Fresh blow for trainees as A&O shuts up shop early

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  • So is the suggestion here that virtually no law graduates will be freshly recruited as people on the GDL and deferring trainees have filled the spaces? If it is then A&O should be ashamed of themselves.

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  • Ermmm, if it is then why should A&O be ashamed of themselves?

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  • Bap - I hope you are not a trainee as your reasoning leaves a lot to be desired of it. A&O are protecting their business from any detrimental effects they MAY encounter over the next 2 years. They are ensuring continuation for the existing graduates that have already got contracts for 2011-12 as well as the unfortunates who had to defer their start dates. I say hats off to A&O for their forward thinking and taking action early to ensure all interested parties know exactly where they stand.

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  • Anonymous @ 3:50 pm, just pointing out that nobody has yet 'had' to defer at A&O.

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  • "virtually no law graduates"

    False. There are about 30 future law graduates on the VP scheme including me, and most will be applying for places.

    In fact, is it too much to hope the law students on the vacation scheme will be more likely to be offered places to ensure the regular distribution of law/non-law?

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  • They didn't open recruitment to law graduates and have now closed their recruitment altogether, leaving law graduates discriminated against. I suppose though it's a detriment to being a lawyer to have a law degree, we should have all done Basket Weaving instead.

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  • And A&O have publicly announced that there will be no forced deferrals - they are inviting volunteers, but people are free not to volunteer. I agree, the firm's taking preventative action. And a smaller intake is actually better for those who do get in - their chances of retention on qualification are much better.

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  • I agree. Whats there to be ashamed of? Unless Bap is contending that law firms have a moral duty to provide employment to law school graduates regardless of their business model? are we a communist state now?

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  • Bap - what are you on about? Of course A&O opened recruitment to law grads. It's no detriment to have a law degree when trying to be a lawyer. Competition is tough and A&O have filled their vacancies already. Unfortunate state of the market.

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  • The end of this article is incorrect - Freshfields is not the only magic circle firm yet to defer trainees. Slaughters haven't done this either.

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  • Everyone knows that law firms would rather have people with a wide range of experience. So If you have done a law degree you are effectively worse off. Sadly not everyone has parents to pay for a random undergrad and then the GDL.

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  • Bap, I agree with you, I call that 'mickey mouse degree', hence it explains the poor quality of UK lawyers compared to the others european laywers

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  • Metallica, A&O did not open their law graduate recruitment. This was to be opened from June to August but obviously has now been cancelled.

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  • If A&O had felt that the quality of the non-law grad applicants was insufficient to fill the number of places they expect to have in 2011-12 then they would have continued to run the application process.
    Having done a “Mickey mouse degree” (thanks for the insult Anonymous) as well as having paid for both my undergrad and GDL courses myself (thanks also to the other Anonymous) I’m glad that magic circle firms are acknowledging the high standard of non-law graduates in the market place by accepting so many that law-grads don’t even get a look-in. Your narrow-minded comments have proven their actions correct...

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  • Bap - Law graduates that were good enough would have been recruited through the vacation scheme.

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  • I have a science degree. I would hardly call that a "Mickey Mouse" degree!! As a result, I understand IP and more often than not, better than law grads. So why wouldn't firms like A&O recruit candidates like me. Also, in my experience a lot of law grads are like a lighthouse in the middle of a desert - very bright but no use.

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  • Bap if its not clear to you I hope this helps. Law students had their chance at these positions in December/January by applying for Vacation Schemes. As someone pointed out, most TC's are given to these people. It's just those law students who never got/applied in December that are out of luck here.
    Law grads can be offered a TC before Sept 1, unlike law students. Point being if you are a law grad you should be applying earlier than now.

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  • When things boom, big law firms work you to the bone. Trainees put in hugely long hours to impress their superiors. But when things get tough - they don't think twice about giving you the boot. This is why at my firm, people are paid a fair salary and have a great time with us. Our employees stay with us through thick and thin, as we do with them. Our firm is young and loyal. We compete on mid level rates, but our service exceeds those of the larger firms. Gone are the days, when law firms could charge anything they wanted to. Many of their clients are now State owned, with angry tax payers demanding to know how things went wrong. Gone are the days when law firms "never competed on price". This is why, one of the effects of their greed, is showing through by trainee deferrals and intake reductions. Our firm is proud to compete on rates. Our clients are happy that the rates they pay are for the provision of top quality legal advice, rather than to finance partners' sports card, mansions and mistresses. Let this be a lesson to trainees and future lawyers - the debacle of the last 10 years will not be repeated, so don't give your greedy law firms your unwavering support. They'll simply screw you in return.

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  • Not all law graduates are, due to study commitments (which will not trouble the likes of Basket Weavers too much) or work commitments if they have since left uni, able to go on vacation placements and by not even giving people like this the chance to apply, A&O have effectively left them discriminated against. I couldn't care less about A&O and nobody I know would even apply to them but it's completely ridiculous that a supposed law firm has so blatantly shown its disinterest in law graduates.

    Oh well, A&O can fill their boots with Mickey Mouse graduates if they want, maybe next year they can have Donald Duck and Goofy too.

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  • The standard of weave in the UK basket market has really suffered due to the number of unemployed law graduates entering the industry. Everyone knows that continental Europe has the best baskets because ALL of their weavers have PHDs in Basket Weaving.

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