If you have a 2.2. degree or low a-level results that do not meet the requirements of the top firms – all is not lost.
While a lot of commercial firms (but not all) are looking for at least a 2.1 degree and excellent a-level results this is not a requirement for smaller and high street firms who value other qualities, not just academic qualifications and will consider your application as a whole.
Do your Research
Start by doing your research. You know what your grades are, and presumably, you know a little but about what type of law firm you want to work for, the location you want to work in and perhaps even the type of law you are interested in practicing.
Don’t waste time on applications to firms that won’t compromise on the academics. All firms get more applications than they have places so the chances are they won’t even look at your application as they will get numerous applicants that do meet their academic requirements. Instead, take firms who are more flexible about degree and a-level results. If you aren’t sure whether they will consider your application – contact them direct and ask the question – some may prefer a 2.1 but will equally consider a candidate with a 2.2 but otherwise strong CV.
Extenuating and Mitigating Circumstances? Explain it in your covering letter
You may want to put a brief (and positive) explanation about any circumstances in your covering letter, particularly if these may have affected your performance. Most firms will take these into consideration. Particularly, if your other grades are normally of the required level.
Build your Experience
To boost your CV, secure legal work experience through formal and informal placements, voluntary work or Pro Bono experience. Additionally, why not get involved in other ‘legal’ activities to show your commitment and potential. This might include mooting, mentoring, debating, law society events, etc.
After you graduate why not take a role as a paralegal or other legal role to gain further on the job experience.