Training Contracts

The training contract is the final hurdle before becoming a fully qualified lawyer. It gives you a chance to convert your decades’ worth of education and academic qualifications to professional use. The training contract, in essence, is your foot in the door in the legal world. You are officially employed by a law firm and are overseen by experienced professionals and mentors. As an aspiring solicitor, the training contract is your ultimate goal.

Solicitors Qualifying Exam

But what exactly is a training contract?

The training contract is a 2-year period working for a law firm. You turn all the theory you studied into practice, developing your skills in a competitive working environment. Usually, you have four different placements called “seats” where you experience different departments six months at a time. This is always the case in larger firms, whereas smaller firms are more flexible. However it is mandatory to cover at least three different departments, including both contentious and non-contentious areas of practice.

If you’ve begun your law application process, you’ve probably realised by now that there are thousands of law firms of different sizes and specialities. So where do you apply? Instead of blindly applying anywhere and everywhere, narrow your selection down. First, what type of law do you want to specialise in? The following steps will depend on your answer to this question. For example, if you’ve always dreamt of commercial law, then City firms are your best bet. If you have a background in business and finance, then international firms may be most ideal. Or if you prefer the more intimate environment of smaller law firms or even start-ups, then regional firms are more suitable and less competitive. Based on the above answer you can hone in and refine your search by choosing the most suitable firms in terms of size, specialism, and location.

Securing a training contract, as we’re sure you’re aware by now, is no easy task. There are around 5,500 available training contracts at any given time, whereas law graduates are almost 20,000. The odds are stacked against you, which is why we are here to help every step of the way.

Check out our services page to see the variety of service we have. We specialise in providing law application reviews and revamps, but we also pride ourselves in crafting law CVs by our very own qualified solicitors trained by Magic Circle firms. If you just need some law application adviceor tips, then our consultation service may be ideal for you, where you have the undivided attention of a qualified solicitor.

The Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE)

In April 2017, a decision was made by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to change the entire application system. So what does this mean for you?

The SQE is a new system of exams that will replace the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC) in September 2021. However, applicants that have already begun their LLB, GDL, or LPC before September 2021 will not be affected.

The change means that the traditional route of completing a law degree or GDL followed by an LPC to apply for a 2-year training contract is not the only route to becoming a qualified solicitor. This new solicitor “apprenticeship” allows applicants to combine studies with vocational training.

There will be a 7-year transition period from 2021 where both the old (current) route and new route are accepted. This means that the SRA will still recognise the LPC until 2032. However, the legal training committee of the City of London Law Society, representing City firms, advised that most law firms would wish to avoid running two concurrent qualification systems. As a result, they will likely stipulate that all future candidates take the new SQE from 2022.

How we can help?

In essence, this means that if you begin your law degree in 2020 onwards, you may be forced to take the SQE to qualify, but anyone who is currently studying or will begin their LLB before 2020 can opt for the traditional route.

You can find out more about the SQE here

If you’re still confused and would like a qualified lawyer to explain the situation to you one-to-one, you are more than welcome to book in an online consultation with one of our qualified solicitors. Just click the link here

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