Nisha Beerjeraz, ex-BPP LPC student

Britain's got talent

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  • Although I do share some sympathy for this columnist, finding herself saddled with debt having achieved what is ultimately a pretty useless degree unless continues with a position in the legal market, I think it's a bit rich to say that the Law Society only stood up this year to warn students about following the path.

    When I signed up to the LPC I, too, had no training contract and had to take out a massive loan to cover it. The literature I received from the Law Society made it very clear, even then, that the Law Society strongly recommended students against taking the LPC without a training contract. Thankfully, I did get a training contract within a period of a few weeks ... but I find it difficult to believe that any LPC student would think a training contract was ever guaranteed!

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  • we won't discuss the pupillage scene, it will only depress everyone further...

    as for the blogger, in the legal profession the best possible advice i received was 'hope for the best, expect the worst and whatever happens, chin up'.

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  • "A failure to realise that the profession is becoming more and more about business and the client and less about the black-letter law is the quickest route to rejection."

    The nail has been firmly struck with this comment.
    Clients view the law and legal services as nothing more than a resource to achieve commercial objectives i.e. Become more efficient in making money.
    Other than being organised and resourcesful a successful solicitor requires a seasonsed understanding of the environment in which Clients operate and how the law can be utilised to acheive commercial objectives.

    There's far too much emphasis on the semantics of legal principles instead of the requirement to be able to apply them in a practical commercial sense. If you want to debate by all means become a barrister.

    As for "working as secretaries, retail assistants and call-centre workers" surely time spent in these occupations could be utilised and translated onto a CV and cover letter as providing you with some solid experience of how the law helps a business operate.

    Good luck and all the best for your career.

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  • Why the bitterness? Regardless of who has entered the competition to become a lawyer it still stands as you so eloquently put it... "only the strongest would realise that crumbling blocks can still be stacked to make a rather rocky yet workable road". Clearly you didn't actually believe in those words and now you seem to have lost faith in the profession. Sorry to bring home the truth but those bankers who are taking up the training contracts are doing so on merit, if you're not getting any offers it's simply because you're not quite up to scratch.

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  • "Only after the majority of law firms have deferred their graduate recruitment to next year "

    Has nobody else noticed this comment? Most firms haven't deferred their intakes, some firms have and this has been blown out of all proportion by the likes of The Lawyer and other legal publications. As America shows, fear sells.

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  • It is easy to insult her for expressing her feelings openly. It is also easy to say, compete, compete.

    The question is, is there a way the unemployed law graduates can form a group and organise how to escape this mess?

    For instance, can the unemployed law graduates in the UK find a way of getting admission in developing nations and then offer their legal services there? Or, once they qualify, can they snatch work from lawyers in the UK?

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  • I really don't want to comment on everything in the article plus people's opinions, but I must point one thing out. I do not think that the blogger is suggesting that working as a call centre worker is humiliating. She is suggesting, and I agree with her, that committing 30,000 pounds to a course to be a solicitor, and then ending up working in a call centre, is humiliating. Can anyone here really dispute that?

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  • I fully agree with the blogger, committing £30,000 to training/education and being left handed is indeed unfortunate. However, I for one am becoming tired of hearing students lament about the lack of prospects or that so and so has a training contract due to family/contacts.

    I went to a state school and did not have financial support from my parents but still managed to get into a top university and achieve a first and a training contract. I'm tired of people making excuses: the simply and hard truth to swallow is that law is a competitive industry and those left empty-handed were simply not good enough. To the original poster who had undertaken vacation schemes at 7 firms, I would question just what you did that made 7 firms not take you on despite having you on a vacation scheme?

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  • I am amused by the poster who believes that the U.S.-style of qualification would result in less of a glut of lawyers in the U.K. We have our own glut of lawyers in the U.S. Many "Big Law" firms are laying off 2nd to 4th year associates. Others are deferring the start dates for incoming associates. Thousands of recent graduates have no jobs irrespective of the size of the firms to which they may apply, and no reasonable expectation of a legal job of any kind in the near future.

    One essential difference, however -- these newly-minted lawyers have financed their law school education (which, in the U.S., is always a doctoral degree program containing 3 years of full time post-baccalaureate study), and emerge from law school with as much as U.S.$150,000 in student debt, with no certainty that they will pass the bar examination and be allowed to practice law in their state.

    Be careful of what you wish for....

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  • '...suffer the humiliation of working as secretaries, retail assistants and call-centre workers...'

    Who the hell do you think you are? If you ever make it to fee-earner, I pity your secretary.

    No-one *wants* to be left high-and dry. There are plenty of people in a similar position to you, who are dealing with it with substantially more dignity. A job, any job is a blessing in the current climate, especially if you're carrying debt. If you think you've got it tough, try being a trainee approaching qualification without a permanent seat to go to. That's a particularly soul-destroying position to be in.

    Rather than it being everyone's fault, have you paused to wonder why you don't sufficiently stand out from the crowd? Perhaps one of these 'humiliating' jobs may give you a bit of experience and teach you a few things that law school didn't.

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