No more training contracts as Clarke Willmott takes paralegal route

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  • Best avoided.

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  • A sign of things to come? It certainly makes fiscal sense to have prospective trainees undergo a 12 month "assessment," allowing them to generate revenue for the firm whilst the cream of the crop are taken in as trainees.

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  • we have been doing this for years. its a perfect way to get the best trainees on board to invest in them and their future

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  • I went through this route. I can honestly say it didn't make me a better solicitor.

    All it achieves is hungry cut price labour for 18 months. Whilst you do the firm's admin work you lose your mental sharpness and also your enthusiasm for working in law.

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  • I have just finished my LLB with the Open University and have since decided NOT to enter the legal profession. Instead, I'm saving the money I would have spent on the BTPC and now working towards my MA with a view to completing my PhD!

    Whilst studying for my degree over 5 years on a part-time basis and still working 40 hours a week, I have developed in my current career in social care and would now be taking a pay cut of at least 60% to start my career as a paralegal or trainee solicitor. My partner has worked in three high street firms as a paralegal/legal assistant and commented about the push for more ILEX and more paralegal doing the 'leg work' and qualified solicitors acting as case supervisors to a team of 6, 8, 12 paralegals.

    Why have a team of 10 solicitors all on £35,000-50,000 when you could employ 2 supervisor solicitors looking after a team of 8 paralegals, all with their new LLB and LPC or BVC and pay them £15,000...More money for the Partners!

    Good luck to anyone who has yet to open their eyes to changing legal profession!

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  • I worked as a paralegal at Lovells which steadfastly and blindly refused to recruit trainees from among its paralegals. It struck me as foolish but I was soon thankful for it when I was offered a training contract by a more prestigious (and higher paying) firm.

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  • I undertook paralegal work to win a training contract. Honestly it didn't make me a better lawyer.

    It simply meant that I did administrative work for 18 months. I lost much of my enjoyment / interest in the law. When I qualified, staff still saw me as the admin support.

    Unfortunately, firms do this because they want low-paid hungry workers who are unlikely to cause a fuss. As Lydia writes, such firms are best avoided.

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  • Most of the brightest and best will have training contracts secured long before they graduate from the LPC.

    Guaranteed training contract offer v 12 months as a paralegal at Clarke Willmott, followed by the possibility of a training contract. It's a bit of a no-brainer, isn't it?

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  • I was a paralegal for 12 months at my firm. I shared the team's secretary and did very little admin. I ran my own files and billed more per month than some of the NQs.

    'Paralegal' doesn't always equals 'admin'. Far from it. This scheme allows you to hit the ground running when you do start the TC.

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  • If the "brightest and best" are the ones getting training contracts why do the lawyers here find that we constantly have to refer our trainees to be taught the most basic of skills by our paralegals? The myth that A'Level grades are a great indicator of the best talent persists in most graduate recruitment departments... I feel a little envious of the lawyers at Clarke Willmott where the academically qualified but practically incompetent will have been weeded out during the paralegal stages.

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