‘The BSB needs to be unafraid to be radical’: Bar regulator looks to overhaul training

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The Bar Standards Board (BSB) is looking to carry out the ‘most sweeping reforms to Bar training in a generation’ after research found that parts of the current system were viewed as ‘an absolute disgrace’ and ‘exploitative’.

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The Student View: Norton Rose Fulbright’s Jonathan Ball on forensics, IP and his route to law

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Jonathan Ball of Norton Rose Fulbright initially worked as a scientist before becoming a lawyer, and is now an Intellectual Property and Technology disputes partner. Here, Jonathan discusses his career and the nature of his work and offers some helpful tips for students and professionals from other careers who are interested in a career in law.

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SRA approves plans to broaden qualification route beyond training contracts

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The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) board yesterday (21 May) formally approved an overhaul of its training regulations and continuing professional development (CPD) regime in a step towards opening up the pathways to qualification and ongoing self-assessment.

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Barclays to offer 80 work experience places as high street bank mulls apprenticeship scheme

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Barclays’ in-house legal team is to offer around 80 work experience placements to students from socio-economic groups under-represented in the legal profession in partnership with its panel law firms this summer. Continue reading “Barclays to offer 80 work experience places as high street bank mulls apprenticeship scheme”

Guest post: A cannon fodder shortage looms as LPC and trainee numbers head for market over-correction

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Nigel Hudson has written an interesting post on LPC numbers. He says (among other things):

‘The number of students enrolled on full-time LPCs has shrunk by 8.4% this year. In 2012/13 enrolments fell 4%, so the trend is downward and falling fast.

In all, 5,198 students enrolled with the 27 LPC providers for 2013/2014, according to data from the Central Applications Board, the admissions service for full-time LPC and Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) applicants.’ Continue reading “Guest post: A cannon fodder shortage looms as LPC and trainee numbers head for market over-correction”

Comment: The social contract – what is the law firm but the people?

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The market for legal services will never be the same again. Mergers, alternative business structures, multi-disciplinary practices, law firm failures, onshoring, offshoring and the continual advance of technology all signpost change, and will continue to drive change in the future. But as we all jostle for market position and attempt to make sense of this ongoing maelstrom, how much thought is being given to the lifeblood of the profession: the lawyers of tomorrow?

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DISSENT: Do you know Titian? Berating law firms on social mobility belies commercial realities

RollOnFriday founder Matthew Rhodes argues it is education – not an increasingly meritocratic profession – that is to blame for lack of social mobility in law.

Earlier this year Westminster School offered a mini-pupillage at a barrister’s chambers as a lot in a charity auction. The story hit the national press – The Guardian fumed: ‘Fancy a career in the law? A mini-pupillage with a criminal barrister can be Freddie’s for offers over £650.’ The Social Mobility Foundation complained, the Bar Standards Board felt obliged to investigate. All hell broke loose, over a week’s work experience for a teenager.

A bit of an overreaction? Given the kicking the profession is currently getting for not providing sufficiently broad access, perhaps it’s an understandable one.

I declare an interest: I went to Westminster. A few weeks before this story broke I attended a dinner for lawyers who had been at the school. The 80-odd guests that turned up included five High Court judges, the Attorney General and the President of the Supreme Court. From just one school. Alan Milburn, whose 2012 ‘Fair Access to Professional Careers’ report castigated the profession for not doing enough to encourage social diversity, would have had a seizure.

Continue reading “DISSENT: Do you know Titian? Berating law firms on social mobility belies commercial realities”