Law firms

City Pro Bono Falls: Airfare Savings?

As City pro bono hours drop, Alasdair Stewart of pro bono charity LawWorks is buoyed by firms’ greater appetite for ‘boots-on-the-ground’ projects Alex Aldridge’s much-discussed article on Legal Cheek yesterday about magic circle law firms’ plunging pro bono figures is one of those occasions where I’m not sure that the facts are showing the real… Read more »

Pro Bono Plunges Across The Magic Circle

As the slashing of the legal aid budget nears, it has become common to hear City law firms talked up as white knights ready to ride to the rescue of those no longer able to secure funding to take their problems to court. The trouble is, the amount of hours these firms devote to their… Read more »

What Are Law Recruitment Fairs For?

The trauma of the City law milkround drove law graduate Jade Ferguson to explore other less intimidating options The law fair was game face time. Looking like a poor woman’s Ally McBeal, I shuffled around collecting pens and receiving a fair number of elbows to the face from my enthusiastic fellow attendees. I got the… Read more »

Escape Routes From The Law: Doing a Hollywood

For the legions of training contract hunters out there, being a lawyer is a dream. But it’s not a job that makes everyone happy. The British Hollywood actor Gerard Butler (pictured), who started out as a trainee solicitor with Edinburgh corporate law firm Morton Fraser, didn’t enjoy his time in the legal profession. “If I’d… Read more »

Ticket Price to Oscars-style Lawyer Awards Soars to £7K

How do legal magazines that have seen their print advertising revenues plummet over the last few years make money? They hold Oscars-style awards ceremonies for lawyers – and flog tables for £4,000 a pop to law firms which are “nominated” for their prestigious prizes. Well, it used to be £4,000. Indeed, 2012 prices at The… Read more »

Morning Round-Up: Friday 20 January

Belfast solicitor ‘linked to Triads’ – Belfast Telegraph Former judge Beatrice Bolton dog bite charges withdrawn – BBC Juror carried out internet research on court case ‘because she didn’t understand judge’s instruction not to’ – Daily Mail McGrigors and Pinsent Masons moot £282m merger – The Lawyer

How Would Stephen Hawking Have Fared as a City Lawyer?

Follow @legalaware The professor’s arrival would have delighted a corporate law firm PR team, but management may have been less enthusiastic, writes LegalAware Unfortunately, Professor Stephen Hawking was too unwell to attend his 70th birthday celebration at Cambridge University last week, but a recorded version of his speech made for interesting listening. In it, the… Read more »

The Most Dysfunctional Law Firm Ever?

The recently released testimony of dodgy American lawyer Scott Rothstein – sentenced to 50 years in jail for a $1.2bn (£770m) Ponzi scheme fraud – puts events at Hogan Lovells, where partner Chris Grierson amassed £1m in false expenses, firmly in the shade. According to Rothstein (pictured): His now defunct firm, Rothstein, Rosenfeldt and Adler,… Read more »

Accutrainee Chief Hits Back at Critics

Follow @Accutrainee Founder of new cut-price training contract scheme responds to recent criticism from Legal Cheek’s Alex Aldridge and Flora Duguid No doubt the new Accutrainee legal training model won’t be right for everyone. But contrary to the opinions expressed by a number of blogs and articles, it can deliver many benefits to both firms… Read more »

Can Tension Between Legal Aid and Pro Bono Be Resolved?

Rather than criticise pro bono charities for “overselling” themselves, legal aid lawyers need to work with them, argues Alasdair Stewart Last month the Legal Action Group warned pro bono charities against making too much noise about the amount of pro bono assistance that they are helping to support – and the danger this poses. “The… Read more »


Don’t dance, or – even worse – have sex with a colleague; do mix your drinks, though, advises a partner at a top London law firm writing anonymously for Legal Cheek The advent signs give warning of the great office event. Packed pubs and restaurants with large tables of diners looking uneasy in paper hats…. Read more »


Follow @legalaware Initiatives like PRIME won’t change fact current system writes off talented students far too early, says LegalAware According to statistics recently cited by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, 70% of high court judges and 68% of top barristers are privately-educated, more than half of solicitors attended independent schools, only one in four partners… Read more »


Follow @DTollervey88 Daryl Tollervey rues firms’ custom of recruiting trainees so far in advance Trying to secure a training contract is like trying to wash yourself after removing the plug from the bath. If you don’t finish the job in time, you’re in for a long wait – in bathing terms, until the bath is… Read more »


Follow @debbiematthews1 Debbie Matthews regrets her night out with a senior male colleague Wednesday morning. I’m back in the cosy confines of my office, feeling slightly nauseous. The nausea seems less about the wine I drank last night, and more about my flashbacks of the evening. I eventually left the bar at around 10.30 –… Read more »


Follow @cathrynkoz Cathryn Kozlowski focused on getting top music qualifications rather than top A-levels, but now she wants to be a lawyer and is finding that firms hold this against her Almost every training contract and vac scheme application now begins with a filtering process, whereby you must state whether you achieved the usual minimum… Read more »


Follow @flo_duguid Law graduate Flora Duguid isn’t impressed by the new solicitor training scheme Accutrainee The more I think about Acculaw (or Accutrainee as the new training scheme for wannabe lawyers was recently re-branded), the more it reminds me of a pair of Jimmy Choos in a charity shop. Both look fantastic at first sight,… Read more »


Follow @AlexAldridgeUK The ‘British Legal Awards’, the grandly titled money making scam awards ceremony for corporate solicitors run by Legal Week, was held last night. Having been heavily buttered up in advance by the organisers, and then plied with generous amounts of alcohol, the solicitors at these events often assume the demeanour of diva premiership… Read more »


Follow @AlasdairIS But despite the complaints from lawyers and disinterest from the press, the fact the event takes place at all represents major progress, says Alasdair Stewart National pro bono week took place last month, but I fear that it passed most people by. Despite a range of events taking place up and down the… Read more »


Follow @debbiematthews1 Debbie Matthews on the perils of blurring the line between work and, er, pleasure Having got back from court, I dump the file on my desk and am looking forward to heading home when the sleazy middle-aged lawyer I foolishly agreed to go out for a drink with enters my office. Trying to… Read more »


Follow @LegalCheek Legal Cheek is watching you… Twitter tale from the Bar of the week Overheard by pupil barrister @BenjaminFGray (not at the chambers where he is a pupil): “blue shirts are not appropriate for someone under 5 years call” Unlikely Twitter conversation of the week Between The Lawyer magazine editor @lawyercatrin and Conservative MP… Read more »


Follow @AlexAldridgeUK Don’t pursue a career on the basis of what will sound good at dinner parties, says Alex Aldridge Every month or so I get an email from a student asking for advice. Sometimes they want me to help them decide if they should risk going to law school without having a job lined… Read more »


Follow @emilyjupp Dear Auntie Em, I’m a male first year trainee solicitor at a large law firm in the City of London. My problem is that I really fancy (and possibly even may be in love with) one of my fellow trainees. We’re mates, and I know she’s single too. Ordinarily, I’d ask her out…. Read more »