Kevin Poulter

How not to become a smart casualty at a law firm open day

Is smart casual a trap? A law firm “encourages” me to turn up for their open day tomorrow in smart casual dress. Is this a trap?! #Lawstudentproblems — Alex Lau (@AlexOfTheDay) April 15, 2013 The answer, of course, is yes. But, as effortlessly-stylish Bircham Dyson Bell solicitor Kevin Poulter (pictured below) explains, it’s a navigable… Read more »

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 To Schmooze Your Way To Partnership Riches

When pushed to get out and flaunt their wares, many lawyers tend to think (but rarely say) stuff like: “I did not go into law to become a salesperson.” These snobs are doomed for the scrapheap, reckons legal careers guru Heather Townsend – although she puts it rather more diplomatically than that, as she tells… 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 »

Happy Birthday: Legal Cheek Is One

A year ago today we launched with this post from Android. Since then, the site has grown faster than anyone expected – although that growth admittedly didn’t get fully underway until the replacement in January of logo Mark I (pictured below) with the more tasteful Mark II you can see above. We’re now getting over… 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 »

‘How Will I Ever Come Out In Front Of Partners Who Say: ‘I Can’t Watch One Foot In The Grave Because That Richard Wilson Is Gay’?’

The words of solicitor-advocate and Law Society council member Keith Etherington, as he recalls how the legal profession’s attitude towards sexuality has been transformed over the last few years in this week’s #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast. Together with Legal Cheek‘s Kevin Poulter, Etherington is responsible for co-founding the lawyers’ parade at London Gay Pride – which takes… Read more »

PODCAST: Laying Down On a Bed Of Norton Roses

Success can turn on the smallest of things. Cambridge graduate Marta Sanchez (pictured left) completed her LPC in 2008 having narrowly missed out on a training contract at a magic circle law firm. Then Lehman Brothers collapsed, the TC market dried up and Sanchez ended up working as a maid for Bircham Dyson Bell solicitor… Read more »

PODCAST: Be Yourself, Not Some ‘Made In Chelsea’ Clone

With Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge on yet another foreign jolly, Bircham Dyson Bell lawyer Kevin Poulter takes up the podcast reins (yes, podcasts have reins) to deliver a moving soliloquy about his decade-long love affair with legal services. Well, that was the plan until former chair of the Association of Women Solicitors Dawn Dixon… 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 »

Four Reasons Why The Trainee Minimum Wage Had To Go

You heard it here first, a full hour before any other publication, and it’s now been confirmed that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has scrapped the minimum wage for trainee solicitors. The good news for current LPC students is that, firstly, the change won’t come into force until August 2014, and, secondly, trainees will still… Read more »

PODCAST: Scrap Trainee Minimum Salary And ‘Only The Rich’ Will Become Solicitors, Says Junior Lawyers Division Chief

The minimum trainee salary debate is developing into quite a fight – with the latest blow landed yesterday by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) when it released findings claiming that 70% of law firms which don’t hire trainees would “seriously consider” doing so if the minimum salary was scrapped. Upon hearing this, committee members of… 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 »

#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 »

#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 »