Advice

Will studying at the Open University limit my training contract chances?

By on
88

Its status among solicitors is a worry

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one reader has some law degree decisions to make.

I am currently working for a mid-sized law firm in central London while studying for my CILEx qualification part-time. I have applied to study for the LLB in legal practice at City, University of London — it’s an online course developed with CILEx. At the moment I’m waiting to see if I have satisfied my offer, but I am also looking at studying with the Open University if I do not. Do you think studying with the Open University will put me at a disadvantage when applying for training contracts?

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

88 Comments

Anonymous

Generally speaking, yes, but depends on what type of firm you want to join.

(15)(4)

Anonymous

Can you give us some information about why?

(4)(0)

Anonymous

The news this morning says net migration is coming down, so your chances are improving.

Once we get it down to 50,000 and lower the country will be in a much better economic situation, so there will br plenty of jobs and training contracts.

(5)(65)

Anonymous

If this isn’t a poor attempt at parody, please expand on what you mean by ‘much better economic situation’

(12)(2)

Corbynismo

Brexit retard. Go suck on Farage’s choad.

(7)(6)

Air Hair Lair

Whoa there! Reduce immigration equals better economy??
Less people working, paying tax, setting up home, getting a car buying their groceries, less people in the country doing that means worse economy.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

So dumb

(1)(1)

Anonymous

You can forget about Magic Circle firms unless you have something impressive on your CV

(11)(5)

Anonymous

If you’re doing CILEx then you’re already at a disadvantage…

(18)(8)

Anonymous

CILEx and open university = goodbye London

(17)(10)

Anonymous

So I should have done OU as well as CILEx. Then I’d escape this shithole of a city

(3)(0)

Fairly Middling Expert on Multidimensional Geometric shapes.

If you can get rectumented at mysterious rectangular firm, you should be OK.

(3)(4)

Anonymous

Ha. Turn back! Don’t do it! The training contract quest will destroy your life.

(13)(3)

Jones Day Equity Partner

I’ve never heard of this “Open University” you speak of, but if it means what I think it does, please go there and learn all you can, then come to us for your training contract.

(33)(4)

Anonymous

I can imagine that an OU law degree might not go down well with the more snooty city firms which recruit on a very narrow basis. I can’t say for certain because that’s not my area of practice – thank God.

But I would say that OU degrees in many subjects are very highly regarded by academics.

If you really want to do yourself a favour, study something interesting, i.e. not law, and turn your back on the profession. It’ll only end in disappointment and disillusion, wherever your degree’s from.

(I’m not an OU grad.)

(12)(4)

Anonymous

I am doing law degree with Open University. I am also qualified medical and legal interpreter and translator. I am also mature student with other relevant experiences. Many solicitors told me that would be great asset to any firm, and I should not be caught up with law degree dilemma. Also, not everyone want to work in London for Magic Circle.

(15)(4)

Anonymous

I hope you’re not translating to or from English…

(44)(8)

Anonymous

No, I am not.

(7)(1)

Anonymous

Says the person ending a sentence with an ellipsis.

(9)(12)

Anonymous

Solicitors say people are great assets to any firm all the time. When they give you an offer to join them, they mean what they said.

(14)(2)

Anonymous

Pfft words are free. I’ll compliment you if it keeps you happy in your work and saves me having to discuss a 2% raise that quarter.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

“Many solicitors” are lying to you.

(4)(5)

Anonymous

And mr. Anonymous on the internet tells nothing but the truth?

(2)(1)

Anonymous

If you look the trouser snake in the eye, do you see it or does it see you?

(3)(0)

Komissar Bantz

Hysterical, 10/10.

Anonymous

If you’re looking at regional/mid-sized firms (Addleshaw, Eversheds, etc.) then you’re in with a shot (as long as you graduate with a half-decent grade and aren’t bad at pre-employment tests/assessment centres). It’ll be a little harder with the larger City outfits. Officially, most will claim that they won’t discriminate against graduates who aren’t from Oxbridge/Russell Group universities, but in practice, this does happen.

(20)(1)

Anonymous

Addleshaws London will take anyone at the moment! Mass exodus of associates, mainly because of crap pay.

(6)(1)

Big Dolla Billz Playa Playa Partner NY US NQ Law man

If its not London, its not law… If its not (good) RG and above, there’s no point. TC at a firm in Doncaster maybe.

(8)(15)

Anonymous

*It’s. hope you don’t make those sorts of grammatical errors on your TC applications sonce you are obviously a student and in no way a solicitor.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

*since

Awkward.

(18)(0)

TopKek

You idiot, sonce is regulry used.

(11)(0)

YorkshireQC

My god, going by the standard of the comments on here you’d have to be off your not to want to work in London with a parcel of chinless goons who, despite having all the advantages of Daddy’s cash, contacts, private school and Oxbridge, are inexplicably filled with vitriol and bile.

If you get a good grade with the OU and can show you’ve had to juggle work and family whilst doing so then you’re worth 5 of the inbred snarks trying to belittle you on this comments board.

Good luck

(22)(1)

Chancery tenant

Somehow I don’t think anyone posting on here is either a lawyer or Oxbridge graduate.

(4)(0)

Rebekah

Well said šŸ™‚

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Give up.

(7)(5)

Anonymous

So if you get good enough grades, you take up a place at uni A or B.
If you don’t get good enough grades, you take up a place at the OU.

You ask if taking the place at the OU would be a “disadvantage”. If you cannot see how getting into somewhere that demands higher grades and only going somewhere else if you fail to that, is naturally advantageous/disadvantageous to your career, then I suggest you give up all three options now, and the law and study something else more suited to your level of understanding.

(9)(17)

Anonymous

Err they clearly are only applying to places where they can study part-time or remotely. So it pertinent for them to ask whether an OU degree would be a disadvantage relative to a degree from a traditional university which they might get into with the same grades.

I would recommend the poster also considers Birkbeck – this offers a part time law degree and instinct tells me this would be considered more academic than City or the OU.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

UoL and UCL are offering Part-Time online Master’s programs too now, for those of us who genuinely are looking for remote study programs alongside their full time careers.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

But they’re not with the same grades, the poster clearly said if they don’t make the grades needed for City, then they’d consider OU.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

People don’t go to the OU because they failed to get in anywhere else! They may do OU because they’re also working, running homes and/or businesses or simply didn’t have the luxury of being able to go to university earlier in life.

(18)(2)

Anonymous

Did you even read the original question??

“At the moment Iā€™m waiting to see if I have satisfied my offer, but I am also looking at studying with the Open University if I do not.”

What part of going to the OU if they fail to make the grades demanded by City, are you not getting?

(3)(3)

Anonymous

Your snobbish comments were aimed at OU students in general. How about showing a bit of respect.

(14)(5)

Anonymous

Are you completely off your rocker ???

The poster has WRITTEN they’re only considering the OU if they do not satisfy the grade requirements of City. How on earth is reflecting this reality which they have stated translated in your ridiculous victim-obsessed mind as being snobby about “OU students in general”. I’ve made no comment whatsoever about OU students. Actually, in some areas, I think the OU is pretty good and haven’t got anything against it at all.

What the heck are you on? I’d suggest you stop seeing persecution everywhere around you and start reading what’s actually in front of you.

Anonymous

Wow, calm down, what’s the matter with you? Is this how you converse with people in real life? Go and have a nice cup of tea and try being a more likeable person. People might be more inclined to listen to you then instead of just deducing that you’re an angry little brat.

Anonymous

Ha ha, you came out all guns blazing calling the other poster snobbish and they should have some respect, and when they call you out on it and show you how off the mark your made up interpretation has been, you react with this pointless oops-I’ve been had here-I haven’t got the integrity to admit I got it wrong and apologise – I better attack in any way I can – blah blah statement like that. What an idiot.

Anonymous

Bless you sweetheart, you’re clearly having a very bad day. Hope you have a much better one tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend and God bless xx

Anonymous

Come work for me at Cop Out, Slacker & Pro Bono LLP

(9)(8)

Anonymous

Or mine at Dumb, Dunce & Dingus LLP

(6)(7)

Anonymous

Wow, you are so insightful !

(4)(0)

TopKek

Dewey, Botchit & Howe LLP are hiring.

(1)(5)

Tough (but true) talk

It doesn’t matter how many barristers/solicitors today did not go to an RG or did not get at least a high 2:1. If you don’t have both of these in today’s day and age, you are going to get nowhere.

(9)(5)

Anonymous

Lol what utter bollocks. 2:1 might be true but somehow not going to a RG is going to automatically elliminate you from the race. Students from UEA, Leicester and St. Andrews have no chance according to you because they don’t have some pointless status? Just because you put the word true in your name doesn’t mean what you spew has any merrit.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

If your goal isn’t to become a millionaire fatcat partner with severe mental health issues, an alcohol addiction, two Range Rovers, a mansion in Surrey, a trophy wife that doesn’t love you, an ethnically ambiguous mistress that has just taken out a life insurance policy on you without your knowledge, and privately-educated children you secretly hate, turn your back on the legal services sector.

(36)(3)

Anonymous

And female partners?

(2)(3)

TopKek

Who?

(7)(3)

Anonymous

Did you just assume they were talking about a man because they said wife? Could still be a women

(1)(1)

James

I finished at the OU a few marks below a first. Ended up not going into law but it was a solid degree, well regarded by the people I spoke to in the profession, and the half dozen people I knew from my seminars who wanted TCs got them (no corporate London firms though.) Although they all had firsts.

(11)(0)

Anonymous

It isn’t the Open University itself that is the issue. Vast majority of people on these online courses do not have the other academic requirements to meet basic eligibility criteria for TCs (poor results in A-level grades/previous degree). That’s what tend to hold them back more than the university name.

The other issue with online courses, especially when juggling them with a job is that you don’t have the time to build up the rest of your CV with extra curriculars and vacation schemes. Not so much of an issue for this individual if they are working in a law firm, but firms will tend to seek those who have done interesting things outside of work/study.

An online course won’t give you all the benefits of careers events, university law societies, careers service, and a peer group who help give advice/guidance/encouragement on how to get the job. People underestimate the value of that and how much it can help you in your job search.

(5)(2)

Cat

The OU has a very good law society and have particularly good mooting teams who have won a lot of competitions over the years.

Tutorial groups meet on a regular basis and I’m still in touch with people I met through those groups 5 years down the line.

I’m at the Bar now so can’t comment specifically on TCs, but I imagine the situation is similar – some Chambers wouldn’t look twice at someone with an OU degree, others are more concerned with grades and other relevant experience.

(16)(0)

Anonymous

An Open University degree won’t prevent you from getting a training contract. Most people view them more highly because the people who completed them generally had to show an awful lot more motivation and had more commitments than a normal university student. If you’re looking for a TC with a magic circle firm then you should probably only look at an Oxbridge degree but other than that you need to focus on your experience as much as getting a good grade.
I’m really glad I didn’t read these comments before I obtained my training contract after completing an Open University degree!

(17)(1)

Comments are closed.