Chelsy Davy accepts A&O training contract

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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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