‘How can I demonstrate I’m a first class student trapped with a second class degree?’

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By Legal Cheek on

A bar hopeful seeks readers’ advice

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, a “first class” student is concerned her 2:1 undergraduate result will prevent her from pursuing a career as a barrister in London.

“Prior to starting university, my academics were flawless (all A*s at GCSE and A-Level). However, as an undergraduate I experienced bouts of depression, which stifled my intellect and concentration. I graduated with a mid-2:1 in the humanities, after which I gained a high commendation on the GDL.

Since then, my mental health is much improved and I have completed a number of vacation schemes at City firms and minis at regional chambers. All were highly complementary of my advocacy and research skills, and there seemed to be a general consensus that I would be suited to the bar.

As my primary interests lie in company law, I would prefer to commence pupillage in London. I have made mini-pupillage applications to Tier 3-5 sets, as I had considered them to be more ‘realistic’ options.

However, I am struggling to secure minis at even T4 sets. This is likely due to the 2:1, but I did broadly allude to the presence of mitigating circumstances. I am disappointed that so few sets were sympathetic.

I’d appreciate some advice. How can I demonstrate that I’m a first class student trapped with a second class degree? If this is impossible, then should I shift my focus to the regional bar?”

If you have a career conundrum, email us at team@legalcheek.com.

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