Focus: Career changers: The late show

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  • One of the case studies in this article says that "the prospect of giving up a regular income to retrain as a lawyer can be daunting, especially if you do not have the guarantee of a training contract at the end of it."
    However aspiring lawyers should consider qualifying as a Legal Executive lawyer, which would enable them to continue to earn in their non-law career whilst studying their law qualifications through part-time study and distance learning. Also there’s no training contract required to be a Legal Executive lawyer.
    The differences between solicitors and Legal Executive lawyer are now diminished, with Legal Executive lawyers eligible to become partners in LDP law firms, advocates and judges.

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  • Whoever came up with the Smillie's Culture subheading deserves a payrise.

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  • I can't help but think that those who decide to change their careers and do the one year mini law degree, "GDL", are taking the easy option. It seems rather fickle.
    Unfortunately legal HR are yet again doing their tick boxing and giving TC to 40% of alternative career applicants. What happened to a bit of dedication to your career path?
    Lets all do a Micky Mouse course, with a degree title which is far too long to fit into the average sentence then punctuate it with a brief intro. to law and you will stand a better chance than most to becoming a solicitor.

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  • Out of the people featured in the article, only three did the GDL (the others all having law degrees) and of those one studied at Cambridge and another had a degree in economics.
    But please don't allow the facts to stop you in your sweeping generalisations about "Mickey Mouse" courses.

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  • Anyone who refers to the GDL as an "easy option" clearly has no knowledge of what it involves. And where did he/she pluck the 40% statistic from? The fact that someone may have done the GDL does not mean they had an "alternative career" first, it just means they had a non-law first degree.

    From the rather unusual spelling and grammar of Anonymous' post, I surmise he/she may be rather chippy about the law having failed to qualify as a lawyer himself (or herself).

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  • Mature age people wanting to become lawyers - run now! You do not want to be a lawyer - just ask any recruitment consultant how many lawyers are asking for a non-legal "business" role. This is a very big hole you're about to head into.

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  • Jzee - and there was I just about to contact a recruitment consultant and ask what non-law jobs were available for a 10 pqe commercial lawyer. Aargh. Oh well, I'll be buying the Eurolotto and hoping for the best as usual.

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  • I'm a mature postgrad who completed the GDL and LPC part-time whilst holding down a stressful job (all completely at my own expense). And, no, I didn't secure a TC whilst I was studying and I've come to realise how foolish that was as it's now proving difficult to even get a paralegal job, let alone a TC.
    But as the article says, the application process does appear to be tailored to 20 somethings who have received A* grades from the day they were born and have had exciting GAP years of travelling around the world, giving them something interesting to talk about in their applications and at interview. I didn't. I raised a family and paid a mortgage for over a decade. Is that any good?
    When I saw the title to this article, I thought it might offer me some encouragement to keep trying to make that leap into a career where I know I will be successful and will enjoy the work. So does it? Sure, so long as I'm a mature student who went to Oxbridge, became a headline DJ act or played rugby at international level. Great!

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  • I am considering applying to do a part-time GDL funded by a bank loan (out of necessity). I'm concerned that at 41, this may not be wort my while. After graduating from Warwick in English and Philosophy in 1995 - I otbained the highest 2:1 in my year, for what it's worth! - I went on to music college to study for a postgrad diploma in music. I then worked as a classical singer (and as an office temp) until I was around 29. I have since been working as a poorly-paid PA at Warwick, mainly on account of a speech impediment which I've now largely overcome. Whilst confident that I have the intellectual attributes to be a good solicitor, I am obviously worried that my the lack of career progression over the past 12 years - and the fact that I worked as singer while my 2:1 was fast losing currency - may be held against me. Do you think it'll be worth my while to go down the GDL route?

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