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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.

TARGETjobs National Pupillage Fair 2017 videos, answering law application questions, the new SQE super exam, GDPR emails, Google privacy and merging supermarkets

barristers | solicitors | useful stories

What you MUST know:

Advice directly from the TARGETjobs National 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 catch such candid conversations outside of chambers about the nature of the work, so give the videos a watch by clicking here: TARGETjobs National Pupillage Fair 2017 talks programme videos.

What positions of responsibility have you held and why are you interested in commercial law?

As part of our law application form advice series, we’ve put together two new articles to take the sting out of those tricky training contract application questions.

It is fairly common for law firms to ask about your experiences outside of law school. Questions might include ‘What are your extracurricular activities and hobbies?’ or ‘Tell us about a time that you’ve held a position of responsibility’. While many law firms will ask the question, you’ll want to avoid giving the same answer to each firm. Find out how to avoid giving generic answers and get noticed with our helpful examples of how to answer the extracurricular activities question.

If you’ve got your sights set on one of the major law firms for your training contract or vac scheme, you’ll need to convince these City behemoths that you really want to work in commercial law. Read our guide on how to answer ‘why do you want to work in commercial law?’ to find out how you can use your own experiences and research to craft a unique answer to each firm that you’re applying to.

What is the SQE and do you need it?

The new qualification for aspiring solicitors – the solicitors qualifying examination (SQE) – is due to replace the current qualification(s) from 2020. On 8 March 2018, however, the Legal Services Board (LSB) put off – for the second time – making a decision on whether or not to approve plans for this centralised solicitors’ super exam after the proposals came under new criticism. The LSB said that it would not make a decision before 12 April 2018. This deadline has now passed, but we will update this post as more information becomes available.

You can find out what this means for non-law graduates considering a conversion course (graduate diploma in law, commonly called the GDL), what the implications are for training contracts and how the new SQE will be run by reading our guide to how the SQE super exam may affect graduates.

What you SHOULD know:

Why you’re getting all those privacy emails

The biggest shake-up in data protection law for 20 years has finally come in to force. The General Data Protection Regulation, which was brought in to replace 1995’s the Data Protection Directive, will theoretically allow individuals to hold companies strictly to account for their use of personal data and offer new options to manage how your data is used and to withdraw consent.

The new legislation will hit the big internet companies the hardest, as well as other businesses that rely on using consumer data in large quantities. GDPR applies to all European citizens, rather than within the European area, which means that companies abroad will also have to be compliant if they wish to continue offering services in Europe. At the time of writing, several major US news sites and the Pinterest-owned Instapaper service are not available within the EU while they work on GDPR compliance.

Click the story headline to read more about GDPR from The Guardian.

Yet more data privacy

Google is facing a collective action (the UK equivalent of the US’ class-action lawsuit) through the High Court for allegedly tracking and collecting data from 4.4 million UK iPhone users without their knowledge or consent. The data was collected via a ‘workaround’ in Apple’s safari app on the iPhone. The claim is being brought by former Which? director Richard Lloyd via his campaign group Google You Owe Us.

The information collected may have included political leanings, physical and mental health, sexuality, social class, race, financial and shopping habits and location data. Google is contesting the nature of the case (representative action) and has stated that there was no evidence that the information was passed to third parties.

Click the story headline to read more from The Guardian.

Of interest:

Stiff competition for supermarkets

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has begun to investigate the proposed merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda supermarkets. The two businesses, two of the largest supermarket chains in the UK, would create the country’s largest retailer if they successfully merged, which has prompted criticism from regulators and politicians.

The CMA was open to consumer and third-party opinion until the beginning of June when it was due to begin a formal investigation that could see it force the pair to sell some shops. The chains have said that no stores will be closed and no jobs lost as a result of the merger.

Click the story headline to read more from the Independent.

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