Halliwells trainees face uncertain future as firm files to go into administration

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  • I totally agree with anonymous at 1.41am - who exactly does Mr "too many office workers" think deals with all the construction contracts, NHS contracts, claims for / defence of medical malpractice, conveyancing etc..for those engineers, nurses and tradespeople?

    As annoying as it may seem to people with no actual knowledge of the law and what lawyers do, the country needs them and such comments are not only ridiculous but totally ignorant. No innocent "office worker" deserves to face redundancy and not being able to pay their mortgage due to the greed and poor management of just a few, not least the young lawyers who are liable for huge amounts of debt thanks to university / LPC fees. A career in law is no longer reserved for the wealthy and spoiled and a number of hardworking, "normal" people are going through a very difficult time at Halliwells right now.

    Regardless of anybody's feelings for the firm, the trainees are innocent parties and the people who are posting such hateful things on these websites (notably anonymously) should be truly ashamed of themselves. Lets hope you dont find yourselves in a similar position one of these days.

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  • To Anonymous 6-Jul-2010 9:25 pm

    Sorry, but Anonymous 6-Jul-2010 4:53 pm is absolutely right. There are far too many lawyers, which is whythere are so many applicants for each job, and why salaries ouside London haven't moved much in real terms for a decade. Do some research.

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  • To anonymous 6-Jul-2010 9:25 pm
    As always the people who argue the case for lawyers miss the point because they dont understand economics.
    Yes contracts for the NHS etc etc may still be required in the future but the point is lawyers will not be handling such work because it will be commoditised or outsourced to cheaper labour in India or China.
    The truth is good salaries for legal work is confined to the past. Future salaries are going to reflect the over supply of labour, commoditisation of services and outsourcing.
    Think about it. If you were a partner of a law firm why would you pay a high salary for a solicitor when you can get an experienced paralegal for next to nothing?
    There are so many law graduates many of them are working for free.
    Get over it.

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  • Someone tell Anonymous 6-Jul-2010 4:53 pm to get back in his/her box - what a fool.

    If you're so proud of your comments perhaps you'd like to let everyone know who you are - I'm sure your employers would and all the current Halliwells trainees.

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  • To "Mr too many Office Workers". As you now state you are a Solicitor and therefore an office worker, I agree there are. or is to be precise. at least one too many office workers. I suggest you put your money where your mouth is, resign your post and jump on a bin wagon.

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  • Oh dear.
    It seems many are not happy about the too many lawyers speech.
    Whether or not I'm a solicitor is irrelevant.
    It is a fact that solicitors are not in demand and never will be.
    The only reason people are upset is because I am right and they don't like it.
    If I am wrong, instead of posting irrational and over emotional comments, why don't you explain why you think I'm wrong.
    Richard Susskind is absolutely spot on in his book "the end of lawyers." Do some research before posting silly comments.
    People can get upset or they can do something about.

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  • After reading all the above comments, I am intrigued to find out whether anyone knows what is going to happen to the future Halliwells trainees? Have they been told for certain that they no longer have training contracts or is their future still undecided?

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  • I don't think i'll be reading the "end of lawyers"; thanks, but no thanks. I'll explain why I think you're wrong. Firstly, i'll agree there are too many law students. It is a fact that many more students attend law school than there are training contracts. This creates a huge pool of cheap and therefore attractive workers for firms who handle high volumes of low value PI claims or standard repo claims (for example). However, qualified lawyers are still very much in demand. Pensions lawyers, for example, are very much in demand because the industry in which they operate is incredibly complicated ever-changing and heavily regulated and pension scheme trustees/employers simply cannot afford to obtain "cut price" legal advice due to the consequences bad advice may have both for the company and the scheme's members. Same goes for tax, real estate, environment and regulatory, employment. I imagine that Mr "Too Many Office Workers" would prefer the assistance of a qualified criminal lawyer should he ever have the misfortune of finding himself on the wrong side of the law, and no doubt he would want his conveyancing dealt with promptly - this work cannot be done properly with a minimal staff. These are specialist areas and require qualified and experienced individials to provide advice in these fields.

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  • As someone who graduated in 1992, during a recession, and was unable to obtain a training contract at that time, let me offer some words of comfort to the Halliwells trainees who now find themselves high and dry.
    Having spent so long preparing to enter the profession, and having been given so little in the way of career advice about opportunities outside the profession, I was absolutely terrified of what might happen to me, as well as humiliated and ashamed.
    A bit of research, and a few job interviews later, and my career went in a different direction. I've ended up on the other side of the world, in a senior position in the company I work for. I've never regretted not going into the profession.
    I have always found it a positive asset having a legal qualification and in my current role, my clients are lawyers so it has helped me to have that background (not to mention the money I've saved my business just by being able to read a contract!). There are career opportunities for lawyers outside the narrow confines of the profession and someone with the skills and mindset of a lawyer are always an asset to any business. Think of yourself as a marketable commodity with plenty to offer. Take courage, and good luck!

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  • Some sensible comments at last.
    It is true that specialist advice can not be commoditised and there will be a need for some lawyers but nowhere near the amount we currently have.
    You say "this work cannot be done properly with a minimal staff" but such work is being done properly and cheaply because of the saturation. Solicitors are working in paralegal roles. If qualified solicitors are in demand why are they working in paralegal roles?
    The supply and demand equation needs to be rebalanced. This would stop the exploitation of young lawyers and students and take away the disappointment of failed lawyers with too much debt.
    Solving this imbalance would mean some people getting very, vey upset indeed but it is a necessary evil. Personally I would have a rule to ensure that firms only take on trainees if there is a genuine business case to expand. Cheap labour is not a good reason because it seriously distorts the market in the medium term.
    I definitely agree with the last comment. There is more to law.

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