Now that he's finished the GDL, David Woodall finally has some time to sample the delights of law firms' training contract application forms.
The GDL is over. Stressful, difficult, but worth it, hopefully...
I keep telling myself that even if I’ve failed and have wasted thousands of pounds, at least I have a little legal knowledge which might come in handy in the future (at the very least for picking out legal mistakes in crime dramas).
It’s all out of my hands now, though. I did what I could (not helped by National Rail, which delivered me 27 minutes late for one exam; three more minutes and I wouldn’t have been allowed in, and I wasn’t given extra time at the end). So the next stage on the road to lawyerhood beckons: the training contract application process and the LPC.
Dealing with the latter first, there is simply no way I can justify spending £20,000 total on LPC fees and living expenses without a job to go to at the end of it. I would be financially crippling myself for life – so for me, no LPC this September...
Earlier this month, the National College of Legal Training (NCLT) announced, to much fanfare, that it would be holding a "reverse auction" for an LPC place on its Facebook page.
"To enter, students have to sign up to the event and then log into Facebook on 27 May at 11am," NCLT explained. "We will post on our facebook wall the LPC fees which will gradually reduce throughout the day. When a student sees the fees at a level they are willing to pay, they simply have to be the first to write on the NCLT facebook wall 'I want that LPC!'."
27 May was, of course, yesterday. So what happened?
Good news for LPC students at Liverpool John Moores University whose business law and practice (BLP) exam was terminated two thirds of the way through last week by a faulty fire alarm: they won’t be required to re-sit the exam, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has confirmed today.
Having giving serious thought to making students re-do the paper, the SRA has decided instead to use what it describes as "a complicated mathematical formula” to calculate students’ marks on the basis of what they had already completed before they were evacuated from the exam hall.
With the approximately 50 affected students having completed two hours and ten minutes of the three-hour exam, the SRA is confident it can “ensure all are treated fairly” as it applies its formula.
LPC students at Liverpool John Moores University are in limbo after a fire alarm went off two thirds of the way through their business law and practice (BLP) exam on Friday.
Having been evacuated immediately from the building, the students – who had completed two hours and ten minutes of the three hour paper – were forced to wait outside for 30 minutes as staff dealt with what is believed to have been a false alarm.
Upon re-entering the exam hall at 12.40pm, the students sat down expecting to be able to complete the last 50 minutes of their papers. But an invigilator then decided that the exam had to be terminated immediately.
Afterwards, a meeting of the university’s LPC staff resulted in a cryptic email being sent out to the approximately affected 40-50 students. A copy of the email was obtained by Legal Cheek, and is re-produced below:
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 which the College of Law, all smiles even when in receipt of such upsetting news, responded:
“Hi Jafar. Sorry to hear you feel that way - can we help with anything?”
Hi Auntie Em,
I'm midway through the Legal Practice Course (LPC), having just reconvened after the Xmas break, and, to tell you the truth, I wish I was doing anything but this.
I don't want to be a lawyer. The trouble is I don't know what else to do with my life. At university I studied history, then did the law conversion course because I didn't know what else to do, and now I find myself on the way to becoming a solicitor. I find the law so boring.
I don't have a training contract lined up, but then I don't want to be a solicitor...but what else can I do? Basically, I'm lost.
Disclaimer: Auntie Em has never worked in a law firm. But she is an aunt and has a psychology degree. As a teenager, Auntie Em had a dream predicting 9/11.
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.