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Law news for aspiring barristers and solicitors

Weekly law news update for graduates

Updated every Thursday morning, we give you the essential information you need to keep on top of your applications and raise your commercial awareness for interviews or meetings with law recruiters. We’ve also added some other titbits of information that might interest you.

Pupillage application season, TARGETjobs National Pupillage Fair 2017 videos, the new SQE super exam, a lawyer in charge of law, pressure on parole chief and an expensive Mastercard bill

barristers | solicitors | useful stories

What you MUST know:

Pupillage Gateway open to applications

The Pupillage Gateway is open from now until the deadline of 11.00 am on 7 February 2018, so make sure that you’re well prepared. Do note that this year the Pupillage Gateway allows chambers to customise their application forms a little bit more, so begin applications well in advance. If you want to get more tips on making your applications, or answering questions such as ‘why do you want to work in law?’ then take a look at the following articles.

Advice directly from the Pupillage Fair 2017

Last year’s TARGETjobs National Pupillage Fair took place on Saturday 25 November 2017 and, from what we’ve heard from you and from chambers, was a tremendous success. Each year, TARGETjobs Law hosts a programme of recorded talks by practising barristers and other Bar-related organisations to make your applications, interviews and career decisions that little bit easier. You’ll seldom have the chance to see such candid conversations outside of chambers about the nature of the work, so give them a watch by clicking TARGETjobs National Pupillage Fair 2017 talks programme videos.

What is the SQE and do you need it?

The new qualification for aspiring solicitors, the solicitors qualifying examination (SQE), will replace the current qualification(s) from 2020. TARGETjobs Law Solicitors explains what this means for you if you’re currently studying for a degree and what your qualification options are pre- and post-2020.

You can also find out what this means for non-law graduates considering a GDL, what the implications are for training contracts and how the new SQE will be run by clicking the story headline or reading our guide to how the SQE super exam will affect graduates.

Vac scheme deadlines

Vacation schemes are an important route into a career in law and it’s not too late to secure one. In December and January 48 of our advertising law firms have had spring and summer vacation scheme deadlines. Don’t miss out – use our handy checklist of vac scheme deadlines to prioritise your applications. Check the list by clicking to view our list of vacation scheme deadlines.

What you SHOULD know:

Lawyer back in charge of law

Former Macfarlanes solicitor David Gauke has been promoted from work and pensions secretary to justice secretary, replacing David Lidington in the latest cabinet reshuffle. In accordance with the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, Gauke will also retain the title of lord chancellor. Gauke will be the sixth justice secretary in the last eight years. He will also be the first of the last four to have any kind of legal qualification. The position of lord chancellor was traditionally held by a barrister (of which there are many in parliament) until the trend-bucking appointment of Chris Grayling in 2012.

Gauke’s predecessors have had little success with the role. Chris Grayling bore the brunt of lawyer-organised protests against cuts to the legal aid budget, while Liz Truss was criticised by the legal profession for her lacklustre opposition to the Daily Mail’s ‘enemies of the people’ headline that referred to members of the Supreme Court bench.

Click the story headline to see a full list of the new appointments post-reshuffle from the BBC.

Parole board chief to face MPs

Last week, a parole decision was made to free notorious serial sex attacker John Worboys. Now MPs want answers from the chair of the Parole Board to explain how the decision to release the serial offender, less than a decade after his conviction in 2009, was reached. Worboys faced accusations of assaulting more than 100 women, but was convicted of 12 offences of drugging and sexually assaulting women who were passengers in his taxi.

The chair of the Parole Board, Professor Nick Hardwick, will be questioned by the House of Commons Justice Committee about the reasons for Worboys’ imminent release and why a number of his victims had not been informed or consulted about the decision. At the time of writing, Hardwick had stated that he had set out some options for change and called for more transparency to be introduced into the process.

Click the story headline to read more from The Independent.

Of interest:

A massive Mastercard bill

A competition appeal tribunal (CAT) has ruled that Mastercard’s legal costs, accrued in defending against one of the largest class action law suits the country has ever seen, appear ‘wholly unreasonable and disproportionate’. The company is seeking more than £1.2m in costs paid out to law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, but the CAT has said provisionally that around £250,000 is a more proportionate figure.

The case in question concerned the charges nominally applied on the use of Mastercard debit and credit cards between merchant and bank, known as interchange fees, and was brought by solicitor and ex-Law Society Official Walter Merricks. Merricks sought to have a collective proceedings order granted to represent some 46 million people who had used Mastercard over a 16-year period in a claim that was worth around £14bn. The order was refused by the tribunal and it dismissed the case.

Click the story headline to read more from Legal Futures.

For more updates and information, check out our Twitter feed @TjobsLaw.

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