EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: UWE law graduate Bilal Rauf tells Legal Cheek about his maverick strategy to land a training contract
Minutes after we posted our story about a law graduate hustling solicitors for work at the foot of the Chancery Lane Tube station escalator yesterday morning, we got an email identifying the enterprising lad.
Subsequently Bilal Rauf (blurrily pictured in action above) got in touch himself, and we took the opportunity to pump the young wannabe lawyer with questions about his audacious move to bag a training contract.
The UWE law graduate told us that he has been jobless since completing the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at the University of Law this summer, and, with money running out, had decided that radical action was needed.
“It’s the first time I’ve done anything like this. But I felt I needed to try something a bit different. Since I graduated in June I have been applying for paralegal positions and training contracts without success,” he explained to Legal Cheek.
Rauf — who is currently sustaining himself by working shifts in his dad’s restaurant in Swindon — adds that he was “surprised at the very positive response” of the solicitors and law firm HR professionals who took the copies of his CV that he was distributing.
“People were very friendly and receptive to what I was doing, with the 30 CVs going in no time. I arrived at 7:15am and by 8:30am they had all gone,” he said.
Still, there was the odd bit of lawyer snark on Twitter (despite Rauf having got permission from Tube staff)…
— The Bounder (@The_Bounder) September 25, 2014
And in the Legal Cheek comments…
Unlike many LPC graduates, Rauf already has some paralegal experience, having worked for six months at Lyons Davidson Solicitors in Cardiff between the completion of his LLB — in which he got a 2:1 — and the commencement of his LPC. He also did a three month summer stint as a legal assistant at Dhanju McLean Solicitors.
The failure of the 23 year-old to land a law job underlines the still very harsh market facing graduates. Despite a moderate increase in training contracts last year from 4,869 to 5,302, annual TC numbers remain well short of the 2008 high of 6,303. And as Legal Cheek has noted, many big firms continue to reduce graduate numbers.
At the time of publication, Rauf hadn’t received any job offers, although he says he has had a couple of encouraging leads. He is planning to hand out more CVs to commuters in legal London on Monday. In the meantime, anyone interested in hiring a law graduate who’s not short of desire or enterprise can view Rauf’s CV here.
Wannabe lawyers who’d rather not take to the streets with their CVs can apply for some great paralegal and graduate law positions on Legal Cheek Jobs.