TV barrister Judge Rinder urges ‘serious’ law students to lighten up in order to succeed

Celeb lawyer claims aspiring solicitors and barristers are better off watching his show than attending boring law lectures


Barrister and daytime TV judge Robert Rinder has slammed “serious” law students, claiming those who want to succeed in law need “life experience”.

Rinder, who has shot to fame through his hit ITV show Judge Rinder, reckons that law students have become increasingly serious since the days when he was studying at Manchester University in the 1990s.

In an interview given to online student paper The Tab, Rinder — who is a tenant at London’s 2 Hare Court — cited the increase in competition to secure employment for this rise in seriousness. He said:

These days, more than when I was at the bar, the legal profession is so utterly competitive, to even get a place at chambers or go to the bar. There might be 500 applicants for one place. I’m not surprised that given that sort of background that law students are increasingly serious.

Rinder — who has recently released a book, entitled “Rinder Rules, Make the law work for you!” — continues, warning students that being overly focused on their studies can actually harm their chances of securing a pupillage or a training contract.

The flamboyant and often outspoken lone member of the daytime TV judiciary trumpets the benefits of law students getting out there and experiencing real life, reflecting:

The students I often find most effective are those with the most life experience — by that I don’t mean internships but I mean exposure to their own communities. Something like working in a pub can be enormously important to how you can speak to people from different backgrounds.

Rinder’s typical TV case is a combination of Jeremy Kyle-esque scandal with a hint civil law. He claims law students should ditch their lectures in favour of watching these disputes on his show, explaining:

Your lectures just aren’t worth going to, stay in and watch it, you’ll learn just as much.

Just ignore the gavel…

The barrister adds that Judge Rinder does count as law, with the tort and contract law principles on exhibition especially relevant for first years:

Tweets are often forwarded to me from students doing a ‘does Judge Rinder count as law’ edition,” he continues. “I get a lot of those — and the answer is yes. The principles we apply are legit legal principles, especially for first year law students who are doing contract or tort law, the principles I apply are absolutely real and important principles that they’ll be thinking about for their studies.


Kuzka's Mother

To be fair, he was utterly hilarious on Celebrity Juice, his deadpan delivery is up there with the absolute best of them so I’m not sure there isn’t generous sprinkling of sarcasm here.

Millennial Marauder

Thanks for your advice, Judge! More such patronising bullshit from the baby-boomer / Gen X people please!

Because it’s totes just as easy to walk into a job with a Desmond while toking on some finest Jamaican bud and paying £45 a week to rent a flat in Old Street like it used to be in their days. Fuck off.

Kitty Cat

I know, it’s totes brill to be spoilt – why I remember when I attained a Thora, a Not Competent and had an affair with my Pupil Master’s wife, daughter and housekeeper. Didn’t stop me attaining Silk thanks to my fabulous dining skills. Oh yes, quite, those were the days……….


Dear Law students…I am a senior law lecturer and have been for some years now, and I can assure you, you will NOT learn more from watching his show than attending your lectures and seminars. Attendance and participation is essential. Yes some lectures may not inspire you entirely, but you must still engage with the legal matter being taught! Rinder’s views are most vexing to say the least, especially when student attendance is already a concern, throughout higher education.
With all due respect, Mr Robert Rinder does not have a Law Degree, he completed a BA in History and Politics. Why is this relevant you might ask?!? Because his exposure to academic law is limited, and this has clearly informed his WRONG opinion. Rinder is a practitioner and the practical application of law and legal principles are very different to the academic study of law and legal/moral principles. The only merit to his comments is with regards life experience. Yes you should attain legal work experience, but watching his show does not qualify. Working for your local citizens advice or law centre will give you incredible experience of working in your community. Working in a pub yes, great, it will help those communication skills. For the main however, please ignore his comments, he is WRONG.

Lord Harley of Bollocks

You don’t know many barristers do you. Some of them I assure you are quite useless, as are some solicitors. The bar is far from immune from the curse of the moron.


I think the point is that he is considered successful and it did not take academics to get there. A fair point, as long as it remains restricted to him.


Rinder got a first in History from Manchester. I guarantee he was not lightening up back then, but was a hard working nerd like the rest of us. Then as he progressed and became more successful, he then lectures others to lighten up, which is very typical of those who want to be down with the kids in later life having been geeks when they were young. This is rubbish, you need to put the graft in when your younger and then you can blossom as you progress in your career and are respected.


I can imagine it on the job references now..

“Didn’t turn up to lectures, was watching daytime TV instead.”


“Watch daytime TV for all your contract law needs. Who needs this Chitty bloke?!”


He’s a top entertainer on his show, full of laughs…

Judge Rinder’s grasp on law is not particularly hot.

I would suggest Judge Rinder up’s his CPD.

That Law students watch his show.

Both will benefit.


“The principles we apply are legit legal principles, especially for first year law students who are doing contract or tort law, the principles I apply are absolutely real and important principles that they’ll be thinking about for their studies.”

This is some grade-A turbo bollocks.


Rinder is right.

He’s not saying forget the studies.

He’s just saying don’t be a frickin square.

He’s right.

The worst tedes are the squares who increasingly populate city law firms.


This is just right. Who wants to employ a shut-in who has done nothing but stress and study for three years? Join a (non-legal) society. Go out with your mates once a week. Watch some TV. Seriously – just be a person. If you can’t handle doing a law degree and also having something of a social life, you are going to burn out after your first fortnight of midnight finishes. It’s about time management, really – sitting in the library and not doing fun stuff just implies that you don’t work efficiently enough to go and do the fun stuff…


I know somebody who not once went to observe court hearings, but used to watch Judge Judy all the time. They got a distinction on their LPC.

Not Amused

I don’t honestly believe I need to say this, but just in case you were unsure, he is so obviously wrong that I assume he is joking.


He really ought to be telling students to supplement their studies with his show and real world experience.

It shouldn’t be choosing one over another to become well rounded.

The Bar Necessities

Well, he’s right to say that neither law firms or chambers want empty suits who have just spent their entire university lives studying contantly, because all they can dream of is being a tenant/partner/whatever… It’s no bad thing to have a part-time/summer job, to have some hobbies that motivate you and demonstrate you have a work-life balance, and to have a history of being able to interact with the wide range of people from different backgrounds.

But I’m not sure why sitting on your own in front of a TV screen would help with any of that. Going to learn some actual law might be more helpful.


I agree with him.

My days are spent watching Judge Rinder, Loose Women, Doctors, Jeremy Kyle and Homes under the Hammer. I am now fully qualified in all those fields.

Yours faithfully

Dr Anonymous FRCP M.R.C.Psych CPsychol FBPsS FRICS CEng QC

Hard core.

What he means is that the study of law has bog all to do with its practice, and that those who succeed at the bar etc are usually those with personality and a grip on reality. IE not the stuffed shirt steppford plonkers with 50 mini pupilages and an opinion about everything and nothing.


He was jolly good fun to be in Chanbers with.
There’s something faintly below stairs about him now though.


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