Chelsy Davy accepts A&O training contract

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  • match in heaven

    The perfect little firm for a perfect little girl!

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  • Headline news?

    I wish I got a write-up in the Lawyer when I accepted my training contract...

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  • Is this news?

    Does anyone care?

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  • You three do


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  • News

    Is this a news?

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  • Yes indeed

    to poster below - you read the story didn't you?

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  • Cheap Advertising

    This is a prime example of Royal connections aiding and inflating the career of somebody who is probably no better than some of the rejected candidates who attended a better University.

    From A & O's perspective, they have secured phenomenal brand exposure (via Sky News, the BBC etc) for the measley cost of a trainee's wage for two years. Good luck to Chelsy; the added pressure of colleagues and rivals having an even greater incentive to prove they are better is not something I would welcome.

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  • Good on her

    Glad she's binned the Royal and is proving that she has brains....... don't know how she's going to cope on that salary though - think Daddy will have to pad it out with the trust fund.....!

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  • Isn't that expected?

    At a time when candidates who have qualified from the ebst unibversities are being rejected and made to wait for at least 2/3 years before even getting a slight hope of a training contract, the fact that Miss Davy secures a training contract with A & O is of no surprise. Very obviously, the firm has planned it well as her contacts will promise the firm multi million pounds deals... Merit does not matter..connections, position very much do...

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  • Ridiculous

    No doubt it's more to do with who she is rather than her actual ability.

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  • The problem in a nutshell

    This story tells you all you need to know about modern City law firms: The PR, showbiz and glamour. What a lot of old cobblers.

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  • ridiculous comments more like

    It couldn't possibly be that she is reasonably bright and did well on her placement / interview or at least as well as various other candidates could it??? No doubt the publicity is an added advantage but I doubt A&O would bother offering her a TC if she didn't merit it - they probably have bigger fish to fry. Just because she is who she is doesn't necessarily mean it's undeserved.

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  • Please

    Are some of the previous posters suggesting that A&O has hired her to... get work from THE QUEEN?!


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  • Chelsy's Career

    Chelsy would make a good lawyer she must be studying hard to become a sucessful lawyer.

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  • OMG this is so, like, cool!

    "Davy reportedly ended her relationship with Harry, 24, after the couple returned from a holiday on the island of Mauritius a few weeks ago."

    Nonsense - it's just a Mauritius rumour.

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  • Vacancy at A&O Moscow


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  • ridiculous

    This is so ludricous ! ok, yea she is prob smart but it is so obvious that she got this training contract cause of who she is! Also she has got this and she doesnet even have an actual law degree!! Anybody who thinks that the gdl even comes close to a law degree is seriously warped!

    As somebody who has a proper law degree and who is doing one subject on the gdl, I can say that the gdl is a pile of crap and some of the people on it are very weak at law. It's ludricious that these types can get training contacts before people with proper law degrees. Also, I am from Northern ireland and there is no such thing exists that allows you to do a law degree in a year. There is no short cut to becoming a doctor, so how can you justify a short cut to becoming a lawyer?? Scrap the ridiculous sham course that is the gdl and send people back to uni to do a proper law degree.

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  • To City Gent

    I salute you, sir.

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  • GDL

    I would agree with 'hello kitty' that the GDL is not the most rigorous of courses, and that successful completion of it does not help much towards being a successful lawyer. But, and this is the big but, I can't see how an academic law degree puts anyone in a better position at a city law firm at the start of a training contract. Anyone doing the GDL will have a degree in another subject, and the benefits of a degree apply whether it is law or something else (ability to research, to apply logic, write essays etc.)

    To say a law degree, and only a law degree, benefits you in conducting a commercial due diligence exercise, or reviewing drafts of a contract, seems silly. In fact Chelsy's economics degree would have more applied use in a number of city law firm departments. Perhaps the poster has not yet had the benefit of practising to find out how 'useful' their law degree is.

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  • absurd

    "Hello Kitty", i'm going to go out on a limb but i'm guessing you haven't got a training contract. How exactly is it "so obvious" she got a training contract because of who she is...

    Before you comment you really should do a bit of research. You're right she hasn't got a law degree, yet, thats because she's still studying for it. She is not doing the gdl. On top of that Magic circle law firms traditionally offer around 40% of their training contract to non-law grads, I guess none of them deserved it either.

    Grow up, the fact that you proclaim to have a law degree and yet are still doing the gdl, speaks volumes.

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  • Training Contracts

    Regardless of the merits of a GDL vs. a law degree or a celebrity to a non-celebrity, the fact of the matter is that firms of all sizes and calibres are only going to hire people who can not only do the job, but do it well and benefit the firm. It would not be in there interests of a firm to hire someone who is incompetent purely because they are a celebrity. Chelsy clearly must be capable, just like any of the people who have been successful whether they have a law degree, a non-law degree or anything else you may hold against them.

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  • GDL

    As one of the unfortunate souls who bears the shame of having completed the GDL rather than a "proper" law degree, I think anyone who has done the course would accept that it is not as extensive as a three year law degree.

    That said, the GDL was obviously good enough for the one magic circle and two New York law firms that have employed me in recent years....and I don't recall being born with a silver spoon in my mouth.

    The fact is that once you're actually practising, your clients don't care whether you've done a law degree or the GDL, just whether you can do the job.

    Perhaps if "Hello Kitty" learnt to spell, and generally stopped bleating about how unfair life is, training contracts might not prove so hard to come by.....

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    Hello Kitty must really hate me, I got a "proper law degree" by just doing the GDL and the LPC at the CoL. 2 degrees and a training contract at a US firm, oh and I was born in Brixton and went to state school.

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  • GDL vs law degree

    I'm not convinced that there is any material benefit to be gained by studying law rather than doing a non-law degree followed by the GDL. Neither has much practical application once the training contract begins, and I believe that many of the politics, English or philosophy students I knew at university would make far better lawyers than many of the law students I studied with.

    On the LPC, I generally observed that those who did the GDL had better recollection of the relevant law (having only just studied it) and were clearer on the fundamentals (as there is only time to teach the important bits on the GDL). I would advise any A-level student wishing to pursue a career in law to study something like economics or languages and convert.

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  • Hello Kitty

    Do you complete training contract applications with spelling and grammar like that?

    P.S. as one of the unfortunate ones who has completed a GDL rather than an LLB (Hon), my degree obviously wasn't sufficiently difficult in your eyes to warrent a training contract.
    Maybe I should bow out of the legal profession now?

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  • Chelsy

    She's obviously worked hard and done the work to get her degree. Good luck to her. I hate it when people think who she is is enough - she has to be able to do the job in the first instance. And so what if a little publicity is given to the law firm. Why can't someone be well connected, well off and intelligent!!

    I say well done to her and good luck for the future.

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  • Hello kitty defends her typing errors

    Hello Kitty can spell perfectly well. Must be able to or I wouldn't have got a masters in human rights law.

    Apologies to all out there, I was just in a rush as I toil in my paralegal job. Oh and to whoever out there said that it spoke volumes that I am doing the gdl and have a law degree, well that because I did my degree in Northern Ireland and I am doing the land law module as our land law is completely different from English land law. And um...yea hello kitty does have a training contract. Proper law degree, masters degree and paralegal experience, why wouldn't I get one? But anyway, it is just my opinion that the gdl is just not the same as a law degree.

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  • harry's ex

    extreley unfair - economics degree from what probably amounts to a poly (sorry met, hallam etc etc ) and yet she's landed A & O - blatant pub stunt by the firm which is probable x2 years trainee salary well spent! cannot believe those commending her intelligence.........and no I am not bitter before others start - i'm a reasonably content mc assoc!

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  • Another Slaone Ranger rides roughshod over the rest of us

    I don't think that her Royal connections are the only reason she got this gig; it is also because her Father is extremely wealthy and very well connected. That is what it takes. Yes you can still succeed if you are 'ordinary' but only if you have extraordinary academics and luck. People like her could have a cycling proficiency test certificate and they would still be 'successful' in their chosen field; it is the way of the world...stop moaning and get out there and change it!

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  • Horribble mean people

    What?! A law degree DOESN'T prepare you for due diligence or closing a deal? You wicked, wicked people. First you tell me there's no tooth fairy, then no Father Christmas. But you can't fool me no more. Three years of a Law Degree and I'll be able to see a SPA to completion. Just you wait and see!

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  • Get Connected!!

    Fair play to Chelsy if she worked hard and managed to land herself a training contract with A&O.

    My question is had it been a black or white born ordinary Zimbabwean who then grow up in South Africa just as Chelsy had done, and followed the same route that Chelsy had done, would he/she have landed such a lucrative deal?

    The whole structure is just a joke, maybe firms should start wakening up and give people a chance based on their merits. As opposed to taken into consideration factors such as how well connected one is, their social background, or as to whether or not one attended a Russell group university or not.

    To be fair, some firms are starting to deviate away from this whole Russell group/non Russell group category. Fair play to them!

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  • Third person

    Hello Kitty likes to speak of themselves in the third person.
    Interesting. You are right, though - the GDL is not the same as a law degree. It is a pretty pointless romp through the essentials of a law degree without any of the context and little of the intellectual stimulation. But I think the main point being raised is that a law degree is pretty irrelevant preparation for commercial lawyers. Because of this a first degree in history, politics, economics or anything else, PLUS a year GDL stands those people in no less stead than those with a straight law degree. Why would an academic law degree followed by a masters in human rights more interesting to a recruiter than a degree in politics and economics? It is all about the story you present on application and in interview.

    If you have a training contract with a firm specialising in human rights, or any other non-commercial discipline, then you may have a different experience. But if you are going to train at a commercial firm then you might find all your years of academic legal study worth diddly squat compared to an ability to proof read a hundred pages of standard form precedents, or bundle documentation or read boxes of contracts in due diligence. But then again I am one of those people who had a non-law degree and got accepted by an MC firm straightaway. Maybe I should have done some paralegal work first?

    Hope you are not too disappointed that all the plum jobs go to plummy types with low boredom thresholds!

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  • -

    I would agree that the GDL really doesn't give a good grounding in the law but firms like A & O aren't really looking for black letter lawyers, they're looking for business advisers.

    The real question is how committed to a career in law, and how well they understand the nature of law, someone is if they studied a much less relevant degree (I'm looking at you 'Classics' and 'Byzantine Studies') then the GDL.

    Perhaps some people seem to have found that spending three years on a Mickey Mouse course just to avoid getting a job hasn't given them the, albeit limited at present, employment prospects of their peers who studied for a worthwhile degree and had to work hard to get the grades. With the recession some prospective and current GDL students seem to think that law offers an easily accessible 'umbrella' from the difficulties faced in the employment market, especially when you have a degree that may as well be toilet paper, but with the extensive job losses throughout firms of all levels this really shows little understanding of the legal market. Having said that, some later comers to law(including the author C. J. Sansom) are much more capable lawyers than those who studied law but generally they're few and far between.

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  • 24 months

    I bet she only lasts the duration of her TC (and that's because her principals cannot sack her (not at least without getting the SRA approval first)). The silver spoon may help her sneak into the Partners dining room but she may find herself picking up the masticated apple cores from the trough floor pretty quickly unless she shows real grit (speaking of which -, Spain 'por favor, podemos tener un poco de sal').

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  • foreign school is a poly?

    RE: Harry's Ex - it's a shame that you believe that Chelsey went to a 'poly' university just because it was out of the UK. Perhaps do some research first as University of Capetown is one of the original South African schools with prestigious background. Before you shoot your mouth off, maybe consider she does have some brains and at least the ability to be a trainee.

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  • LL.B.+LL.M=Commitment

    Well Cuzglc, the reason why a law degree followed by a human rights masters should be more appealing than a degree in classics etc is that it shows a commitment to law which gdl types cannot show. You do the gdl as you realize that you cannot get anything with history, english degree (with the exception of teaching) and therefore push out people who have shown a desire and commitment to law since 18 years old.

    Also in Northern Ireland, if you didnt have a law degree or the 2 year bachelor of legal science degree which is a conversion course, law firms wouldnt want anything to do with you. They would laugh at the gdl. Then of course everybody knows that Northern Irish people in general can academically out perform thier English counterparts

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  • Oh hail gavin

    This gavin is my new best friend!! Gavin, is that possible for us to be 'new' best friends? I feel like I know you! do you feel it to?I love the use of mickey mouse term and the likening their degrees to toilet paper. Those of us who have REAL Law degrees must unite and defend the threat that is the gdl. We will get an army of toilets and flush the toilet paper degrees down them. Ah, i am only joking. Dont worry GDL types, fair play to you all. It's not your fault that this goes on.

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  • Social skills

    Re "everybody knows that Northern Irish people in general can academincally out perform their English counterparts". Really, Hello Kitty, there's no need to descend to mud-slinging. If you really believe that, what on earth are you doing signing up to do a TC with a load of English people who you clearly think are stupid?

    I would recommend that you are not quite so vitriolic when you get into practice, it really won't go down too well with your colleagues. Re Chelsy's TC - to do well in a law firm you need to be bright. To do really well, it's all about social skills (Hello Kitty take note) contacts and bringing work in. After all, that's essentially what partners do. Chelsy has good academics behind her and excellent contacts ahead of her, so what's the problem? It's not like law firms are so full of Chelsy types that there's no room left for mere mortals.

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  • -

    There's no denying that Northern Ireland's students do tend to out perform the rest of the UK but there's no need to sling mud, we are supposed to be professionals after all.

    And unfortunately there are still too many people with careers in law who only got where they are due to who they are; while there's still opportunities for the 'normal' person it really is an unfair playing field at times. The recent discussion on social mobility really highlights the difficulties that the less well off, and unconnected, can face in pursuing a legal career. An excellent article recently suggested that the movie industry wouldn't be doing so well if only actors children became actors as it would overlook the wealth of talent available from other candidates; perhaps law firms will finally move away from looking at an individual's name to looking at the individual as a person.

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  • -

    As for GDL students and legal experience, I think that anyone even considering studying the GDL should undertake some form of full time legal experience. Law isn't a career for everyone and you really can't get a good grasp of the work through vacation placements, a paralegal position moves you away from what is esentially a brochure for the firm to the often mind numbingly tedious nature of the work.

    I worked in a particular firm which had over one hundred and fifty paralegals (out of which around ten had law degrees) and very few of them, law degree or not, showed any real enthusiasm for the work once it became apparent what working in a law firm is really like.

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  • Chelsy Davy accepts A&O training contract

    I wonder how she got this training contract. Its completely unfair that if you have the right connections you get everything handed to you on a plate.

    I got a 2:1 from the University of Leeds and currently studying for my LPC at Nottingham Law School and I'm still trying to find a training contract. It makes me sick!!!

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  • Gavin/Hello Kitty

    Gavin, I do agree with you that only through work experience can you truly understand the nature of a career in law. What baffles me is that you seem to imply that this lesson would only be of value to the prospective GDL students out there.

    Perhaps if the Hello Kitty types did some work experience they would, as has been pointed out on a number of occasions below, realise that their "LL.B.+LL.M=Commitment" is of little value to a TC at A&O.

    At 18 most peoples view of a lawyer is determined by what they see on TV. If this is what your "commitment" is based on Hello Kitty then you are in for a shock.

    I say well done to CD, and look forward to welcoming her to the firm.

    And for the avoidance of doubt, A&O do recruit mere mortals from Leeds uni. I am 3 years qualified, trained at A&O after a Leeds Uni degree (BA), followed, shock horror, by the GDL.

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  • Non-law

    I think A&O Associate has clearly set out the issue here. Why should an academic law degree be demonstrative of any particular committment to the modern day commercial practice? A degree incorporating foreign languages, economics, politics etc. could be far more attractive to a City law firm than an academic analysis of the evolution of the law of property from feudal times.

    And why do people with 2:1s sometimes struggle to get training contracts? Because there are lots of people with first class honours, or 2:1s and an array of extracurricular activities that make them seem like the rounded, ambitious and intellectually curious types law firms typically want to recruit. Perhaps a law degree might indicate an interest in law. But if that is not accompanied by a decent knowledge and interest in business, economics and a bit of commercial understanding combined with a personality they would want to work with and put in front of clients, then it is unlikely to pass muster.

    A law degree of itself is no golden ticket, and doesn't really say any thing more than any other solid academic discipline from decent universities.

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  • A fly in the face of fairness...or so it seems

    I wonder how CD actually got this training contract. I cannot imagine her spending several hours or rather days (for the poor girl might not actually realise what this application form entails) to secure herself a position at one of the top firms in London.

    I think it goes against all principles of equality and fairness to simply let individuals from such privileged backgrounds enter the profession in this way. So much for transparency and diversity which the legal profession is currently promoting and driving towards.
    Of course, if she did in fact spend the time on filling out the forms, and being interviewed in the same way as any other applicant, I would of course retract my comments.

    The same goes for any place at any law school (the College of Law). Let's hope that even though it is a private institution, it did not succumb to name alone to improve its list of alumni.

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  • She's clearly brighter than me...

    This really is a ridiculous debate.

    She's obviously extremely bright and performed well on her vacation scheme.

    The girl already has an economic degree and is now completing a postgraduate course in law.

    She' obviously a lot brighter than me, and I'll be starting my training contract with A&O at the same time! You certainly couldn't say I was given it because of my contacts.

    Unless you have access to her CV or vac scheme feedback, you can hardly pass comment on the exact reasons for her securing of the training contract.

    Please just accept that she's clearly intelligent, has studied law, probably has a decent CV full of extra curricular activites and that A&O are unlikely to care what her connections are, as long as she'll make a good lawyer.

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  • she's clearly brighter than me reply

    Geeeeee, a lawyer with humility and modesty....or is that a hint of a lack of self-confidence?

    Without seeing her CV and her qualities, how on earth could you know she is brighter than you? She performed well on her vac scheme you comment, choosing to ignore how she managed to secure one in the first place. If we just accepted the result of people's acceptance into firms and vac schemes without paying attention to the process of getting there, we surely would be advocating Machievellian principles- the ends justify the means?

    Oh and by the way, i'm not sure studying law on a postgraduate course (not sure if this is an LLM or a diploma or something akin to a degree lesser than an LLM), that we should be shouting about her having 'studied' law, she has not finished her studies and a lawyer is of course a life-long student of the law, are they not?

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  • CD - what's the big deal?

    Now that the (barely relevant) debate over the relative merits/demerits of the LLB vs GDL has subsided, I'll pitch in by suggesting that Chelsy Davy's academic record is easily up to the standard required by a firm of A&O's calibre. Even a cursory look at the CV's of barristers at reputable London sets shows that Cape Town University crops up a number of times, so it is definitely sufficient for a successful solicitors' firm. I always find it amusing when people put their inability to find a job in the legal profession down to defects within the system as opposed to any inadequacies they may have themselves. If you have the requisite intelligence (evidenced by an excellent academic record), drive and a little charm then finding a job is pretty straightforward. If one of these ingredients is missing then you'll struggle.

    As a future trainee of an MC firm who spent most of his childhood in a council house and who went to public schools on 100% music scholarships between the ages of 8 and 18, I defy anyone who claims that you can only get a job if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth.

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  • Reply to CD- what's the big deal?

    As a fortunate future trainee of a MC firm with a clearly meritorious claim to such a training contract, I find it your what's-the-fuss-all-about attitude utterly astonishing.

    The question a large number of including myself, have asked is how she managed to obtain this position. Now, having hailed from a background such as yours to prove that merit is the deciding factor (and completely 'good on you'), you should realise that this is not the case for all and that some individuals are being accorded training contracts simply by their privileged position in society. (However, as mentioned, I am not arguing with certainty- for I cannot- that CD accepted her training contract without spending the prerequisite days/ hours filling out the form and attending gruelling interviews, but I do believe it is highly likely that this was the case. )

    Given that possible and probable scenario, are you telling people that you're more than content to have colleagues working at your MC firm who have gained their position simply by contacts and not by the same amount of hard work you put into your applications and your degrees?

    There is of course reasonable justification for criticising the legal system if it adovocates anything but meritocracy; and if that age old system still existed, you probably would not be sitting pretty with your training contract.

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  • CD - what's the big deal?

    Your argument is contradictory. You argue that opportunities are closed off to those who do not come from positions of wealth and privilege. Then you argue that I would not have my training contract had this unfair system not reformed itself. Neither of these arguments on their own hold water in any case. The reason I am 'sitting pretty' with my training contract is because I have worked hard and I am ambitious. I never mentioned my upbringing in any of my interviews or application forms, partly because I don't think it's relevant but also because I object to positive discrimination in any form. As such, so far as the firms who offered me training contracts were concerned, I was neither privileged and nor was I disadvantaged.

    I don't accept that I will be surrounded by those who can thank their contacts for the fact that they have jobs. Law firms are businesses. It is an intellectually challenging job but one that also requires that you are able to get on with clients and present a positive image of the firm you represent. If someone has contacts but is stupid and would be an embarrassment in front of clients, then they would not have a job at a law firm. This is because it would make no business sense.

    I firmly believe that anyone is capable of getting a training contract subject to academic credentials, ambition and an ability to get on with others and work in a team. It is true that you are statistically more likely to have an impressive academic record if you come from a wealthy/privileged background because your parents can afford a better education etc. However, this is a general social problem which is certainly not exlusive to British society. In fact, our society is one of the most meritocratic in the world and opportunities exist for everybody to make something of themselves.

    I don't doubt that there are large numbers of aspiring solicitors from disadvantaged backgrounds who are unable to get training contracts. At the same time, I knew a number of people at university who could definitely be described as privileged who couldn't secure training contracts either.

    In any case, searching for a job with the assumption that it is beyond your reach because you don't come from a privileged background is a sure way to prevent you from getting it.

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  • CD- what's the big deal reply.

    In reply to your response, there are a couple of points to make. Firstly, my argument is not contradictory. I accept that the legal profession is not closed off to those from non-privileged backgrounds. However, I do simultaneously hold the view that whilst the legal profession has improved, it has not eradicated elitism that still exists today- certain chambers list tenants on their doors who are sole alumni of Oxford and Cambridge. Take a look for yourself.

    Taking the case at point- CD- you chose to take the viewpoint that you did not understand what the fuss is all about and then proceeded to highlight your academic achievements despite your growing up in a council house etc, etc. If it's so irrelevant (oh and by the way, law firms can see which schools and universities people have attended by their application forms), why on earth mention it at all? Reiterating what I have stated in earlier posts, there is a big question over HOW she obtained her training contract, and for that matter, her vac scheme placement. You say that you were neither privileged nor disadvantaged but my point is that a certain group of people have an added and unfair advantage (not based on meritocracy at all) and this is what the Bar Council/ Bar Standards Board should seek to regulate. My arguments are not against individuals like yourself who have rightly gained a contract which they thoroughly deserve but the attitude, that if an individual does obtain such a contract given circumstances such as yours, that suddenly all matters of privilege and unfairness do not exist anymore. You, more than others, I would have thought, would argue for sole meritocracy and fight against anything that resembles inequality.

    You state that you ‘ don't accept that [you] will be surrounded by those who can thank their contacts for the fact that they have jobs. Law firms are businesses’, but you fail to understand that business is all about who you know. Business contacts can make or break a company. Please do not tell me that you are naïve enough to believe that it’s ALL about how well you have done. If someone can attract clients for any given business, that individual is likely to be an asset to the firm rather than a hindrance.
    You further state that ‘In fact, our society is one of the most meritocratic in the world and opportunities exist for everybody to make something of themselves’. This is interesting assumption but one that is neither backed up by evidence nor one I agree with.

    I certainly do not believe that coming from a disadvantaged background is a sure prevention to entering the profession- if I did, I would not be attempting to get access to the Bar, which is even more exclusive. However, I most certainly do believe in equality, fairness and meritocracy and anything that appears to go against those principles will be worth arguing against.

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