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.
In May, 4 New Square chambers opted not to sack one its pupils, Henry Mostyn, after he was caught by police with cocaine and ecstasy while queuing outside a Shoreditch nightclub.
Some admired 4 New Square's liberalism. Others questioned whether Mostyn had been made a special case of by virtue of his high profile father, High Court judge Sir Nicholas Mostyn QC.
Meanwhile, there were murmurings that Mostyn had merely been given a stay of execution and that 4 New Square was not planning to keep him on when he finished his pupillage in the summer.
Well, those murmurings proved right...
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 six years, Lea, who started out at Clyde & Co, has worked at a variety of law firms and done a spell as a freelance lawyer and social media consultant before arriving at Bargate Murray, which does a lot of work advising tech start-ups. He reckons lawyers these days need to be flexible and willing to "hustle" if they’re going survive in an often cut-throat market.
I have followed the saga about Henry Mostyn, the pupil found with a small amount of drugs on him, with puzzled bewilderment, writes OccupyTheInns.
It has been summed up most in the outrage of the truly awful Daily Mail, a newspaper I do my level best to keep a wide berth from. What a fuss about nothing! None of the coverage of this matter has even bothered to ask one simple question: what would have happened in this sorry affair if drugs were legalised? The answer, of course, is that there would not have been a scandal in the first place.
Sadly drugs remain illegal in this country, forcing talented young people like Henry Mostyn to hide – and be punished for – taking substances that are in many cases no more harmful than a few pints of lager. The situation is made worse for the high-achieving, often creative types who pursue careers at the Bar of England and Wales...
Henry Mostyn: Reaction
Barrister son of top judge who left wife for widow of divorce lawyer killed by police is fined for having cocaine and ecstasy – Mail Online
Judge's son caught with cocaine and ecstasy keeps job as barrister – The Telegraph
Four New Square pupil reprimanded by BSB after drug arrest – The Lawyer