RoundMyKitchenTable

The rise of the straight B student (who got a first)

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The resilience, drive and determination possessed by rough diamonds is underrated, Norton Rose Fulbright trainee recruitment manager Caroline Lindner tells Legal Cheek‘s Alex Aldridge as he visits an “Aspiring Solicitors” lunch hosted by the firm.

Where next for LGBT in law?

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The legal profession has made huge amounts of progress in their treatment of gay lawyers, but tricky issues remain, discovers Alex Aldridge as he visits one of the leading LGBT network in the City.

Can an Oxbridge law degree put you off becoming a lawyer?

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Earlier this week a leaked email revealed that law students were the worst performers at an Oxford University college. Given the more challenging nature of a law degree relative to most arts degrees, perhaps this should come as no surprise. But it does beg the question whether studying law in the high-pressure surroundings of Oxford… Read more »

Podcast: Do you have a better chance of landing a training contract if you do your law degree in London?

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The growing separation between recovering London and the struggling rest of the country poses an interesting question for wannabe lawyers: is it currently an advantage to be studying in the capital — with its universities’ links to top international law firms — than in the relatively moribund regions? Recent Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)… Read more »

Podcast: How barristers can make an impact on social mobility

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We gathered together Young Barristers’ Committee chair Hannah Kinch, Citizenship Foundation programme manager Paul Bower and Hardwicke barrister Charles Bagot — and grilled them about the Bar’s relationship with corporate social responsibility (CSR). Pictured above, in order, from left to right, Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge, Kinch, Bower and Bagot.

What do Bar graduates think of the new Inns of Court scheme to create ‘dozens’ of extra pupillages next year?

The new Inns of Court subsidy scheme to help publicly-funded chambers offer more pupillages caused quite a stir when it was announced last month. Legal Cheek reporter Thomas Connelly, who completed the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) at Northumbria University last year, met up with recent University of Law BPTC graduate Lorraine Kudom to discuss… Read more »

How can you tell what type of lawyer you’re destined to be?

One of the main problems faced by law students as they attempt to land training contracts and pupillages is having to make important career decisions so early. For Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) chief Charles Plant — who used to be a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills — the situation is absurd, as he made clear… Read more »

Podcast: What sexy law-related careers are there other than the Bar?

Like many young hopefuls, Thomas Connelly and Nathan Akhavan-Moossavi both found themselves drawn to the Bar. Connelly, who is an editorial assistant at Legal Cheek, has gone furthest towards realising the dream, completing the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and working as a county court advocate. Meanwhile, law and German graduate Akhavan-Moossavi, who will shortly… Read more »

Could the legal aid reforms improve life for baby barristers?

It’s a confusing time for future legal aid barristers. On Friday a lucky few obtained pupillage, as existing members of the Bar roared encouragement to the not-so-lucky ones… Very best of luck to all those seeking pupillage. If you're not successful today don't give up. — Boro Barrister (@borobarrister) August 2, 2013 Yet just days… Read more »

How anonymous social media sensations can avoid getting sued

Amid the thrills of YourBarristerBoyfriend’s sensational arrival on the scene last week, there were — this being a Tumblr about the law — some anxious murmurings about the legality of ranking “barrister hotties”. Should the poor lambs who’d been featured in the list of the most attractive barristers in London have first been asked for… Read more »

Is it OK to pay for help with essays and training contract applications?

There’s an assumption that the trade in essay and training contract application “model answers” is small scale. But the tale of Barclay Littlewood suggests otherwise. Having completed Bar school in 2002, and been unable to find a pupillage, the penniless Littlewood launched essay writing company All Answers Limited. By 2008 he had made the Sunday… Read more »

Revealed: what ‘commercial awareness’ actually means

Despite the term’s omnipresence in the world of legal graduate recruitment, few wannabe lawyers properly understand what is meant by “commercial awareness”. Determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, we got together a hotshot junior commercial barrister, a magic circle trainee-to-be, a final year law student, a solicitor-turned-lecturer and a graduate recruitment specialist… Read more »

Podcast: Dispatches from the exam frontline

Exam season is upon us: students up and down the country are frantically highlighting, cultivating coffee addictions, weeping and – if urban legend is to be believed – tearing key pages out of library books to gain a competitive edge. Blogger Lucy Pether (pictured with me below), who combines her Legal Cheek editorial duties with… 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 »

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 »