Is a training contract the only way?

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By Legal Cheek on

I’m doing a law degree, but the CILEx route is pulling me in


In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one law student wonders whether she should keep hold of her Legal Practice Course (LPC) fees and take a more vocational route instead.


I’m in my first year at a non-Russell Group uni studying law. My A-levels are not so good (BCD) and I have no mitigating circumstances, but I am expected to achieve a 2:1 or a first. I volunteer at Citizens Advice as a gateway assessor once a week and participate in a mooting society. I have little legal work experience but I am applying to many small firms to gain some and am trying to go to open/insight days.

I have done some research and am considering going down the CILEx route. I don’t want to take the risk of doing the expensive LPC and not getting a TC. Although you become a Chartered Legal Executive, is this really any different to being a solicitor? It’s cheaper, practical, provides more experience and there is hardly any difference in their roles. I hear stories about TCs but not many about the CILEx route, and I’m questioning whether this could be the better option for me.

Alternatively, I will be applying for vacation schemes in my first and second year as I believe I may have a better chance of getting a TC this way rather than applying directly to firms. Have there been may people who have succeeded with a background similar to me and how much of a chance do I realistically have?

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