Last week, David Cameron’s former chief-of-staff, Alex Deane, explained to Legal Cheek why he tired of the genteel poverty of the criminal Bar – and eventually quit. Will things work out differently for this week’s guest, 2 Dr Johnson’s Buildings pupil barrister Stephanie Wookey (pictured), who joins Bircham Dyson Bell solicitor Kevin Poulter (pictured) and Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge on this week's #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast?
As she comes to the end of her pupillage this month, Cardiff University graduate Wookey is preparing for a return to being a student – via a masters at Queen’s College, Cambridge, which she’ll begin in October. In an unconventional move, Wookey will continue as a “door pupil” at 2 Dr Johnson’s Buildings, picking up bits and pieces of work to help fund her masters, then hopefully return to a tenancy.
OccupyTheInns backs Lord Sumption's recent pro-GDL comments, and draws paralells between drug shame pupil Henry Mostyn and new Spurs manager André Villas-Boas
After so much discussion recently about "accelerated" law degrees and legal apprenticeships, I was relieved to read over the weekend the ever-sensible Supreme Court Justice Lord Sumption standing up for the liberal arts route into our profession.
"I think that it is best not to read law as an undergraduate," Lord Sumption told Counsel magazine, with his comments subsequently carried by The Telegraph.
He proceeded to add: "The problem is that we have a generation of lawyers, and this applies to solicitors as well as barristers, who are coming into the profession with much less in the way of general culture than their predecessors.
Rarely have I ever read a truer word. As my regular readers will know, I took the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) route to the Bar, having previously studied a non-law degree at a leading Russell Group university. In order to preserve my anonymity, I won’t tell you which subject I studied, but I will say that it made me a damn sight more rounded an individual that if I had read an LLB.
Can you get into a City law firm from an ex-poly? And how much will European languages help? Read the response below...
I recently received this email from a prospective law student...
Read my response below.
Following last week's Queen Mary v Durham debate, I received this email from another student.
Would the same dilemma arise if the offer was from UCL rather than Queen Mary? Read my response below.
Last week I received this email from a student:
"The prestige factor" is a major concern for law students. Read my response below...
While researching my article about sitting the Kaplan BPTC aptitude test for the Guardian this week, I was surprised to find that 10% of pupil barristers have a 2:2 or a third.
Lord Justice Andrew McFarlane QC is the only member of the Court of Appeal with a third class degree
In the most recent year for which figures are available (2010), that translates to 39 pupils with a 2:2, and two pupils with a third, out of a total of 392 pupils who provided data on their UK degree undergraduate qualifications. Looking back over previous years, that 10% ratio is roughly constant – jarring somewhat with what we're constantly told about only the best being admitted to practise at the Bar.
Did these 2:2/third students do amazingly on their BPTCs? Were they victims of horrendous mitigating circumstances that undermined their ability to perform well during their degrees? Were some especially well-connected?
Unfortunately, the Bar statistics, while pretty detailed, don’t give us this sort of information. So I asked three leading up-and-coming barristers for their views on what it takes to bag a pupillage with a 2:2 or a third...
The following would never happen in Britain...
On 23 February, Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke (pictured) testified at a congressional hearing in support of President Obama's ruling that religiously affiliated institutions, including some universities, should provide insurance plans that cover all costs for medicinal contraceptives.
In response, rightwing US radio host Rush Limbaugh branded Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute”, before imploring her to post videos of herself having sex online.
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: