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Event: Alternative routes to becoming a lawyer

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How law students can make it into the legal profession without doing a training contract


With traditional routes to qualification as a lawyer undergoing a huge shake-up, and new pathways rising in prominence, Legal Cheek wants to know how current students can take advantage of the changes.

So we are bringing together a panel of people at the forefront of developments and inviting applications from students to attend — for free — and ask whatever questions they like.

From top legal education decision makers to an English bar graduate who made it to JP Morgan after becoming New York qualified; from City law firm graduate recruitment chiefs to the first solicitor to qualify via the new “paralegal shortcut”, the panellists are:

Kate Ace, co-architect of Mayer Brown‘s new earn-while-you-learn LLB and apprenticeship.

Julie Brannan, head of education and training at the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which next month launches a review of the training framework for trainee solicitors.

Priya Krishan, director of legal education at BARBRI, which runs US law programmes for UK students, and a former in-house lawyer at JP Morgan. Priya qualified as a solicitor as an LPC graduate by completing the New York Bar exam and then doing the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme.

Shaun Lawler, the first LPC graduate to qualify as a solicitor via the “paralegal shortcut” equivalent means route — without doing a training contract.

Caroline Walsh, head of graduate and apprentice recruitment at Clyde & Co.

The event takes place at 6pm on Thursday 3 December at BARBRI International at 33 Finsbury Square, London (within the London campus of the University of Liverpool). The closest Tube is Moorgate.

After the discussion there will be drinks and nibbles and an opportunity for the students selected to attend to chat to the panellists.

Apply to attend here. You’ll be asked to submit a CV and two questions for the panel.

Students of all levels and law graduates are welcome to apply.



“Priya qualified as a solicitor as a BPTC graduate by completing the New York Bar exam and then doing the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme.”

…she is now 200 years old.


QLTT is a much missed loophole!


This is pretty much the equivalent of getting into a party you’re not invited to by climbing in through the toilet window.


And then you make new friends at the party…


.. who then find out that you shouldn’t be there and don’t talk to you any more.


Nah, just you bro. #mr.unpopular


The key is that she did the Bar and then QLTT while already employed by JPMC. People who follow that route because they can’t find a training contract never get NQ jobs except in absolutely remarkable situations. It’s a very valuable way into the profession if you do it internally while already doing legal work, but it isn’t a useful way to just deal with being unable to get a TC.


I want money not a job.

Disgusting of Tonbridge Swells

I favour deciding at 14 that you want to be a barrister (as I did) then having a 10 year funded pupillage.


If I buy your Nan the wool disgusting would she knit me one? A 10 year funded pupillage…


Question for Kate Ace – why, if it is a lega “apprenticeship”. is MB not paying the law school fees for successful candidates?


Will you post their advice for those who can’t make it?

Not Amused

If the BARBRI person says something stupid like “if you’re finding it difficult to get a TC/Pupillage then why not sit the US Bar” then I hope someone is on hand to correct her with facts and statistics.

Sitting the US Bar is only of value to people who genuinely want to move to the US. In the current legal employment climate (google and read Above the Law if you want further info) in the US it is extremely hard to get a job. If you are an existing UK lawyer, you would do well to negotiate a job before even sitting the course. If you are finding it difficult to get a job in the UK then looking for one in a legal market which is even worse than our own is just silly.

I wish salespeople were not allowed to discuss careers with young people. Personally I would ban them.


It is a useful way in if you do what she did and get a quasi-legal role before embarking on it as it allows you to take up other opportunities within the organisation. If it is done as a remedy for failing to get a TC, though, then yes it’s a complete waste of time.

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