Herbert Smith is calling on all aspiring lawyers to enter its annual advocacy competition, which this year has been extended to sixth form students for this first time.
For this year’s competition Herbert Smith is focussing on the hot topic of spiralling university fees and is asking students to submit a short video asking whether apprenticeships should become the new route into the legal profession?
Though the Institute of Legal Executives already operates a scheme that enables students to train as lawyers without the need to go to university most still enter the profession either by completing a degree and then going on to do either a training contract or pupillage.
This traditional structure, is however, being scrutinised as firms gear up for the Legal Services Act, which will be coming into force in October, and explore ways of making the profession more accessible for students from less-privileged backgrounds.
The winner will receive £3,000 and a guaranteed place on a vacation scheme with Herbert Smith. The runner-up and third place student will win £2,000 and £1,000 respectively, with the other three finalists each receiving £500.
The judging panel for the competition will once again include Mrs Justice Rafferty, Shami Chakrabarti (director of Liberty), Nigel Savage (chief executive of the College of Law), Ben Summerskill (chief executive of Stonewall) and Ian Gatt QC (partner, Herbert Smith).