‘Why do City law firms target second year law students?’

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By Legal Cheek on

It just seems so arbitrary

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one aspiring solicitor wants to know why some City law firms prefer second year law students and final year non-law students above others.

“I’ve just graduated in law with a first class honours from a university in London. I now feel as if I’m ready to pursue a career in law as a solicitor but I’m conscious that the training contract recruitment process might be tougher this year in light of the coronavirus crisis.

In addition, I found out this week that my dream firm, Clifford Chance, is targeting penultimate year law students and final year non-law students for 2023 London training contract entry. Candidates that fall outside these two groups can still apply and potentially secure training contracts, but their applications won’t be ‘prioritised’ (the firm’s words). I have never come across this before.

Why do City law firms target second year law students? It just seems so arbitrary. I get that they want to poach fresh talent early and that they typically recruit two years in advance so this allows for no gaps in the order of things (GDL, LPC etc.) but it’s tough for some students to prove they’d make a good commercial lawyer so early on in their career. I have matured immensely from when I first started my degree to now, with the help of work experience placements I completed in the summers in-between. Surely law firms should value that extra bit of life experience I now have?”

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