Students have been coming up with clever ruses to avoid working since education began.

But the opportunity afforded by Your Law Answers to ease that study burden seems more than a little on the expensive side. The website might offer the disclaimer that it does not ‘condone plagiarism and prohibits the use of the answers provided as the recipient’s own work’, but why else would someone pay more than 300 for an essay? If you need revision aids, then might I suggest simply checking out your local legal bookshop. With 300 you could buy 15 LPC textbooks. Studying to become a lawyer is already expensive – with the LPC and BVC both approaching the 10,000 mark – so it’s impossible to believe that people would be foolish enough to fork out good money for something that’s not only prohibited from being passed off as their own, but which they might just as well do themselves.

Meanwhile, those who have already made it through the education mill – coping with the trauma of writing a couple of essays en route – are proving useful to one magic circle firm. As noted on page one, while others struggle to usefully employ their minions in the economic downturn, Linklaters has sent its trainees out en masse to build up client relations. It seems the magic circle firm is the only one expanding its secondment programme. For clients it offers an attractive cost-saving opportunity. For young lawyers it provides useful commercial experience and the opportunity to develop personal contacts with clients – in turn enhancing their value to the firm. The wonder is that more firms aren’t doing it.

Despite the various law firm merger negotiations that rumble on, the most surprising development in the market is the purchase of Claims Direct by personal injury specialist Russell Jones & Walker. The firm now faces the difficult task of rebuilding a tarnished brand. It will be up against rival firms that recently joined forces to market their services direct to the public, such as Injury Lawyers 4U, as well as existing claims management companies like The Accident Group. US lawyers may be trying to curb their country’s litigation frenzy (see page 19), but it seems there’s no stopping UK lawyers’ enthusiasm for going after a piece of the ‘where there’s blame, there’s a claim’ action.