Bristol Uni law grad goes public with training contract rejection pain

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By Alex Aldridge on

Story of Stephanie Charbine becomes headline news as glut of law students leaves nearly a third jobless


A wannabe lawyer stuck in paralegal purgatory managed to get a full page spread in the Sunday papers yesterday — after she revealed her training contract heartache.

The national interest in the story of Bristol Uni grad Stephanie Charbine (pictured above) comes as new figures from the ‘Good University Guide’ (£) show that 29% of law students will be in “neither a professional job nor further study six months after graduation”.

It is thought that a glut of aspiring lawyers — law is the third most popular course in British universities, behind nursing and psychology — is behind the problem.

Charbine — who is currently working as a paralegal at niche London family law firm Hughes Fowler Carruthers despite getting a 2:1 in her prestigious LLB — told the Sunday Times (£) about the classic work experience problem she and thousands of other law students face, asking:

It’s a vicious cycle. No one will give you a job without work experience, but how can you get experience if you can’t get a job?

The Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper went on to quote Charbine’s mum, Carolyn, who, like many out of touch parents, expressed shock that “a good law degree is not a golden ticket”.

A look at Charbine’s LinkedIn profile shows her to have spent a year working in non-law jobs after graduating in 2013 before bagging a mini-pupillage at Fourteen, the family law barristers’ chambers. Off the back of that she landed a paralegal job at London litigation shop Hausfeld, where she did three months, before getting her current role in June this year.


That seems like a tough run, but it looks like Charbine is moving in the right direction. As such, her pledge to “carry on” despite “being rejected at most turns” makes sense. Who knows, maybe Charbine’s evident media savvy will give the folks at Hughes Fowler Carruthers a jolt to offer her a TC?