream to qualify and I can feel that I am so close and in the meantime I’ve gained a ton of experience which will only help me when I take on my training contract.