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Doublethink: the act of simultaneously accepting as correct two mutually contradictory beliefs.
That’s the position the Law Society finds itself in today as it wrestles with the problem of an oversupply of students wanting to be lawyers (see story).
Last week we had the Milburn Report, which castigated the law as a middle-class closed shop (see story). The Law Society, which is energetically trying to promote diversity in the profession, wants to see more lawyers from lower socio-economic classes make their way up the ladder.
But today we reveal that the Law Society is also trying to get young people to think twice before considering law as a career at all.
You read that right.
The society is set to launch a series of surgeries with the Junior Lawyers Division advising students on their options.
Presumably this will involve painting a pretty bleak picture. There are a decreasing number of trainee places available. The LPC costs a fortune. And in the long term, with more firms considering major outsourcing projects to low-cost jurisdictions such as South Africa or India, the opportunities for junior lawyers look even less appetising.
The Law Society’s move is an entirely pragmatic response to a very difficult situation. But once again, it all comes down to how much money and self-belief the students have.