Legal education

Please, No More ‘Nietzsche And The Law’! Why Americans Are Looking Enviously At The GDL Route To Legal Qualification

In comparison to our odd system of legal education – which sprawls haphazardly from the undergraduate law degree to the CILEX apprenticeship option, via the super-condensed GDL, multiple breeds of LPC and the career graveyard that is the BPTC – the US way of doing things is alluringly simple. In America, you can only study… Read more »

Amateur Porn Filmed In Top Law School Library

More crazy stuff from across the pond, this time involving an amateur porn model who has caused a storm by filming a 43 minute-long video of herself masturbating in the library of Ivy League law school Cornell.

A Neat Solution To The Legal Education And Training Puzzle

At the end of the Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) symposium yesterday, I got chatting with Linda Jotham, a senior lecturer at City Law School. As I groaned about the difficulties facing the LETR panel in coming up with a new system of legal education that keeps everyone happy – we’d just sat through… Read more »

Bar Council Chair’s Pupillage ‘Great Concern’ Sparks Evening Standard Letter Page Response Flurry

Yesterday’s Evening Standard featured several letters – including, naturally, a missal dispatched from Legal Cheek HQ – responding to Wednesday’s expression of concern by Bar Council chair Michael Todd QC  that “too many students” are leaving law schools with huge debts and “no realistic prospect of pupillage”. One correspondent even suggested that pupillage should be… Read more »

Persuading The Law School Turkeys To Vote For Christmas

Yesterday I urged the assembled luminaries at the Westminster Legal Policy Forum to do something about the scandalous situation surrounding entry to the Bar (according to one estimate by the Bar Council itself, as few as one in eight students who do the BPTC get a pupillage). Rather than go on about unsuccessful pupillage-seekers’ misery,… Read more »

EXCLUSIVE: BPTC Students Point Finger At Bar Standards Board Following ‘Disastrous’ And ‘Unfair’ Exams

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has had a bad week. First, Richard Moorhead publicly slammed their less-than-brilliant research on advocacy in The Guardian. Then Legal Cheek exposed the dire financial straits their boss finds herself in. The latest calamity to befall everyone’s favourite regulator of barristers? Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) students are blaming the… Read more »

SOLD: College Of Law Cashes In At Younger Generation’s Expense In Private Equity Deal

Introducing Baroness Helena Kennedy last night at the College of Law’s “Diversity at the Bar” debate, the school’s chief executive Nigel Savage (pictured) played up their shared working class credentials. “Helena and I benefitted from state-funded education. That’s over. Now what?” he asked, two floor to ceiling adverts for the College’s BPTC (cost: £16,485) positioned… Read more »

If You Put Trainee Solicitors On Housing Benefits, You Cut The Price Of Law School, Right?

Following the announcement by the Law Society that trainee solicitors on housing benefit is “not the type of image that benefits the profession”, Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge and Bircham Dyson Bell lawyer Kevin Poulter discuss the wisdom of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) proposal to abandon the minimum trainee salary and pay rookie solicitors… Read more »

Inside College of Law Moorgate, Britain’s Elite Law School

College of Law Moorgate students Cat Pond (pictured left) and Laurence Mills (pictured right) make the short journey east to Legal Cheek HQ in Hackney, where they find Bircham Dyson Bell lawyer Kevin Poulter and journalist Alex Aldridge in a panic about not being able to get the podcast mic working. Displaying the sort of… Read more »

An LLM Can ‘Count Against’ Training Contract Hunters

LLMs are intellectually tough, time-consuming and not all law firms like them, warns LegalAware Students often look on an LLM as something they can do to pass a year while they look for a training contract or pupillage, boosting their CVs in the process. But the reality is that a masters degree in law is… Read more »

Should Law Schools Refund Students if They Can’t Get a Job?

In a move that may interest jobless British law graduates and the bigwigs on the panel of the ongoing legal education and training review (LETR), two Yale Law School professors are championing a controversial plan to refund law school tuition fees if students fail to secure a job. Professors Akhil Amar and Ian Ayres want… Read more »

Does Studying Law Destroy Your Soul?

Until recently LPC student Cat Pond was an empathetic, liberal type, but the law has changed her… At the start of my GDL contract law course, the tutor told us to try and visualise the room and all the objects within it as connected by a web of contracts. The coffee cups sat in front… Read more »

LPC Student In ‘I HATE COLLEGE OF LAW’ Facebook Rant

The College of Law’s Facebook page is usually a happy place, where wannabe lawyers post polite queries which are promptly answered by members of the law school’s digital team. But on Wednesday there was trouble in paradise. “I HATE COLLEGE OF LAW,” wrote LPC student Jafar Jawid in angry block capitals on the page. To… Read more »

#RoundMyKitchenTable Exam Special: How Do You Revise And Apply For Jobs?

Taking a rare break from revising for his Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) exams, barrister-to-be Jack Smith travels east to join Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge and employment law whiz Kevin Poulter around a Hackney kitchen table (pictured). “How do you get the balance right between studying and devoting sufficient time to pupillage applications?” Aldridge… Read more »

EXCLUSIVE: College of Law Drops US Degree Course

For the last few years, the College of Law’s (CoL) strategy has been to present itself as a high end establishment, while attempting to portray its rival, BPP Law School, as trashy. Hence the CoL’s 2010 tie up with elite American law school Northwestern to launch a US law degree, and the frequent assertions in… Read more »

Legal Education: It’s All About Emotions

As the legal education review continues, two Nottingham Law School lecturers are calling for a greater focus to be put on understanding students’ “emotions” and “feelings”. “Students are taught what the law is, not how to feel about it,” reveals the school’s reader in education Rebecca Huxley-Binns (pictured below). “They should be equipped to deal… Read more »

#RoundMyKitchenTable: Aldridge & Poulter Analyse Week’s Legal News

Journalist Alex Aldridge and solicitor Kevin Poulter discuss the week’s legal news over a bottle of Tesco Value red wine around Alex’s kitchen table (pictured). What does former Junior Lawyer Division of the Law Society honcho Poulter think of the proposal to scrap the minimum trainee solicitor salary? How does Aldridge, whose Guardian law column… Read more »

#RoundMyKitchenTable: SEASONAL CHRISTMAS PARTY PODCAST

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… Read more »

OCCUPY THE LAW SOCIETY! (in a nice way)

Follow @pondcat Other than a short-lived campaign to occupy the Inns of Court, there are few examples of law students engaging with issues affecting the legal profession, says LPC student Cat Pond During the recent public sector strikes, I was struck by the size of the turnout and the vehemence of the strikers. For many… Read more »

RollOnTuesday: IT’S GDL BONFIRE NIGHT 2!

Follow @LegalCheek Legal Cheek re-writes stories from other websites in 90s yoofspeak so RollonFriday doesn’t have to Check it out, man! It’s Bonfire Night 2 and this time the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is on the fire. Yes, the GDL is literally going up in spliff smoke. Sheff Hallam Uni has hotboxed its GDL… Read more »

£65K FOR A PUPILLAGE?!

Follow @FellowsAdam Adam Fellows considers the discrepancies between pupil earnings, and asks whether the Bar should bring back unfunded pupillages At Legal Cheek, the matter of pupillages has been getting a lot of attention recently. Two posts by jobless Bar graduate OccupyTheInns – one about ways of showing dissatisfaction with the lack of pupillages and… Read more »

GOOD LAW SCHOOLS HAVE PROPER DISABILITY POLICIES

Follow @legalaware But disabled students also have a part to play in improving institutions’ behaviour, says LegalAware How learning providers respond to disabled students could be, in future, quite a telling indicator of the quality of that learning provider, with the government’s white paper, “Putting students at the heart of higher education”, setting out a… Read more »

WHAT’S DRIVING YOU, LOVE OR FEAR?

Follow @AlexAldridgeUK Don’t pursue a career on the basis of what will sound good at dinner parties, says Alex Aldridge Every month or so I get an email from a student asking for advice. Sometimes they want me to help them decide if they should risk going to law school without having a job lined… Read more »

LAW CONVERSION COURSE IS ‘MAD CRUSH OF KNOWLEDGE’

Follow @catpond Lawyer-to-be Cat Pond is relieved to put the ten-month Graduate Diploma in Law behind her A collective sigh of relief was heard in the corridors of the College of Law after the last Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) exam finished in June. Apart from the location of the nearest bar, the one topic… Read more »

#RoundMyKitchenTable: ARTS DEGREES ARE EASY

Follow @LegalCheek Top London employment lawyer Kevin Poulter thinks arts degrees are easy. Laurence Mills, an Oxford history graduate with a training contract lined up at Berwin Leighton Paisner, disagrees. And Guardian journalist Alex Aldridge reckons the whole system of legal education needs an overhaul. For #RoundMyKitchenTable on iTunes, click here For a transcript of… Read more »

DISABILITY IS LEGAL PROFESSION’S ‘WHITE ELEPHANT’

Follow @legalaware Diversity has improved in most areas, but disabled law students are still marginalised, says LegalAware All law schools deserve to be scrutinised very carefully in their response to the government white paper entitled, ‘Students at the heart of the system’, over the issue of whether disabled students are seriously disenfranchised. The formidable white… Read more »