We gathered together Young Barristers' Committee chair Hannah Kinch, Citizenship Foundation programme manager Paul Bower and Hardwicke barrister Charles Bagot — and grilled them about the Bar's relationship with corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Pictured above, in order, from left to right, Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge, Kinch, Bower and Bagot.
The new Inns of Court subsidy scheme to help publicly-funded chambers offer more pupillages caused quite a stir when it was announced last month. Legal Cheek reporter Thomas Connelly, who completed the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) at Northumbria University last year, met up with recent University of Law BPTC graduate Lorraine Kudom to discuss this radical new development...
One of the main problems faced by law students as they attempt to land training contracts and pupillages is having to make important career decisions so early.
For Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) chief Charles Plant — who used to be a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills — the situation is absurd, as he made clear on Friday at a legal education conference where he asked: “Why do we have this extraordinary procedure where young people at the end of the second year of university have to decide whether to go to commercial law firms?”
For now, though, with law firms' graduate recruitment timetables very well-established and the recently-concluded Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) not proposing to change them, the situation looks likely to continue.
How, then, can wannabe lawyers make the right decisions and present a convincing case as to what type of lawyer they hope to be, while at the same time acknowledging that it's very hard to really know without actually having practised law? We gathered together a host of top up-and-coming solicitors and barristers, plus one veteran partner, at Norton Rose Fulbright's gleaming City of London offices and asked them for their advice...
Earlier this year Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks urged students to make time to "dream" before embarking upon their careers.
"Seemingly the least practical activity turns out to be the most practical, and most often left undone," he wrote in The Times. "Dreams are where we visit the many lands and landscapes of human possibility and discover the one where we feel at home."
It is only having completed this underrated stage, adds Sacks, that you are in a position to follow your passion. And "nothing — not wealth, success, accolades or fame — justifies spending a lifetime doing things you don't enjoy."
Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge reckons that dreaming about the law — and working out which aspects of it you find attractive — is one of the main things which differentiates successful applicants for training contracts and pupillages from unsuccessful ones. And he argues that non-law graduates are often at a disadvantage in this respect, with it being much harder to get excited — or repelled — by the law if you have never studied it formally.
As applications open at many firms for final year non-law students to apply for training contracts, Aldridge puts this theory to Slaughter and May partners Sarah Lee and Gavin Brown, Hardwicke Building barrister Jonathan Titmuss and Travers Smith solicitor-to-be Raphaella Gabrasadig — all of whom, with the exception of Lee, did the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) after completing arts and social science degrees.
If the Midlands-based LLB student behind 'Things Law Students Don't Say' was to mobilise the 20,000 people who have liked his Facebook page, he might be able to bring about a small revolution.
At the very least these army of legal hopefuls would be able to seize the Inns of Court, with the page's fanbase far out-numbering the total of 12,000 practising barristers in England and Wales who might be called upon to defend the area around Middle Temple Lane.
Thankfully, though, the focus of 'Things Law Students Don't Say''s anonymous founder (pictured above) — who we'll call Mr X — is trained on his quest to join the Bar rather than overthrow it. In London to do a mini-pupillage, he popped along to Legal Cheek's Hackney HQ to tell us about he created a social media monster...
A year after finishing the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Queen Mary University of London law graduate Carmody Wilson (pictured below) is still without a training contract...
The idyllic life of the undergraduate came crashing to a halt this week for thousands of wannabe lawyers as they begun the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). Among these poor souls are Edinburgh University philosophy graduate Josh Boyden and St Andrews French graduate Natasha Seel (pictured below) — who made the short journey north from Kaplan Law School's Borough campus to Legal Cheek's sumptuous Hackney studios to report on the terrible scenes they have witnessed...