I suffer from depression: should I even bother to apply for vac schemes?

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By Legal Cheek on

Please don’t tear me apart for asking


In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, an anonymous undergrad worries about law firms’ attitude to mental illness.


I am currently in my second year of studying a non-law subject at an excellent Red Brick university (not Oxbridge). I have done plenty of relevant work experience and extra-curricular actives — being particularly good at debating. Eventually, I hope to pursue a career in commercial law. However, due to the profound isolation I feel at university and a traumatic event that occurred a few months ago, I have been crippled with severe depression. For most of the academic year I have lacked the motivation to do any work. I am quite sure that I will perform poorly in the forthcoming exams. I know that law is highly competitive. Even if I had been well, I am sure that there are many others who are more intelligent than me. Should I even bother applying for vac schemes? My parents do not have the resources to fund the GDL and LPC, so my only option is to obtain a TC. If I apply for one, will my mental illness be seen as a sign that I am too ‘fragile’ to cope in a high-pressured career? This email was written after two days of no sleep (I am very worried about the future), so may not be terribly coherent. It would be greatly appreciated if LC commentators did not tear me apart. Not because I am too delicate to acknowledge reality, but because I know that there are others in my position.

If you have a career conundrum, email us with it to careers@legalcheek.com.