Ed note: This is the latest post in the 'If I knew then what I know now' series, where leading members of the legal profession share their wisdom with the next generation of wannabes. To be honest, I rather hate nostalgia for being self indulgent clap trap allowing too many people to live in the... Read more »
Over Christmas, the announcement by minister for skills Matthew Hancock that school-leavers students will soon be able to become lawyers grabbed the national headlines. At first, I assumed newspapers' enthusiasm for the story was based on the traditional festive lull. After all, only a few months earlier Hancock's colleagues in government had announced that they... Read more »
The final report of the Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) – potentially the biggest shake-up of legal education in three decades – was due last month. But as yet there has been no sign of it... There have been murmurings as far back as autumn 2011 that LETR was going to struggle to keep its December... Read more »
The College of Law is to re-brand as the University of Law after being granted university title, Legal Cheek can exclusively reveal. As you can see below, the College of Law registered the www.university-of-law.co.uk domain name some months ago. However, the name change – and associated re-branding – has remained a well-guarded secret...
In comparison to our odd system of legal education – which sprawls haphazardly from the undergraduate law degree to the CILEX apprenticeship option, via the super-condensed GDL, multiple breeds of LPC and the career graveyard that is the BPTC – the US way of doing things is alluringly simple. In America, you can only study... Read more »
More crazy stuff from across the pond, this time involving an amateur porn model who has caused a storm by filming a 43 minute-long video of herself masturbating in the library of Ivy League law school Cornell.
Assorted scenes from week one, term one, of the GDL And a taster of week one, term three...
At the end of the Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) symposium yesterday, I got chatting with Linda Jotham, a senior lecturer at City Law School. As I groaned about the difficulties facing the LETR panel in coming up with a new system of legal education that keeps everyone happy – we’d just sat through... Read more »
I spotted this ad for the College of Law on the Tube at King's Cross yesterday evening – and nearly fell onto the tracks as I strained to read the spectacularly tiny small print at the bottom. Fortunately, a jobless LPC graduate next to me on the platform agreed to venture down onto the tracks... Read more »
In February, I mentioned an advert for the London College of Law (not to be confused with the College of Law) in an article for the Guardian. I spotted the ad again last week in the Evening Standard (see below).
Earlier this month, the National College of Legal Training (NCLT) announced, to much fanfare, that it would be holding a "reverse auction" for an LPC place on its Facebook page. "To enter, students have to sign up to the event and then log into Facebook on 27 May at 11am," NCLT explained. "We will post... 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 »
The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has had a bad week. First, Richard Moorhead publicly slammed their less-than-brilliant research on advocacy in The Guardian. Then Legal Cheek exposed the dire financial straits their boss finds herself in. The latest calamity to befall everyone’s favourite regulator of barristers? Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) students are blaming the... 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.
Senior members of the legal profession have a tendency to shy away from telling it like it really is. But every now and again their true feelings emerge. Last week at a College of Law debate on diversity at the Bar, a student asked a question about whether the Bar Standards Board’s (BSB) proposal to... Read more »
Introducing Baroness Helena Kennedy last night at the College of Law's "Diversity at the Bar" debate, the school's chief executive Nigel Savage (pictured) played up their shared working class credentials. “Helena and I benefitted from state-funded education. That’s over. Now what?” he asked, two floor to ceiling adverts for the College's BPTC (cost: £16,485) positioned... Read more »
Last week I received this email from a student: "The prestige factor" is a major concern for law students. Read my response below...
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 »
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 »
LLMs are intellectually tough, time-consuming and not all law firms like them, warns LegalAware Students often look on an LLM as something they can do to pass a year while they look for a training contract or pupillage, boosting their CVs in the process. But the reality is that a masters degree in law is... Read more »
In a move that may interest jobless British law graduates and the bigwigs on the panel of the ongoing legal education and training review (LETR), two Yale Law School professors are championing a controversial plan to refund law school tuition fees if students fail to secure a job. Professors Akhil Amar and Ian Ayres want... Read more »
BPTC students are up in arms about the wildly differing lengths of exam times between course providers. Last Thursday City University gave its BPTC students just three and a half hours to complete their opinion writing exam. Yet students at competitor law school BPP will get four hours and 15 minutes when they sit theirs... Read more »
Until recently LPC student Cat Pond was an empathetic, liberal type, but the law has changed her... At the start of my GDL contract law course, the tutor told us to try and visualise the room and all the objects within it as connected by a web of contracts. The coffee cups sat in front... Read more »
The College of Law’s Facebook page is usually a happy place, where wannabe lawyers post polite queries which are promptly answered by members of the law school’s digital team. But on Wednesday there was trouble in paradise. “I HATE COLLEGE OF LAW,” wrote LPC student Jafar Jawid in angry block capitals on the page. To... Read more »
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 »