Arrowhead

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Arrowhead last won the day on December 30 2016

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About Arrowhead

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    I Will Survive

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    May 2010
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  1. 1. I read the differences between solicitors and barristers post early on in this topic and I was wondering if you could tell me more about which side of the profession has more international travel opportunities in their usual line of work? Completely varies depending on the area of practice you're in. Something like international arbitration, or corporate work for cross-border deals, involves a lot of travel, tax, on the other hand, not as much in comparison. There are more solicitor roles in general and law firms, at least the bigger ones, offer a lot of travel opportunities to work in their foreign offices. Barristers have to spend (usually) the first decade or so (give or take a few years), honing their skills and developing their abilities. So you will often see them travel to different courts all over England, representing clients. International travel tends to play in once they've become more senior and again, depending on the nature of their practice, a barrister representing small- or medium-sized companies or individuals wouldn't need to travel as much as say a barrister repsenting coca-cola. 2. I know there have been various answers about using a law degree from one country and then working in another, but then is there no mobility between say the lawyers in the London office of a law firm going to maybe work in the Paris or Sydney or some other country's office? Permanently or even temporarily? How would that work? Different jurisdictions have different rules. Take Singapore for example. International lawyers (i.e. qualified to practice abroad in countries like the UK, US, etc.) are absolutely not allowed to represent clients in Singaporean courts, cannot engage in contentious litigation disputes, and cannot ever sign off on giving Singapore law-related advice to clients without having it signed off by a Singapore qualified lawyer. However, you can still practise, as a foreign lawyer, in Singapore. This is usually in the context of big law firms that have clients who do business in many countries all over the world. So you can continue to advise your international clients, and when matters of Singapore law or the SIngapore courts come up, you, as a foreign lawyer, can liaise with the local lawyers to create your client's case strategy. In such situations, you would be working in the official capacity of a 'consultant' and not a lawyer, even though you would be doing legal work as a lawyer. Foreign lawyers usually practise law through this means when they are working in a jurisdiction that they are not qualified in. 3. I saw from your profile that you are nearing the end of your training with a big law firm. Being near to the end of this long process, what would you advise students considering this route to be aware of so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to go down this route? Can this advice be applied equally regardless of the country that the students want to eventually practise law in? How would it vary, if not? My advice would be to do as many internships as you can. Being a lawyer is not the same kind of work across the profession. Working for a big law firm comes with a unique set of challenges and opportunities that you wouldn't have in a smaller law firm with say only 2-5 partners and one office, and vice versa. Work experience at different kinds of firms will give you a much better idea of what kind of work would suit you. Many law students have aspirations to work for big law firms. They have all seen the TV shows and what not. The internal office politics are a real thing, you do have to deal with very different and often difficult personality types, especially when you're a junior, and that's even before you start looking at managing the egos and wishes of your big name clients. The hours can be very, very long, but usually a long, terrible period is followed by a period of respite. The work tends to come in waves. Different jurisdictions have different approaches to training junior lawyers, and this again varies based on the individual culture of the particular firm that you have picked. Big US law firms are notoriously hardcore, they will beast you, but they will also pay you obscene amounts of money. UK firms pay lesser, but the training is good, and you can maintain some semblance of a life outside of work, but again, it comes in waves. Australian law firms can go one way or another. It usually comes down to who your supervisor is and what your firm's culture tends to be like. But from everything I have heard from Australian-trained colleagues, it is no different from the UK experience. Singapore law firms have at this point become a meat market, you will be paid pennies compared to firms in the US, UK and Australia but you will still be equally beasted. Indian law firms are difficult to get a foothold in. The legal market is fragmented. There are one or two big law firms with international links and then many smaller national ones. There is a face-showing culture (from my personal experience and that of many of my friends working in Indian law firms at present), the hierarchy also tends to be more rigid. Again, these are generalisations, your experience need not be like this. If there are queries you have about any other specific jurisdictions, let me know and I can tell you what I have seen or heard from colleagues who have trained there. All of the individual jurisdiction observations above apply only to the bigger law firms. The culture and experience of smaller, regional or boutique law firms is likely to be completely different in each of these jurisdictions. 4. I've read in the media about how difficult entry into the profession is. I've alread from you and in other advice forums that the people in your position say that if you have good grades, go to a good uni and check all the boxes, there is no reason you shouldn't get through. How do you self-assess if you have in fact checked all the boxes? The check boxes are not intangibles that are difficult to self-assess in any way. The usual list is as follows: Good grades (from school all the way through uni and explanations/extenuating circumstances if the grades are not good for any reason) Intelligence Good variety of extracurricular activities Leadership positions Experience working in a team Demonstrated understanding that you have read up on what the law firm you're applying to is about and what they're looking for Experience to deal with pressuried situations/conditions and still be able to deliver Unafraid of long hours or hard work with a good work ethic Good communication skills (both written and oral) Strong grasp of the language (English in the UK) The intangibles part usually adjudged at the interview stage is if you have a good personality that could mesh well with the people in the firm and an ability to get along and chill with all sorts of people. 5. I've been researching online and law firms have a lot of first-year taster events and such, I plan to apply for these. Would you maybe have time to review some of my applications or give me some general advice in application writing? Also, does attending these sessions help when applying for training positions in the years to come? Happy to help! Attending such sessions will help you in the sense that they are an opportunity to show your face to the graduate recruitment team and make an impression. It will usually benefit your application to have had the opportunity to present a personal touch when you eventually apply for vacation scheme (internship) or training contract positions as opposed to the opposite when you're just another name on a page. Hope this advice is helpful and drop me a line if you have any further questions. Cheers Arrowhead
  2. King's used to ask for 38 points from IB students (back in 2010 when I was applying). But they reviewed their internal policies and came to a decision that 35 points is enough provided that the IB students achieve 766 at HL (which in most universities' opinions would be the equivalent of achieving an A*AA at A-Level, which is the minimum entry requirement for Law at these universities). So King's is one of the few universities in the UK that has actually acknowledged that doing the IB is in fact more challenging than A-Levels and that poorer SL scores should not prevent a high achieving IB student from attending their law school. As a general point, when UK universities state their minimum entry requirements, then that means that if you achieve that score, you are officially qualified enough to study their programmes. It doesn't matter if 10 other students have 45 predicted, they will consider your application equally and give it the same amount of weight. There are practice tests for the LNAT available on the LNAT website, google it. There are also some practice books available, you can find them on Amazon. A lot of students have used these in the past. It's a test to essentially assess your ability and comfort with the English language. Try some of the practice tests and see how well you do in the multiple choice sections. If you're scoring 28-30/42 or higher, you're doing well. My earlier point was simply to advise you to do your research: read some of the first-year textbooks at King's for the Law degree and see if they interest you. If you do not find the information interesting or engaging, at least to some extent, then ask yourself if you would want to incur the financial risk of pursuing a degree you're perhaps not likely to enjoy. A Law degree may open doors to some extent, but so would an Economics or Accounting or Science or Maths degree. At the end of the day, you need to not only complete a Law degree, but you also need to get at least an Upper Second Class Honours in it for it to be meaningful. It is challenging to achieve that overall grade if you find the degree uninteresting. So, all I'm saying is: be careful, do your research, and be as sure as you can about your decision before committing to it.
  3. Hello! As someone who has suffered at the hands of the UK Visa regime in my desire to pursue a legal career, I will set out the current position for you: 1. Previously there was a 2-year Work Visa that allowed graduate international students to kick around the UK looking for a job. This was officially removed in 2010/11. 2. As an international student now, you need to secure your sponsorship from a law firm while you're still in university in order to stand a chance to receive a work visa. 3. Do not take any gap years after you graduate from law school or in any way pause your education unless you are moving onto your sponsored work at a law firm/UK company. Due to the way they have structured the new Visa rules, even if you manage to get a job at a law firm, but chose to take a gap year or pause your education in the UK for any reason, you will no longer be eligible to get onto the normal Tier 2 Work Visa (which is what you need to work towards ultimately receiving your Indefinite Leave to Remain). Essentially you need to be in continuous education in the UK and should seamlessly move from education to a sponsored job in order to secure a work visa. This means that if you graduate from law school without a job already in place, your best option is to do an LLM or the LPC in the UK to give yourself an extra year of applications. But if you leave post-graduation, it will become infinitely more difficult to get a work visa down the line. 4. Furthermore, as an international student, you may only apply to law firms/companies that are willing to sponsor your visa. If you do intend to practise law in the UK, this would mean you can only apply to the top tier of law firms that have the resources and systems in place to hire internationals. This is not easy, but not impossible either. It just means there is room to fail here, but if you go to a good uni, get good grades and have a strong CV, there is nothing to stop you from succeeding. As an international student myself who completed a three-year law degree in the UK and is now sponsored on a Training Contract with a UK-based law firm, I can relate to your position. If you have any more questions, feel free to drop me a line.
  4. I just have two comments: 1. I worry if the decade-long period being considered might restrict your ability to do an in-depth analysis due to the word count restraint? However, I am not familiar with this topic enough to be able to materialise this concern. However if you feel you can cover all the points you mentioned above (Naval Aid Bill, the Manitoba/Ontario bilingualism affair in trying to eradicate instruction in the French language, and the 1917-1918 Conscription crisis), then go for it. As you write though, if you feel that the information is too much for the word count available, don;t be afriad to narrow down further and specify if his leadership deepened the rift with reference to, for e.g., the Conscription crisis. 2. This looks to be a straightforward examination ("How..?"), so the RQ appears to posit that it is irrefutable that his leadership did deepen the rift. I just wanted to make sure that you intended for that effect and your essay proceeds on that basis, rather than trying to examine whether or not his leadership played a role at all.
  5. For UK universities, work experience is not necessary. The best way to show your interest in a subject is to read about it. Look up which textbooks first-year criminology students use and read some chapters. Come up with some ideas based on what you've read as to why the subject would be interesting to you at degree level. For some general advice on writing personal statements, see here: Drop me a line if you have any questions. Cheers!
  6. Practising law in the US is very, very different from practising law in the UK. If you want to practise in the US eventually, you would have to complete your undergraduate degree in Lit/Creative Writing, then study for the LSAT (US Entrance Exam for Law Schools) and get into Graduate School for Law (because Law can only be studied in the US after you have completed an undergraduate degree). After you complete a three-year law degree in a US law school (this is called a JD), you then have to sit the Bar exam for the US State in which you want to live/practise and after clearing the Bar exam you can start practising law. It is very difficult to be a UK qualified lawyer or have a UK law degree and try to sell that to a US law firm to practise there. If you do complete a UK law degree and then work for the London office of a US law firm and perform really well, you could, maybe, push to be moved to one of the US offices. But this is not guaranteed and also, I would think, would depend on what area of law you want to practise in the US. Something like mergers and acquisitions or straightforward corporate law is much more easily transferred than say litigation, which is very country-specific. Also, if you're not a US citizen, it makes staying there long-term for work more challenging as you would need a US law firm to sponsor your visa. So things are tricky if the US is your aim. You would have to be very organised and high achieving in order to stand a chance with there, but if you're focused and determined that this is what you want and willing to take the financial risk, then go for it.
  7. 1. I am not sure what branch of law i would like to do. Even though everybody in my family do law, i am not that attracted to any of the specific branches. Since i am interested in political philosophy, and have spotted that there are some seductive ; ) degrees combining law with political philosophy or economics (the one in KCL: called PoliticsPhilosophyLaw) and award a llb diploma, they seem tempting but simultaneously im kind of afraid to apply there. What I am trying to say is, i am not sure what law firms, companies etc. think of them- are the graduates of PPL in a way underprivileged, less attractive to the companies? Not at all! Since you are applying to the UK and I assume plan to practise law there one day, roughly half of incoming trainee solicitors/pupil barristers every year never studied law degrees. They completed non-law degrees in History, Politics, Philosophy, Sciences, Maths and everything else and then completed a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and were then officially on the same track as straight law students. So feel free to study Political Philosophy and do not feel pressured to even do a combined Law degree, there is no need. It's okay to not have any specific areas of law in mind at the stage you're at. I certainly didn't know what I wanted to do at your age. I think I figured that out about 6 months after I started working at a law firm when I was 23! 2. I am not an excellent student- i predict having about 38 points (im in the middle of the first grade ),what universities would you recommend? Ive been thinking of these, but now, i dont really know what to choose, since i want to be honest with myself about the possible grades: KCL, LSE, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Bristol. All seem to be decent, and relatively possible to get into but y'know ... I was predicted 38 as well, it's enough to apply to most top law schools in the UK. 3. Is there any other country but the UK (and Ireland) in which i can study law in english? I mean, study from the very beginning, not like in the US (where it is only a postgraduate degree)? Australia as well, it is a 5-year degree there. You can also study Law in English in Singapore. But really, you have to think about it pragmatically. Where do you want to work after you're done studying? In the UK? EU? US? Middle East? That makes a huge difference. If you want to be a lawyer in Poland or somewhere in the EU, then your most obvious option for a Law degree taught in English is the UK. It's also most easily transferrable. UK and US lawyers are the ones who generally can move abroad for work if they want to, not that others cannot, just that these two qualifications seem to appear more commonly in my experience. 4. Is it possible to to the undergraduate degree in the UK and then study law in America? I know that KCL, LSE and UCL have this amazing dual degree but itll be enormously hard to do it Usually you have to be one of the top students at the LSE to get onto the Columbia exchange and get a joint LLB/JD in 4 years, I cannot speak for KCL or UCL, but I imagine the requirements are similarly high. It is certainly possible to do an undergraduate degree in the UK and then study Law in the US, but this is a very expensive endeavour, especially since you can just do the GDL which is enough to be eligible in the UK (although internationally the GDL is not as prestigious/recognised as a law degree would be). If you have the money to spend and are ready and willing to dedicate 6 years of your life to university, then by all means, go for it. 5. Another question, and probably the most important of all of these: I do have problems with Polish HL but if i change it to polish sl, i will not do English A SL (english b hl instead ). I dont know if it is better to really know english or, to have a better grade from polish... What would you recommend? Doesn't really matter. As far as UK universities are concerned, English B is enough to meet entry standards as far as I know, so you can be exempted from sitting the IELTS exam. You should take an IB subject combination that maximises your chances to get the highest scores possible. My advice You seem to be worried about a lot of smaller, irrelevant details. If you go back and read this thread from the beginning you will find a lot of useful information on how law degrees and legal practice work that I think should clear up the majority of your doubts. The biggest thing for you to decide is if you can commit to a three-year law degree, especially in the UK at undergraduate level. It is not an easy degree and is very challenging and demanding, speaking from experience, you have to want to do it to be able to get through it. Hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions. Cheers Arrowhead.
  8. What do you mean by animal law? Do you mean law related to environmental protection, perhaps focusing on wildlife protection? If so, that is very niche. Do you want to practise law in the UK or elsewhere? That makes a huge difference to the advice you will be given. If you want to practise in the UK, it would be very difficult for you to specialise in 'animal law' right out of university. It is more likely that once you qualify, you may be able to transition into a role that allows you to do legal work related to animals. Even if this is what you want to do, every lawyer in the UK has to complete what is called a 'Qualifying Law Degree', which means subjects like Contract Law, Tort, Criminal, Public/Administrative Law, Property Law, Trusts and EU Law. You usually get to do 3-5 optional modules during your degree for which most universities offer a huge list of subjects. I really do not think doing 'animal law' as a module at university will greatly boost your application, but it depends on the kinds of places you're considering applying to once you're looking for legal roles. It might be worth giving their HR/Legal teams a call and asking them point-blank if they even hire law graduates for training contracts, or they only hire qualified lawyers, and if having studied something related at university would help set your applications apart. Sorry it's a little hard to give you advice considering I really don't know how much background knowledge you already have about legal practice in the UK and if you even want to be a lawyer in the UK long term.
  9. Friend of mine studied law there. He had 42 points in the IB.
  10. Your definition of 'poor' grades is perplexing. I can completely understand that and especially if your school documented this and knew about it and is willing to confirm it, any decent university will also bear it in mind when considering your application. From personal experience with the LSE, I know that they take extenuating circumstances very seriously and do whatever they can to accommodate students who have them. I definitely think, regardless of whether you decide to apply to LSE/UCL, your referee should mention your extenuating circumstances in some detail in his/her reference for you. With these circumstances and your otherwise top-notch GCSEs (6 A*s!), you are definitely a very competitive candidate at the top London unis for Law. I would strongly encourage you to apply to them.
  11. I second what Gaby has said. Not to pry, but I notice that UCL and LSE are not on your list. Considering your predicted scores, I think you should definitely consider applying to at least 1 of them and dropping New College. I think you will most likely be a shoo in for Birkbeck and QMUL regardless, so it's worth taking the risk, assuming when you say you have 'poor' GCSE grades, we're talking As and Bs and not Cs and Ds. Just something to think about. Also, I work at a very good law firm and at least two of my fellow trainees who are good friends of mine went to KCL and QMUL respectively, both of those unis will put you in good stead for a Training Contract.
  12. International law is not a degree, usually it will be a single module that you can take during the course of a general Law degree. If you're thinking about Public International Law - i.e., the law between States - that can be a single module that you do at some point in your three year degree. If you really like it, there are always more specialised PIL modules that you can pursue at Graduate level during an LLM should you elect to study one. If you are talking about International Law in the context of cross border work that law firms do, then that is not really something you study during your degree, rather, you will end up applying general commercial law or contract law where the parties just so happen to be based in different jurisdictions. Universities usually publish their acceptance rates on their websites. Pick a university you like and research it online to know more about its student population's breakdown. This information should not be too hard to find. I'd be happy to answer any further questions you might have if you could give me a little more background as to your grades, career aspirations and other such details. Cheers!
  13. Sorry to highjack the thread - Do you want to practise law after you finish your degree? It is very difficult to practise in the States with an English law degree. Just something to consider in case that is on your mind. Kent is an average university, in my opinion. But if you get good grades and work experiences under your belt, there's nothing to stop you from excelling.
  14. Could you be a little more specific as to what kind of insight you're after?
  15. UK universities do not care about extracurricular activities like American ones do. If you do not meet the minimum grade requirements for a course you're applying for, no number of extracurricular achievements will help you. There is no concept of 'reach' universities like in the American system. But keep in mind that UK universities sometimes give offers to people who do not meet the minimum grade requirements if the course in question is undersubscribed.