Knights chief favours apprenticeships over 'outmoded' training model

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  • The challenge is "why graduates". This looks like a 7 year training to get anywhere - degree, apprenticeship, training contract. What is in it for the trainees? "launching their career in a progressive way" is not going to tick boxes for the young and thrusting.

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  • I fail to see how adding two extra years onto a traineeship is in any way an innovative change to address the modern challenges of the legal market. In fact, with the training contract market as competitive as it's ever been, many trainees have already spent time as a paralegal in an effort to get an edge, so there seems little new here.
    Mr. Beech's proposals seem in fact to be a pretty shameless way to make aspiring talent commit to a lower wage for longer without even the guarantee of a training contract at the end- seems to me to be cynically taking advantage of high competition for opportunities rather than anything genuinely creative.
    If the market has changed then keeping talent at the bottom for longer isn't the way to address that problem- why not look into more holistic training methods, greater client contact and breaking out of the traditional four/six-seat model if you want to create real change to meet the challenge head on.
    And if you are going to take advantage of individuals caught in a highly competitive market, certainly don't be so cheeky as to tell them it's for their benefit!

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  • I agree with both of the comments above. Further, why would working with one "specific client" make for better training? It wouldn't. Better training involves exposure to different areas of law and different clients who expect different things.

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  • What is novel about aspiring lawyers working for two years as paralegals before starting a training contract? 25% of the people on my GDL and LPC courses have done paralegal work, and another 25% will do before they start training contracts one or two years after completing their LPCs. Beech is just making it compulsory, for the self-serving reasons identified by the previous comments.
    That said, if his gripe is about the compulsory content of the LPC - at least 1/2 of it entirely irrelevant to my training contract - or the outdated strictures the SRA places on the components of a TC, then I have some sympathy with Beech's comments.

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  • I was a paralegal for two years before starting my training contract.
    I can tell you from experience that it did not make me a better solicitor than my peers. It simply meant that I spent two years doing tasks that did not stretch or challenge me. By the time I reached my training contract I was bored with law, having only seen the mundane side of the profession.
    What made the big difference for me was leaving a top 100 firm and going to a top 10 firm.
    So my view is that the TC needs to become more challenging. I would add standard exams (like accountants have to do) before, during and at the end of a TC. I would also make it a requirement before the end of a TC that the trainee does a secondment of at least a month with a client.

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  • Well done Beech for thinking differently. Fear not the cynics - they live in ancient times and will soon be fossilized.

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  • @ Anonymous 16 April 8:22, do you have anything to back up your comment or is your comment just as it appears, a pointless show of support with no justification?

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  • Why do firms insist on saturating their paralegal workforce with aspiring solicitors - who, as above, spend their time disillusioned, frustrated and lacking the necessary challenges to meet their talents? Aspiring solicitors should be working on their legal knowledge and practical abilities, absolutely, however there should be more emphasis on increasing their client facing capacity and ability to earn fees and win business for their firms.

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  • My daughter is 25, she's already done two years "work" of one description or another; has a degree, has her LPC and is currently on her second paralegal placement. She is bored stupid doing document review for "silly" money whilst the best of her energy, youth, open-minded and sharp brain goes to waste...
    as far as I can see, looking in from outside, the legal profession needs a root and branch overhaul....no wonder the government looks hard at deregulation...or whatever it's called!

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  • Knights chief favours saying whatever it takes to get publicity for his tiny firm.

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  • I have worked with Beech. I wish I still worked with him. Breath of fresh air.

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  • I am sure that all of the Magic Circle firms have taken note of this and plan to make the changes accordingly!

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