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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 Law National Pupillage Fair 2017, the new SQE super exam, rights for Uber drivers, nationality declarations in court and historic inquiries.

barristers | solicitors | useful stories

What you MUST know:

Save the date: the TARGETjobs Law National Pupillage Fair 2017

The UK’s most established pupillage fair returns on Saturday 25 November 2017. If you’ve not been before, the TARGETjobs Law National Pupillage Fair is an unmissable date on the calendar for anyone aspiring to the Bar. You have the opportunity to meet members of chambers from different practice areas, course providers and other Bar-related organisations, as well as the chance to make contacts, attend the informative talks programme and learn how to finance your career as a barrister. This also serves as an event that you can put on your CV to boost your pupillage applications. Click here to get your ticket or click the story headline to find out more on the TARGETjobs Law National Pupillage Fair homepage.

What is the SQE and do you need it?

The new qualification for aspiring solicitors, the solicitors qualifying examination (SQE), will be introduced to 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.

What you SHOULD know:

Uber drivers are people too

Taxi app Uber has lost its appeal against a tribunal ruling that its drivers are staff and therefore entitled to all the benefits and rights accorded employees. Uber has, and will continue, to argue that its staff are self-employed, but a tribunal ruled to the contrary last year stating that drivers were entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the minimum wage.

The taxi app company has said that it will continue to take its case through the appeal process to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Uber has up to 50,000 drivers registered with the app in the UK, but has faced regular legal and regulatory challenges. The current legal action was picked up by Leigh Day when the firm was approached by the GMB union.

Click the story headline to read more from the BBC.

Innocent until proven foreign?

Changes as part of a government drive to deport more foreign criminals will mean that defendants will have to declare their nationality at their first appearance in a magistrates court. Human rights groups say the new change will undermine the right to a fair trial.

Martha Spurrier, director of human rights campaign group Liberty, said that the government was aware ‘that racial bias is a serious problem at every level of our criminal justice system’, and that bringing border controls into courtrooms was a manifestation of the government ‘fuelling anti-migrant sentiment, division and suspicion’. Failure to disclose nationality could lead to a prison sentence of up to a year. The regulation was introduced under the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

Click the story headline to read more from The Guardian.

Of interest:

Those who litigate from the past…

In the wake of an announcement that there will be a statutory inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal, which dates back to the 70s and 80s, the writers at the UK Human Rights Blog have asked the question: ‘Are inquiries into historical events really worth it?’

The article examines the impact on victims or families of victims from recent inquiries, as well as the skyrocketing cost of legal fees for the lengthy process. The piece looks at the new inquiry, as well as examples from Bloody Sunday and the Hillsborough disaster.

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.