Law Society to students: legal career may be too risky

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  • I have very good A-levels, degree from red brick Uni, really good grades from GDL and passed the LPC first time with good grades. I have no training contract. I know people on my LPC who failed modules I passed with ease who have a TC with a firm that I applied to 5 days ago and rejected by 3 days ago without even a telephone interview. How does that work? maybe companies should be making HR actual earn their money and go hunt for the best candidates instead of waiting for students to come to them.

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  • I totally agree with 'City Gent' that this is another sympton of the wholly ill advised government strategy to get more people to university. Not everyone can cut it and these "Noddy universities" that have popped up, although justified to an extent by the increase in demand, simply aren't good enough to make these graduates really competitive in the marketplace. In addition, I do think the law school's have something to do with this. As 'Will' puts it above, why are they opening up more sites offering the very courses that get aspiring lawyers in such astronomical debt? The College of Law will be opening another new site in Manchester this September as well as this new site in Bristol that 'Will' mentions. This problem existed before the recession and has merely been exacerbated by the downturn.

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  • I am a Partner in a law firm with a turnover in excess of £50million and I can honestly say that half of the people who applied to my firm this year have no chance whatsoever of obtaining a training contract. Poor grades, no work experience, no life experience BUT, crucially, they have been to (typically) to BPP or the college of law and have bought an LPC qualification that will never be of use to them in a professional capacity - reason: they cannot and will not get a training contract. Legal training is now a business. In my day you applied to law college and got in on merit. Now it is open to anyone with £10,000 and a dream. It is a shame all round. Remember, legal training is a business. They (BPP etc) will sell it to you whether or not it will be a good investment for you taking into account your personal circumstances. Maybe they should be regulated by the FSA!! Ho ho.

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  • Hmmm.... rather sounds like how black cabs in london keep their fares so dear - by stopping too many people from getting in on the racket and lowering prices because of competition. No one outside of the profession believes for a moment this is being done in the interest of people trying to become a lawyer.

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  • This is just a reflection of a much wider problem caused by the ludicrous government policy of attempting to force 50% of the population into higher education.

    The plain fact is that most people are just too thick to get a worthwhile degree. Giving them a Noddy degree from the University of Noddyland is simply a cruel deception, and the fact that the poor darlings think it's worth having is simply proof of how dense they are.

    Not only are these poor sods being persuaded away from useful non-graduate jobs that they would probably enjoy and that would pay them a decent income, they're being lured into £20,000 or £30,000 of debt in the false promise of a well-paid career.

    So the Law Society are doing them a favour, though as has already been pointed out if the would be lawyers can't work out for themselves that they're wasting their time they aren't bright enough to be lawyers anyway.

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  • Is this not the same Law Society which is in favour of abolishing the training contract to flood the market with LPC passers?

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  • Ask a candidate for the legal profession to define "justice" and distinguish between "customer" and "client" and you may be able to identify the Stephen Frys and the T.V. newsreader calibre candidates. I suspect the majority of the later will have better CVs.
    It is the T.V. newreader candidates (Natasha Kaplinsky excepted) that modern legal services will need in the years to come.

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  • I have average A-Levels, a below average degree (2:2) from a Noddy University. I secured a training contract with a National Firm and now aged 32, am a Partner in a Regional Firm.
    This is all about personality. If one has an abundance of drive and ambition (and a bit of technical ability) one will get very far in this profession.The art of bullshit needs to be learned in these tough times.
    The Law Society needs to back off.

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  • Whilst I may not like the tone of City Gent's post I have to agree with the sentiment. We have a ridiculous situation in which huge numbers of students are going to university with very poor grades. If a student cannot succeed at further education then they should not be going onto higher education, except where there are mitigating circumstances. I find it frankly insulting that students with CCC (sometimes lower) are going to universities and coming out with a 2:1, the exact same grade as someone else who has entered university with AAA. I also find it horrific that I have many friends going to do law degrees with CCC and below and thinking that they will get decent law jobs. Universities will happily take them on, knowing full well that these students have ambitions that are frankly unattainable - these universities are literally ripping off these students.

    I went to a rather poor (academically in particular) state school yet managed to receive good grades and go to a top university - university, like a career in law, should be for the academic elite regardless of background. What we need are less places, but increased support for those who come from less than conventional background (ie quality not quantity).

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  • Interesting.

    But, why not introduce a straight forward system like in the USA?

    You sit for a bar exam, and you are done. In this way, we do away with the LPC's and BVC's so as to allow all who have done law to qualify and compete thereafter, on a fair plain?

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