Vacation scheme = training contract?

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  • No. To be honest although a lot of people get Training contracts through them, in my experience they can be a lot like paid holiday cover. And that's not being bitter, did 2 TC's at good Birmingham firms with no avail. Focus on TC applications and you should be fine! Good Luck!

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  • Thanks Wishfulhopeful, you did two vacation schemes at good Birmingham firms?

  • If you want a TC at that firm in particular, it would make your application much stronger to have done one there. Equally a vac scheme at any firm makes a TC at any other firm more likely. However, as the poster above says, not the end of the world - just get plenty of other, unstructured experience in this hols, even if not legal! In my second year hols I failed to get a vac scheme so spent my time managing a local volunteer-led cafe. Spend your time doing more than Facebook and employers will see you are motivated.

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  • Vac schemes can be useful experience, both of law in practice and a particular firm. They also can offer the candidate an opportunity to shine, increasing chances of passing a TC interview (in my case). They also boost the CV, especially if you have no other real legal experience (as in my case).

    However, they are very competitive, if not more so than TCs, so don't feel too bad about not getting one yet. I had a number of cases of getting TC interviews from firms which had turned me down for vac scheme interviews. Would recommend trying to find alternative legal work experience to make up for it.

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  • Some firms have fewer VS places than training contracts and all have fewer VS places than TC interviews. So don't write a firm off just because you have an unsuceessful VS application.

    You so need to have some work experience and it's better if it's in a legal setting or related, but that doesn't need to be a formal VS at a big firm. Speak to smaller firms near where you live or go to uni. Volunteer at your local CAB or do other pro bono work.

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