Pounds for pupillages

It didn’t take long for internship to become a dirty word. As businesses get slapped wrists for exploiting the young and unemployed, wage-free jobs continue to be seen as the territory of the rich and well-connected.

No, it’s absolutely not jobs for the boys. Really. The law is all about merit, not who you know.

Meanwhile, here’s cash strapped public school Westminster taking the CV game one step further. In a bid to raise money for a new building, the £10k-a-term school has auctioned off various high-profile internships as well as a mini-pupillage with a criminal defence barrister in London. The bidding so far has reached £700, which is pretty much what you might pay for a criminal star on legal aid rates.

“The lucky winner will have the opportunity to gain an insight into the working life of a criminal defence barrister, attending court and observing a criminal trial,” a description of the prize reads on the auction page.

In response, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) has approached the head of the school, although the bar regulator also conceded that as pupillages are not a regulated activity there was little it could do.

Long live social mobility at the bar.

Also on TheLawyer.com:

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) today (14 May) announced plans to make a raft of redundancies with the aim of reducing salary costs by 15 per cent

Shearman & Sterling has hired a three-strong private equity team in London from Weil Gotshal & Manges including high-profile partner Mark Soundy

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is to launch in Hong Kong after hiring arbitration lawyer John Rhie from Kim & Chang