Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Friday, October 26, 2007

Entering the legal profession without a law degree

26.10.07 Whether to give law a go with a 2.1 business degree and average A Levels

I am thinking of going back to uni to do a GDL and work towards a career in law. The problem is I have pretty average A Level results, B,C,D and a 2:1 in business from an ex-poly. ( I think have always been capable, just not really motivated during A Levels.) I really want to be a lawyer but what are my chances of getting a TC? Do I have a realistic shot? Or should I spend my time and money on something else?

We often get people coming to see us for careers consultations with similar situations and wanting to know definitively whether they will get a training contract.

I think the first question to ask is "why do I want to be a lawyer", not whether he will get a training contract. The reason for this is because the response to the first question will usually result in the answer to the second. If there is a genuine reason for wanting to be a lawyer, backed up by sound evidence, Dan will already be halfway there in any event - he will have experience of what exactly a solicitor does in practice (ie he will have work experience in a private practice firm or other environment), he will be aware of what a barrister does and hence why he is looking for a training contract as opposed pupillage, and he will understand what the study of law is all about at GDL level.

He will also have read our guide to finding a training contract

And will have researched the cost of the GDL and the LPC, and the average starting salary of a trainee solicitor outside the magic circle firms.

Once he has done all of this, then he needs to think about his A levels and degree.

His A levels are not bad at all, and should not be a bar to getting a training contract with a provincial or high street firm. It is very likely he would struggle to get interviews at magic circle and firms in central London attracting 5000 applicants per training contract, as unfortunately firms do have to benchmark, and the best way to do this for legal recruitment is to use former academic results.

However a 2.1 at business studies and average A levels are not a bar to a successful legal careers. If you look at our website and go to the careers centre,

You will see on the right hand side testimony from someone who got a 3rd class degree and very low a level results, who is just completing her training contract. Its all in the mind - progressing at law is about getting your foot in the right door at the right time if you are not a conventional AAA, 2.1 red brick Uni, nice school straight into 300 partner central London practice!

Author: Jonathan Fagan MREC Cert RP LLM Solicitor (non-practising) - Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment ( - save time, skip the legal job boards and register with us! Jonathan Fagan is a specialist legal recruitment consultant, author of the Complete Guide to Writing a Legal CV and the Guide to Interviews for Lawyers. He has recruited for law firms across the UK and overseas in all shapes and sizes. If you have any questions that we have not covered above, please email us at

1 comment:

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