Pinsents joins growing trend with launch of apprenticeship scheme

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  • ...but will any of these rough diamonds actually get a TC?
    I'd like to think so, but I'm pessamistic that this is more than a PR exercise.

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  • If they were really opening up the profession, why don't they just give them a training contract so that they will have the opportunity to become a proper lawyer? How exactly is it opening up the profession to say, you can't have a training contract but you can go down the Mickey Mouse route? How many partners and associates do you see at top class Magic Circle / 'Silver Circle' / City and US firms who were ILEX qualified? Exactly, count them on one hand. This plan by PM will further encourage a two tier legal system and restrict access to the top by offering potentially quality candidates a second class legal qualification. And before all the bitters who are ILEX jump on me for saying this – you are bottom of the CV pile with this kind of qualification at a City firm. FACT. It is wrong try to encourage people to do this who have aspirations to be a City lawyer. There should be one route to qualification and that is it - instead of allowing people who aren't good enough to get a training contract to do ILEX. It is a training contract level where these firms should be encouraging access to the profession. What PM are basically saying here is, we will keep all the private school / Russell Group university kids in training contracts and all the poor kids can do ILEX. I think this is a disgrace. All in the name of PR no doubt.

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  • Excellent news from all firms involved in such initiatives. Hopefully this might see the return of an alternative route to qualification without the heavy costs of university. It might also be useful if the profession shows some respect to those who choose this route. It's probably going to be a lot harder than relying on parental funding to get you through.

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  • Anom and Joey are completely missing the point - it's about them getting the chance to earn while they learn, with the law firm putting up the funds to pay for ILEX, which is around £7k. Plus they haven't had to pay for university either - so they would have saved at least £35,000!!! Legal executives can now become partners,and judges - but this is a relatively new development hence why, Joey Barton you don't see many partners and associates at "top class magic circle/silver circle/ city an us firms who are ILEX qualified" as yet!
    It is not people who are not good enough who do ILEX - it is an alternative way of training as a lawyer - and to be honest, those with ILEX qualifications will have 5yrs work experience in the heart of a law firm more than you will with your silly training contract! Guarantee when you are applying to get into partnership you will be competing with a legal executive.

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  • It seems to me that Anom and Joey are annoyed that a large firm is putting it's money into vocational training to diversify it's work force instead of creating more training contracts - oh well never mind!

    The fact of the matter is vocational training and academic training will work hand and hand in the future. The only deciding factor for your career will be your capabilities as a lawyer not where you gained your qualification.

    Yes it's a shame there are less TC than graduates but that's been the case for years. The work carried out by Solicitors and Barristers is practically the same these days and most clients couldn't care less if a solicitor or a Legal Executive was carrying out the work so long as they had the best.

    If a legal snob wants to tell one of the Legal Exec partners or even the Legal Exec judge they took the Mickey Mouse route to their face... let me know I'd love to see what happens.

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  • one word... "Acculaw"

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  • I am disappointed to read such negative, snobbish and unpleasant remarks as those made by Anon and Joey - who I note are hiding behind anonymity instead of having the courage to use their full names.

    Legal executive lawyers are not "Mickey Mouse" lawyers, neither are they rough diamonds. They are hardworking, intelligent, articulate, dedicated people who have worked hard - frequently against the odds - to achieve a career in law, partnership in their firms and judicial appointment. We are all ordinary people doing extraordinary things. I am proud to be a legal executive lawyer, proud of my qualification and - yes - proud that I come from an ordinary background and can empathise with ordinary people i.e. the vast majority of clients.

    And I am delighted that more firms - large and small - are recognising the value of the legal executive qualification as it produces good lawyers for a reasonable cost.

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  • Joey are you are a 'real lawyer' then after doing the mickey mouse LPC, doing your four six months seats of photcopying and then potentially qualifying into a department and area of the the law you never actually did a seat in. That happens at many firms.

    I have worked in large law firms and frankly the training of 'real lawyers' is a joke.

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  • Frankly until you have gone through the ILEX qualification you are in no position to comment on its quality or otherwise. Having done a law degree I then took the route of ILEX precisely because of the lack of training contracts. My firm paid for my training and have benefited greatly. I have done all of my training in the area in which I practice rather than just 6 months as is the case with a
    TC. Before you criticise a route for qualification actually look into it. The legal services act now puts us on a par with solicitors in all areas. Long awaited change is afoot and if you are one of those old school lawyers who doesn't like change then bad luck because it's coming!

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  • Thank goodness for enlightened and forward thinking firms like Pinsents, Irwin Mitchell and others who are cognisent of the fact that the legal profession is moving towards a requirement for skills rather than the old school tie route. In my view most experienced legal executive lawyers can give any traditionally qualified solicitor a run for his money in any skills matrix. I have heard many times from legal executive lawyers who have gone on to qualify as solicitors that the ILEX examinations were harder. ILEX operates a closed book examination approach whereas people are allowed to take the books into the examinations at The College of Law. In addition many legal executive lawyers have to battle against the sort of ignorance displayed by Joey and Anon and as a result have to work much harder to make their mark in some firms. This in my view will often make then better lawyers as a result - yes - real lawyers.

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