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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 2018, the new SQE super exam, food labelling review, civil partners and the first female barrister

barristers | solicitors | useful stories

What you MUST know:

The TARGETjobs National Pupillage Fair returns

The TARGETjobs National Pupillage Fair returns for its 21st year in the grounds of Gray’s Inn on Saturday 1 December 2018. This is your chance to meet representatives and barristers from around 40 London and regional chambers, course providers and other Bar-focused organisations to find out more about working at the Bar and improve the quality of your applications and interviews.

If you’re still not convinced, check out our six good reasons to attend the TARGETjobs National Pupillage Fair to find out more about what’s in store.

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 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 when 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.

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:

Food labelling law review

The prime minister has called for a review of food labelling legislation following the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who suffered a cardiac arrest after buying a sandwich from Pret A Manger in Heathrow Airport. Ednan-Laperouse was allergic to sesame seeds, which were not listed on the packaging. UK regulations currently mean that in some circumstances foods can be sold without detailed allergen labelling.

Theresa May told the BBC that the case should be investigated and the government will examine the responsibilities that companies have about food labelling. Environment Secretary Michael Gove said that he has instructed civil servants to investigate a law change.

Click the story headline to read more from the BBC.

Everyone can now be civil (partners)

The government is going to allow heterosexual couples access to civil partnerships following a Supreme Court ruling this year. The current system (where only same-sex couples may enter civil partnership) was ruled by the court to be in breach of two articles of the European Convention of Human Rights.

According to a statement, ministers will consult on technical details related to pension and family law before any change takes place, but the amendments are expected as ‘swiftly as possible’.

Click the story headline to read more from Lexis Nexis.

Of interest:

Chambers ‘rebrands’ for equality

A set of barristers chambers in London is to change its name in honour of the first woman to join an Inn of Court, Helena Normanton KC (King’s Counsel). Newly established set 218 Strand Chambers will pay homage to the iconic woman by renaming itself Normanton chambers from 2019. Joint head of chambers Angela Barnes wrote to The Telegraph to announce the decision, stating that she hoped the chambers ‘can continue her quest for a diverse, egalitarian and culturally rich Bar.’

Normanton was declined from her initial application to Middle Temple in 1918 and lodged a petition with the House of Lords. Before the hearing the Sex Disqualification (removal) Act 1919 was passed and she made a successful application less than two days later. Normanton continued to campaign for women’s rights throughout her life.

Click the story headline to read more from Legal Futures.

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