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Law Society to students: legal career may be too risky

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  • The bottom line is having the right pieces of paper is not enough. If you show a lot of interest by getting the right experience and you having a variety of skills then you certainly have a chance.

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  • If anything is going to further reduce the number of people from non-privileged backgrounds entering the legal profession, it is a campaign telling students that pursuing a career in law may lead to financial ruin (unless your mummy and daddy are able to bail you out).
    Wonderful to see the extra £300 on the cost of the practising certificate going to such good use. Cretins.

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  • What a complete waste of money - if a student can't figure out these risks on their own then you have to question whether they will ever cut it as a solicitor. This problem needs a much more radical solution similar to the BSB's BVC aptitude test.

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  • This is interesting considering the College of Law have opened another branch in Bristol.
    LawyerNot2B - I do not agree. A lot of students are fed so much hype, PR and dreams about a lovely rosy route to being a lawyer. Someone needs to tell them the harsh reality.
    A degree is not enough anymore. The Law Society should be persuading firms to offer more placements. Work experience is so crucial. The candidate doesn't lose out - if they get taken on, great. If not, they have work experience on their CV.

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  • The statement regarding the position in Scotland is incorrect. I started the LPC equivalent (the DLP) without having secured a training contract and in the current climate there are many people doing the DLP right now who do not yet have, and possibly will not ever get, traineeships.
    But I did know about how difficult/expensive risky it would be to try and qualify as a solicitor before starting the LLB. Because I did some research on the internet...

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  • This is just a reflection of a much wider problem caused by the ludicrous government policy of attempting to force 50% of the population into higher education.
    The plain fact is that most people are just too thick to get a worthwhile degree. Giving them a Noddy degree from the University of Noddyland is simply a cruel deception, and the fact that the poor darlings think it's worth having is simply proof of how dense they are.
    Not only are these poor sods being persuaded away from useful non-graduate jobs that they would probably enjoy and that would pay them a decent income, they're being lured into £20,000 or £30,000 of debt in the false promise of a well-paid career.
    So the Law Society are doing them a favour, though as has already been pointed out if the would be lawyers can't work out for themselves that they're wasting their time they aren't bright enough to be lawyers anyway.

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  • Damned idiots. Double damned idiots for them allowing everyone and their dog to offer the CPE and LPC in the first place.

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  • What people seem to forget it that there are other alternative routes to become a lawyer which aren't so academically snobbish and which are more affordable. The Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) was established in 1963 and has been chosen by 80,000 aspiring lawyers.
    For those with no previous legal qualifications, the formal training to become a Legal Executive Lawyer is comprised of two stages: 10 units of study to achieve the Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice (set at ‘A’ level standard), followed by six units of study to achieve the Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice (set at degree-level). This takes around four years part-time but the full cost of qualifying is only around £5500, compared to between £3,000 - £7,000 of CPE/GDL fees on top of the LPC/BVC fees for non-law graduates who wish to be solicitors or barristers.
    If you already hold a qualifying law degree you will be entitled to join ILEX as an Associate member and use the designatory letters “A.Inst.L.Ex” after your name. To complete your academic studies to become a lawyer, you just need to study two ILEX Level 6 practice units (one of which must have been studied as part of your law degree), and the ILEX Level 6 Client Care Skills qualification. This costs only around £1350, compared to the LPC fees of around £6,000 - £10,000 for aspiring solicitors or BVC fees of £8,000 - £11,000 for barristers.
    If you already hold the LPC or the BVC you do not have to take the ILEX qualifications, and can immediately apply to become a Graduate Member of ILEX and use the designatory letters “G.Inst.L.Ex”. Your initial ILEX application will cost you just £590 (including registration, exemption and membership charges), which will drop to around £155 annual membership fees thereafter.
    As well as the relevant academic qualifications, you also need to have a minimum of five years’ qualifying employment, including at least two consecutive years’ experience after successful completion of your ILEX Level 6 qualifications or your LPC/BVC studies. Then you can apply to be a qualified lawyer and use the designatory letters “F.Inst.L.Ex.”.
    There is no training contract or pupillage required. No further full-time study required: complete your ILEX qualifications by part-time study or distance learning and so earn and learn at the same time and so avoid further debt. Places as a trainee Legal
    Executive lawyer may well be available when formal training contracts or pupillages aren’t. Legal Executives who wish to transfer to become solicitors are usually exempt from the SRA’s 2-year training contract.
    These days you can represent your clients in court if you study to be a Legal Executive Advocate, and Legal Executive lawyers are eligible to apply for judicial appointment and to become partners in legal disciplinary firms. There are many benefits to becoming a lawyer through ILEX, and the gaps between being a solicitor, barrister or legal executive lawyer are fast diminishing.

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  • To "Will"
    It is not about discouraging those who have the skills but not the money - it's about making sure they know there are other routes (such as ILEX or part-time study) of entry.
    And it's about making everyone at a similar level aware that they should think carefully before they get into debt.
    It is easy for posters here to be cynical (I think it comes easy to lawyers!) but the truth is that many students aren't aware of all of the options out there and we should be doing everything we can to make sure that they don't sign up for debts which will cripple them later in life.
    It's also about making those who do decide to take the plunge aware that they need to be thinking as early as possible about work experience, about getting as strong academics as they can, about getting involved in anything which could make them a stronger candidate.
    I know this may be obvious, but I don't think it can be said enough.

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  • I think it is wise to warn people with average A-levels and degrees from non-respected Universities to avoid crippling themselves financially by pursuing a career as a barrister or solicitor, where there is little or no hope of making it. However, this is the job of the government, schools and careers services - not the society which is meant to protect and promote the interests of our profession.

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