Keele University’s law society in training contract gavel clanger

Hysteria sets in on application deadline day?

Aspiring lawyers across the country will be on their seventh cup of coffee today as they rush to get their last minute training contract forms in. But, despite Keele Law Society’s advice, please don’t include a gavel in your application.

The student law society has posted an image to Instagram telling applicants to make sure they’ve added “those finishing touches” — a sentiment illustrated by a gavel of all things.

It’s a common misconception that gavels are used in UK courtrooms. Keele now joins a long list of law schools continuing to fuel this fallacy.

Last year we reported that the University of Oxford’s Hertford College had included the auctioneer’s hammer in its alumni newsletter. Not long before, BPP Law School dropped a similarly gavel-shaped clanger in its 2015 advocacy manual. And who could forget this Staffordshire University gaffe from the archives?

We’ll put Keele’s gavel post down to training contract deadline day hysteria, which will reach its peak today. If you’re crunching through your last minute applications and are after some tips, check out Legal Cheek’s ‘13 articles you must read if you’re applying for training contracts this summer’ piece. Good luck!

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I am not sorry to say that this must be one of the most ridiculous, pointless articles I have ever read on Legal Cheek, let alone the wider press.

Katie King please get a grip.

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Oh for goodness’ sake – often, when illustrating that something is to do with, or somehow connected with, law, one might use an image of the scales of justice, or lady justice holding said scales, or maybe dusty old tomes of case law, or a barrister’s wig, or a briefcase to symbolise the corporate solicitor’s trade. These are all symbolic – they obviously are not intended to convey that those objects will actually be used in the area one is discussing.

Take the scales, for example – scales have not been used for any legal purpose for many centuries (at least), and yet we all recognise the symbolism is apt (weighing competing interests, testing the weight of an argument etc.) Similarly, a gavel symbolises adjudication – authority and finality of judgment. What is wrong with using these symbols? As above, the purpose is clearly not to accurately portray day-to-day life in the profession.

For the writers at legalcheek, I would suggest that accuracy of portrayal of the legal profession is probably not something they are in a strong position to criticise others for.

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Haha agree so much with this. They have just jumped into the bandwagon of that ridiculous inappropriate gavels twitter account. It’s tired- we get it. Gavels are not used in courts. Who cares if they are used as a symbol of justice in a photo though?

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Some of LC’s choices of images are more questionable than this. Yet again LC needs to look closer to home before judging others.

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What a pointless article. At least that Law Society is actively assisting their members. Most societies get the job and do absolutely nothing.

Slow news day?

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Joel Padi - President of Keele Law Society

We are equally dismayed as to the necessity of this article and the rationale behind it. However, we categorically do not accept any sort of threat or personal attack towards any member of the media. The photograph in question is a generic stock image and was not intended to be an accurate representation of the English and Welsh legal system.

A gavel is simply a well-recognised, traditional symbol of justice and the law.

The post in question will be deleted and we apologise for any offence It may have caused.

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Just to clarify, the gavel still exists as of the 2016/17 BPP Advocacy Manual. I completed the BPTC this year and my first thought upon seeing it was “well this isn’t a great start…”.

Little did I know, that was the least of my worries with BPP…

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