Ex-Love Islander sets sights on career as criminal lawyer

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From Boohoo brand deals to legal aid work for St Mary’s Uni law grad Tyler Cruickshank?

Ex-Love Islander and law grad Tyler Cruickshank has set his sights on a career as a criminal lawyer.

Like the many legally-minded contestants before him, the 26-year-old model hasn’t ruled out a career in law and wants to train as a solicitor after graduating with a 2:1 law degree from St Mary’s University in Twickenham in 2018.

Cruickshank worked as an estate agent before finding fame in the villa this summer.

“I do miss the buzz of being an estate agent and meeting different people as well as being around my team,” he told OK! magazine. “There is just different things on the horizon for myself.”

“I am definitely going to go back to my law stuff in the future,” he added. “I want to go into criminal law which is not as lucrative as public law and company law but I am really interested in it and I was when I was at university.”

“My uncle owns a criminal law firm and I actually did some work experience there when I was really young and it really did interest me,” he continued. “I just didn’t want a mundane job where it is the same day in, day out. I definitely do want to be hands-on solicitor and criminal law is something slightly different every single day. It could be that one day you are having to get someone from the police station and deal with it down there and another day you could actually be building the case with research.”

“For me, coming from a legal background, I was always going to go into law anyway. My estate agency days were definitely numbered and I did know that.”

Cruickshank placed fourth in this summer’s series of the dating show with his now-girlfriend Kaz Kamwi, 27, an Insta-influencer and Birmingham City Uni sociology grad, who he said has been helping him navigate the world of content creation. He now has 234,000 followers on Instagram and often posts ads for brands such as Boohoo MAN.

Love Island series seven saw not one, not two, but three(!) legally-minded contestants enter the Spanish villa. Joining Cruickshank in the most recent series of the show were Ulster University law graduate Matthew MacNabb and Birkbeck law student Sharon Gaffka.

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Kirkland NQ

Who’d want to go into criminal law? With the sort of coin they’re on, you’d struggle to buy a second hand Mazda MX5 let alone a proper car like a Lambo.

He's done it again



Considering his alma mater, a career in legal aid is probably the best he can hope for now that is 15 minutes of ‘fame’ are up


There’s absolutely nothing wrong with legal aid, spinning it to be disrespectful towards those who may not have studied at top universities is nasty. You don’t know what people are capable of. Focus on yourself.

Completely agree with J

I was going to write this but you have put it perfectly J.

To ‘Tukka’: Don’t be a lawyer at all.

Nobody wants anyone with that kind of attitude.

Trapped of Counsel

Don’t do it.

It’s a ticket to ruin.


In case it’s helpful to some people, here’s something I wrote ages ago in response to a Law Society survey of practicing lawyers, which asked those of us who chose *not* to go into criminal law why that was.

————- Survey response ————-

I considered a legal aid career very seriously, including undertaking mini-pupillages, work experience with criminal solicitors, and even Crown Court marshalling. When however, in due course, I was exposed to the financial reality I discounted it entirely. I went on to secure a training contract in a City law firm.


1. Genuine advocacy opportunities, and the ability to run one’s own cases.

2. For those to whom this appeals, ‘social justice’, etc.


1. It is appallingly paid, with no prospects of improvement to pay or advancement within the profession.

2. Perversely, the level of competition means that there are a surfeit of candidates applying for pupillage/training contracts, thus further rendering a career high risk. In other words, not only is the ‘prize’ (tenancy for barristers, NQ place for solicitors) of questionable value, there is a high risk of failing to even get one’s foot into the door at the pupillage/training contract stage.

The publicly-funded legal sector has been gutted over the last 20 years. For example, see this 2009 warning by Alex Deane of the reality of being a criminal barrister:

A decade later, this 2019 article by a newly-redundant criminal solicitor (more importantly, *read the comments* underneath), shows that the position had only worsened:

Even more recently, in May 2021, Derek Sweeting QC, chair of the Bar Council, warned: ‘There are far too many people doing bar courses and paying a great deal of money when the attrition rate… is so high. I can’t think of many other instances where you would train with such a low prospect of success. I don’t think the idea that we should have a vast pool for some sort of diversity reason is a good one. We need to be honest about how many people are likely to get pupillage.’ According to Bar Council figures, 3,301 candidates applied for just 246 positions via the pupillage gateway this year.

It is beyond stupid that anyone pursues a career in criminal law. It is palpably clear that (a) the sector is starved of funds; (b) decades ago there had been some very good years in which lots of people had made lots of money, but those days are over; and (c) the future is grim: the electorate loathe criminals, and post-Covid the UK state is as near to bankrupt as a state can be, so there will never be any incentive for the sector to be even adequately funded again, let alone funded to a level whereby it is attractive as a career option.


Get a trade! It is socially worthwhile, earnings can be outstanding, and baggage-free.

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