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Podcast: Why Wannabe Barristers Should Do Their Time As Paralegals Before Doing The BPTC

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The path from the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) to paralegal purgatory is a well trodden one. Sadly, most of those purgatory-dwellers never make it to pupillage heaven. But what if you were to subvert this natural order and, say, become a paralegal before doing the BPTC, gleaning valuable experience and contacts at a much earlier stage than most?

Meet aspiring barrister Alex Pritchard-Jones (pictured below left), who is taking the fairly unusual step of paralegaling between his Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and BPTC, which he will commence in September having deferred his place for a year. Previously, Alex did history and politics at Newcastle University, before completing a masters in modern British history at Oxford.

“I thought that everyone seems to have to do some paralegal work after [the BPTC],” says Alex, who works at GT Stewart Solicitors. “So I thought I might as well get it in before then.”

Alex describes himself as “one of those arts graduates who needed something to do and went for the law.” In the podcast, we also talk about the contrast between Alex’s decision to convert to law from an arts background and my life so far – I’m Tom (that’s me on the right, I’ve had a haircut since), a new addition to the Legal Cheek massive. As an LLB graduate going into journalism, it was interesting to hear from someone heading in a different career direction.

Our conclusion? That doing an LLB might actually be a pretty good way of putting people off a legal career…

Listen to Alex and Tom, plus Legal Cheek veterans Kevin Poulter and Alex Aldridge, in the podcast below – also available on iTunes.