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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, the new SQE super exam, Hawking speaks out, Grenfell QC’s smell test and no time limit on human rights

barristers | solicitors | useful stories

What you MUST know:

Advice direct from the Pupillage Fair 2017

This year’s TARGETjobs National Pupillage Fair took place on Saturday 25 November 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 about the nature of the work outside of chambers, so give them a watch by clicking TARGETjobs National Pupillage Fair 2017 talks programme videos.

The fair took place just three days before the Pupillage Gateway began to display vacancies to give participants the chance to use information learned on Saturday and put it to good use. Pupillage applications can be submitted from 8 January–7 February 2018.

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. Forty-eight of our advertising law firms have spring and summer vacation scheme deadlines in December and January. 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:

Hawking stands against Hunt

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has joined a legal action designed to shut down certain government NHS reforms. Hawking has joined the lawsuit against the introduction of accountable care organisations or ACOs. ACOs are informal arrangements that aim to combine budgets and authority for groups of health and social care service providers. Campaigners against ACOs are wary of a move towards a privatised healthcare system, as the organisations are named after a similar model used in the USA.

Hawking has spoken out against Hunt in the past, claiming that the Conservative government has underfunded the NHS. Hunt, in turn, has accused the physicist of wrongly suggesting the UK is heading towards a US-style healthcare system. The NHS maintains that ACOs are a new move for the service to combine resources and improve communication between services. Hawking joins the legal challenge alongside other prominent academics and campaigners.

Click the story headline to read more from The Guardian.

Grenfell QC challenges panel diversity

Leslie Thomas QC, the lawyer representing survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire, gave an impassioned speech about the nature of the inquiry panel’s expert advisory team. Thomas unapologetically stated that ‘you couldn’t get a more diverse group of people,’ in the victim core participants of the inquiry, but referred to the advisory lawyers as ‘a fairly homogenised group’ and asked whether the situation passed ‘the smell test’.

Thomas suggested that the make-up of the panel would affect the victims’ confidence, and thus participation, in receiving justice and that the lack of diversity would affect public perception and understanding of the case. The inquiry has already faced criticism from the Labour party, which asked for an overhaul of the format to include an expert panel from more diverse backgrounds.

Click the story headline to read more from the Huffington Post .

Of interest:

No time limit on discrimination

The UK Human Rights Blog has examined the Supreme Court ruling that a barrister’s claim against the Bar Standards Board for discrimination should not be time barred (the claim was brought more than one year after the original prosecution). The barrister, Portia O’Connor, who is black, was subject to a disciplinary tribunal by the Bar Standards Board, which proved the charges against her. This was overturned by the Visitors to the Inns of Court shortly afterwards and followed up with a claim from O’Connor that the BSB had breached her human rights. The case was struck out on the basis that it was time-barred, a decision now overturned by the Supreme Court.

The UK Human Rights Blog offers a fuller explanation of the case based on judgments and press summaries, all citing the relevant case law. It should be noted that the Supreme Court was only ruling whether the claim was time-barred, not on the case brought by O’Connor against the BSB.

Click the links to read the full story from the UK Human Rights Blog.

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