The First Post… My Search for a Training Contract

The First Post… My Search for a Training Contract

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.



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Comments (5)

  • studyinglaw Reply

    Thanks for the post Pargeet! Was the New York scheme with the Mountbatten Institute? That’s the one I considered a while back.

    It must look amazing on your CV – really is that special piece of experience which can make you stand out.

    Sure you’re very close to getting a training contract with all that amazing experience. At the end of the day, when you get a training contract you should have an advantage over those who’ve managed to get one just through family connections!

    September 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm
  • Gregory W Smith Reply

    Hi Pargeet,
    I complete agree with Mark, due to all the experience you have and I imagine important contacts, a firm would be lucky to have you.

    I’m glad your staying strong after five years, and it is encouraging for those of us that are still to finish their degrees, that someone else can stay strong in their hunt for the dream legal career.

    All the best

    September 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm
  • Pargeet
    Pargeet Reply

    No worries! Yes it was through Mountbatten that I obtained the internship. I would never be where I am right now if it wasn’t for that opportunity! The main problem that I’m having at the moment is firms asking why I haven’t received training yet? There’s not really much I can say to this except, ‘I don’t know.’

    Greg, thanks for your kind comments…all the best to you as well!

    September 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm
    • studyinglaw Reply

      Do they ever state that as a reason for been unsuccessful? Quite ridiculous if they do!

      “I’m sorry; we won’t be offering you a training contract because you’ve been unable to obtain a training contract”

      September 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm
  • Mani Singh Basi Reply

    Hi Pargeet,

    I am highly impressed with what you have achieved thus so far, it is also remarkable how you have still not achieved a training contract with such a strong CV. But I suppose your situation reflects the reality, law is so competitive these days…. I hope my path for pupillage is successful, but I have learnt a lot from reading this blog post.

    But good luck on your journey to a training contract 😀

    December 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm

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