While the decision to jail Trenton Oldfield has been greeted with shock – the New Statesman went as far as to describe the case as “our Pussy Riot” – there has also been amusement at the anti-elitism protester's rather elite background.
Oldfield attended one of Australia’s most highly-regarded fee-paying schools, before obtaining a masters degree at the London School of Economics and becoming a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
It seems that this taste for establishment excellence may have influenced Oldfield's choice of lawyers...
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...
Three weeks on from the scrapping of the trainee minimum wage and the decision looks more ill-thought through than ever, argues Oxford University Bachelor of Civil Laws (BCL) student Richard Ridyard
The thousands of LPC graduates without a training contract have choked off the arteries of confidence in the legal graduate market. We find ourselves at a crossroads. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has made a bold step by abolishing the minimum wage for trainee solicitors. But now that the dust has settled and we have had a chance to reflect on that decision, was it the right one? Here, I argue that the four reasons Legal Cheek gave to explain why the SRA acted as it did are flawed.
Training contract numbers may be on the increase again, but times are still hard for LPC students – thousands of whom will finish law school this summer without a job to go to.
How to steal a march on the rest of the wannabes? Well, you could take out an advert hawking your services in a legal magazine. That's what Charles Mallinson, an Oxford University graduate currently studying the LPC, has done, placing a come-and-get-me plea to the corporate and commercial law firms of the North West in the latest issue of Liverpool Law Society’s magazine (see below).
Nice idea, you might think. But the trouble with this sort of thing is that it can get you in hot water with law's regulators – as Bar graduate Maney Ullah found out in January 2009 when he placed this full page ad in the inside cover of Counsel magazine.
"Radical; vegetarian; socialist. These three words are rarely used in conjunction with lawyers, but these are the three that encapsulate Michael Mansfield QC," begins last week's Oxford University student newspaper profile of well-known human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield (pictured left).
"In a mystifying world, brim-full of traditions, wigs, and lots of Latin," it continues, "you can imagine the excitement I felt when I was told that I would be having dinner with a Queen’s Counsel. And not just any QC, but the Johnny Depp (pictured right) of the legal world."
Michael Mansfield: the Johnny Depp of the legal world? Really?
A state-school pupil who was invited to Oxford University for an interview for a place to read law decided against going along – and wrote her own letter of rejection to the university. In it, she said Oxford “did not quite meet the standard" of other universities.
Here’s the full text of Elly Nowell’s (pictured) letter.
I have now considered your establishment as a place to read Law (Jurisprudence). I very much regret to inform you that I will be withdrawing my application...
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 professor admitted he had worked for just an hour a day while an undergraduate at Oxford, but said that news of his condition, coupled with his engagement to his first wife Jane, spurred him on to complete his PhD and become an academic.
Apart from being a 'celebrity', Hawking has had an outstanding career in mathematics. I cannot help thinking how fortunate it is that his brilliant brain was not ruined by a career in corporate law. I am sure that he would have been able to perform well on the SHL verbal reasoning test or the Pearson Watson-Glaser critical reasoning test, but of course there is the danger that if he did not reach the 80th percentile he might not have been called even for interview.
Bar graduate Adam Fellows isn't convinced doing a masters degree is a good way to land a trainee legal job
One option for law graduates without a training contract or a pupillage is to study for a masters. Universities have offered LLMs for a long time. More recently, the big name course providers such as BPP and the College of Law have moved into the LLM market. The latest instalment in this developing area is BPP’s new MA in Law and Business, which will allow graduates of its Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) to gain a masters in as little as 15 weeks.
The process involves the study of modules covering business strategy, management, finance and analysis. It costs, in addition to the LPC or BPTC fees, £3,650. The hope is that law firms and chambers will see this new course as giving graduates an extra string to their bow. In law firms, a good sense of business is as essential to a successful career as a good sense of the law. And with chambers being encouraged to enter into alternative business structures as a way to preserve the bar, such skills and knowledge may be useful to someone entering the junior end of the profession.