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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, TARGETpostgrad online law fair, the new SQE super exam, no more gagging orders, taxman seizures and Skype for trials

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.

Digital events by TARGETpostgrad

If you’re interested in further study in law, now is your chance to get free help and advice. TARGETpostgrad has evolved its exceptionally helpful series of fairs into a day-long online forum that you can access from home. As long as you’ve registered for the event beforehand, which you can do by clicking this link to register for TARGETpostgrad’s online fair for law, you can take part, talk directly to course admissions staff and university lecturers and ask them specific questions about your preferred discipline. The law fair is taking place on 1 November, so why not get registered and get some answers?
Click here to find out more about TARGETpostgrad’s online fairs or click the headline to get registered.

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 university. 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:

Money can’t buy you silence

A new proposal to be included as part of a domestic abuse bill could outlaw non-disclosure agreements drawn up by companies to ban workers from going to the police in cases of sexual assault or abuse. Often non-disclosure agreements or ‘gagging orders’ are used to penalise victims financially if they make a criminal or public complaint about an offender.

Under the plans, businesses will have a legal duty to protect their employees from bullying, harassment or abusive behaviour and will not be allowed to silence employees if the complaint is of a criminal nature. Alongside the proposed domestic abuse bill, a national database of complaints is to be established to help understand the true extent of the problem.

Click the story headline to read more from The Telegraph.

Taxman seizures

HMRC has increased the rate at which it will seize assets from businesses that do not pay tax on time. Last year the department enacted seizures of assets, which can include IT equipment or other valuable machinery, at 2,833 businesses – a fourfold increase since 2014/2015.

HMRC can collect assets in lieu of a tax bill, but often has to sell on equipment at a lower value than normal. Despite the increase in seizures, it raised only £69.7m from the sale of assets last year.

Click the story headline to read more from The Independent.

Of interest:

Skype for trials

The court system is undergoing heavy modernisation in an attempt to overcome a stream of negative press and government funding cuts. A large part of the plan for the future will be the digitisation of various legal services and the potential for video-link appearances by parties involved in a trial.

The ever-useful Rightsinfo blog has delved deep into the possibility of video-link use in trials and what this means for different users of the court system. Take a look to see why comfort and convenience come with a price and why it could be too high to make the system work for everyone.

Click the story headline to read more from the Rightsinfo blog.

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