Earlier this month Law Society chief Lucy Scott-Moncrieff caused some raised eyebrows when she claimed that the legal profession is "very well suited to flexible working". It's easy to say such things, of course, but what's it like to oversee a flexible working regime in practice? Nicky Richmond, managing partner of London law firm Brecher,... Read more »
Amid the corporate swirls and twee etchings at HowardKennedyFSi's offices, where the Legal Cheek team was lucky enough to spend yesterday evening gorging on fine wine and canapés at the firm's merger bash, one piece of artwork didn't quite fit... Had a lost teenage boy put it on the wall having mistaken HowardKennedyFSi's reception area for his... Read more »
Forget the rights and wrongs of the decision by two Tooks' barristers to start a company charging wannabes for pupillage application advice from their head of chambers, Michael Mansfield QC. And consider how it reflects on the wider criminal Bar... In the good old days, when publicly funded legal work was well-remunerated, barristers would never... Read more »
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... Read more »
Incredibly, Yusuf Solley landed the first pupillage he applied for – with the Government Legal Service (GLS) then paying his way through the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). But despite being involved in some fantastic work at, amongst other departments, the Attorney-General's Office, Solley yearned to be on his feet in court... So after qualifying... Read more »
Over a bottle or two of the finest Tesco Value red wine, the Legal Cheek team deliver their reflections on 2012 – and predictions for 2013...
After spending his 20s as an actor, rising to fame in Eastenders and Strictly Come Dancing (see below), Chris Parker decided he wanted to get serious and become a lawyer....
Last Thursday, for the first time in ages, I bought a copy of The Times. Its law supplement – which just a few years ago was seen as the definitive source of UK legal news – looked forlorn, populated with stories covered earlier, and in more depth, by the growing band of hybrid lawyer-journo bloggers... Read more »
These days, lawyers seem to spend half their time trying to come up with new rules to regulate social media, and the rest letting off steam through the creation of comedy videos (see here, here and below) which they then feel compelled to share on YouTube. How can they reclaim their dignity and save hate-filled... Read more »
'Mike', who has just begun an undergraduate law degree, wants to know what it takes to get a first. His email is below...
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... Read more »
Earlier this year I got a training contract at a small, reputable firm in Buckinghamshire after meeting the person responsible for recruiting me on Twitter, writes The Training Contract Hawk. The firm, like many others, is looking to expand and give substance to its online profile. And that’s why my experience as a blogger became... Read more »
Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge and Bircham Dyson Bell solicitor Kevin Poulter discuss the big issues awaiting the next wave of lawyer wannabes as they begin the new academic year. What chance do those who are starting the LPC without a training contract stand of finishing the course with a job? Will the soon-to-be-concluded Legal... Read more »
There has been good news recently for several Legal Cheek contributors – three of whom have bagged pupillages and one a training contract. Congratulations to them all! This week’s podcast guest, Bar graduate Gemma Amran, has also done pretty well for herself, netting a prestigious position at the European Commission in Brussels, from where she... Read more »
Earlier this week I caught up with Eversheds trainee Izzy Abidi – the brains behind award-winning junior lawyer Twitter sensation @LegalTrainee – in Shoreditch’s Commercial Tavern. Acting as a kind of virtual shepherd, @LegalTrainee guides individual Eversheds trainees as they roam through the social media pastures, keeping them loosely in unison, making sure nobody does... Read more »
This evening, following months of rehearsals, BPTC graduate Ricky Seal and solicitor Kevin Poulter will appear in Danny Boyle's Olympic Games opening ceremony. The pair tell policy wonk and part-time LPC student Sophie Earnshaw and journalist Alex Aldridge about their deep sense of pride as they prepare for the event over a bottle of wine... Read more »
UPDATE 4pm: XXX chose the London firm LPC graduate XXX XXXX (name removed) is facing a life-changing decision. XXXX has two training contract offers. But he must make up his mind about which one to accept by 4pm today. One is at an exciting new firm in Leeds. It’s small, but has big dreams. The... Read more »
...but it would put pressure on chambers to fund the course – and could lead to it getting scrapped altogether, writes Lancaster University's Angus MacCulloch The plight of thousands of aspiring barristers who invest large sums of money to undertake the BPTC, but are increasingly unlikely to secure pupillage, has encouraged a lively debate in... Read more »
Most people don’t stay at the law firms they join as trainees all that long. When I interviewed Freshfields lawyer-turned-author Jonathan Lee on Wednesday about his brilliant new book 'Joy', he told me that only five out of the fifty trainees in his 2005 intake are still there. This week’s #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast guest, Jill Marshall,... Read more »
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 »
Solicitor Jonathan Lea makes the short trip up from Bargate Murray HQ at Shoreditch’s Silicon Roundabout (pictured below) to Legal Cheek’s Dalston studios. There, he is greeted by a deeply-tanned Kevin Poulter (freshly back from his hols in California) and the distressingly pale Alex Aldridge (who hasn't been on holiday since 1997). In the last... Read more »
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 »
I know it’s great to raise money for worthy causes – and I’m personally very proud of the £1,000 that I raised yesterday for my favourite charity, the College of Law – but even so, I feel it necessary to point out the elephant in the delightful Thames-side room that is the London Legal Walk.... Read more »
Within walking distance of central London, and just two hours from Paris by Eurostar, King's Cross makes a perfect base for leading up-and-coming lawyers in an increasingly international world. It is no coincidence, then, that this is the part of town which Bircham Dyson Bell A-lister Kevin Poulter has chosen to call home. “It is... Read more »
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.