Bridging the Gap: Exploring opportunities for graduates between LPC/GDL and training contracts


Completing the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is a significant milestone for law graduates aspiring to become solicitors in the UK. However, securing a training contract remains a competitive and challenging endeavour. In the interim period between completing their LPC/GDL and obtaining a training contract, graduates have several opportunities to enhance their legal skills, gain practical experience, and increase their employability. This article delves into various avenues available to graduates during this transitional phase, empowering them to make the most of their time and stand out in the highly competitive legal job market.


Paralegal positions:

One of the most common paths taken by law graduates is to work as paralegals. Many law firms, legal departments, and organisations regularly offer paralegal positions. While it may not be the ultimate goal, this role allows graduates to gain valuable legal experience, develop essential skills, and build a network within the legal industry. Additionally, being a paralegal enhances a graduate’s understanding of legal procedures, research, and client interaction, all of which will prove beneficial during their future training contract.


Legal internships and work placements:

Seeking internships or work placements with law firms or legal departments is another way to gain practical experience and make valuable connections. Many firms offer short-term placements for recent graduates, providing them with exposure to real-life legal cases and a chance to work alongside experienced solicitors. These experiences can significantly strengthen a graduate’s resume and show their commitment to the legal profession.


Volunteering in legal clinics and pro bono work:

Participating in pro bono work or volunteering in legal clinics showcases a graduate’s dedication to serving the community and highlights their passion for justice. Not only does this help graduates make a positive impact on society, but it also demonstrates their commitment to the legal profession. Many law schools and organisations offer pro bono opportunities for law graduates to get involved with various legal matters, further enriching their skillset.


Legal research and writing:

During the transitional period, graduates can engage in legal research and writing projects. This can involve contributing to legal publications, writing articles, or conducting research for academics or legal practitioners. Demonstrating an ability to produce well-researched and articulate legal content reflects positively on a graduate’s academic and intellectual capabilities.


Further qualifications and specialisations:

While awaiting a training contract, graduates may also consider pursuing further qualifications or specialised certifications in areas of law that interest them. For example, additional certifications in areas such as family law, intellectual property, or corporate law can make a graduate stand out in a particular field and broaden their career options.


Last but not least… join SSQ!

SSQ is always looking for talented individuals to join our team as researchers/resourcers. Most recently, one of our colleagues worked with us prior to their GDL, as well as part time during, before leaving to commence a training contract with a top UK firm. Their time here offered an insight into the legal profession, the workings of law firms, as well as an opportunity to build their network.


The period between completing the LPC/GDL and securing a training contract is a crucial time for law graduates to build their legal portfolio and distinguish themselves in a competitive job market. Embracing opportunities such as paralegal positions, legal internships, pro bono work, legal research, and additional qualifications can equip graduates with the necessary skills and experiences to excel during their training contract and future legal career. By actively seeking out these opportunities, graduates can maximise their potential and position themselves as desirable candidates for their dream training contracts.

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