News in Brief

Addleshaws retains 80 per cent of trainees

Addleshaw Booth & Co is set to keep on around 80 per cent of its qualifying trainees after retaining just 62 per cent last year. High demand for few places in &#39popular&#39 departments, such as intellectual property and employment, was the explanation given for the higher-than-average proportion of trainees leaving the firm at the end of their contracts last year, despite the vacancies available in other areas. An Addleshaws spokesman said there are “more internal jobs than trainees” and that it is possible the firm may have to recruit from outside to fill the gaps.

Forum to discuss falling standards

Representatives from the Bar Council, the Law Society and university law schools are to meet in May to discuss fears that standards at undergraduate level are slipping. Earlier this year, the Law Society and the Bar Council produced joint guidelines due to concerns that an increase in student numbers has led to poorer teaching and over-stretched resources.

Newcomer schools win top grades

Both Birmingham College of Law and the Inns of Court School of Law (ICSL) have been awarded &#39very good&#39 ratings by teams of Law Society assessors. The top grades were happily received by both providers, which are still relative newcomers to the world of legal education. The Legal Practice Course at ICSL is only in its second year, while the College of Law&#39s Birmingham branch officially opened last September.

Scott Rees trainee to sit on Law Soc Council

A trainee from Stockport has been appointed to the Law Society&#39s Governing Council to champion the interests of young lawyers. Margaret Bailey of Scott Rees & Co beat 13 other candidates to the new seat for trainees and students. Bailey, 26, hopes to help improve access to the profession. She said: “A lot of students begin careers as solicitors with huge debts and, ultimately, it means the kind of background you come from decides whether you can pursue a career in the law.”

Students take off for US with space law win

A pair of Warwick law students are feeling out of this world after winning a European Space Law mooting competition. Their win is also a ticket to the US, where a worldwide version of the competition is taking place in October. Postgraduate students Sagee Sasikumar and Sethu Nandakumar had to use current law to tackle a fictional dispute, set in the future, that concerned surveillance from space, satellites and assaults on space stations.

Lawyers launch online dating agency

Single solicitors who are too busy to look for love can now turn to an online introduction agency founded by two Birmingham-based lawyers. Phoenix Temple (www. phoenixtemple.com), launched by Cassandra Moore and Emma Price, is aimed at “generally well-educated, ambitious and active” over-25s who are married to their jobs. Members can sift through potential partners online and make contact via email, rather than enduring “potentially embarrassing meetings” with dating consultants. “It is our belief that no one could be a better judge of who you would be most compatible with than yourself,” added Moore.