Alex Aldridge

Is law really ‘very well suited to flexible working’?

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 »

Unlikely Piece Of Law Firm Artwork Of The Week

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 »

Is The Criminal Bar Finally Eating Itself?

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 »

Is A 2:2 A Kiss Of Death For Wannabe Lawyers?

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 »

Podcast: How Far Should Bar Hopefuls Follow Their Dreams?

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 »

Interview: How To Become a Legal Commentator

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 »

Survival Tips For Baby Barristers At The Publicly Funded Bar

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 »

A G&T With @LegalTrainee Founder Izzy Abidi

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 »

Restricting The BPTC To Students Who’ve Already Bagged a Pupillage Wouldn’t Breach Competition Law…

…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 »

How To Go From Corporate Law Into Human Rights Academia

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 »

Bar Council Chair’s Pupillage ‘Great Concern’ Sparks Evening Standard Letter Page Response Flurry

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 »

Persuading The Law School Turkeys To Vote For Christmas

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 »

If You Put Trainee Solicitors On Housing Benefits, You Cut The Price Of Law School, Right?

Following the announcement by the Law Society that trainee solicitors on housing benefit is “not the type of image that benefits the profession”, Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge and Bircham Dyson Bell lawyer Kevin Poulter discuss the wisdom of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) proposal to abandon the minimum trainee salary and pay rookie solicitors… Read more »

Through The Keyhole: Lincoln’s Inn Student Accommodation

City University BPTC student Jack Smith welcomes Legal Cheek duo Alex Aldridge and Kevin Poulter into his Lincoln’s Inn home – obtained thanks to the scholarship he bagged from the famous Inn. Like a Japanese tourist on his first visit to London, Aldridge insists on filming everything. The unique footage of smith’s flat, nestled in… Read more »

Royal Charter Spurs Awed CILEX Lawyers To Remove Shoes: EXCLUSIVE PICS

The Royal Charter conferred recently upon law’s plucky underdogs, legal executives, carries great power, elevating them in status to the hallowed ground occupied by esteemed chartered professionals like accountants. Imagine, then, an opportunity to glimpse the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives’ (CILEX) Royal Charter itself – a dream that a select group of elite figures… Read more »

Can Law Student Who Sent Racist Tweets Be Rehabilitated?

This week, LexisNexis PR specialists Simon Goldie and Melissa Higgs visit Legal Cheek HQ, where they share their advice on managing an online public profile with journalist Alex Aldridge and employment lawyer Kevin Poulter. In the wake of Lord Neuberger’s comments criticising judges for appearing on MasterChef, the quartet discuss how far lawyers and law… Read more »

Inside College of Law Moorgate, Britain’s Elite Law School

College of Law Moorgate students Cat Pond (pictured left) and Laurence Mills (pictured right) make the short journey east to Legal Cheek HQ in Hackney, where they find Bircham Dyson Bell lawyer Kevin Poulter and journalist Alex Aldridge in a panic about not being able to get the podcast mic working. Displaying the sort of… Read more »

Legal Profession Is ‘Bedazzled By The Legend Of London’

In reality, the capital’s lawyers are no better than their regional counterparts, says The Law Horse A discussion on the #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast (24 February 2011) may have caught your ear. It caught mine. At 21:17 of the podcast, Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge stumbled into specious territory: “If you want to talk about the hierarchies… Read more »

#RoundMyKitchenTable: Feminism In The Bake-Off Era

In the week of International Women’s Baking Day, Legal Cheek invited two international women to appear on the #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast. Half-Italian Annalisa Checchi, a legal & business affairs manager at CMGRP UK, and Daniela Valdez, a Spanish law student at Birkbeck University, join hosts Kevin Poulter and Alex Aldridge. On Thursday, Aldridge stoked the women… Read more »

#RoundMyKitchenTable: Are Legal Bloggers Real Journalists?

Still reeling from the shock of not being included in The Independent‘s Twitter 100 list, top employment lawyer Kevin Poulter is consoled by Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge and journalist Rupert Collins-White (pictured right) of LegalSupportNetwork. In a bid to take Poulter’s mind off this crushing blow, Aldridge and White talk social media – one… Read more »

Do Trainees And Pupils ‘Contribute Nothing’?

At 2.30pm yesterday Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge was beginning to panic. The arranged guest for the #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast – hosted by Alex and rising star lawyer Kevin Poulter – had pulled out. With recording due to begin at 530pm, what was Aldridge going to do? Grabbing his grubby laptop, the gutter legal journalist logged into… Read more »

Simon Myerson QC: I’d Rather Have a Coffee Than a Pupil

‘Pupils contribute nothing to chambers during their pupillage’, writes Simon Myerson QC, so paying them more than the £12K minimum makes no sense I like Legal Cheek and I like Alex Aldridge who runs it. Nonetheless, it has recently gone all tabloid on the issue of funding for pupillages, and I have told Alex so…. Read more »

#RoundMyKitchenTable Exam Special: How Do You Revise And Apply For Jobs?

Taking a rare break from revising for his Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) exams, barrister-to-be Jack Smith travels east to join Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge and employment law whiz Kevin Poulter around a Hackney kitchen table (pictured). “How do you get the balance right between studying and devoting sufficient time to pupillage applications?” Aldridge… Read more »

Should We Let Sleeping Judges Lie?

Alex Aldridge found it hard to stay awake while marshalling as a bright-eyed 26-year-old, so what hope do judges – another of whom was caught napping on the job last week – have of remaining conscious in court? When I did the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), a good few years ago now, I spent… Read more »

Online Dating Sites For Lawyers – And Those Keen To Bag One

At a loose end on Valentine’s Day, Alex Aldridge signs up to several websites aimed specifically at members of the legal profession who are looking for love Single? Find yourself attracted to like-minded people? Well, you’re probably already on one of the niche lawyer dating websites which keep appearing. For those who aren’t, I joined… Read more »