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The celebrity lawyer on knowing
SPEC IAL ISSUE
FOR ANY STUDENT INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN THE LEGAL SECTOR • Over 90 exhibitors including leading City, national & local law firms, course providers and professional bodies • Find out about: training opportunities with firms, vacation placements, the Bar, law courses and more
Tuesday 22nd November 2011 12.30pm-4.00pm
Manchester Central (The G-MEX Centre)
• Law and non-law students or graduates welcome
FREE and OPEN TO STUDENTS AND GRADUATES FROM ALL INSTITUTIONS
www.manchester.ac.uk/lawfair Organised by The University of Manchester
In association with
’t fail in ‘Young people don ion fails them education: educat ptable’ and that’s not acce Kafilat Agboola, taught Science. now Faculty Head of Science
change Their lives and change yours Just 16% of kids eligible for free school meals make it to university, compared to 96% from independent schools.* Take up the challenge, Teach First.
www.teachfirst.org.uk Teach First is a registered charity, no:1098294
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CONTENTS | WHAT'S INSIDE
The Interview Mr Loophole on ethics, the law and defending the guilty
What do you call a dozen dead lawyers? Is it true what people say about lawyers? Real graduate stories Pro bono lawyer
International law Where to go if you want to study abroad
What’s the verdict? All the numbers, so you can plan your career
Pro bono and con bono Where to go and what to take
What’s your next move? How to be a barrister and get started as a solicitor
Careers fair calendar 26 Places and dates for your diary Real graduate stories Trainee solicitor
Head to head: barrister vs solicitor
Decide what you want to be
Directory Who’s hiring and how, where and when to apply
Real graduate stories Graduate solicitor
Get inside the professions Real World has teamed up with TotalProfession.com to help you get inside advice from those in the know: Including architects, artists, technicians and teachers.
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EDITORIAL | WELCOME
C fe P
Editorial Publisher: Johnny Rich Editor: Jon Madge Assistant editor: Galen Stops Sub-editor: Jen Clark Writer-Researchers: Jenny Collins, Terri Sturman, Sabrina Wimalasuriya
Sales Nafeesa Shamsuddin
Marketing and Distribution Manager Diana Maggiore
WHY DO WE WANT TO BE LAWYERS? It’s an easy enough question to ask but the answers come in so many varieties it’d put Ben and Jerry’s to shame. Some law graduates want the prestige, some want the cash, and some just want to wear a wig. But how often does the idea of justice figure in it? We’d all like to imagine lawyers are in it to make sure the guilty get punished and the innocent are protected (especially if we ever end up on the wrong side of the dock). But with the number of graduates going into legal aid work at an all-time low, along with the pay for those that do, is making a living now the most pressing concern? In our big interview, Nick Freeman, the celebrity defence lawyer known as Mr Loophole, speaks out on ethics and the future of the law. We’ve also taken a look at how volunteering and pro bono work can send a career sky rocketing or crashing to the ground. Being an ethical lawyer doesn’t have to be about representing the poor and underprivileged though. It can, as Nick Freeman says, be about defending someone even you think is guilty. Whatever the reason for studying law and wherever it will take you, we hope the Real World Law special issue will help you along the way.
GRAPHIC DESIGN Luke Merryweather
Jon, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Client Services Manager Marie Tasle
Make a life, not just a living
FOUNDER Darius Norell
Real World 22-26 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TJ Tel: 020 7735 4900 email@example.com www.realworldmagazine.com Copyright © 2011 Cherry Publishing. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher. We cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs or for material lost or damaged in the post. The views in this publication or on our website are not necessarily those held by the publisher.
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At Real World we believe you should have a job that you want to get out of bed for. You should be doing something that’s going to inspire you, reward you and challenge you for the next 50 years. We help you do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do. We want to be the ones to tell you about the job opportunity that’ll change your life. And we want to help you to get that job and then succeed without limits. Real World is more than just a magazine. We’re leaders in graduate employment research. We train people how to raise their game. Everything we do is about helping you understand your career, kick-starting it and developing it. After all, apart from sleeping, you’ll spend more time working than doing anything else in your life. We want you to make a good living, but we also want you to make a good life in the process. No sugar-coating and no dry job jargon – Real World tells it like it is. Just the best facts, advice and opportunities.
Section | topic
Career Resource featuring over 270 Professional Bodies
34 sector summaries and a profession finder search Supported by professional bodies such as: Association of Accounting Technicians, Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment, Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers, Chartered Insurance Institute, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, Socitm, British Institute of Facilities Management, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Institute of Physics, RW 5 WWW.REALWORLDMAGAZINE.COM Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Association of International Accountants, Society & College of Radiographers
NEWS | WHAT'S HAPPENING
News Student beats brain damage to graduate in Law AN ACCIDENT which caused permanent brain damage couldn’t stop one student from graduating in law at Bradford University this year. 21 year old Mohammed Hans is an example of where dedication and hard work can get you and puts those graduates that moaned about 9am lectures
to shame. His father Abdullah said: “He never ceases to amaze us. He never says ‘I can’t’, it’s always ‘I can, I can’.” Mohammed was at primary school when he was knocked down by a taxi in 1998. The accident left him in a coma for three weeks and there was doubt over whether he would
even reach college level. He suffers from frontal lobe injury which affects concentration, memory and social skills – three areas important to learning and succeeding in all aspects of university life. He is currently on the lookout for a placement within a law firm.
Tough year ahead for Law graduates?
Debt-ridden graduates turn to butchery
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THE NEXT YEAR COULD PROVE TOUGH for recent Law graduates looking for employment. A survey carried out by Contact Law spoke to 83 medium-sized firms, of who more than three quarters said they would not be recruiting any graduates in the next year. The majority of firms are putting their focus on their current staff and can’t afford to recruit anybody else. However the College of Law disagrees; they believe that by 2012 there will be 14% more training contracts than there are students who pass the Legal Practice
Course. They are predicting a 28% decrease in the amount of students passing the LPC; but only a 5.8% decrease in people who apply for training contracts. These figures are based on those published by the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, who both map trends in employment within the field. If the College of Law’s predictions are right, this could be a good sign for those considering a Law degree. But, as was the case following the recession of the 1990s, it might also leave the profession with a shortage of graduates.
IF ANY MORE EVIDENCE WAS NEEDED to show that a degree no longer guarantees a good job it is this: a butcher, who recently advertised for an assistant to be paid at minimum wage, received 235 responses from applicants that included law graduates and out-of-work solicitors. This desperation for jobs is another reason people may reconsider studying for a degree, now that securing well-paid employment at the end of it is no longer a certainty. Would-be students increasingly see the unavoidable debt
accumulated through their university years as too big a risk. Legal recruitment firm Laurence Simons found less than half of qualified lawyers would be prepared to study for a degree at today’s prices, which reach £9,000 at some universities. The firm’s managing director Naveen Tuli said – “The fact that some UK lawyers don’t think doing a degree is worth the cost shows the UK’s universities have failed to offer value to students and provide a relevant education.”
NEWS | WHAT'S HAPPENING
Tweet justice A BLOG AND REGULAR POSTS on Twitter are quickly becoming essentials for landing a career in the law. In the past all you needed was three years of studying, two on a training contract, a decent suit and a well-brushed wig to land a career as a lawyer. Now social media is playing as important a part in making prospective lawyers stand out from the crowd. Leading the charge are a few lawyers, old and new, that have made a name for themselves online. David Allen Green gained notoriety as the solicitor that, somewhat rarely for his profession, said exactly what he thought about legal issues. His candour was rewarded with a part-time post as the New Statesman’s legal correspondent.
At the other end of his career is Adam Wagner, a junior barrister with the 1 Crown Row Office chambers. Adam has maintained a strong presence on Twitter, commenting on UK human rights issues alongside editing the UK human rights blog. Having his name well known in legal circles has far from damaged Adam’s career and got him longlisted for the 2011 Orwell Prize for political writing. As in many professions, being well known in the legal sector is rarely a downside. Well known lawyers can usually command higher fees and attract all the big name clients, so it’s not surprising that a flair for attracting the right sort of attention to yourself holds a lot of appeal for law firms looking to recruit.
Trainee contracts are no longer the only way in EACH YEAR hundreds of students pass the Legal Practice Course but fail to find a training contract. Could work based learning be the answer? Those that don't sign on the dotted line have a hard job proving their competence to their new employers in advance. Work Based Learning, a system piloted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, could change all that. The system allows people to prove they can pass set learning outcomes whether they have managed to secure a training contract or not.
It is hoped that the system will open doors to the field of Law for people from diverse backgrounds, and early results are positive in ensuring an overall standard of quality. Despite this early success, the system does not offer a sure way of landing a job, and access to the profession is still an issue. The three main regulatory bodies, the SRA, Bar Standards Board and ILEX Professional Standards are carrying out Review 2020 which will look into this issue amongst many others, but Work Based Learning is their first step towards a better system.
www.realworldmagazine.com/news for all the latest graduate news including: • • • •
Now’s a good time to practise abroad THE JET-SETTING international travel part of your law career is supposed to wait until you’ve being practicing it for years. But attention from overseas suggests there might never have been a better time to become a British barrister, if you want to see the world. Speaking at the Liberal Democrat party conference, the Chairman of the Bar Council said that he welcomed the growing demand for British legal workers overseas. The country maintains a reputation for legal excellence abroad and one half of the coalition Government has pledged to support the promotion of this reputation overseas. Peter Lodder QC, speaking at a discussion entitled ‘Jobs and Growth – is overseas trade the answer?’, said, “The Bar has much to offer as an integral part of the UK’s efforts to boost overseas trade in services. The City of London’s position as a leading global financial centre is underpinned by the excellence of its facilities for determining international disputes.”
£2.8bn UK legal services make for the economy every year
How to make the cut for training schemes Defending the public, working for the CPS Converting to law – it’s never too late Get into the legal network at tiny.cc//tp_law
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Section | TOPIC
The BIG INTERVIEW: NICK FREEMAN
Being MR LOOPHOLE WHAT THE LEGAL PROFESSION SHOULD BE ABOUT
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INTERVIEW | NICK FREEMAN
Nick Freeman gained fame as ‘Mr Loophole’, defending a list of clients that included a string of celebrities on road traffic charges. Since then he’s set up a company to provide his style of high-quality legal defence to the masses, written a book on the ‘art of the loophole’ and become probably the most well-known lawyer in the land. Not bad for someone that categorically didn’t want to do advocacy when he started out. Real World met up with Nick in his offices in Manchester, where he revealed how the legal profession is changing and whether a good lawyer should defend a guilty man.
HAT FIRST INTERESTED YOU IN THE LAW? The actual truth is, when I was about seven, I was walking back from Sunday school with my old man and he asked me what I was going to do when I left school. I said to him, thinking quite quickly because he was being serious, “what earns the most money, dad?” and he said, “well lawyers earn over £4,000 a year” and I thought right, that sounds a lot, so I thought I’d be a lawyer. My next question was “what exactly do lawyers do?” and he then went on to say, “lawyers argue for a living” and I thought fine, I’ll be a lawyer. And that’s what initially started me off. I’d always enjoyed arguing, not in an aggressive or unpleasant way but I would have opinions about many things and I always liked to look at the other side of the coin. The world is about people and it’s incredible the good things and bad things that people do. Why would somebody risk ten years in prison for his cut of a thousand quid. Why would you do that? It’s not good but it’s interesting. And it’s more interesting to me than auditing a company’s accounts or selling baked beans or something like that. I just find human beings fascinating.
“I want to win, so if I’m prosecuting I want to nail my man.”
OW DID YOU GET FROM BEING THAT CHILD ASKING HIS DAD ‘WHAT DO LAWYERS DO’ TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW? I went away to boarding school and, I didn’t actually know at the time, my school phoned up my parents and said “tell him to forget being a lawyer, he hasn’t got what it takes.” I didn’t learn that until much later on. I did one test in conveyancing and I got 35. That’s not even a pass. I remember saying to my grandmother “this is the end of the line, I can’t go any further.” But then I thought about it and decided just to get up earlier and work harder. So I set my alarm for five o’clock and went into robot mode and I passed all my heads. I then got articles in Nottingham with my dad’s solicitor’s practice and it didn’t suit me
at all. I thought I wanted to be a commercial lawyer and that the one thing I didn’t want to do was be in court. Then a friend of mine entered me into an advocacy competition. I was supporting myself financially and there was a £50 first prize. And I just loved it, the excitement was fantastic. Although I’d been offered two jobs I had a complete change of career mindset. So I applied for a job prosecuting for Manchester police, got the job and came up to Manchester. I want to win, so if I’m prosecuting I want to nail my man. That’s if I think he’s guilty. Occasionally I’ll look at case and say “he’s done what’s fair and reasonable” and we’ll all agree to bin it. It’s not an ego trip but it makes you feel very satisfied.
O DIFFERENT KINDS OF LAWYER: SOLICITOR, BARRISTER, DEFENCE, PROSECUTION SUIT DIFFERENT KINDS OF PEOPLE? I was given some advice when I was younger; a friend of my dad’s and a great lawyer said “be a solicitor not a barrister, it’s an easier existence.” It turned out that was probably the right advice for the wrong reasons. At the time I wasn’t interested in advocacy but as a solicitor I’ve acted as a barrister. I’ve been in court every day up until the last few years and, at the same time, I employ barristers, so it’s a business as well. I was granted higher rights, so I can appear in any court in the land. So I can’t,
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INTERVIEW | NICK FREEMAN
for me, see the advantage of being a barrister. I can do everything a barrister can do but, at the same time, it’s important to make a reasonable living. That’s not to say some barristers don’t make a reasonable living but if, whilst you’re making money from doing your own advocacy, you’ve got several other cases each day where you’re employing counsel, then that’s a thriving business. It enables you to grow and it gives you a certain amount of freedom. There’s a misconception by members of the public, and by certain members of the profession, that a barrister is the superior side of the profession because they appear in the higher court. It’s much more important for everyone not to think of them as superior or inferior but to think of them as working hand in hand. I’m generalising and I think both professions have lagged behind and need to drag themselves out of the Dark Ages a little bit. But barristers can sometimes be a little bit pompous, a little bit superior and I don’t think that removed approach helps anybody. I struggle to see the advantage of being a barrister over a solicitor now, because as a solicitor you can get extended rights and do everything a barrister can do.
OW IS THE PROFESSION CHANGING? The problem we have at the moment is that it’s supposed to be an adversarial system. An organised prize-fight - may the best man win. In practice that’s not
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“Barristers can sometimes be a little bit pompous, a little bit superior and I don’t think that removed approach helps anybody.” quite how it operates because as a defence lawyer, you have to disclose issues. You’ll come see me as a client and I’ll look at your case and think ‘brilliant, I’ve got five killer points here.’ Then I’ll go to the administrative hearing at the court and the judge will say, “what are the issues?” to which I can respond “I’m going to put the Crown to proof.” But then he can say “Mr Freeman, what issues will you be arguing?” and you are almost impelled to disclose what those issues are. If you don’t, they get an adjournment and wasted costs, but if you do, you may have to say to your client “it would have been a terribly interesting case but now I’ve disclosed the issues I’m afraid there’s no way you’ll win, thank you very much. You won’t ask for your money back will you?” What a ridiculous system. The High Court says that justice is not a game, that the purpose of the courts is to convict the guilty and acquit the innocent. That’s an idealistic approach. In my view, if that’s the serious pursuit, then it would probably be better to have an inquisitorial system. Have a judge and two lawyers, one
on each side, and we all work together, hand in hand to strive for truth and justice. And if they seriously want that, strip away all the law, let’s have fact finding. But that’s not why we qualify as lawyers is it?
S THERE A HIGHER PURPOSE TO THE WAY YOU PRACTISE THE LAW? Yes there is. Certainly by the exposure my cases get, the media coverage they get, I’m highlighting the mistakes that are made, not just in my case but in every case. I’ve had police officers who have said to me, in various circumstances, that what I do is great because it’s making them do their job properly. If they do their job properly we have better policing and safer roads. And maybe people won’t take the risk because they won’t think they can get away with it.
HOULD YOU LOYALTY BE TO YOUR CLIENT OR TO THE LAW? I think they go hand in hand. I think professionally my primary duty is to my client, but I will never allow my client to compromise me. I represented a client who was on trial for disqualified driving and he said to me “I was disqualified and I was driving” and I said told him I couldn’t call him to give evidence. He said “I thought I could tell you anything”, I said “you can tell me what you like but I’m compromised and I can’t cross-examine you in the box on the basis that you weren’t because you’ve told me you were. I can still
INTERVIEW | NICK FREEMAN
put the Crown to proof. Can they prove you were disqualified?” I told him that he could go and see someone else and it would be up to him how he instructed them. He stayed with me and the Crown couldn’t prove he was disqualified. So he was acquitted, which he thought was great. I preserved my duty to the client and I preserved my duty as an Officer of the Court. If there’s ever a conflict you are always an Officer of the Court.
the law. They should be paid a fair and reasonable wage and they’re not being paid a fair and reasonable wage now, legal aid rates are slashed to the bare bone. Society does not benefit from that, people will go to prison for things they haven’t done and the state will have the upper hand. It’s not a level playing field.
AN THE RICH AND FAMOUS GET BETTER REPRESENTATION BECAUSE THEY HAVE MORE MONEY? Justice should be available to everybody. I think it’s totally wrong that only people who are well-heeled can get justice. But there’s another issue which is now it’s almost impossible to make any sort of decent living out of legal aid work. Which I think is very sad and very dangerous. The
cuts that are coming in now are making it impossible for anyone starting afresh to make any sort of living. That means you’ll get very few people who are going to bother qualifying as criminal legal aid defence lawyers. And that means ultimately the public are going to be exposed to an injustice because you do need people, bright, hungry people, who are there to look after your interests, to make sure the state is doing its job properly and that no one’s being exploited. People should be encouraged to go into
OULD YOU DEFEND SOMEONE THAT YOU KNEW WAS GUILTY? The answer is of course, yes I would. You’re now thinking ‘how would you do that?’ There’s no difficulty doing that depending on how you conduct your case. First of all there’s the presumption of innocence, secondly the Crown has to prove their case. If they can’t prove their case, that’s the end of it. And if they can’t prove their case why shouldn’t that person be defended? I’m not a judge, I’m a defence lawyer and it’s my job, it’s my duty, to defend people.
“I’m highlighting the mistakes that are made, not just in my case but in every case.”
» Nick Freeman’s book Art of the Loophole is published by Hodder in February 2012.
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ETHICAL LAWYERS | DO THEY EXIST?
WHAT DO YOU CALL A DOZEN DEAD LAWYERS?
...A good start WHEN DID BEING A LAWYER BECOME A BAD THING? JOKES ABOUT LAWYERS CAN BE PRETTY HARSH. Has the profession really drifted that far from protecting the innocent and providing justice for all? If not, then what do the good lawyers do and does it pay the bills?
ETHICAL LAWYERS | DO THEY EXIST?
“As law firms we have a responsibility to the broader community”
N THE SECTION HEADED ‘Our Values’ on the website of personal injury solicitors Thompsons, is a surprising sentence: “We do not maximise income for our partners in line with what they would be capable of earning in commercial practice. Instead, our partners are paid a fair share for their work in providing high quality legal services for modest costs.” Providing the best possible legal advice for the lowest fee doesn’t exactly sound like the lawyers we all recognise from TV. Surely they should be wearing sharp suits, doing a lot of shouting and have big offices full of attractive staff? Thompsons are one of the few UK firms that make a point of representing trade unions. For many people, becoming a lawyer is about making sure people are safe at work, that employees aren’t being exploited and that the guys in charge are acting within the law. It’s probably not as well paid as being a top celebrity lawyer but it might be a lot more exciting. It can mean going up against big businesses and trying to defend the little guy. If that doesn’t sound exciting, remember it’s what Tom Cruise does in the film A Few Good Men, which gave us the immortal line “you want the truth, you can’t handle the truth.” The positive face of the law isn’t just representing employee rights either. Some lawyers go as far as representing the planet. Michael Rudd is a partner at the law firm Bird and Bird, he explains “As law firms we have a responsibility to the broader community which requires us to undertake work for those who can’t necessary afford to pay it. We do a lot of work for climate change and often for businesses involved in climate change that make money, but we feel that we should also support those who don’t.” Pro bono law is a big part of the positive face of the legal profession. Literally meaning ‘for good’, this area of the law can cover everything from huge law firms representing charities to individuals volunteering their time with community projects. Organisations like, the free legal advice and probono charity, LawWorks make a point of focusing their expertise where it’s most needed. This doesn’t just mean
that the right people benefit from it, it also means volunteering lawyers get good experience that’s relevant to them. As Kathie Clark, head of business development at LawWorks, explains “We screen the applications that come to us, so we can make sure that a) the person who asks for help has a genuine legal case and b) that they are genuinely in need and aren’t eligible for legal aid. That means lawyers offering their services don’t have their time wasted.” It also means that those lawyers are getting real experience and not putting in effort where it isn’t useful. But it’s not all hard graft with only a spotless conscience as a reward. Being a ‘good lawyer’ can give you experiences that are completely out of reach of the average graduate on a training contract. Often international travel is the reward for being at the top of your profession. For lawyers interested in helping the less fortunate, it’s an everyday occurrence. Despite the details of the law varying greatly from country to country, many of the practicalities stay the same, meaning lawyers can often offer their skills to poorer communities abroad without the need to completely retrain.
IM SOUTAR volunteered in Tanzania, teaching the law to local people. “We started off in Tanzania with the local law society, continuously giving ad hoc legal education seminars, with Lawyers from firms giving seminars on various topics” Tim explains. “They were very popular, but there was always a problem of sustainability. So instead what we are doing now is training faculty and staff in the law school who can then teach with minimal further assistance.” Ultimately, law is a profession that needs a diverse range of people to do a lot of different things. Those who can’t afford a lawyer or don’t know they need one shouldn’t suffer, but neither should those who can. Deciding who you want to represent has to be a personal decision. Nobody should feel consigned to being the sort of shark we see on TV. As Michael Rudd says, “If you’re really enthusiastic then you need to understand what the law is all about and get a sense of what type of lawyer you want to be.”
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REAL LIFE STORIES | TRAINEE
The Trainee Chloe Rogers studied Law at Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford. She’s now a shipping law litigator and also works in pro bono law. "I LIKE THE IDEA OF CONTRIBUTING SOMETHING TO THE WORLD" I’M ONLY 18 MONTHS QUALIFIED. I started off volunteering at St Margarets. There the students did all the work which was great because it really allowed me to get some hands on experience and develop new skills. The trainees really ran the work going on there. I got a lot of experience that I wouldn’t normally have got, for example I was interviewing clients face to face across the table and junior lawyers don’t get that chance. It also meant that I had to take on a lot more responsibility, often I would be reminding senior people at the firm that they have to go to various things. I’ve always been interested in pro bono law, I did quite a lot of fundraising at school, but at university I did less, mainly because I was busy studying so much of the time. When I was applying for jobs I was particularly attracted to the innovative pro bono structure at this company. I like the idea of contributing something to the world, while at the same time developing my skills as a litigator. The best thing about my job is that no day is ever the same. My work is never boring, there is always something happening. Because shipping is global there is so much going on and a flood in Australia will suddenly effect your day. But that’s also sort
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of the worst thing about the job because you can never plan, you have to stay on your toes, and the job comes first. It’s a doubleedged sword because it’s exciting but it can interrupt the beer on a Friday night. In terms of pro bono work the department I’m in work with the sailors’ society and the Fairbridge charity, doing shipping specific pro bono work. Fairbridge works with young people and they actually have a sailing vessel and one time we went out with them and the kids really enjoyed it, learning to sail. It’s rewarding to be able to see day to day what you do helping to make things better for people. Most unis will offer some sort of pro bono opportunities. Oxford actually didn’t have much but there was one nearby that we were affiliated with called Queen Mary’s which has a fantastic programme. If your university doesn’t offer anything like that then start something up. It shows interest and devotion if you do, and the concept of giving legal advice to everyone is very topical right now. If you’re interested, the LawWorks website is a great one. Google is your friend. When it comes to this sort of thing don’t be afraid to get up and do it, don’t wait for someone to organise it for you.
REAL LIFE STORIES | PARTNER
Michael Skrein is the CSR Partner for Reed Smith. He studied modern history at Oxford before doing an MA in international relations in California. "DON’T BE SHY ABOUT ASKING. IT’S NOT SOMETHING TO BE ASHAMED OF" IRONICALLY, I didn’t want to be an academic all my life because I didn’t want to argue all the time. But that seemed artificial and what I do now doesn’t seem artificial. It feels like I’m arguing stuff that actually makes a difference. As far as I’m concerned, the firm pledges that it will do 3% of their chargeable time on pro bono work. I like to ensure that, in order to get to that figure, we provide people with a diverse enough programme, that it interests people. We’re trying to make a contribution and we make that contribution best if people are interested in what they’re doing. I’ve always been very keen on that because I started in a law firm around the corner from a bus garage and all the questions that came to me were about buses: thing stolen from buses, people falling over on buses and that was something I knew nothing about. So I thought then it makes sense to, as much as possible, use the skills we have. Nearly 10% of a trainee’s time will be doing pro bono and it’s nearly 97% of trainees doing it. It’s not everybody but it is a very high percentage. On inductions, when we, start someone gives the trainees a talk on pro bono. It’s part of the culture here but nobody is made to do it. Quite a lot of it is really good fun and really good experience. In a firm like this, the trainees don’t get a lot of client contact, or if they are they’re observing not talking
to. One of the things this programme provides you with the opportunity to do is to develop interviewing skills and even teach legal skills to things like street law and to university groups. It’s a really great chance to pick up those skills that you need to be a practicing lawyer. Some general advice, I’ve always thought it’s quite difficult as a trainee to know what you want to do. It’s certainly good to do this kind of work and get to a firm that will offer that because it will help you work out in your own mind what you want to do long term. If it’s important to you to do this kind of work, don’t be shy about asking. You get taught not to ask questions like “when are my holidays?” or the sort at interviews, but this is different and it’s not something to be ashamed of. By all means ask what the programme is, how many things will I be able to do and how is the scheme made up. It might make a good impression but I wouldn’t ask it just to make a good impression. If you’re interested though, talk and ask about it.
The Partner MY STORY
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Section | TOPIC
International law IS LEGAL EXPERIENCE ABROAD WHAT YOUR CV NEEDS TO STAND OUT? WE ALL KNOW LAW IS TOUGH PROFESSION TO GET AHEAD IN. This magazine wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t. Work experience is so common now that the only way it will make your CV stand out is by not having it. Working abroad, however, is still one way to get the edge on your competitors. To work abroad you need initiative, courage, dedication, and, with some of the options below, you don’t need a large wallet anymore. These are a good place to start looking, but if you don’t find anything right for you here, then don’t despair- there are plenty of places out there.
www.kindmankind.net OK, SO IGNORE THE HOKEY SET UP OF THIS WEBSITE, THIS IS A REAL GEM. It’s new, and small, but the organisations on here are grassroots, your work will really make a difference, and often they don’t charge a penny- they just really want your help. There are a few legal placements around, but more admin work in Human Rights organisations than full on legal caseworks. However, the independent nature of the placement should give you plenty of experience anyway, and make your C.V. stand out.
www.challengesworldwide.com A GREAT WAY TO HELP GET YOUR C.V. off the ground at the same time as a grassroots organisation, Challenges Worldwide work with small businesses and non-profit organisations in developing countries, and offer them business advice and guidance, with the help of UK volunteers. Assignments are posted online, and often include legal researchers. Placements are from one to six months, with accommodation arranged to suit you, and at a fair price. They can also take couples, and will match your partner with a placement that fits their skill in the same location.
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Section | topic
www.UNHCR.org THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSION for Refugees take interns in their Geneva and Budapest offices on a rolling basis. There is no charge for taking part, but also no assistance with living costs. You must be able to commit to between two and six months, and to be prepared to really sell yourself. The stated requirements for these places are minimal, but the competition is fierce. Reapply every six months if you don’t get selected straight away.
www.crccasia.com THESE GUYS OFFER A CRACKING SERVICE. The fee includes your accommodation in a swanky apartment in Beijing or Shanghai, help through the visa process and survival Mandarin lessons - and of course a place in the law department of a Chinese business, or in a law firm itself. Not speaking Mandarin isn’t a problem, your co-workers will speak English, but extra lessons, or an intensive course are on offer if you want.
www.projects-abroad.co.uk FOR THOSE WHO WANT A REALLY PROFESSIONAL ORGANISATION with all the safety nets and support you could wish for, this organisation is great. The fees aren’t cheap, but do include all food and accommodation, transfers, travel insurance and they have 24 hour staff in the UK and on location. Their specialist law placements are as spread as Cambodia and Togo, and you can choose the area of law you wish specialise in.
www.traveltree.co.uk A HUGELY USEFUL WEBSITE for anyone looking to... well... travel, this site also has a huge database of internships available, including a large number of law ones. It doesn’t, however, check out the organisations it lists, so there are a few agencies in there, and some pretty steep fees from those chancing their luck. Have a rummage though and I’m sure something just right will fall out.
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THE LAW’S A COMPETITIVE WORLD. What do the statistics say about your chances of landing a job, how much you’ll be paid and where it will take you?
? T C I D R E V E H T S ’ T A WH
HIGH END SALARY 5 YEARS AFTER TRAINING
AVERAGE YEARLY EARNINGS
REVIEW IN FOR A C G THE EVIDEN CE AREER IN LAW
THE LAW’S A COMPETITIVE WORLD. What do the statistics say about your chances of landing a job, how much you’ll be paid and where it will take you?
? T C I D R E V E H T S ’ T A WH
HIGH END SALARY 5 YEARS AFTER TRAINING
AVERAGE YEARLY EARNINGS
REVIEW IN FOR A C G THE EVIDEN CE AREER IN LAW
ETHICAL LAwYERS | VOLUNTEERING
Pro-bono HOW VOLUNTEERING CAN HELP OR HURT YOUR CAREER
PRO BONO WORK IS THE OPPOSITE of everything TV has ever taught us about lawyers volunteering their time (or their company’s time) for the public good. Yet this increasingly popular side of the law isn’t just good for the soul, it’s good for business, with an increasing number of big firms getting involved. If it’s for you, pro bono work could pave the way to a great career. If it’s not, getting involved could turn out to be merely a way to spend a few years watching your career not progress. For those who aren’t sure, here are the upsides and pitfalls of going pro bono.
WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER PRO BONO WORK:
PRO BONO WORK DEVELOPS YOUR SKILL AS A LAWYER Peter Cuthbert, a lawyer in the project finance group at Clifford Chance, argues that pro bono work can make you a better lawyer. He said that “In terms of legal knowledge, it helps you a lot and makes you a much more rounded lawyer. Also, the practice of doing this work means that you get a lot of responsibility and client contact. You get to do a lot of it yourself.” Pro bono offers a unique opportunity for young lawyers to get a level of responsibility that they wouldn’t experience until much further on in their careers and this early exposure to the law can only be beneficial for your career. IT CAN MAKE YOUR APPLICATION STAND OUT TO LAW FIRMS Competition for law graduates hoping for a contract with a reputable firm is tougher than ever, so candidates need to do something that will make their CV stand out from the crowd. Felicity Reeve, a partner in the sports group at Bird & Bird, argues “If someone’s done pro bono work then it shows they’ve got a genuine interest in the law, that they’ve gone to the trouble to get experience and that they want to work, even if it’s for free. It means that they see giving something back as being important.” On top of giving graduates experience and sense of well-being for having done something charitable it can also help them get that all important interview. Reeve said that when a candidate has done pro bono work “It speaks to you on a personal level, and that is the sort of person that we’d want to meet.” PERSONAL SATISFACTION We all know the stereotype, but being a lawyer doesn’t mean your sole priority has to be getting clients off the hook and increasing their amount of billable hours. Law firms are increasingly doing pro bono work and bigger firms usually have a whole corporate and social responsibility department. This increase is commonly attributed to a general consensus among law firms that it is important for them to help provide legal access to those who wouldn’t otherwise have it and a growing desire among young lawyers to get involved in pro bono work.
Tips from the top If the idea of pro bono work appeals, you don’t have to wait until you’ve graduated to get involved. Shireen Irani, Executive Director of i-Probono, gives her four tips to making pro-bono work for you. 20 RW WWW.REALWORLDMAGAZINE.COM
ETHICAL LAWYERS | VOLUNTEERING
Con-bono WHY YOU SHOULDN’T BOTHER WITH PRO BONO WORK: LAWYERS DO LONG ENOUGH HOURS ANYWAY, THEY DON’T NEED MORE WORK Law is a profession with notoriously long hours, whose negative effects have been well documented in the media. A survey published by Legal Business in 2008 claimed that a culture of long hours and stress was driving an increasing number of lawyers to alcohol and drug abuse. In another survey published last year it was shown that 15.3 percent of graduates applying for legal roles expected to work over 55 hours per week, which was an increase of over a quarter from the previous year. The same survey showed that over a third of students expected to work over 50 hours a week or ten hours a day for law firms, with trainees expected to opt out of the EU Working Hours Directive which limits them to 48 hours per week. Given how much time graduates can already expect to spend at work, do they really need to be taking on more work that they aren’t being paid for? PRO BONO DOES MORE HARM THAN GOOD. One of the contributors to the collection of essays Pro Bono: Good Enough? Argues that “Pro Bono work can be like foreign aid and cause more harm than good.” In another of the essays, veteran legal aid lawyer Geoffrey Bindman argues that the pro bono movement has becomes a smokescreen whereby the profession evades its wider responsibility for ensuring access to justice. With the coalition government planning to take £350million out of legal aid, law firms have declared that pro bono is “an adjunct to, not a substitute for, legal aid.” The problem here is that pro bono allows law firms to “do their bit” for good causes, but all the while the number of people unable to access legal help is growing in the UK. More and more people are abandoned by a shrinking legal system, being too poor to afford lawyers but not poor enough to qualify for legal aid, but law firms do not feel obliged to step in and try to help the situation because of their pro bono work. LAW STUDENTS ARE NOW EXPECTED TO PAY MORE AND DO MORE FREE WORK. The law students of 2012 will be expected to pay tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year, and yet because of the cuts made by the government in legal aid they’ll be under more pressure than ever to do more free legal work. John Fitzpatrick, the director of the Kent Law Clinic, said “Frankly we’re very worried, as there’s already a tremendous demand for our students’ services as it is.” The main concern for law students is that the claimants who no longer qualify for legal aid will turn to free university clinics instead for legal advice. This will mean that due to the massively increased work load, the emphasis for students at these clinics will be to learn how to process as many claims as possible. Fitzpatrick commented that “We make a difference by preventing our clients from falling through the net; we don’t want to become the net.”
1. Be realistic about what you can bring to the table and offer what is of most value - if you speak a language fluently, for example, seek out an organisation that can put those skills to use. 2. Be a consummate professional in all you do. 3. Be prepared to do mundane work and recognise its value. As a graduate you will not be at the helm of a legal matter but your contributions, as tedious as they may seem, are essential to a successful outcome. 4. Sign up to i-Probono. Graduates interested in volunteering with i-Probono can sign up at www.i-probono.com
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Section | TOPIC
What’s your next move? LATE NIGHTS, HARD GRAFT AND GETTING YOUR FIRST FOOT ON THE LEGAL LADDER
Section | topic
THERE ARE TIMES WHEN PREPARING FOR A CAREER IN LAW SEEMS REALLY UNFAIR, especially when compared with other graduate professions. When the medical society got to party all night and dress up the cadavers, the law society got a sober black tie ball. When the philosophy students got to reference with a name and date, the law students had to struggle with The Oxford Standard Citation of Legal Authorities. But the worst inequality has to be what happens after graduation.
TRAINING | BRIDGING THE GAP
OR GRADUATES WITH A FUTURE IN BANKING, once the robes are off it’s a matter of an internship, a few applications and the £30,000 a year career can get moving. For future lawyers waving university behind, there are still two years to go. Depending on what you’re planned career path is, those two years are likely to be spent on either a training contract or undertaking pupillage. The former sets you up to be a solicitor and the latter leads to the Bar. The upside to these two years is that, unlike in other careers, graduates get eased into their working life. The profession understands that if you’re going to be responsible for a contract being legally binding or a person staying out of prison then you’re going to need to be comfortable in your surroundings and know exactly how everything works. That’s what the two years are for but what exactly will they entail?
PUPILLAGE ALL BAR ONE
With uni behind you and a glittering career in law on the horizon, there’s only the pupillage left before you can start checking the post for that call to the bar. But what can you expect from the next few years?
WHAT ARE THEY? only ight ’s m ge t it pilla ear bu t ripple u p A ay igh last ock m whole r h r-s ke a you afte rough ou ma en f y pil th l th er. I u ’l care sh as p ely you e a k l h i t l p s ite o join u q t it’s sked ers. be a chamb
For you they’re a chance to take those years of university education and apply them to some good, old-fashioned legal graft. Kind of like an apprenticeship for barristers. For whatever chambers you apply to, they’re a chance to pass on some of their wisdom to the next generation whilst scouting for new blood. They involve a bit of shadowing and a dab of work experience, with most pupils given six months to see how the old guard do it before taking on cases of their own. Pupillages, unlike a lot of training, have to be paid. The minimum rate is £10,000 a year plus reasonable travel expenses.
WHAT DO YOU GET AT THE END? A pupillage is the easiest way of proving your worth and getting your foot in the door of a Chambers. As well as £833.33 a month, pupil’s get the chance to start making a name for themselves and the kind of contacts that a barrister needs to be successful.
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HOW LONG WILL IT LAST? Typically, a pupillage lasts one year. They won’t last any less but in rare cases might last a little bit longer. That time’s divided into two ‘sixes’, so-called because of the number of months they last. The first six is non-practicing, which means the only actual work done is paperwork. Pupils are expected to come to court and to see everything that goes on but aren’t expected to get their hands dirty. Come the second six, pupils are given their own caseload and the real barristering begins. It’s normal for this to involve trials at crown or magistrates court. It’s very much the exception, not the rule, but some pupils are involved in jury trials too.
GETTING PREPARED ‘Know what you want to do’ is the crucial advice any budding pupil should be given. The kind of chambers applied to alters everything. Obviously it effects where you’ll be and who you’ll work with but it’ll also have an impact on things like how often you’ll be in court. Pupils in commercial sets may well never see the inside of a courtroom, for example, while pupils in criminal sets might as well pitch up a tent there.
TRAINING | BRIDGING THE GAP
TRAINING CONTRACTS FIRST JOB OR FINAL HURDLE?
WHAT DO YOU GET AT THE END?
With a trusted degree in hand and a look of steely determination on your face, the training contract is the last stop before a career as a solicitor. But how exactly do these elusive beasts work and what are you expected to do about them?
Two years of professional experience on the CV will certainly impress future employers. But the absolutely key part of any training contract is the PSC (Professional Skills Course). Without this you can’t be a solicitor and getting a training contract means your employer has to pay for it. PSC’s are made up of three core modules and contain at least one formal, sit-down, written exam.
GETTING PREPARED For most graduates, a training contract is their first experience of practicing the law. The firm that they take the training with has an impact on what kind of law they get to practice and in what way. Spending two years in housing law, because that was the first training contract on offer, has set many a graduate with an interest in criminal law off on slightly the wrong track. Like everything in the legal world, training contracts are competitive. Applying for one and hoping for the best isn’t quite as effective a way of getting one as applying for all of them in a particular area of the law.
HOW LONG WILL IT LAST? Training contracts last two years. Usually, particularly in larger firms, this is divided into four ‘seats’. Typically, each is in a different department and usually last six months. While some smaller firms might not arrange it this way, it’s a requirement of the SRA (Solicitor Regulation Authority), who monitor these things, that anyone on a training contract covers at least three different areas of work.
WHAT ARE THEY? The connecting bridge between studying law and practicing it, training contracts are the first chance for a trainee solicitor to apply everything they learned at uni in the real world. In a lot of ways, it’s like a legal apprenticeship. Trainees are supervised by a professional solicitor from the firm they’re training at, who acts as a safety net and also provides feedback that will help the trainee apply their skills professionally. As well as imparting new knowledge, training contracts afford the opportunity for a trainee solicitor to find out where they’re best suited. It’s not uncommon to move around departments and to try on different areas of the law to see which one fits.
BEFORE GRADUATION | DIARY DATES
Careers Fair Calendar WHERE CAN LEGAL GRADUATES HAVE A CHAT AND HANDSHAKE WITH FUTURE EMPLOYERS THIS YEAR?" THE LAW IS A UNIQUE INDUSTRY in that it's highly competitive but also very personal. A large part of being a good lawyer is having the right personality, for your clients and for your employers. That's why, more so than for any other career, it's important to meet your future employers before firing off CVs.
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LAWICITORS SOL ISTERS BARR
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS Fitting work experience in between turkey and tinsel is a real CV-booster. JANUARY 2012 The website LawCareers.net open registration for their Easter training events. FEBRUARY - MARCH 2012 The website LawCareers.net offers training events. Law firms and experts give talks on how to best prepare your career path. 3RD MARCH 2012 The National Pupillages Fair (at Lincoln’s Inn London)
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30TH MARCH 2012 Beginning of application period for pupillages www.pupillages.com 28TH APRIL 2012 End of the online application period for pupillages. 5TH MAY 2012 Clearing applications for pupillages can now be made to Chambers. 1ST JUNE 2012 Terms over! Now’s the time to get those summer work experience applications started.
31ST JULY 2012 Work experience applications are the first step towards a first job, so make sure they’re with the right firm or chambers. 2ND AUGUST 2012 Chambers will start making their Pupillage offers. 6TH SEPTEMBER 2012 Any offers from chambers should have been made.
BEFORE GRADUATION Section | topic DIARY
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REAL LIFE STORIES | TRAINEE
MY STORY Puja Mehan is a Trainee Solicitor with Herbert Smith. She studied Law LLB at King’s College, University of London. I'VE WORKED IN PARIS, ABU DHABI AND DUBAI AND I'M NOW BEING SENT TO HONG KONG MY FIRST DAY AT HERBERT SMITH WAS VERY RELAXED. Having been on the consortium LPC at BPP I had been at Herbert Smith on ‘firm days’ so the office was familiar. I also enjoyed the day because I was joining with friends from the LPC and wanted the opportunity to get to know others I had not yet met. The day was packed with useful talks and further information about the firm and what we would be doing over the next two weeks during induction. We had the opportunity to meet members of the firm. A particularly useful and amusing part of the day was the session given by two current first seat trainees. This was an informal session on what to expect and was full of stories around their successes, useful advice (including always carrying your pass to avoid being stuck in stairwells) and anecdotes. I felt much better hearing this talk as not only did it show that the current first seat trainees were very much enjoying their experience to date but also that it is all a learning experience and that the firm is focussed on the professional development of its trainees. One of the greatest things about Herbert Smith is the support network and the collaboration between staff. There are individuals at every level who are always available to help and answer any questions. During my time at Herbert Smith I have also attended workshops to build my ‘soft skills’. For example, there are diversity and networking training events. Networking is very important from a business development
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perspective, learning how to win new clients and retain existing ones. There are events the firm hosts too, where you're able to put your new skills to practice. Other workshops I've regularly attended focus on legal training. It's vital, especially from a risk management perspective, that we ensure we are up-to-date with developments in the legal world. During the one and half years of my training contract I have had the opportunity to work in four different offices; London for a year, a short business trip to Paris, six months in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and I am now being sent to Hong Kong for my final seat. One of the reasons I chose Herbert Smith was its international presence. Having international experience at an early stage of your career is invaluable. Generally in an international office you are one of a couple or even the only trainee. As daunting as this may sound it is actually a great experience; you are given more responsibility, able to manage your own time and have direct contact with your clients, all of which you may not necessarily be able to do in London. There is also the added bonus of experiencing another culture and travelling whilst working abroad, not to mention the great weather. Quite often when working for a firm like Herbert Smith, you will find yourself involved in high profile/large transactions and disputes, working for some of the firms biggest clients alongside the firms most senior partners. Meeting tight deadlines can be stressful, however you will find that you are supported by your team and rewarded for your efforts.
Section | topic
Head to head:
Solicitor vs. Barrister WHICH ONE’S RIGHT FOR YOU?
Y A P OFFICE
C T P B
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CAREER PATH | WHERE ARE YOU HEADED
TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD, the line between solicitors and barristers is a touch on the blurry side. For them, ignorance is bliss, but for anyone considering a career in law, choosing which one to be is the big decision. It’s going to determine which areas you can move into, how often you go to court, who you work with and, most importantly, what you have to wear at work.
Solicitor “Even going to court and watching a case helps show you're committed to a career in law”
The way in You can have a degree in any subject to go on to work as a solicitor but you’ll have to take a one year conversion course. Once you have this or if you already have a law degree then you’ll take the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and follow it up with a training contract to get you doing the real thing. You’ll also need to take a Professional Skills Course in this time.
How long? So if you’re coming out of university with a law degree it’ll be another two years at least until you’re qualified, presuming you study full time. For those with a degree in another discipline, add a further year on top of that. Interestingly enough, the qualification you get from a conversion course will only be valid for seven years.
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EMILY PETERS IS AN ASSOCIATE SOLICITOR AT THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DEPARTMENT OF BIRD AND BIRD. IN MY JOB I DO A RANGE OF DIFFERENT THINGS in both contentious and noncontentious patented litigation, online trading and brand PL licensing and the IP aspect of corporate exhibition and sales. Before I became a solicitor I did a PhD and a conversion course part time, then I did a training contract for two years. For the final six months of my training contract I was sent out to Milton Keynes to work for Mercedes which was excellent, especially because they gave me a car. But that was a really good experience for me because it gave me a better understanding of the client and their pressures, and enabled me to get involved and understand the business side of things more. I joined Bird & Bird after my training contract. Since I started, the market has changed quite a bit, and firms like it if you have some sort of experience. If you can, get onto a summer scheme or do pro bono work in an advice centre and get some experience. Even going to court and watching a case really helps to show that you’re committed and into a career in law. There’s so much competition to get a training contract, so you need to do anything you can to distinguish yourself. When applying think carefully about the difference between firms and make sure that you highlight the distinguishing features of that firm on your application.
What will you do It’s likely you’ll get very familiar with your office surroundings pretty quickly – with most of the working day (which could easily be around 12 hours) spent there. You may get to venture out occasionally however to meet with clients or visit court. A lot of what solicitors do is paperwork. Obviously it depends what kind of solicitor you are, but it’s not uncommon to spend a lot of your time creating contracts, preparing papers for court and researching cases. There’s also some human contact as day to day you’ll be liaising with barristers, opposing solicitors and others below and
above you in the office. Then there are the usual meetings and, of course, more paper work. Also this is definitely not a job where you can just sit back and stop learning once you’re in the office - you’ll be expected to keep up to date with the law and participate in continuing professional development activities.
CAREER PATH | WHERE ARE YOU HEADED?
Barrister NICHOLA HIGGINS IS A BARRISTER AND CHAIRMAN OF THE YOUNG BARRISTERS’ COMMITTEE I ENJOY THE VARIETY OF MY JOB. No client, no case and no day is ever the same. I enjoy the constant challenge of doing something new and being forced to think on my feet. ‘Expect the unexpected’ is a good motto for life at the Bar and dealing with the unexpected twists during the course of a day or a trial can be frustrating but also exhilarating. The Bar was once described to me as a roller-coaster which I think is an apt description. There are lots of lows but the highs are unique. I chose to be a barrister because I wanted to specialise in advocacy. There simply is no better training in advocacy than the Bar. I also enjoy the freedom of being selfemployed and being my own boss. That said, self-employment comes with a package of downsides: no maternity leave, no sick pay, no holiday pay and no pension. And then there is having to do your own accounts... My advice to anyone considering becoming a barrister is come into this job with your eyes wide open, your family and friends are unlikely to see you as much as they used to, and get a sympathetic bank manager. Do mini-pupillages in different fields and at least two in the area in which you want to specialise. The pay's low and there's less work than before because more solicitors are conducting advocacy. This is a difficult job but a rewarding one.
The way in As with solicitors, you’ll either need a law degree or to take a conversion course before you can get started. You’ll then need to apply to take the Bar Professional Training Contract (not an easy task in itself, you’re likely to need a 2:1 degree at least and to take an aptitude test). To get onto this you have to apply by January of the year in which you want to take the course. Before you start this though, you’ll also need to apply for a pupillage to do afterwards. There is often a lot of competition for these, so a good degree and any extra activities to boost it are going to work in your favour.
After all that you can apply for a tenancy to become a junior barrister or alternatively go into employment with in-house legal departments companies or organisations.
How long? The BPTC only takes a year full time, but you’ll then need to spend another year in a pupillage. Half of this could just be watching and helping a supervisor up until six months, when you’ll get a provisional practising certificate and start actually getting your own cases. The pupillage can be done up to five years after your BPTC.
You’ll need to keep up to date with the law constantly. Within your first three years of practice you’ll have to take 45 hours of continuing professional development and, after that, you’ll have to do a further 12 hours every year.
What you’ll do The big thing that sets barristers and solicitors aside is that barristers get to regularly go to court. What type of barrister you become will determine how much time you’ll actually spend presenting arguments in court and cross-examining witnesses. In general you’ll be involved in managing cases, researching the law, advising solicitors, negotiating settlements and drafting legal documents. You’re likely to have to work long days sometimes, including evenings and weekends, not to mention all the paperwork that goes with it.
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DIRECTORY | WHO'S WHO Section | topic
DIRECTORY Pupillage Portal
Berwin Leighton Paisner
Pupillage portal offers one of the most comprehensive lists of pupillages in the UK, partly because Chambers need special dispensation not to advertise on here. www.pupillages.com/
40 trainees join BLP each year between a September and March intake. BLP run an Easter and three summer vacation scheme with the deadline being the 31st of January every year. BLP also run a training contract please see the link below for more details. www.blplaw.com/index.cfm/ ApplicationProcess/1238
Addleshaw Goddard Addleshaw Goddard offers a two year training contract and Easter and summer and placements as well as open days. See the website for deadlines. www.addleshawgoddard.com/graduates/ view.asp?content_id=515&parent_id=495
Allen & Overy 105 graduate jobs available in Law in 2011 with a starting salary of £38,000. Winter and summer vacations available as well as training contracts. www.aograduate.com/ApplyNow
Denton Wilde Sapte A week summer scheme, winter open day, spring open day (for first year law students only) and a training contract is offered at Denton Wilde Sapte. The application deadline for the London summer scheme, the winter open day and the training contract varies for law and non-law students www.graduates.snrdenton.com/placements. aspx
Baker & McKenzie Baker & McKenzie offers 38 graduate law jobs with a starting salary of £37,500. www.bakermckenzie.com/careers/ featuredStories.aspx?region=b727d16134f1-427b-9474-039db4a28b3e
Beachcroft Beachcroft vacation placements and training contracts are offered to those in the penultimate year of an IILB course or in the final year of a non-law degree or a graduate. A sum of £185 (£230 in London) per week is given during the placement. The closing date for the placement is the 1st of March of each year. www.beachcroft.co.uk/ generalcontentworkingforus.aspx?id_ Content=1332
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Burges Salmon Open days, vacation placements, and training contracts are offered at Burges Salmon. Application starts from October. www.burges-salmon.com/Careers/ traineesolicitors/open_days_and_vacation_ placements/Open_days_and_vacation_ placements.aspx
Charles Russell Charles Russell offers a summer placement programme and a training contract with a starting salary of £32,250 (London region). Application process normally opens in December but check their website for more details. www.charlesrussell.co.uk/content. aspx?path=/careers/summer_placement
year students as well as candidates who’ve already graduated or non-law students are welcomed. You can apply on line on their website when application is open. www.eversheds.com/uk/home/careers/ graduates/selection_process.page?
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer A 2:1 or first at each year of university is needed and also a majority of A grades at A-Level. 90 graduate jobs available in 2011 in Law with a starting salary of £39,000. Applications are currently closed but see their website for future chances. www.careers.freshfields.com/globalcareers/en/uk/trainees.aspx
Herbet Smith Interested in your potential and qualifications, Herbert Smith offers 85 graduate job vacancies for 2011 in the law aspect with a starting salary of £38,000. Applications re-open on the 1st October 2011. www.herbertsmithgraduates.com/apply/
120 graduate jobs vacancy in 2011 with a starting salary of £38,000 at Clifford chance. See the link below for more information and information on training contracts. www.gradsuk.cliffordchance.com/ apply-now.html
Hogan Lovells offers a vacation scheme, open days for undergraduates and a twoyear training contract for trainee solicitors. 90 jobs vacancies for 2011 are opened to both law students and non law students wishing for a career in law with a starting salary of £37,000. Applications begin on the 1st October 2011. www.graduates.hoganlovells.com/join_ hogan_lovells/career_opportunities/
India Buildings Chambers
85 job vacancies available in 2011 with a competitive starting salary. See the website for deadlines. www.dlapiper.com/global/careers/ Approximately 170 paid Summer Schemes are offered each year by DLA Piper. Applications for the 2012 scene open in the autumn of 2011. www.dlapipergraduates.co.uk/ opportunities/summer-schemes.html
Eversheds You will be paid £240 a week (London) or £175 a week (Regions) during the vacation scheme. Applications from penultimate
The deadline for with this non-Olpas Chambers is 31st January, for pupillages later the same year. www.indiabuildings.co.uk/recruitmentpupillage.html
Irwin Mitchell Around 40 law and non law graduates are recruited into Irwin Mitchell. A First year trainee salary outside London is £22,450 whilst in London its £30,000 is offered after a two year training contract has been done. . A legal one week work placement is also offered during the summer. See their website for deadline details.
DIRECTORY | WHO'S WHO
DIRECTORY www.traineerecruitment.irwinmitchell.com/ training.html
Kenworthy’s Chambers Application is via an application form on their website, the deadline is 30th September. http://www.kenworthysbarristers.co.uk/ pupillageapplications.php
Linklaters 110 Law graduate job vacancies in 2011 with a starting salary of £37,400. Summer vacation scheme available for Law students and a two-week winter scheme available for non-law students. Most applications open on 1st October – see the website for more details. www.linklatersgraduates.co.uk/schemesand-programmes
Nabarro To qualify for a place at Nabarro’s summer scheme and training contract, law students must be in their penultimate year and non law students must be in the final year of their degree. Also you must have a minimum of 1A and 2B’s at A-Level and a 2:1. See their website for details of deadlines. www.graduates.nabarro.com/Summer_ Scheme
No 5 Chambers This Chambers offer pupillages in its 3 locations in London, Birmingham and Bristol. Applications close on 10th May for the Autumn of the following year. www.no5.com/recruitment/pupillage/
Oriel Chambers A 2:1 is the minimum requirement of this non-Olpas Chambers, specialising in Crime, Family and Civil law. See their website for deadline details. www.orielchambers.co.uk/indexpupilage. asp
Paradise Chambers Applications for pupillages for the following year are open from January to February. 3 day mini-pupillages can be a part of the application process. They hold competitions for pupillages
although there isn’t one in 2012. See the website for 2013 competition deadlines from December 2011. www.paradisechambers.co.uk/pupillage.php
Parklane Plowden Chambers This non-Olpas Chambers offer pupillages, apply via their website. The closing date is the 32rd September 2011. www.parklaneplowden.co.uk /recruitment.php
Pinsent Masons To be accepted for a training contract at Pinsent Masons at least a 2:1 degree is required. A minimum of 300 UCAS across your A-Levels is required. See their website for deadlines. www.graduate.pinsentmasons.com/
Ropewalk Chambers Apply a year in advance for this Nottingham-based, non-Olpas Chambers. www.ropewalk.co.uk/pupillage_current_ round.html
Slaughter & May With a £38,000 starting salary, Slaughter and May offered 90 graduate law job vacancies in 2011. Slaughter & May also offer work experience schemes during Christmas, Easter and summer in their London offices with £300 per week to cover expenses. Application deadline for the Christmas scheme is the 21st of October 2011, 16th December 2010 for the Easter scheme and the 13th of January for the summer scheme. www.slaughterandmay.com/careers.aspx
St Philips Chambers A non-Olpas Chambers that offer pupillages and mini-pupillages. Applications are currently closed but check their website for future dates. www.st-philips.com/StPhilips/web/site/ StPhilipsHome/JoinUs/Pupillage.asp
Taylor Wessing For summer vacation schemes, if you are in the penultimate year of a law degree or in the final year of a non-law degree submit applications between November and January each year. If in the penultimate year of a law degree or in the final year of a non-law degree for Training contracts, submit applications between November and July each year. For more information see the link below. www.graduate.taylorwessing.com/applying/
Trowers & Hamlins 22 contract training are taken each year at Trowers and Hamlins and 30vacation placements are offered across London, Exeter and Manchester. The placements run for two weeks and £225 (£175 outside London) is given at the end of each week. www.trowers.com/careers/students/
Walnut House Chambers A non-Olpas Chambers specialising in crime, civil and family law, their application period closes September 30th. www.walnuthouse.co.uk/pupillage /pupillage.html
Withers Withers offer both summer and Easter work experience placement with £250 given at the end of each week. You are expected to have a 2:1 degree or higher with a minimum of AAB at A-Level. See their website for more details. www.graduatecareers.withersworldwide. com/eu/work-experience
York Chambers A non-Olpas Chambers. They recruit a few pupillages a year between September and October. www.yorkchambers.co.uk/pupillage.htm
St James’s Chambers A non-Olpas Chambers specialising in chancery, commercial and civil law. www.stjameschambers.co.uk/pupillage. html
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REAL LIFE STORIES | graduate solicitors
MY STORY Victoria Moremon is a solicitor at Latimer Hinks. She studied law at Teesside University PART OF MY JOB IS MEETING BEREAVED FAMILIES. THIS CAN BE VERY EMOTIONAL
Kelly McLoughlin is a solicitor at Latimer Hinks. She studied Law and a LPC at Northumbria University in Newcastle I STARTED AS A SECRETARY, NOW I’M A FULLY QUALIFIED LAWYER I STARTED AS A SECRETARY WITH MY RESPONSIBILITIES FOCUSING ON PROVIDING ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT TO OTHER STAFF. Within a year, I moved from being a secretary to starting a training contract with the firm. I’ve now achieved fully-qualified lawyer status. A lot of the things I’ve learnt here have built on what I learnt at university. Nothing can replace putting theory in to practice as that helps further extend your knowledge and confidence. One of the best things about working here is we get to know our clients really well and build-up close relationships. When we draw up legal and financial plans to safeguard our clients’ futures we focus on their individual requirements. As well as the ability to learn the theory, you need to be able to understand complex information and to communicate this effectively both orally and in writing. You also need to have the skills to interact with many and varied types of clients.
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I COMBINED MY LEGAL PRACTICE COURSE AT THE COLLEGE OF LAW IN YORK WITH MY TRAINING PROGRAMME AT LATIMER HINKS. I was a little nervous, but mostly excited as starting the job was the culmination of years of study and hard work. I spent most of the first day getting to know about the practices, procedures and systems at Latimer Hinks. My responsibilities and caseloads have increased during the time I have been with Latimer Hinks and I am looking forward to this continuing in the future. It’s been beneficial being able to add to my knowledge by learning from the wisdom, experience and expertise of Latimer Hinks’ long-serving members of staff. I love the stimulating and demanding atmosphere of working in a law firm and the challenging and complex projects with which I get involved. Part of my job is meeting bereaved families regarding the will of a relative. This can be very emotional. However, it is important to relate to the family members in a sympathetic, compassionate yet business-like manner. Being a lawyer is not solely about academic acumen, although it plays an important part. Cultivating good time management skills are essential as you will be working in a busy environment as is the ability to build good relationships with clients and colleagues.
Photo Credit: Spring Project working at the D&AD Graduate Academy
EmployabilityTraining As you’ve never experienced it before
It’s awa awoke na ren e exp ss wh new le ic v erie nce h I’ve el of nev db er efo re
CURRENT STUDENTS: To bring the Spring Project to your university speak to your careers service RECENT GRADUATES: Sign up for a free event at www.springproject.co.uk CAREERS SERVICES: If you are interested in bringing the Spring Project to your University contact Andrew Armes on Andrew@springproject.co.uk EMPLOYERS: If you’re interested in sponsoring training contact Darius Norell on Darius@springproject.co.uk The Spring Project is a not for profit set up by Real World to provide world class training to unemployed graduates.
Would you like to train for a career in law? Graduate Diploma in Law/Common Professional Examination (GDL/CPE) The University of Winchester is now offering a professionally accredited programme that trains graduates of any subject to convert to the study of law to become solicitors or barristers. This GDL/CPE is recognised by the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulations Authority. Find out more: T: 01962 826363 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.winchester.ac.uk/GDL
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Invest in yourself For more information on our training programme and vacation schemes, and for details on how to apply, visit: www.herbertsmithgraduates.com
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