Cambidge LLM or Training Contract?


Hi all,

Just wanted to get some of your guys opinion. I've been offered to do the LLM at Cambridge in 2007 and I have also secured myself a TC with a top American Law firm in London. I don't know what I should do. Should I forget Cambridge and do my TC or should I defer my TC by one year. The thing is I am getting on a bit for a UK graduate to become a lawyer. If I do my TC straight away I will be 28 when i qualify but if i defer to go Cambridge i will be 29 when i qualify. The age thing is playing on my mind. On the one had I would like to start working and qualify asap but on the other hand its Cambridge.

Hope some of you can offer me some advice.

Thanks y'all.
Hi all,

Just wanted to get some of your guys opinion. I've been offered to do the LLM at Cambridge in 2007 and I have also secured myself a TC with a top American Law firm in London. I don't know what I should do. Should I forget Cambridge and do my TC or should I defer my TC by one year. The thing is I am getting on a bit for a UK graduate to become a lawyer. If I do my TC straight away I will be 28 when i qualify but if i defer to go Cambridge i will be 29 when i qualify. The age thing is playing on my mind. On the one had I would like to start working and qualify asap but on the other hand its Cambridge.

Hope some of you can offer me some advice.

Thanks y'all.
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why not do the tc and defer cambridge? complete the tc, get qualified, then take a year off for cambridge. you could then go back to the firm or to another firm. i think cambridge is pretty good about deferals, aren't they?
why not do the tc and defer cambridge? complete the tc, get qualified, then take a year off for cambridge. you could then go back to the firm or to another firm. i think cambridge is pretty good about deferals, aren't they?
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irishguy23
For one year yes, but a training contract will last two years, and depending on when he starts it would mean waiting for Cambridge for three years instead of two. Its much easier to defer the training contract. Cambridge will only grant a one year deferral form what I can remember. Will it really make a massive difference if you are 29 rather than 28? I mean, age wise they are pretty much lumped together anyways in that "late twenties I can't really tell specifically what age" category.

That being said, you already have your training contract with a top firm, do you actually need an LLM at all?

The commercial courses hear are pretty much geared towards those who will eventually go into large corporate solicitors firms so it wouldn't actually be a waste of your time. Your only choice though is to either defer the training contract or just not do the LLM.
For one year yes, but a training contract will last two years, and depending on when he starts it would mean waiting for Cambridge for three years instead of two. Its much easier to defer the training contract. Cambridge will only grant a one year deferral form what I can remember. Will it really make a massive difference if you are 29 rather than 28? I mean, age wise they are pretty much lumped together anyways in that "late twenties I can't really tell specifically what age" category.

That being said, you already have your training contract with a top firm, do you actually need an LLM at all?

The commercial courses hear are pretty much geared towards those who will eventually go into large corporate solicitors firms so it wouldn't actually be a waste of your time. Your only choice though is to either defer the training contract or just not do the LLM.
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you're always on the ball, irishguy. I didnt realize that TC's were two years. In canada we call it articling and it lasts one year.
Also, regarding cambridge referrals, are they automatic or discretionary? Does one need to furnish an excuse?
you're always on the ball, irishguy. I didnt realize that TC's were two years. In canada we call it articling and it lasts one year.
Also, regarding cambridge referrals, are they automatic or discretionary? Does one need to furnish an excuse?
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i meant defferals not refferals...
i meant defferals not refferals...
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irishguy23
For most institutions, if they grant them at all, you have to have a very good reason for not going. Which you can understand really. If you knew you were going to be busy before you applied, then you really should have waited.

They would have no compelling reason to grant you a deferral, because you applied for a place knowing you were never going to take it up.

For instance, on another thread there is a guy who applied to LSE, but also got an internship in the UN. They wouldn't grant him a deferral even though the internship was directly relevant to the LLM in international law!

I think they are trying to avoid a situation where places on an already ridiculously competitve program are taken up a year in advance, maybe disadvantaging someone equally or more qualified.

However if it was something sudden, like an illness or financial need or something equally pressing then I think a deferral is only fair.
For most institutions, if they grant them at all, you have to have a very good reason for not going. Which you can understand really. If you knew you were going to be busy before you applied, then you really should have waited.

They would have no compelling reason to grant you a deferral, because you applied for a place knowing you were never going to take it up.

For instance, on another thread there is a guy who applied to LSE, but also got an internship in the UN. They wouldn't grant him a deferral even though the internship was directly relevant to the LLM in international law!

I think they are trying to avoid a situation where places on an already ridiculously competitve program are taken up a year in advance, maybe disadvantaging someone equally or more qualified.

However if it was something sudden, like an illness or financial need or something equally pressing then I think a deferral is only fair.
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Irishguy is right. Be careful with deferral, they will grant it only if you have good reason for that. I am not sure whether your reasons will be considered as serious.
Irishguy is right. Be careful with deferral, they will grant it only if you have good reason for that. I am not sure whether your reasons will be considered as serious.
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what was your reason for deferral praguecowboy, if you don't mind me asking?
what was your reason for deferral praguecowboy, if you don't mind me asking?
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Thanks guys for your opinions. Anyway I don't think my firm will let my defer. I think getting qualified first and then doing and LLM after, if i still want to do one, is probably the best way to do things. Cheers
Thanks guys for your opinions. Anyway I don't think my firm will let my defer. I think getting qualified first and then doing and LLM after, if i still want to do one, is probably the best way to do things. Cheers
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Jai18
If you are still checking this Sheikh...
do the LLM first and defer by one year. I am a year qualified associate at a city firm and regret not doing an LLM before starting work. Now I am in the dilemma of thinking of doing the LLM and working part time etc...once you are in a city firm the reality of taking a year off is - well - not reality at all. You will also find it hard to take the salary drop after earning at a US firm and also it wont make sense for your legal career to take a year off just when you qualify. infact taking a year off probably wont make sense to you for another 10 years! 28 or 29 wont make any difference in the short or long run. You will still be amongst one of the youngest there when you qualify. American firms working hours usually take up your evenings/weekends so dont expect to even have the time in 2 years to remember. or take into account your past aspirations to do the LLM. So my advice- definitely no doubt about it do it now!
If you are still checking this Sheikh...
do the LLM first and defer by one year. I am a year qualified associate at a city firm and regret not doing an LLM before starting work. Now I am in the dilemma of thinking of doing the LLM and working part time etc...once you are in a city firm the reality of taking a year off is - well - not reality at all. You will also find it hard to take the salary drop after earning at a US firm and also it wont make sense for your legal career to take a year off just when you qualify. infact taking a year off probably wont make sense to you for another 10 years! 28 or 29 wont make any difference in the short or long run. You will still be amongst one of the youngest there when you qualify. American firms working hours usually take up your evenings/weekends so dont expect to even have the time in 2 years to remember. or take into account your past aspirations to do the LLM. So my advice- definitely no doubt about it do it now!
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Jai18 im still checking these posts. I'm so undecided its unbelievable. Would it make a difference if i told you that I already have a masters. That this would be my second!

And seriously is it that difficult to take time out after you have qualified. I seriously want to go Cambridge, but i think my first priority should be to qualify and then if i want to go back to studying I should. Or is that too much to ask for? I've known people who have taken time out after working, is that a rarity?

Whoever said options are good, it sometimes easier to have only one option :-)
Jai18 im still checking these posts. I'm so undecided its unbelievable. Would it make a difference if i told you that I already have a masters. That this would be my second!

And seriously is it that difficult to take time out after you have qualified. I seriously want to go Cambridge, but i think my first priority should be to qualify and then if i want to go back to studying I should. Or is that too much to ask for? I've known people who have taken time out after working, is that a rarity?

Whoever said options are good, it sometimes easier to have only one option :-)
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Jai18
Hi.
I am a 1.5 year qualified lawyer and in the process of negotiating going back to do an LLM and working less hours - prob 4 days a week and a part time LLm over 2 years.

Now is it rare to take time out as soon as you qualify? Yes I think it is. You will be a NQ and have no Post qualified exeperience if you leave at the time of qualification - you are most marketable at the time of NQ and become less so if you take time out. If your firm like you etc you will be given a job on qualification and if they really like you they may give you a year off. But that wd depend on yoru relationship with them and so it is a risk. Hopefully they would you time off but it is not a guranatee and i cant see it happening in most city firms.

now more importantly i think is the question of whether you will want to go back to studying after 2 years of a tc. you will have just got through the task of going through 4 seats, impressing the right people and hopefully getting a job in the dept you want to qualify into. Your salary will also be about to massively jump. in one respect it is easier to take a pay cut to unpaid leave for 1 year from a trainee salary than if you were actually qualified. if you think you could afford it financially then that goes in favour of you qualifying first. I think it is more an issue of the mindset you will be in - truthfully most people at the NQ stage wont be of the mind set of goin back to university at the point when they are just about to get stuck into the corporate world/focus on their career. the fact that you already have a masters leads to the question of why do you want to do another one? is it learning for learnings sake? in which case id do it now because its hard to switch from city focused trainee to learning for learning sake mindset. is it to help your career prospects? if you want to be a city solicitor and already have a masters is prob wont make a difference. is it to get the cambridge name?

you have to remember that
-the firm might not let you defer your qualified job for a year
-you may not want to do it in 2 years
-you may not be able to afford the cut in salary in a year
-if you are no doing it to improve your career prospects then it will seem more irrelevant in 2 years time
-it may jeopodise your chances on qualification because usually jobs are a supply and demand issue as well as a question of how good you are- if you take a year off you will compete/be assessed against people qualifying 1 year after you.

if you have already discussed this with your firm and they are happy with it then fine the only issue is will you really want to do it in 2 years.

do you plan to just qualify and leave the city? in which case i understand it makes sense to defer 2 years and train as a lawyer now.

seems a lot of ifs and maybes and so if you really want to do it i still think do it now! but...i am also talking based on my experience of
- not being able to afford to leave a highly paid city job to be a full time student
- even if i cd afford it, not wanting to do that - the mindset is different now and i want to work
- really wanting to the do the masters and knowing i will have 2 tough years ahead of combining it with my job.
- in some ways wishing id done it 2 years ago (but in other ways glad i didnt because had i done it before working i wd have done it in corporate options and now going back i will do it in subjects that really interest me)
-having to justify and explain to partners why i want to do it - and knowing its only the goodwill i have with them that will allow me to do it part time.
- knowing part time work in the city is really 5 days crammed into 4!

but everyone has different circumstances and plans so...ultimately go with your instinct and that will be right for you.


good luck.
Hi.
I am a 1.5 year qualified lawyer and in the process of negotiating going back to do an LLM and working less hours - prob 4 days a week and a part time LLm over 2 years.

Now is it rare to take time out as soon as you qualify? Yes I think it is. You will be a NQ and have no Post qualified exeperience if you leave at the time of qualification - you are most marketable at the time of NQ and become less so if you take time out. If your firm like you etc you will be given a job on qualification and if they really like you they may give you a year off. But that wd depend on yoru relationship with them and so it is a risk. Hopefully they would you time off but it is not a guranatee and i cant see it happening in most city firms.

now more importantly i think is the question of whether you will want to go back to studying after 2 years of a tc. you will have just got through the task of going through 4 seats, impressing the right people and hopefully getting a job in the dept you want to qualify into. Your salary will also be about to massively jump. in one respect it is easier to take a pay cut to unpaid leave for 1 year from a trainee salary than if you were actually qualified. if you think you could afford it financially then that goes in favour of you qualifying first. I think it is more an issue of the mindset you will be in - truthfully most people at the NQ stage wont be of the mind set of goin back to university at the point when they are just about to get stuck into the corporate world/focus on their career. the fact that you already have a masters leads to the question of why do you want to do another one? is it learning for learnings sake? in which case id do it now because its hard to switch from city focused trainee to learning for learning sake mindset. is it to help your career prospects? if you want to be a city solicitor and already have a masters is prob wont make a difference. is it to get the cambridge name?

you have to remember that
-the firm might not let you defer your qualified job for a year
-you may not want to do it in 2 years
-you may not be able to afford the cut in salary in a year
-if you are no doing it to improve your career prospects then it will seem more irrelevant in 2 years time
-it may jeopodise your chances on qualification because usually jobs are a supply and demand issue as well as a question of how good you are- if you take a year off you will compete/be assessed against people qualifying 1 year after you.

if you have already discussed this with your firm and they are happy with it then fine the only issue is will you really want to do it in 2 years.

do you plan to just qualify and leave the city? in which case i understand it makes sense to defer 2 years and train as a lawyer now.

seems a lot of ifs and maybes and so if you really want to do it i still think do it now! but...i am also talking based on my experience of
- not being able to afford to leave a highly paid city job to be a full time student
- even if i cd afford it, not wanting to do that - the mindset is different now and i want to work
- really wanting to the do the masters and knowing i will have 2 tough years ahead of combining it with my job.
- in some ways wishing id done it 2 years ago (but in other ways glad i didnt because had i done it before working i wd have done it in corporate options and now going back i will do it in subjects that really interest me)
-having to justify and explain to partners why i want to do it - and knowing its only the goodwill i have with them that will allow me to do it part time.
- knowing part time work in the city is really 5 days crammed into 4!

but everyone has different circumstances and plans so...ultimately go with your instinct and that will be right for you.


good luck.
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junior1891
Ct.
Ct.
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Jai 18 thanks for the detailed response, much appreciated.

As you said there are lots of ifs and buts regarding the future. Right now there are no ifs and buts. I have no restrictions nor responsibilities. My law firm have said that I can defer my TC. So for me it is neatly planned out: I do my LLM at Cambridge followed by the TC. So in that case I've accepted my place at Cambridge. Like they say "carpe diem" and who knows where or what I will be doing in 3 years time. The time is now!

Thanks once again for your advice and wish you good luck with your future plans.
Jai 18 thanks for the detailed response, much appreciated.

As you said there are lots of ifs and buts regarding the future. Right now there are no ifs and buts. I have no restrictions nor responsibilities. My law firm have said that I can defer my TC. So for me it is neatly planned out: I do my LLM at Cambridge followed by the TC. So in that case I've accepted my place at Cambridge. Like they say "carpe diem" and who knows where or what I will be doing in 3 years time. The time is now!

Thanks once again for your advice and wish you good luck with your future plans.
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Jai18
thanks i'll need it!
best of luck - very good decision!
thanks i'll need it!
best of luck - very good decision!
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Cambridge. This university will stand out on your resume forever. But the TC will probably not.


Cheers junior. You are absolutley right! Sometimes i wish i just think straight. Thanks for telling me how it is.
<blockquote>Cambridge. This university will stand out on your resume forever. But the TC will probably not.</blockquote>

Cheers junior. You are absolutley right! Sometimes i wish i just think straight. Thanks for telling me how it is.
quote
Hi

I can only speak from my own experience. I started my TC when I was 22 (straight from the LPC) and then proceeded straight onto qualified life. Several years on (!!!) (I am now 32) I have given up on practising as a solicitor (for various reasons, but the work never really excited me) and I have got a place on the BCL for this coming September.

I would strongly advise you to defer the TC and do the LLM. I really don't think that your firm would have any issues with this deferral, particularly given your reason for asking for it. To do it the other way round, as others have pointed out on this board, would be difficult - (a) there is the money issue and (b) a firm might be more reluctant to grant time off on qualification (essentially, you would have to resign upon completing your training contract, and then re-apply to them for a job once you had done your LLM). The age thing really isn't an issue at all - when I started my TC I was much much younger than my contemporaries (one had deferred her TC for about 4 years to teach in Japan).

Hope that helps
S.
Hi

I can only speak from my own experience. I started my TC when I was 22 (straight from the LPC) and then proceeded straight onto qualified life. Several years on (!!!) (I am now 32) I have given up on practising as a solicitor (for various reasons, but the work never really excited me) and I have got a place on the BCL for this coming September.

I would strongly advise you to defer the TC and do the LLM. I really don't think that your firm would have any issues with this deferral, particularly given your reason for asking for it. To do it the other way round, as others have pointed out on this board, would be difficult - (a) there is the money issue and (b) a firm might be more reluctant to grant time off on qualification (essentially, you would have to resign upon completing your training contract, and then re-apply to them for a job once you had done your LLM). The age thing really isn't an issue at all - when I started my TC I was much much younger than my contemporaries (one had deferred her TC for about 4 years to teach in Japan).

Hope that helps
S.
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Simon,

Thats fantastic !!!! I found it horribly dificult to give up my job, after 4 years of working as a solicitor to do my BCL. The 'ifs' and the 'buts' associated with a masters is a little scary ...

that being said - I have done it.
Simon,

Thats fantastic !!!! I found it horribly dificult to give up my job, after 4 years of working as a solicitor to do my BCL. The 'ifs' and the 'buts' associated with a masters is a little scary ...

that being said - I have done it.
quote
citoyen99
Hi all,

Just wanted to get some of your guys opinion. I've been offered to do the LLM at Cambridge in 2007 and I have also secured myself a TC with a top American Law firm in London. I don't know what I should do. Should I forget Cambridge and do my TC or should I defer my TC by one year. The thing is I am getting on a bit for a UK graduate to become a lawyer. If I do my TC straight away I will be 28 when i qualify but if i defer to go Cambridge i will be 29 when i qualify. The age thing is playing on my mind. On the one had I would like to start working and qualify asap but on the other hand its Cambridge.

Hope some of you can offer me some advice.

Thanks y'all.


Hi, I'm just wondering several years down the road, how are things coming along for you?
[quote]Hi all,

Just wanted to get some of your guys opinion. I've been offered to do the LLM at Cambridge in 2007 and I have also secured myself a TC with a top American Law firm in London. I don't know what I should do. Should I forget Cambridge and do my TC or should I defer my TC by one year. The thing is I am getting on a bit for a UK graduate to become a lawyer. If I do my TC straight away I will be 28 when i qualify but if i defer to go Cambridge i will be 29 when i qualify. The age thing is playing on my mind. On the one had I would like to start working and qualify asap but on the other hand its Cambridge.

Hope some of you can offer me some advice.

Thanks y'all.[/quote]

Hi, I'm just wondering several years down the road, how are things coming along for you?
quote

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