Are my plans for securing a training contract too cheeky for the legal profession?

Unacceptable brashness or praiseworthy initiative?


In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one aspiring lawyer ponders an unusual route into solicitor qualification.


I have a question regarding the profession and career plans. I am currently undertaking a law degree and have two years until I finish and then start the LPC. My plan is to open my own high street firm and work there either during my LPC or my degree (depending on finances and the answers given to this question). If I open my own firm and hire a solicitor with three years+ experience (in compliance with profession rules), can said employee then offer me a training contract at my own firm? Or is that an unacceptably cheeky way of securing a training contract?

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I don’t think it’s a good idea, but I’ve heard this has been done before.


What was the outcome of those other occasions, do you know? I don’t think it’s a good idea, but I am curious to see whether it would work.


Don’t know the full story, but I believe he received sufficient training to convince the SRA and was accepted onto the roll.


How will you pay your solicitor and for the premises and insurance etc? With magic beans? If you have that much spare cash then why bother working at all? Also I can’t be bothered to check the regulations but if it’s your firm and you’re the principal I think you need to be qualified in some way. Soz ya.


I’m phenomenally wealthy and don’t really need to work.

I just fancy being a solicitor and think I’d be good at it.


Well then you’re a stuck up t**t who shouldn’t bother becoming one because clients hate pretentious solicitors.

Another Anonymous

You never claimed it. However, you clearly are..

And something of a berk into the bargain..

Good luck though. The world really really needs people like you….. 😐


If you’re phenomenally wealthy and don’t need to work, why not reflect on how fortunate you are to have the choice and do something meaningful with your life ? Charity work for instance

i.e. DON’T become a solicitor – there’s not exactly a shortage like…. Or if you absolutely must, go into an area where you can actually help people genuinely in need – perhaps human rights or international law


Alex, what were you smoking when you thought this up? Where can a student get the money to set up a firm just to get a TC? How will you run it for two years with no experience?

Alex's estranged brother

Hi Alex, nan said you should stop hitting the hash pipe so hard, it makes you publish shyte like this.


If you’re going to dedicate that much time and effort to something, focus on getting a good grade, doing extra-curricular stuff, and perhaps some pro bono work with CAB or the like: You won’t have any problems securing a training contract.


That’s a great idea!!!!! There are literally no obstacles to your success. I am absolutely certain that the first letter you receive from the SRA on your embarking on this venture will be to congratulate you on your genius.


I recommend qualifying as an accountant first, then setting up an abs with a law firm on the condition that they give you a training contract. Any firm of repute will jump at the chance.

Lord Harley

I think this is a very good idea but pray tell, why bother hiring a solicitor?


If this is supposed to be funny, it really isn’t.

If this is supposed to be a real career question, it shouldn’t have been published (there’s plenty of other more realistic queries out there that could actually be more helpful).

If this is just clickbait then LC is clearly scraping the barrel with this one.


Oddly enough I think this is possible. It is possible to start a law firm even if you are not qualified if you go into partnership with another who is qualified. Isn’t this partly what alternative business structures permit. If that was not the case firms such as BBC, Ernest Young and PWC couldn’t qualify lawyers.


If the aim is just to have the qualification, then skip the TC entirely?

Get your law degree, throw a few grand (I can’t remember how much) to that company in london that will train you up to pass the New York bar exam in just a few months. Then once you’re a qualified US attorney contact the SRA and study for and pass the qualified lawyer transfer test.

Congratulations, you’re then a solicitor.

Shit way of qualifying, but if the aim is to just get the qualification then the QLTT is much easier.


The New York Bar is MUCH harder than the LPC or getting a TC.


You make it sound like the lucky one is a flop — far from it — grnissog probably 25 million plus. You put Zac Efron with a great concept and it’s a winner.


Some chancer and his accomplice once tried this scam with pupillages. He already had some legal qualification and was working as an immigration consultant in Luton. He hired the office next door and got some plonker to agree to be the head of chambers and pupil supervisor.

By agreement between chancer and accomplice, the accomplice was awarded the first pupillage following a fake selection process (in which there were a surprising number of applicants). The accomplice having completed his pupillage, the chancer then applied for the next pupillage, in another fake process…and didn’t get the pupillage. Chancer then had a crisis of conscience and shopped everyone to the BSB.

Per Swift J: “The setting up of [the chambers] was dishonest from its inception”. Thathall v Bar Standards Board (available on Westlaw)


This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.


Provided your firm complies with all SRA regulations, it doesn’t matter who the “chief executive” of that firm would be (so even if they’re not legally qualified, they can just have a director like role).

It will not be hard to find decent solicitors who are thinking about making their own firm, but perhaps do not have the capital to start something like this off. As you said you’re quite wealthy; you can help with this part by supplying the capital needed. As stated, provided the firm you created met the SRA guidelines and all the solicitors hired had enough PQE (they can also bring some clients), there’s no reason why this is would not be possible.


This is an insanely expensive and potentially disastrous way to secure a TC. If you are as wealthy as you say are in previous threads, then just cold call as many high street firms as you can asking for a few days shadowing or a week placement, saying you’ll work for free and not in need of reimbursement for costs. Try to see if one of them will take advantage of you generous offer of free labour and keep you on part time during term and full time during the breaks. Try to mix it up with maybe doing legal research for a barrister in the process for some variety, or do what I did and create some placements with in house legal teams of large companies (although I definitely didn’t work for free). After a while of slaving away for free while still living like a king, ask your supervisors about potentially qualifying with the firm. Do that while doing the normal TC apps with a stellar CV. If during all this you’re just bored and want to invest in a business, set up one of those artisan coffee stands. Everyone loves a latte with a flower on it made by a plaid-draped hipster outside a busy bus station or shopping centre. Plus you could provide commercial awareness nonsense for days on your TC apps.


How is it a “career conundrum” when the proposed course of action is illegal?

It’s equivalent to posing the question of whether it is acceptable to fund your legal studies by robbing banks. It’s illegal, so why even ask the question.

Poor quality blog posts might result in clickbait traffic, but you will end up losing return visitors if you keep up with this.


Don’t bother trying to become a lawyer, you’re obviously a fucking moron.


Well you’re too stupid to obtain a TC legitimately, for starters.

A Trainee Solicitor

My parents always say ‘money cannot buy you everything’. Working hard to achieve a 2:1 or above, working hard to secure work & legal experience and working hard to secure a training contract will make you feel so much better about yourself and equip you with all the transferable skills you need from a legal career. The system and process is also there to test your drive. If you are really passionate about a legal career, work hard, give it your all, and you will secure a TC. Simply paying your way through may not make for a rewarding career or title. Hardworking lawyers and Trainees are tired of seeing non-practising and title-only lawyers break the law, and leave a stain on our profession. Perhaps you should start a business with your money (sell clothes, holiday deals etc) and just have the title of a ‘Business Man’


Better off doing the BVC, or whatever it’s now called, or NY Bar, then effectively work as paralegal and do the conversion then you’re a qualified solicitor without needing a TC. Failing that, with ideas of this standard, you should bag a role as Lord Sugar’s next business partner.

Lord Lyle of Counsel

Good one LC.
Boys and girls, this practice is quite common. See the reported case of Sheikh Rahim Ahmed. He got struck off, but made millions in his venture.

This technique is most usually done by a collective, commonly an extended family as a business venture. It is quite lucrative.


The above was not me, however I would be interested in views on whether it would be best not to use my hereditary title in the provision of legal services.

Lord Harley of Counsel

It’s essential, and fight anyone who says you can’t to the death.


Many thanks.

I had feared that using the same might have put me at a disadvantage in some way, but you have reassured me.


Excellent bait, many found tasty. 10/10 would get hooked again.


Just wanted to comment on the advice from the partner at Sherman & Sterling about how to make it as a partner. I think the key is being rich and going to private school and then being coached in Durham. Must have been such a tough life for her with all those public school boys, just like the boys she grew up with I imagine.


I hear there’s a certain legally experienced nobleman, a veritable Mozart of the courtroom, who has had some bad fortune recently, and thus may be looking for employment at the moment, so perhaps this could be a mutually beneficial opportunity for the two of you. Given the nobleman-in-question’s background, meeting statutory office first aid training requirements is unlikely to be an issue either. And if business is a bit dry for a small, freshly minted firm, there’s always a potentially lucrative sideline in using the same corporate structure to flog mortar spigots or other devices for which the nobleman holds the intellectual property. Not to mention bespoke gown tailoring services, with a special interest in medal-mounting and badge embroidery. Your one stop shop for all those wishing to become authentic senior counsel.


Oh? Could you perhaps provide a link to said person’s LinkedIn?


I’m still hoping that someone could put
me in touch with the above person as a potential collaborative partner in setting up my new enterprise.


I noticed that Henry Hendron was mentioned earlier. I met him once. Lovely chap. What’s he up to these days?

Did it for the Lolz

Can you do it, yes. Should you do it? Depends.

You will find it hard to get a job as a Solicitor with that background. That’s if the firm you apply for is worth its salt and does any kind of background check. But if you intend to carry on and run your own firm that won’t touch you…

If you are so wealthy so as to be able to do it then there are no legal rules against it far as I see. It becomes a question of personal morals, followed by your capabilities.

If your a bad solicitor then the ombudsman and the SRA will quickly sweep you away. If your not then you won’t I guess.

Never heard of anyone doing this though.

And ‘Lord’ Harley was struck off so you cannot go into business with him. This is all very strange.


Thank you for the above information.

I had a narrow escape as I was about to approach Lord Harley to propose a collaboration.

I’m very grateful.


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