in Training Contracts, Pupillage and Work Experience

Dear Ten-Percent, I want to get on in law. Can you help me? From a Law Student

This is a very common email and telephone call to our offices. Firstly, if you are sending emails to legal recruitment agencies asking for advice and assistance you may be surprised to find out that most of them will not respond to you. Legal recruitment agencies have much better things to do than reply to law students who have no work experience and will not be generating them any money. This again is a classic example of graduates not really understanding that the whole legal profession and surrounding supply chain is there to make money (read up on business acumen!) and none of us have time to respond to emails such as this one.

You should be looking across the internet for advice and assistance on how to get work experience or a training contract. If you had bothered doing this you would know that going onto the Ten Percent Legal Careers Shop will immediately give you a 6-8 page guide on finding paralegal work and a training contract with a fool-proof technique involving a three-pronged sales attack on law firms.  If you download this guide and follow the instructions you will hopefully get work experience.  If you get work experience you will probably find that your career starts to take off. With work experience on your CV and application forms you will subsequently discover that people want to offer you training contracts.

There are similar guides on other websites and you could have a read of these as well to get an idea of what is out there.

Similarly, if you have sent an email asking all of this it is unlikely you have read any of the 200 articles on our website or, with the vast majority of these aimed at advising you on how to get ahead in law. All of these articles taken together will probably give you a useful source of information as to how you need to start planning for your legal career. So, the very fact you have sent this email or telephoned to ask this question indicates to us that you are either someone who is incapable of researching a topic carefully, someone who is unbelievably lazy or someone who is used to other people holding your hand and telling you how to do things.

All of these things lend themselves to the question are you really suited to be a solicitor or barrister, when you are expected in these professions to take responsibility for your own actions?

A bit harsh? Probably, but then so is the legal profession as a career choice!

For details of our free guide to getting work experience please visit

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at