Standing out from the crowd: a Masters in International Business Law
Georgina Baxter, trainee solicitor
After two years of rejections and thanks but no thanks e-mails, I decided I needed something to make my application forms stand out. I realised 99.99% of applicants would have 3 A’s at A level and comfortable 2:1 degrees, so I needed to do something to make somebody look twice at me. As someone who has always enjoyed studying, a Masters seemed a logical choice. I was told by many firms that if you pick a specialist subject, firms will be impressed at your dedication and interest in the law. I chose a Masters in “International Business Law”, with an option to study human rights law.
Doing a specialist subject helped me in several ways: the training contract application, as it showed I had something different, the interview itself as I could talk passionately about my dissertation subject, answers to questions about commercial awareness were at the forefront of my mind and also due to studying human rights law. I could talk about “world issues” which went beyond the law. Firms want to know you’re academic but they also want to know about other things that you’re interested in, such as humanitarian issues, sports or even particular artists-just something outside the legal bubble.
A Masters not only helped me secure a training contract but it helped prepare me for the LPC. Both courses are “self-taught” in that you have to get up and read: no-one is going to lecture you. Doing a Masters also made me truly enthusiastic about becoming a solicitor, something which law firms no doubt picked up on in my newly edited application. If years of applying have taught me anything it is this: never be ashamed of what you have done or want to do, I am a restaurant worker with no connections to the legal world but I have always wanted to be a solicitor. Find something that makes you stand out, whether it is a Masters in a specialist subject or the fact you have run for charities the past 5 years – whatever it is be proud!