Disclaimer

This blog represents my views and opinions. They are not necessarily those of any other member of my Chambers, none of whom contribute to the blog, or assist me with it.

Editorial

Now moved to http://pupillageandhowtogetit.wordpress.com/ for reasons of convenience and ease. Come and see.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Becoming a Solicitor First? (hat-tip B2B)

Whether to do this is just about the number 1 question and, as chance would have it, I have a cunning plan ready to hand. It is NOT mine - it belongs to Barrister2Be who has kindly given his permission for me to publish it.

Now, I do not warrant that this will succeed and it demands dedication. But I can't detect any obvious flaw. Further reports are welcome. So, thanks B2B and here it is:

"No Pupillage – What next?

If you are reading this then you have no doubt passed the Bar Vocational Course and
have not found that elusive pupillage. Most people I know have been totally
demoralised by the whole pupillage application process and either end up doing ad-hoc para-legal work in the hope it will enhance their c.v. or give up any dream that they once had of becoming a barrister. Lets face it, the system sucks but we knew what the odds were when we started the BVC, the people who make a success of bad situation are the ones who don’t give up at the first hurdle. So stop feeling sorry for yourself and read on.

Do your own research

In life you get out what you put in and I am not therefore going to quote every applicable Law Society / Bar Council regulation in respect of this document. These are available on the relevant web sites. You are trained in legal research, so if there is anything you are not sure about, then you are well qualified to do your own research, lets face it you paid just short of £10000 for the privilege of calling yourself a non practising barrister, almost a bit like cash for honours.

This is not legal or Career advice

This is not meant to be legal advice or otherwise, it is provided in good faith only, it may contain errors, for which I will not be held responsible. You are an adult with a legal mind which is no doubt far superior to mine, so don't rely on anything I tell you.

The Bar Council / Law Society

After looking at the Bar Council and Law Society Regulations in respect to qualification, it transpires that there is a solution to this problem and that it is possible to become a practising barrister without having to find a pupillage.

The Solution in a nutshell

You become a solicitor wih higher rights

You then have two options

You can then transfer back to the bar and apply for a waiver of pupillage from the bar council and they will more than likely grant it, if you obtain higher rights in both criminal and civil proceedings. You will then need to find a set of chambers to take you on as a probationary tenant.

Continue working as a solicitor advocate and enjoy the same rights of audience as a barrister, although you don't get to wear a wig, it could be argued that you are saving yourself a couple of hundred quid, however if you are anything like me, I want the bloody wig.

How do you go about it – that's elementary my dear Watson !

QLTT

The first thing you need to do is apply to the law society for a certificate of eligibility to sit the Qualified lawyers transfer test. This form is obtainable from the law society. You send the completed form with a certified copy of your degree or GDL certificate, Certificate of admission to your INN and BVC certificate along with a nice fat cheque for £400.00. Don't moan that you have no money, if you are hungry enough you will find a legal way to obtain it. If you have been a naughty boy in the past and have a police record, then you need to be aware that the Law Society perform a mandatory CRB check prior to admission. Lets face it they dont want a convicted fraudster running off with all grannys money do they?

The Law society then write back to you and tell you that you need to sit the Solicitors Accounts and Professional Conduct element of the Exam. The exams are open book and you can resit as often as you want, so if you are grey matter challenged or an old bastard like me with a crap memory, it wont matter, you will pass in time.

You then need to enrol with an approved provider in order to sit the test. This will cost you £250 which will register you for three attempts at the test. Each attempt will cost you in the region of £90. BBP and Central Law Training are approved testing organisations. They can also provide distance learning and face to face tutoring if required, the fees for this will vary between £250 and £900 depending on what option is taken. I would recommend the distance learning option with BPP as the materials are concise and go and do a book keeping course at your local college of further education if you don't feel confident in this area.

If you have reached this point, you should now be at the following stage
■ Have obtained your certificate of eligibility
■ Have registered with a course provider
■ Decided on your mode of study
■ Brush up on accounts at your local college if required

You sit the QLTT and pass.

You now need to obtain 24 months legal experience and cover three areas of law which is a mixture of contentious and non contentious areas of practice. If you have prior experience you can apply to the law society for a reduction in this period. You will now need to start job hunting, ideally look for temporary contracts, these can be found on web sites such as totally legal. I suggest you work in areas that reflect the area in which you finally want to work. As you will be at the bottom of the pile, you will no doubt be meeting Council on a regular basis, this is where you have to shine and impress them with your hard work and knowledge.

HIGHER RIGHTS

As soon as you have your certificate of eligibility for the QLTT you must then apply to the Law society for a wavier in order to start the process by which you obtain higher rights.

There are various routes to higher rights but the route which is applicable to a non practising barrister is “development route”. The law society will exempt a non practising barrister from having to have training and assessment towards higher rights. The only requirement that you will have to adhere to is the requirement to create a portfolio, you will need a mentor to assist you with this who can either be a Solicitor or a practising Barrister. Examples of portfolio's can be found on the law society website along with what is required by your mentor.

The Waiver that you apply for will allow you to start building your portfolio prior to been admitted on the solicitors roll. To apply for the waiver you must write to Paul Harrison, Solicitors Regulation Authority, DX 19114 Redditch. I could have made you sweat for this address but i am not totally heartless..

You must complete 4 of chapters in the portfolio prior to admission on the Solicitors roll (or you will have delays later on), the final chapter you can only do when you have your rights of audience as it is a requirement to have completed an advocacy exercise before a real court. Just keep your mentor sweet during your time with him or her, even if it means baby sitting on a Saturday night. They are helping you remember not vice versa.

RECAP

You are now at the stage where you should be:

l You have passed your QLTT exam (if you fail just try again)
l Working during the day gaining the required legal experience
l Completing one chapter of your Higher Rights portfolio at least every 3 Months.

WHATS NEXT

Once you have completed your 24 months experience you then apply to be admitted on the Solicitors roll,

Assuming you are admitted you are now a solicitor with rights of audience in the lower courts, you now must complete the last chapter in your portfolio with the aid of your mentor and send off your application for higher rights along with the portfolio. Full details are on the Law societies web site.

If all you meet the required standard in respect of the portfolio then you will be given your higher rights and you are now a solicitor advocate, with the same rights of audience as a practising Barrister.

YOUR OPTIONS

Work as a solicitor advocate

You can apply to transfer back to the bar and you will be given the following exemptions

l If you have civil higher rights then you will get a 6 month reduction in pupillage

l If you have criminal higher rights then you will get a 6 month reduction in pupillage

l If you have both then you will be exempt from pupillage

l All you now need to do is find a chambers to take you on as a probationary tenant, remember all the contacts you made with Counsel when doing your legal experience requirement, if you impressed them I am sure you will find your tenancy.

TIMELINE

The whole process should take two years or less depending on your exemption for previous legal experience. I think you will agree with me that you will be more attractive to chambers as a probationary tenant then a pupil who has to learn on the job at Chambers expense.

QUESTIONS

How many people are up for pupillage each year? To many to mention

What are your odds of getting a pupillage? If pupillage was a horse I would not bet on it.

FINAL THOUGHTS

There is always more than one route to a destination

Good Luck in your quest"

For more from our man in the law society corner trying on his wig and gown - go here: http://barrister2b.blogspot.com/

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Simon,

Thank you very much for the informative response. The information provided is very clear and indeed helpful. Thanks so much

Take Care

Regards,
Anisah

Barrister 2 B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barrister 2 B said...

I am thinking if there are enough people looking at this option, it may be worth while me setting up a private forum on yahoo groups, so we can support each other during the process

Karen McAtamney said...

Ummm, the '24 months of legal experience' is a bit more complicated than just getting a series of temporary paralegal contracts. In order to qualify as a solicitor you must enter into a formal Training Contract with an individual law firm. The terms and conditions of the Training Contract are prescribed by the Law Society and require further professional training and so on.

Qualifying as a solicitor and transferring back to the Bar isn't a bad plan, but there is a fair amount of competition for Training Contracts; less so than there is for pupillage but competition all the same.

The skill set of barristers and solicitors is usually different and the type of experience you get during your Training Contract will depend upon the firm and area of law you're working in. Solicitors often do very little 'real law' - our job involves client contact, drafting correspondence, phone calls, document management and so on. You're unlikely to get much experience at drafting skeleton arguments or other forms of the kinds of pleadings that counsel draft as a solicitor.

A newly qualified solicitor transferring back to the bar *may* be a better bet than a bog standard BVC student looking for pupillage, but s/he will probably still need some training in the skills specific to barrister and support in developing his/her own practice.

I suspect the better move is to become highly experienced in your own field as a solicitor & build up a client base and your own expertise and then transfer to the Bar mid-career.

Barrister 2 B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

barrister-2-be

You have obviously found a way of circumventing the requirement for pupillage in order to get to the Bar. I think what Karen and Archbold are trying to suggest is that it is not an easy option - life is never as straightforward as it seems. It would quite clearly be a much quicker route to qualification as a barrister if you are able to obtain a pupillage. Have you tried and been unsuccessful? Perhaps this would explain why you are keen to find an alternative route.

In theory it is, as you say, possible to be admitted to the role of solicitors by doing temporary stints - in practice i think it may not be that easy. If you are looking for experience which can be substantiated in writing by a supervisor, partner, or whoever, then it is not dissimilar to a training contract 'in pieces' if you like.

Your response to the comments which have been left are quite unnecessarily hostile and rude. You will encounter people throughout your career who no doubt test your patience. It is the mark of a good lawyer when they can simply rise above what they perceive to be a criticism of some sort.

You seem quick to criticise people who say things which do not apparently please you - spare a thought for the poor people who have had extremely unpleasant and crude decsriptions concocted about them on your own website. If you choose to 'go public' with your life and experiences you cannot expect everyone to agree with you.

Barrister 2 B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'm with anon and Archbold on this one. B2B, not only are you being unnecessarily hostile/defensive but you are not addressing the issues that these posters have raised. Your responses to Karen, and to Archbold on your own blog, were uncalled for.

Barrister 2 B said...

I dont intend to get into a flame war, If I appear harsh / defensive or hostile then I can only apologise is this is not in my nature. However both Karen and Archbold clearly did not read the full contents of the document before commenting on it.

Wig and Gown said...

What this plan fails to take into account is that chambers are somewhat reluctant to take people on who 'haven't done it the hard way' i.e. get pupillage.

Quite frankly, the route described is just as difficult, but many in chambers would disagree.

I am at a criminal set and we are bombarded by people who have gone down this route. I'm afraid that very few (if any) are as able as someone who has been on their feet as a 3rd/4th/5th/further pupil of the same vintage.

Anonymous said...

wig and gown,

A couple of questions:

1. Are these people who you refer to

a. Solicitors who are transferring over who did not do the BVC

or

b. Solicitors who did the BVC and the QLTT and are looking to transfer back


When chambers are looking at such an application what qualities would they be seeking, would it not be the case that they would be looking for somebody who 1- fit into chambers, 2 - who would bring $$$ into chambers by way of instructions from previous firms, 3- Ability to do the job.

I would really welcome your detailed comments.

Anonymous said...

It strikes me that Barrister2B's plan is just outright daft. If there are people who are repeatedly unsuccessful in applying for pupillage - for whatever reason - could it be quite simply that they just don't have what it takes to be a barrister? I'm sure if the plan proposed is a valid one, the Bar Council, Inns of Court, BVC providers etc and the various literature published on routes to becoming a barrister would endorse it as a viable alternative.

Granted, I haven't yet gained pupillage and I, too, may be unsuccessful (although, of course, like everyone else making applications I sincerely hope that won't be the case), but there must come a point, surely, when commitment and determination begin to come across to your interviewers as desperation, bitterness, arrogance and resentment.

Moreover, given the already limited number of pupillages on offer, after a while aren't you going to start going around the block a second time? If it was something about your personality, and not simply about lack of experience etc, are Chambers who rejected you a first time likely to change their minds the second?

At root of this mad plan there seems to be a huge misconception and it lies right there in that castaway line:

"All you now need to do is find a chambers to take you on as a probationary tenant..."

What on earth makes Barrister To Be think that having all of the skills of a solicitor will be attractive to a set of Chambers looking for someone with all the skills of a barrister? What makes someone who has shirked the challenge and difficulties of pupillage (and who, let's be frank, has fallen at the first hurdle and thought themselves "clever" enough to find a "short-cut") any more attractive than they were the first time around? If you failed to convince a panel of members to take you on board for a year, isn't it going to be even harder to convince them in an interview to take you on for life?

I wonder whether Barrister2B should review the situation with a little more honesty and self awareness. Sure, I'm no interview panel, but I suspect that pupillage panels and firms of solicitors will be no more impressed by the spelling/grammar errors that litter his posts and his blog than I am. And there really is nothing more unattractive than a keenly apparent chip on one's shoulder...

Simon Myerson said...

Whoa - harsh.

I've already said this isn't my plan, but there a couple of points above I want to comment on.

Firstly, determination and commitment are taken as a given. I don't see how they translate into arrogance of resentment etc. Whilst I agree that some people just aren't cut out for the job (see the Pause for Thought section below) it isn't likely that the simple fact of applying again will cause any problem save the obvous one of 'why didn't you get pupillage first time out?'

Secondly, if a solicitor brings with them a commitment from their firm and their friends to brief them at the Bar that is a huge plus. Solicitors' skills overlap barristers' skills and are useful in practice. Judgement is necessary in both jobs. Advocacy skills can be acquired. Ex-solicitors are usually attractive to Chambers - we have 5.

Finally this. I encourage debate - but debate does not require the personal attacks made in the anonymous comment above. Honesty and self-awareness simply don't come into this discussion. This is a potential plan to become a barrister and it is shared with others. It might be good or bad but that's the plan - not the person.

I have a firm opinion about this: an attack on an individual normally betokens a weak and inadequate advocate. That's why politicians are so keen on such attacks. I'm not. So, knock it off.

Anonymous said...

Criticism duly noted and apology willingly given. To clarify: with the exception of the final paragraph, the criticisms were levelled at the plan rather than the deviser-of-the-plan, the final paragraph serving merely as a response to some of the more aggressive comments/responses directed by B2B towards those who had been invited to comment both here and on his own blog - a number of which, I note, have subsequently been removed. Where criticism is invited it somehow doesn’t seem in the spirit of things to then bite those people who contribute: it is this self-defensive aggressiveness, together with a strong undercurrent of bitterness apparent in reading his blog, which comes across as chippy.

With regard to your criticisms of my criticisms of the plan, I don’t think I was suggesting that a solicitor would be unattractive to a firm of barristers simply by virtue of being a solicitor and not a barrister. However, it does seem an awfully tortuous route to trying to become a barrister when the plan doesn’t seem to guarantee any more success than going around the block a few times applying for pupillage. Whereas I suspect those ex-solicitors you have in your Chambers bring with them a wealth of experience and expertise acquired over several years in practice, B2B’s plan seems to advocate spending the minimum period of time working as a solicitor before transferring, purely for the sake of circumventing pupillage. It seems from reading his blog and the above plan that B2B has admitted defeat in the scramble for pupillage before he’s been defeated and that seems a real shame.

As for the criticism about spelling and grammar: well, yes, I admit that’s a personal bugbear and as I am not yet (and may never be) a barrister myself I cannot state with any authority those things a pupillage panel looks for when reading through applications. However, I would be surprised if basic spelling and grammar errors were not noticed, you yourself having briefly touched upon this in your post “All Beginnings Are Difficult”. I note that B2B has elsewhere made a low and derisory dig at another poster’s (archbold) seeming inattention to detail - a well-known saying about glass houses springs to mind.

I trust the above clears confusion a little. It was far from my intention to bring unjustified criticism or mindless mudslinging to what is a refreshingly honest and worthwhile blog, Simon.

Simon Myerson said...

No problem. You have absolution ;)

You are right that the ex-solicitors in Chambers have plenty of experience. But the skill-set is still attractive without. Plus they may bring work with them.

I agree about the grammar - as I advance in years it has become easy to pick out the below 30s because they use exclamation marks like confetti! But I cut people slack when they're blogging and posting.

Also, because they are often the spontaneous expression of a thought which is then clarified in debate, blogs and posts can sound rather more extreme than the author intended. I have deleted an entire post before now because I sound so fed up that I wouldn't want to read it.

Anonymous said...

I guess that's always the risk with written communication. I suspect the error we are sometimes guilty of making is to forget that our text will not always be augmented by the mannerisms, quirks and sense of humour with which recipients of our emails or text messages, say, are familiar. Our words are read as their readers want them to be read such that well-meant sarcasm and gentle teasing often come across as equally, and unintentionally, antagonistic.

You're right about exclamation marks. Worse, I find, is anything remotely text-speak, the most objectionable culprit of all being: LOL!!! (Shudder)

Anyway, this is completely off point. Let's talk about law.

Barrister 2 B said...

Hi Anonymous,

I accept your apology and would like to add the following.

1. No Chambers has rejected me.

2. I have not given up hope.

3. I have no chip on shoulder, I just expect people to do their own homework before commenting on something that they clearly dont fully understand.

4. Spelling / Grammar - Its a blog not Shakespere. I dont always have time to check.

5. I did not apply for olpas last round because my C.V was lacking in legal experience, as I have a mortgage and a young daughter - my main aim last year was passing the BVC and paying my bills. I did not have time to pursue unpaid work i.e mini pupillages as I was working 40 hours per week in addition to the BVC to ensure I still had a roof over my head

6. If you consider the plan to be mad, that is your view and i fully respect your viewpoint. The plan is hard work and requires tanacity, which given is something a lot of people just dont have.

Anyway I have had some good news this week, so plese feel free to pop over to my blog.

Anonymous said...

I am currently a solicitor of 4 years PQE. My PQE practice has been commercial litigation. I can only comment upon my own experiences of moving to the Bar and training/practice as a solicitor in a large national firm. I have moved to the Bar as I see no future for me in the context of a firm. I do not want partnership because I do not want to commit myself finacially to a large bunch of others (some of whom I may not like). I am tired of justifying my time to others on a 6 minute basis year on year. I do not want to be responsible for employing large numbers of people. I am fed up with the paperwork and as I become more senior the increasing management of juinor staff associated with being a solicitor.

However, contrary the views expressed above, solicitors (at least in the firms I have experience of) have at least as much specialist knowledge as counsel. Firms with departments which have sub teams of 1/2 partners and several solicitors each specialising in a particular area of law generally have at least as much knowledge and capability at the finger tips as the Bar. In fact, as a consequence of the better resources available (such as full time professional know how lawyers, internal and external training, extensive precedent systems and any other legal resource available)large firms of solicitors actually do the legal work. Counsel are only instructed to provide advocacy services, or for professional indemnity purposes. Of my current cases 10% involve referral to counsel and only for the reasons mentioned above. Why would a firm of solicitors with sufficient resources share fees with the Bar?

I aim to provide a commercial service to smaller firms without those resources and benefit from the self employed status.

If anyone is considering a career in the legal profession they need to enter it with their eyes wide open to the commercial realities. If one intends to enter the Bar via the solicitor route, that is by hopping from para legal job to para legal job so that you have the sufficient time on the clock to qualify, your legal experience will be next to worthless. Para legals are employed to support qualified solicitors so that they are free to concentrate on the legal work. Para legals in my experience and in a litigaton context put bundles together, draft costs statements, file papers with court etc. They do not generally advise clients, commit clients through pre- action correspondence, advise on settlment, draft statements of case etc. Para legals may carry out different roles in transactional work, but again it is a support role.

I think that you ought to enter a profession for the right reasons. If you want to be a solicitor then do it properly. Otherwise you are in danger of wasting your time at the photocopier.

Root said...

It is great comfort to know that even eminent silks seem to mispell council (sic) from time to time. :)

Anonymous said...

I am a solicitor hoping to transfer to the bar via the aptitude test and then a pupillage, not via the solicitor-advocacy route. However, I first qualified in the US and worked for the pupblic defenders' office for 4 years where I regularly appeared as junior, senior, and sole counsel in jury trials and appeals. I have found solicitor work very different to what I am used to, and honestly believe my experience, proven talent, and interest in advocacy will be an advantage over candidates with little to no advocacy experience, at least at the public/criminal bar.

While chambers may be cautious to offer pupillage to those who did the BVC, failed to obtain pupillage, and paralegaled for while until gaining a solicitor qualification, I do think that chambers are interested in solicitor applicants who want to transfer because they indeed enjoy advocacy, have substantial advocacy experience, and are good at it.

Of course, my analysis may be more suited to the criminal solicitor who has tried multiple magistrate trials. It may be more difficult for a commercial litigator at a large City firm who has spent every day in the office to demonstrate sufficient barrister skills beyond specialized knowledge.

My advice: if you are unsure the best route is to do the LPC and qualify. At least that way you won't come across as a pupillage reject - though I understand many able students who would make exceptional barristers also fail to gain pupillage due to the limited number of places.

At the end of the day there is just not a big enough demand for higher court advocates. 90%+ of all cases, criminal and civil, are tried or settled within the parameters of the magistrates and county courts. It's the same in the US, where opportunities to advocate in serious felony trials and higher court appeals are small compared to the bustling work available in municipal courts.

J C Grobler said...

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY TRIBUNAL
globalcommunitytribunal.com

We have launched a campaign whereby we wish to unite jurists, i.e. judges, magistrates, members of the legal professions, prosecutors, etc within a popular, global, judicial institution called the Global Community Tribunal.

The purpose of this exercise is to provide Humanity with an independent and objective institution that shall represent global justice. This institution will provide complainants in regard to alleged transgressions of International Law the recourse to put their cases forward for judicial consideration and emphatical, globally representative legal recommendations. It is foreseen that the simple explanation of the applicable principles of law, the publishing of all available evidence and the evaluation thereof as well as the fact that the final recommendations represent the legal opinion of the majority of jurists worldwide, will generate sufficient public support to enforce the implementation thereof.

As a point of departure this concept has been set in preliminary form on the website of the Global Community Tribunal. Nothing is however cast in stine. As more jurists become involved and contribute their wisdom, knowledge and ideas, the concept will be amended until it is acceptable to the majority of all our registered jurists.

For more information kindly visit globalcommunitytribunal.com

We therefore call on all jurists to register without delay and immediately become involved in the establishment of the Global Community Tribunal.

In anticipation of a close co-operation we kindly call on the news media to publicize the campaign and to invite jurists to become part of this initiative.

Mr. J. C. Grobler, administrator.
Attorney of the High Court of South Africa.

Mustafa said...

Sorry for flooding your blog but i thought this might be more relevant here..

Hello,

I understand my query might not be very relevant here but I could not find another place to put it down.

I am a third year law undergraduate and I'm planning on doing the BVC next year starting Sep 2008. I am an international student on a 2.1 with alot of good mooting and debating experience but not much mini-pupillages. I understand that it might be difficult for me to get a pupillage after my bar but it's worth a try. My main aim is (or was) to go back to my home country and practice as a Barrister although due to the political instability there i think it would be rather difficult to get off to a flying start. Yes I'm reconsidering my options.

I am applying for vacation placements and training contracts to commence in September 2010 (as dates for a 2009 start have passed and I did not apply because I always wanted to goto the bar, don't get me wrong I still want to and this is why I am in a complicated situation). I am certain that I will end up with a training contract hence LPC fees etc paid, but that LPC will begin in Sep 2009. I know i could fund the LPC myself and still be able to secure a contract for 2009 but I dont want to do that.

Back home LPC's don't mean much and being a Barrister is everything. Basically you are not a good lawyer if you haven't received a call from Lincoln's Inn. So what i want to do is this 'BE SAFE'.

After graduation, I want to do a vacation placement. While already enrolled for the BVC i want to start the course in Sep 2008. If at this point i get an offer for a training contract I will still finish my Bar and start the LPC next year i.e. Sep 2009 and start working in 2010 as a solicitor.

After gaining the 2 year experience if i decide to go back home I can always utilize my Bar at Law there. Otherwise I could stay here and work as a solicitor.

I still want to attend interviews if i get any for pupillage and if I am able to secure one I shall not go ahead with the LPC.

My query : Is there any technicality which stops me from finishing the BVC by 2009 and starting the LPC in 2009?

My point : I want to stay safe, be able to get some legal experience in the UK and be able to go back home and practice as a Barrister if I want to ( which I doubt at the moment as I can not see my self as a member of a Bar Council whose website has this section http://www.sindhbarcouncil.com/joke.php...And may i refer your attention to joke number 3)

Thankyou!

Simon Myerson said...

You cannot be called as a Barrister until you have done the BVC. You cannot call yourself a practising barrister until you have completed pupillage. I do not know whether the rules are different in your home jurisdiction or whether, given that you want to qualify in the UK, the UK rules take precedence.

As far as I can see, there is no reason why you should not do the BVC followed by the LPC providing that you don't call yourself a barrister. But that is not a definitive answer. To get that you need to write to the Bar Standards Board and they will ensure that you don't go wrong.

sean said...

I have to agree with barrister2b on the topic of people reading up on a subject before commenting on the subject. As regards the idea of transferring to being a solicitor and then gaining rights of audience and jumping back to the bar.

That is the idea that I appear to be heading towards myself at the moment and my the senior solicitor where i work is agreeing with. Is the idea slightly on the crazy side. Of course it is but then again so is joining a profession where three quarters of those whom pass the first stage (the bvc) never will not get a pupillage. Now that we have established that we are all crazy in this situation we must look to the future.

In my situation I have passed the BVC and been called to the bar. No pupillage in sight. I have worked for 6 months in a solicitors. I have 4 years left to get a pupillage. In attempting to gain a pupillage i need legal experience with as much advocacy as possilbe. If i happen to be carrying that on for 2 years in 3 areas of law then i qualify for the Law Society's 2 years of required experience to become a solicitor and only need to pass some exams.

My thought is that if this is still heading me in the direction of pupillage and the only difference is some exams then why not take the opportunity and add being a solicitor to the CV, it can not make the cv any worse. In the worst case that you do not gain pupillage then at least you are still a lawyer.

For those that are not sure that this route is real the I can refer you to th Qualified Lawyers Transfer Regulations 1990. regulation 6 is the one you would use if you are called to the Bar in England. They are available at http://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/qltt.page.

Training Contracts for Solicitors said...

Qualified lawyers from overseas jurisdictions may be eligible to transfer to the roll of solicitors of England and Wales under the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Regulations 1990.

Applicants from most jurisdictions are required to complete successfully the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test, if they meet the eligibility criteria.

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