Subpar A-levels or my ex-poly uni: What’s preventing me from getting a training contract at a top firm?

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By Legal Cheek on

I have a first class construction degree and big ambitions


In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) student — who already has a first class degree — wants to why he has so far been unable to land a training contract at a big corporate law firm.


I graduated from Coventry University in Building Surveying with a first class degree and an 80+ dissertation focusing on construction disputes. I have over two years worth of surveying and dispute resolution work experience, and more than three years on-site (construction) experience. Though my A-Levels are really subpar (CCD), I do have strong mitigating circumstances to justify these. I am now undertaking my GDL and I really want to get myself recognised by firms. I have sent off a few applications and have been rejected from the majority of them. Is it my A-levels letting me down? The ex-poly university? My limited experience outside of construction? I’ve been provisionally offered a TC with a very small firm outside of London. It’s quite a niche firm, but does offer enough areas for a four-seat TC. Would this be detrimental to my career given that I am aiming for a big firm?

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