Jags And Unpaid Interns: The Two Faces Of Fly-On-The-Wall Documentary Law Firm Tuckers

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‘The Briefs’, the two-part ITV criminal law firm documentary which concluded last night, sparked rage among members of the public.

Feeding the flames of hatred was the scene where Tuckers senior partner Franklin Sinclair did the rounds to his needy legal aid clients in a flash convertible Jaguar (pictured below)…

Of course, those with knowledge of the legal profession didn’t begrudge Sinclair his bit of bling amid all those legal aid cuts. If he’d gone into the City, who knows how rich a top alpha male like this could have become?

Still, with times even harder for the next generation of legal aid lawyers, it would be nice for socially-minded types like Sinclair to share at least a tiny portion of their wealth with, say, their firm’s interns. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way at Tuckers.

As you can see below, the firm’s graduate internships are unpaid.

Tuckers, which won’t be offering any training contracts for the next couple of years, says it tries to keep the duration of its internships to a maximum of a month. But that’s still a long time to survive in London without any money.



I did work experience with Tuckers a couple of years ago and I don’t know why anyone would want to work for them anyway. It certainly put me off Criminal Law, it ain’t like “Silk” where everyone’s innocent. You’re acting for a succession of grubby crims that you know are all as guilty as sin, police station work is mostly for alcoholic public order offences… the lawyers are more like social workers and probably paid less. You’ve got to seriously get off on this kind of work to want to do it because there’s not much going for it and any pathologically altruistic StaffordSmith-esque idealism will be quickly extinguished when you’ve been lied to for the billionth time. Blue collar law indeed.

I’m very very pleased that I am now a trainee on the civil lit side.. I suppose there will always be a steady supply of guilt ridden useful idiots who believe what they see on TV dramas and have Harper Lee as their bible wanting to do this kind of work. Good luck to them.


Experienced_Mostyn_impersonator [this is a group account operated by a team of non-practicing barristers]

So you did this internship hoping it’d be just like a TV show? I didn’t realize law firms were giving graduate internships to 14 year olds now


Tom Green

Possibly a good job Criminal Law was not your choice Seska! If you start from the perception all persons detained by police are “grubby crims,” you had little to offer the profession, and because someone has been previously guilty even of many offences certainly does not mean that they are necessarily guilty as charged on one for which they have been arrested, as the “no further action” results of so many representations at police stations prove, as well as later “not guilty” verdicts.

I do wish you luck with your choice of civil litigation, but if you are looking for some profession where you will only meet nice people without problems in their lives, you will find many of your clients no more honest and no less selfish than those of any criminal lawyer, and you will see many you immediately think simply need help other than from lawyers in their lives.

Indeed you might well earn more money, and even work 9-5, and I am sure no-one would judge you as selfish for it. (Though many out of your closed civil litgation circle may still better respect some of the hard-working lawyers who have chosen criminal law, which even when a solicitor has made it to the top, still has times he or she ends up in an interview room at a police station with a client in the early hours and follow through to working at court in the morning! )


gail raybould

The Lawyers at Tuckers have to be a bit laid back considering the type of criminal they’re dealing with. What a great documentary. Would be nice to replace Coronation Street 3 nights a week… and an omnibus on a Sunday morning.. WOW! I love Tuckers!



i interned at tuckers, manchester, in the summer of 2010. Franklin took me on just on the basis of my cv. I found the solicitors and barristers really friendly, helpful and down to earth. sinclair even put his arm around my shoulders when he first met me. i havent seen the documentary yet. the most memorable time would have been getting taken to the police station and watching a trial with Hunter Gray as Defence. Got to say, i was told frankly that criminal law wasnt the way to go, but im really grateful for the experience.


Doubting Tom

@Michael- I’m pretty sure a CV is the usual way of getting an internship. And putting his arm around your shoulders? Struggling to see how that’s a selling point.


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