Articles From the Team

Let’s hear it for everyone qualifying as a solicitor in 2021!

Well it’s been a challenging 12 months for everyone, I think we can all agree...

But I think we should reserve a special ‘well done for making it through’ to all of this year’s qualifying cohort of young solicitors.

It’s not as if you had it particularly easy to start with. I feel as if it just gets harder and harder for this generation to make it through all the hoops and across the finishing line.

Let’s start with the proportion of young people who go to University these days versus the number of graduate level opportunities they can expect to find at the other end.

Back in the 80s less than 20% of the population went to University. By the early 90s it had gone up to 25% and it has kept rising ever since until by 2019 we hit a symbolic 50% target.

But why were we aiming for that? (short answer, it’s all about the money but this isn’t a political blog so I’ll leave it there!)

I doubt very much that as a nation we’re getting radically cleverer and as a functioning society, we can’t suddenly magic up a higher proportion of graduate level jobs. We’re always going to need a lot more bus drivers, shop workers and manual labourers to keep the country than we need lawyers and accountants. That’s why they’re called key workers and look how incredibly grateful we’ve been to them for keeping the country running over the last year particularly.

It’s the same with LPC courses. Back in the 80s and early 90s, there were about 6 or 7 institutions nationally that offered the LPC, but come the introduction of tuition fees and courses were springing up throughout the land, churning out LPC graduates by the hundreds.

Back then, if you passed your LPC or before that, your Law Society Final Examination (I’m showing my age here...!) you were fairly much assured of a training contract but now there’s far far more graduates coming out of law school with an eye-watering student loan to pay off than can ever possibly hope to get one. Yes, the legal profession has grown in that time, but not nearly enough to accommodate even the majority.

So you’ve really got to shine these days. You’ve either got to make it to a Russell Group University, get a 2:1 or above and at least a Commendation in your LPC or you may be looking at a hefty few years as a paralegal with no guarantee at the end of it. Thank goodness for some of the newer routes to qualification that we’re seeing now as they might just save your bacon!

Millennials can get a bad rep sometimes for being entitled snowflakes. And I’m quite sure there are some entitled snowflakes out there. There are in every generation quite frankly!

But keep trainee solicitors and lawyers qualifying through equivalent means out of it! You’ve all worked damn hard to get your training contract in the first place, you’ve spent half your training period working remotely, fighting to get the mentoring and supervision you need to learn your craft and you’ve made it through, against some considerable odds for a lot of people.

So whenever you’re qualifying this year, hats off to you, well done and here’s to successful ongoing careers for all of you!

We’re seeing encouraging volumes of NQ roles coming to the market this year, so if you’d like help in finding your first post-qualified role, please get in touch. We’d love to help and support you through to the next stage of your career.

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