Law Society starts campaign to scare off wannabe lawyers

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  • Do away with the LPC and Training Contract barriers to the profession. Bring in the US system of qualification and let the competition begin.

    Simples...

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  • Husnara,

    I agree with you (almost entirely!).

    However, in response to the assertion that this campaign will discourage social mobility I'd just like to add that another strand of the campaign is to promote awareness of the part-time LPC, of bursaries and scholarships and of the ILEX route (www.ilex.org.uk), which are just as valid entry routes into the profession with considerably less cost.

    More information can also be found by contacting the Junior Lawyers Division helpline: 08000 856 131.

    Thanks.

    Beth Wanono

    Member of the Law Society Council

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  • Unfortunate but necessary. The legal market is saturated at the moment.

    Is it the fault of the LPC providers? Maybe. They are run like a business. The lure of the golden pot at the end of the rainbow if you fork out £10K is very appealing for those who haven't secure a TC before the LPC.

    But at the end of the day it's the suffering economy which has dictated things. Less deals and transactions, so less lawyers needed so less trainees needed. One minute lawyers were in hot demand and the next, there was an excess of them. That shift was very sudden.

    I hope things start to return to normal by the end of this year.

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  • What I would have appreciated before starting on the path to becoming a lawyer, not that it hindered me, is the fact city firms recruit almost entirely from the same select University’s – call this naïve, but I thought it was the individual merits of an individuals application that should matter.

    However, any one who thought they could swan into a job in the law with a 2:1 must have spent their University career in a cave.

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  • It important to be aware of what the legal profession is becoming and what it will be like in the years to come. Fewer qualified lawyers will be required. Look at the Halifax Legal Services existing web site to see what is going on now. Only only a small number of candidates will have careers in city firms which may deliver the Ally Mcbeal life style that may have inspired some of you to study law.

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  • Beth,
    I studied the ILEX route, followed by both the GDL and LPC part-time. Whilst they are superb alternative routes to qualifying as a lawyer (be that a Legal Exec. or solicitor if you choose to continue studying), almost no one in the city knows what ILEX is! I have had numerous interviews where I get congratulated on the effort involved with studying the GDL/LPC part-time, but have had to explain as many times, what ILEX is and how the route works. Not only do these alternative routes to qualification need to be more widely publicised to prospective students, but awareness of these by law firms must also be tackled. I now have 8 years of private practice experience under my belt, but I still have to explain why I didn't go to university and how I managed to qualify.

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  • The Law Society has known for years that there are more students than trainee positions but yet have waited until now to tell students to take caution!! Well what about people in my position who for several years have been trying to secure a training contract but to no avail and owe thousands due to expensive legal education, in my case £25,000 (excluding interest) - What do we do?
    To the contributor who said people should consider becoming legal executives, well until legal executives are regarded by the profession as equal to barristers and solicitors or there is a way for legal executives to become solicitors without having to do a training contract (contrary to what is said on the ILEX website) then I will consider becoming a legal executive. I am highly disappointed by the Law Society's advice who should be finding solutions for law graduates and doing all that it can to address the findings of the Milburn report.

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  • "the same select University’s"
    "an individuals application"
    I'm afraid it's indicative of the standard of less "select universities" that you can apparently obtain a law degree without even being able to punctuate properly.
    The absurdity of "degrees for all" means that the status of a degree in any subject is now hugely devalued.
    This makes it far harder to sort the wheat from the chaff, and a crude selection mechanism is needed to weed out a large proportion of applicants at the outset.
    The simplest way of doing so is to decide that you will only consider applicants who have been to one of the "select" universities. Yes, you may miss the occasional genius, but you will save an awful lot of time interviewing no hopers.

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  • Whilst I accept mistakes for poor punctuation (I thought we were in the mobile age where anything goes?) and your argument that degrees for all have made it more difficult to separate the “wheat from the chaff”, I insist that my point remains perfectly valid.

    Recruiting from a particular University might be useful as a HR time saving tool and as an important means of forging links. The reason for an individual picking a University can be for a variety of sensible and practical reasons. It makes a mockery of the application process which is intended to be fair and open to all - do you not agree?

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  • To Anon @ 10.42am.

    I am afraid that it is you sir/madam who appears to have been living in a cave. I knew aged 17 that pursuing a career as a solicitor with a decent firm is essentially a long uphill struggle without a degree from a prestigious/well respected University.

    I am currently passing the time with a paralegal role before commencing my TC. I work alongside a graveyard of individuals who have yet to secure one, who I have the ultimate sympathy for I might add as it's a bitch of a process. However, the gulf in class between those who attended "select Universities" to study their degrees and those who went to Keele or Nottingham Trent is blatantly obvious.

    I recall an anecdote from University where an essay was marked and awarded a third by a tutor at my University. As an experiment, it was later submitted via a friend in the city's former polytechnic where it achieved a 2.1. Another tale involves friends in lesser Universities answering multiple choice questions in an LLB exam. Comparing that to an essay question on Hedley Byrne v Heller pure economic loss is simply ridiculous.

    If people with mediocre academic backgrounds are annoyed, then they should blame the government for feeding them an unsustainable dream.

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