Advice

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

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62

Unacceptable brashness or praiseworthy initiative?

meme

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

areer

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?

If you have a career conundrum, email us with it to careers@legalcheek.com.

62 Comments

Amused.

How much sober thought have you actually given to this?

(86)(1)

Jay

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

(7)(0)

Anonymous

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.

(0)(0)

Jay

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

(1)(0)

Anonymous

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.

(23)(5)

OP

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.

(26)(15)

Anonymous

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

(12)(18)

OP

I never claimed to be pretentious…

(10)(6)

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….. 😐

Anonymous

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

(13)(0)

Anonymous

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?

(22)(4)

OP

See above.

(3)(3)

Alex's estranged brother

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

(40)(0)

Anonymouse

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.

(9)(1)

Anonymous

Are you really answering this question!? More fool you

(5)(3)

Anonymous

LEGAL CHEEK!! REALLY!!!???

(10)(2)

Anonymous

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.

(44)(1)

OP

Thanks 😀

(6)(5)

Anonymous

Swing and a miss.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

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.

(10)(1)

Lord Harley

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

(14)(0)

Shady but not Slim

Will the real Lord Harley please stand up?

(13)(1)

Anonymous

Please stand up?

Please stand up?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

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.

(17)(1)

Anonymous

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.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

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.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

QLTT closed in 2013

(7)(1)

Anonymous

Actually, it seems to be even easier now

http://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/qlts.page

(1)(1)

Anonymous

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

(0)(9)

Anonymous

Having done it, I can say it’s not.

(3)(1)

Emily

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.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

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)

(7)(2)

Anonymous

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

(2)(0)

Karson

Frankly I think that’s ablleutsoy good stuff.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

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.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

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.

(5)(1)

Sandman

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.

(3)(6)

Anonymous

No it’s not illegal you wassock.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

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

(3)(2)

OP

How so?

(2)(2)

Anonymous

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

(0)(1)

OP

What’s for main course?

(1)(2)

Anonymous

dead joke.

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’

(2)(0)

A Trainee Solicitor

* for a legal career

(0)(0)

Anonymous

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.

(1)(3)

Not Amused

….

(2)(2)

Comments are closed.