After spending his 20s as an actor, rising to fame in Eastenders and Strictly Come Dancing (see below), Chris Parker decided he wanted to get serious and become a lawyer....
With many law firms and barristers’ chambers using strict minimum A-level requirements to filter wannabes, how you performed at school is of critical importance to becoming a lawyer.
But does it matter what A-levels you do? Is a law A-level better than one in a foreign language, for example? And are grades all that count to legal employers?
Legal Cheek’s Kevin Poulter elicits the views of sixth form student Marc Craig and Bircham Dyson Bell HR adviser Hannah Lewis, before re-living his own A-level maths glory days through a moving monologue in which he claims repeatedly that exams have got easier.
Craig and Lewis disagree. Listen to their intellectual jousting below.
Barrister-to-be Jack Smith, whose LNAT score didn't correspond with his other academic results, isn't convinced by the undergraduate law application test
With A-Level results improving each year, it’s only natural that university law faculty admissions tutors seek to distinguish between the best applicants via an additional test. For many institutions, the National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) forms an integral part of the sifting process. However, I question whether the LNAT is really fit for that particular purpose.
I took the LNAT several years ago before I applied to university. Four out of the five universities I applied to required that I sit the test, so I dutifully obliged by attending my local test centre. A note on the test centre: as a prospective law student, your local test centre is a building which you will enter twice in your life. Once to do your LNAT, and once to do your driving theory test. Neither are particularly pleasant experiences...
A state-school pupil who was invited to Oxford University for an interview for a place to read law decided against going along – and wrote her own letter of rejection to the university. In it, she said Oxford “did not quite meet the standard" of other universities.
I have now considered your establishment as a place to read Law (Jurisprudence). I very much regret to inform you that I will be withdrawing my application...
This week Alex Aldridge is taking a barely earned rest from uploading blogs to Legal Cheek to go on holiday to Morocco. As he tries to sell Aunty Em for 2 camels and a leather bag, co-host Kevin Poulter takes charge of the #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast (for two weeks only), rebranding it #RoundMyDiningTable.
Joining him #RoundMyDiningTable is fresh faced (but very experienced) employment lawyer Laurie Anstis, of Reading firm Boyes Turner, and former colleague of James Blunt (i.e. he was in the army), current Magic Circle 'Outsourced Operations Manager' and law student, Neil MacKinnon.
As Christmas party season is in full swing, this week's podcast tackles that seasonal institution that instills fear in trainees and underlings across the country - for those lucky enough to work in firms able to afford a Christmas party that is.
Also up for debate is the two year combined LPC and training contract soon to be offered by Eversheds and new suggestions for sifting training contract applications.
Cathryn Kozlowski focused on getting top music qualifications rather than top A-levels, but now she wants to be a lawyer and is finding that firms hold this against her
Almost every training contract and vac scheme application now begins with a filtering process, whereby you must state whether you achieved the usual minimum A-level requirement of AAB.
If you haven’t achieved this, you are typically asked whether you wish to continue with your application, bearing in mind that your application doesn’t meet the firm’s requirements. So, my question is: why are A-levels still so important when it comes to legal applications? After all, most applicants completed their A-levels over half a decade ago.
It's clear that with increasing numbers of applicants, firms need some sort of filter to manage the flow of applications. It is also understandable that A-levels can provide evidence that an applicant is able to consistently achieve highly, and is able to remain focussed throughout their education. However, not every individual wishing to pursue law, for whatever reason, has achieved the minimum of AAB.