Chelsy Davy accepts A&O training contract

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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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