Is my education in Colombia the reason I can’t get a training contract?

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By Legal Cheek on

Graduating from a ‘non-fancy’ university is my biggest disadvantage

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one aspiring solicitor thinks her overseas education is holding her back.


I am currently finishing the Graduate Diploma in Law at City, University of London. However, I studied International Business at a Colombian university, and I believe this is my biggest disadvantage.

Even though I obtained a first and straight As and Bs in my equivalent course to A-levels, it seems that firms are not interested in my background. I have applied for several vacation schemes and I don’t even get called to any interviews. I have asked for help in the careers department and from several friends who have secured placements. Both have reviewed my applications, but still no luck.

Before moving to London, I worked for three multinationals in the logistics departments for the oil & gas, technology, and telecommunications sectors back home. Then I moved to Norway where I learned Norwegian and volunteered with refugees. In London, I have done some pro bono work in City’s law clinic and volunteered for a well-known City firm.

I am starting to worry about my situation. While many of my fellow classmates are attending assessments, I cannot even get past the first filter. Alternatively, I have thought about funding the Legal Practice Course (LPC) myself and joining a firm as a paralegal to get some legal experience, but I am not sure if this is worth the financial risk.

Are there many people who have been educated in non-fancy universities outside the United Kingdom that have succeeded in this industry? Should I give up the idea of becoming a solicitor?

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