FROM DIVERSITY IN LAW: AN INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING MAGAZINE

Law careers: Choose the right firm

Before deciding on your career route it's crucial that you select the right type of firm and your specialist area, says Rachael Bayliss

When considering a career in law it is important to select the right type of firm. There are a variety of firms to consider, including large commercial firms, niche firms or general practice or high street firms. Once you have made a decision on the type of firm you wish to join you then need to decide which specialist area you want to operate in, whether this be banking and finance, crime, employment, family or sport. The types of clients firms work with are dependent on this specialism and can range from football clubs to investment banks. Law offers good international opportunities with international training seats, cross-border work and secondments being offered.

There are two routes into law depending on whether you complete a law or non-law degree. If you opt to complete a law degree your next step is to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC). This then allows you to start your training contract. If you follow the non-law degree route you will need to complete the Graduate Diploma of Law (GDL) and then complete the LPC. In essence if you chose to complete a non-law degree you need to do an extra year of study prior to starting your training contract.

There is also the opportunity to apply for vacation schemes which offer university students an insight into the legal profession. Taking place during the Easter and summer vacations, these schemes introduce students to law firms, their structure, main practice areas and activities. The Easter scheme at Clifford Chance is two weeks and the summer scheme is four weeks. If you have the relevant language skills the firm's European summer scheme gives students the opportunity to spend two weeks in the London office and two weeks in a European location, where you will experience the firm's international network first-hand. Students take part in the kind of project work, skills sessions and pro bono (legal work undertaken for free) activities that will help enhance valuable skills such as team working and communication, as well as developing commercial awareness.

Working with the prestigious College of Law, Clifford Chance has developed a new LPC, designed specifically for Clifford Chance trainees. This course combines a general grounding in the legal knowledge and skills required for commercial practice with an approach more tailored to the specific nature of the firm's work. It will enable trainees to draw on experiences and challenges taken from the firm's business, bringing training to life and better preparing individuals for their work at Clifford Chance.

Once individuals have completed the Clifford Chance LPC they will be ready to start their training contract with the firm. Training contracts are structured around four six-month placements, known as seats, each in a different practice group. Over the two years of this contract, individuals training objectives will be achieved through a balance of formal training and experience. These complementary elements are as essential as each other, working together to form a coherent programme that develops and expands individual talents, applying them to the role of a qualified and effective legal professional.

Legal firms recruit up to two years in advance and are currently looking for graduates to start their training contracts in 2008 and 2009. This means that students wishing to apply for vacation schemes need to do so in the first year of their university course. For training contracts, applications need to be made in the penultimate year for law students and the final year for non-law students; firms welcome applications from graduates of any degree discipline. Indeed, around 45 per cent of Clifford Chance trainees graduate from non-law subjects. Magic circle firms (Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters) look for candidates with consistently excellent academic records, normally with a minimum of 320 (26) UCAS points at A-level or equivalent, and who expect to achieve a least a good 2:1 (or equivalent) at degree level. Candidates must also possess great drive, demonstrating a clear commitment to their career, and be able to communicate fluently and accurately.

If candidates are successful in their applications they will be invited to attend an assessment day where they will be interviewed by a partner and a senior lawyer from the firm, join other candidates to participate in a group exercise and be asked to complete a verbal analysis test. The day will also give them the opportunity to talk informally with current trainees and qualified lawyers.

Rachael Bayliss is the HR adviser at the legal firm Clifford Chance

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
tv
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Music Teacher

£85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...

Maths Teacher

£85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...

English Teacher

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Experience...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments