Exclusive: In the latest sign of how hard law firms are being hit by government reforms to legal aid, leading criminal outfit TV Edwards has been forced to let two paralegals go just weeks after it had paid for their police station accreditation training...
As the odds of landing a training contract or pupillage grow longer, and wannabe lawyers become increasingly desperate, the, er, entrepreneurs keep circling. First there was Aston Carter's infamous pay-to-be-a-paralegal scheme, next came Tooks barristers' notorious £186 pupillage application advice event. And now there's the "New York Dream Career Program", as part of which London-based company Web Legal Education is asking UK wannabe lawyers to part with £499 for two paralegal job interviews...
Anthony Lyons is a charming, intelligent part-time LPC student who works as a paralegal at top London law firm Mishcon de Reya. What's more, Lyons boasts an entrepreneurial zeal, organising the #AskaTrainee Twitter Q&A through his impressive social media following. In short, he's the sort of person who you'd expect to walk into a training contract – if, that is, he hadn't got a 2:2 in his degree...
1. More firms to stop paying students' law school fees
Clarke Willmott's November decision to ditch its two-years-in-advance graduate recruitment policy – in favour of hiring trainees exclusively from its paralegal pool – could prove to be a watershed moment.
Already this is how Co-op Legal and top civil liberties firm Bindmans operate, with trainee recruitment agency Accutrainee functioning along similar lines in the sense that it targets LPC graduates rather than current students. But Clarke Willmott is the first big corporate firm to adopt this model – which, of course, sees it no longer pay its future trainees' law school fees. Expect more firms to follow this year.
From Baby Barristers: a well-regarded London law firm seeks a law graduate to join its immigration practice.
The role will include legal research, advising clients on immigration applications, and liaison with the UK Border Agency Policy Unit for guidance on complex scenarios. The successful candidate will work closely with the firm’s senior fee-earners...
Ed note: This is the first in a regular series of job alerts we'll be running for paralegal and junior lawyer positions.
From Baby Barristers: a London law firm seeks a paralegal to work on a six-month fixed-term contract in its criminal litigation team.
Candidates should ideally possess a minimum of six months previous experience working as a paralegal or legal assistant in a criminal law department, preferably with experience of Crown Court trials. Experience of working within a very busy environment where deadlines are clearly defined is also valuable.
The role will include legal research, document management, client meetings, and liaising with the police, prosecution and court.
To request more details, or to submit an immediate application, email [email protected], quoting 'Legal Cheek Job Alert' in the subject line.
Paralegal Tony, a part-time LPC student and paralegal at a City law firm, says that shrewd graduates can fund themselves on their journey to becoming lawyers
On graduating with an LLB in law with French law and French language in 2011, I took the first job available to me and swept floors at a garage while making applications to law firms in the local area. The law firm where I completed some work experience during that time was so impressed by the tenacity I showed that they decided to offer me a full-time position as a paralegal for a whole £12,000!
During that first paralegal job, I took every opportunity to network. This led to a barrister who I had instructed in a matter to give me the heads up on another position at a law firm offering more money – just enough to cover LPC fees. Not that networking on its own is enough. You need a good CV, too. To that end, get your CV reviewed. @Career_Geek is offering a free service at the moment, otherwise follow me on Twitter and I will happily have a look...