During the selection process for Vacation Schemes and Training Contracts, you may be asked why you chose your A-level (or equivalent) subjects, so be prepared to talk about your reasons. If you’re thinking about pursuing a career as a commercial lawyer, you should choose subjects at A-level that will give you transferable skills that can be applied to a career in commercial law. For example, studying history will develop your analytical skills, while studying economics will develop your commercial awareness.
A-level grades form part of the selection criteria for many firms. We look for good A-levels and use a contextualised recruitment system to understand each candidate’s achievements in the context in which they have been gained. So even if you fall slightly short of our qualifying criteria, if you demonstrate great potential, you will still be considered.
In the UK, the qualifying law degree is called the LLB. While completing this qualification, you’ll cover core modules such as Contract Law and Tort, which are essential for any future Commercial Lawyer. At university, the LLB can be combined with other subjects. If you also study a language, for example, you’ll most likely have the opportunity to spend time abroad – ideal if you want to pursue an international career in law.
Next step:Law first year
You don’t have to study law at university to become a Commercial Lawyer. However, at Baker McKenzie we’re looking for consistently high academic performance throughout your degree. We encourage you to study a subject that will build transferable skills and qualities, but that you’ll also enjoy and excel at. After you’ve graduated, you can convert your degree through the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). The GDL is the equivalent of a law degree and can be completed full-time in one academic year. Securing a Training Contract at a top City firm like Baker McKenzie means the Firm will support you, pay your course fees and provide a maintenance grant to help with your living costs. Please note however that the route to qualifying as a Solicitor is changing with the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). We will publish what this means for our future trainees in due course.
Next step:Non-law first year
Pursuing a career in commercial law doesn’t mean you need to study law at university. If you choose not to, you’ll need to convert your degree by completing the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). After a full-time academic year of studying, you’ll have an equivalent to a law degree.
Please note however that the route to qualifying as a Solicitor is changing with the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). We will publish what this means for our future trainees in due course.