Will going travelling increase or decrease my chances of a training contract?
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I am planning to take some time out to travel before taking the Legal Practice Course – how might this affect my chances of a training contract in the future?
The Oracle replies
Whether you have gone travelling or not should not affect your chances of securing a training contract either way, but like most experiences, travelling could be used in your applications – depending on what you did and learnt. You might have been involved in an interesting job or project, or you might have spent time learning about the culture and language of a place you went to.
All work and extracurricular experience can be used to demonstrate your skills and qualities, so if you haven’t been travelling, do not worry. Several years ago, we remember one law firm being called out for having a question on its application form asking candidates to describe an experience that they have had while travelling, but this tone-deaf elitism is far from what you will find at increasingly diversity-conscious firms in 2019.
We have also previously received emails from students concerned that taking time out to go travelling will damage their chances of securing a training contract because it shows a lack of commitment to a career in law. This is not the case – recruiters would be concerned about how serious you are if you left the law to do something completely different for several years, but otherwise they would simply be interested to know more about your travelling experiences.
Ultimately, securing a training contract will not come down to whether you went travelling or not. Success in your applications will be decided by your academic and personal achievements and competence, your skills gained from legal and non-legal work experiences, and your passion for the law.
For stories of solicitors who took different paths into their careers at various types of law firm, see the Meet the Lawyer section.