Osborne Clarke opens training contracts to overseas students after tribunal ruling

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  • I feel sorry for firms having to deal with the new immigration laws! I dare anyone to have a look through the new points-based criteria and see what they make of it..... I don't think the UKBA has put any thought whatsoever into how the legal industry works.

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  • This is a bizarre situation OC must find itself in. How can the tribunal find against the firm when the UK Border Agency has made it more difficult for firms to get work permits for overseas trainees? It would be good fort the UKBA to offer some clarity on this.

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  • Under the Immigration Highly skilled Tier 1 scheme, you will notice that being a solicitor you score zero point and being a barrister you get 35 points. if you do only the LPC or BVC, you get zero point but if you do an LLM, you get 35 points. Does that mean LLM is better than an LPC/BVC? Does that mean solicitors are less skilful than barristers? Its high time the SRA and Bar council steps in and explain to these unskilled home office officers that the legal industry is a skilful industry and the hard work we have to put in to get qualified and how much scrutiny and rigid competition there is to get a training contract or pupillage !

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  • I have an LL.M. and did the LSFE in the year before it became the LPC. The point of an LL.M. is that it is a masters - continued education beyond the initial degree level. The LPC or BVC are not those. They are foundation courses. And no, they don't qualify for Tier 1 nor should they. (And yes, I have a Tier 1.) The new Tier 1s are not designed for trainees in any profession, and discussion of them is not relevant here. Tier 2 or other provisions may be more appropriate.
    I do think OC was handed a raw deal here. Judging by how many trainee applications are currently being refused by sheer numbers, under the old regime I would have thought they'd have an argument, although maybe they should not have automatically rejected, but noted that they were not able to sponsor for a work visa (there could be other arrangements made). It will be interesting to see how the new rules apply.

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  • The good thing is that it is not compulsory to have a Masters Degree to get a Tier 1 visa. The rules state that you need either a Masters Degree OR a professional qualification. A professional qualification could be a Barrister or solicitor. Anne: BVC and LPC are NOT foundation courses, but rather post graduate diploma in law which leads to professional qualification after pupillage or training contract. A barrister at law with 3 yrs pqe will definitely qualify even without a masters degree. Graham is quite right about the discrepancies of the UKBA.

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  • In all likelihood this will just mean the firm allows overseas students to apply but once the applications are received they'll go in the bin.
    Realistically there's no reason why a firm would need to consider overseas applicants when they've plenty of people from the UK and Europe that are looking for training contracts.

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  • I am totally behind OC. They have been placed in an awkward position and certainly should not be viewed unfavourably because of this. I think it is admirable that they want to recruit from the UK/EEA pool of talent. As if UK law students didn't have enough competition, they are now going to be up against Ivy League candidates etc...

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  • I have bitter experience of the reverse situation. I was offered a post to *re*qualify in another jurisdiction by a very enlightened firm but was refused a work permit on the grounds that I would have to go through a training contract first and there was no shortage of applicants for such positions (even if they were not already qualified and experienced elsewhere).

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  • Are there many overseas applicants for training contracts in England? It's not just OC that asks about work permits either, virtually every firm that uses applications forms as part of their recruitment process asks about this.

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  • FourChavsRollAroundInTheGrass, you obviously know little about large law firms - the UK market is shrinking and UK firms are increasingly focussed on foriegn markets - hence the need to recruit foreigner irrespective of the number of UK/EU candidates who apply

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