Podcast

#RoundMyKitchenTable: Twork Experience, Fairy Tales & City Lawyer Fat Cats

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Earlier this week, law student David Woodall set out some etiquette for asking lawyers for work experience on Twitter. Podcast co-host Kevin Poulter, an employment lawyer at Bircham Dyson Bell, and Barbara Hamilton-Bruce, director of legal operations at the Accident Advice Helpline, like David’s style – but advise students against moving in for the kill too early in their fledgling Twitter relationships with lawyers.

Instead the pair (pictured) recommend that students go along to events like Tuesday’s legal tweet-up, ply their targets with alcohol, then use the compromising information they obtain to crowbar themselves into training contracts.

Not that training contracts are the be-all and end-all. Barbara came up through the legal executive route. And judging by the sparkling new Lexus she arrived at Legal Cheek editor Alex Aldridge’s flat in, and the diamond necklace she casually gave to a tramp (pictured) as she left, the existence of an ILEX lawyer is a prosperous one.

Sadly, life has been less kind to Kevin, who has spent the last few days frantically emailing his boss to find out what the hell happened to his £35,500 bonus – the average size of a City law bonus according to research released this week.

For #RoundMyKitchenTable on iTunes, click here.

For a transcript of the podcast, click here.

Transcript provided by Stretlaw.com Your access to Legal Education, 2011

1 Comment

Disillusioned

Extremely refreshing to hear about Barbara’s route into law. Such a shame that this option is often invisible to or looked down upon by potential lawyers.

The legal profession is a funny one – success is often translated to mean big money salaries in flashy corporate outfits. For some reason, those who train at the big shiny firms are seen as more impressive, more skilled lawyers. Or at least this is how they’re sold to us future lawyers. As Kevin’s pointed out in previous podcasts, this is not the case – training at smaller firms can give you more responsibility, more time with clients and as a result, better skills. I’ve often wondered if the big commercial firms would be as popular if they paid a pittance. What most glossy brochures fail to mention is the number of shiny new solicitors who end up hating their jobs and burning out by the time they’re 30. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds.

Working, learning how to deal with clients….gaining the type of skills which reflect the reality of a full-time job….can only be truly gained through work itself which is why the ILEX route is so special. Its ironic that the profession remains snooty about a route which is actually ahead of its time….the ILEX route is proof that the LPC is a useless qualification which teaches skills which could and should be acquired on the job.

The type of open discourse on this podcast which challenges the norms of the profession is extremely constructive and is what all future lawyers need to hear before they’re brainwashed by the shiny corporate firms.

In summary, good work, keep it up. The profession needs to be challenged.

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